Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History month in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
It has taken every fiber of my being not to comment on the complete train-wreck going on in the United States right now what with congress debating contraception and Rush (Big, Fat Idiot) Limbaugh’s comments towards a Georgetown female student. After all, I don’t live there. But as someone who is seeing this from the outside, let me just say that it’s this kind of backward thinking that has the rest of the world looking at you as a joke, America. Before moving on to another topic, I will say that Rush Limbaugh and his Tea Party cronies have done American women a favour. By spouting off their true colours, they have shown the next generation of young women voters that feminism is not only still a relevant cause to fight for, but just how tenuous their rights are in their own country.
As a feminist, I can’t help but look at International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month as little patronizing pats on the head. We won’t be truly equal until we no longer need a day or a month telling us how we are appreciated. I do understand the importance of a movement that helps stop violence against women, but why should that only be publicized on the eighth day of the month of March? Feminists are working every day to increase awareness and change laws to protect women world wide. We really don’t need a day of the year dedicated to us to make us feel that our efforts are being recognized. You want to make us feel that way? Work with us and not against us. There are still many atrocities being committed against women all over the world, from rape as a weapon of war, to female circumcision, to honour killings. Women’s rights are not nearly equal to those of men. Even in North America (yes, Canada too), women still don’t have equal pay for equal work. Now as much, if not, more than ever before the feminist movement is necessary.
So, Happy International Women’s Day. What are you going to do about it?
For information on how you can get active, here are three great places to start.