It's all commendable stuff obviously, and it makes me feel a little bad for saying that International Women's Day is a crock of old shit.
But really, it's a crock of old shit, isn't it?
If you are advocating equality across the genders then singling out one particular day as Women's Day seems a pretty dodgy way to go about it. A whole day? Just for us ladies? Oh go on, you're spoiling us.
(And yes, I'm aware that there's also an International Men's Day as well but that's just fucking stupid.)
Women aren't a minority group. There are plenty of us about. You may know some. Hell, you might even be one. This insistence of making things exclusively for or about women just cements the notion that the default setting is male and anything else is a bit of a special case. Like in cartoons where every member of the team has a defining personality trait - clever, dimwitted, fun-loving - and one of those personality traits is 'female', (This is known as the Smurfette Principle.) Or that time when Comic Relief introduced a female mascot to go alongside its original one despite there being no indication previously that the original smiley face was male. You couldn't see his penis or anything.
International Women's Day was political in nature from its inception in 1909 (originally organised by the Socialist Party of America), but has since morphed in many countries into a fluffy little gift-giving holiday instead of a political one. Men in Russia and Italy and a whole bunch of other European countries give gifts of flowers to their wives, mothers and female employees which is so deeply patronising that it makes my hand involuntarily clench into quivering balls of rage.
|It's making it pretty hard to type, I can tell you.|
So let's continue to fight for the opportunity for every woman in every country to enjoy the same rights as her brothers. But don't lets hang it on a peg marked "Women's Day". It's not just one day - it's every day. And it's not just about women. It's about all of us. Anybody who believes in human rights, is on the same team, after all. Even those of you with penises.