7 Reasons Why International Women’s Day is Important

Let me start by saying that I do not consider myself to be a feminist. This may be controversial but let me explain. I feel strongly that equality does what it says on the tin. Equal rights between genders. In other words in order for women to be equal to men we must treat them equally just as they must treat us equally and I feel that the idealism that some of the feminist agenda espouses can and does treat men poorly and as a result undermines the cause. I have a few problems with the way feminism is used as an anti-men platform: that is not equality. I know that not all feminism is anti-men, but it is still there and I cannot subscribe to that.

Are we victims and are all men misogynists?

Feminism seems to me to paint women as victims. And worse, that all men are misogynists with only harm to women on their minds. If we believe we are victims, guess what sisters? We are victims. I have encountered a misogynist, who curiously was a gay man. It was unpleasant but I haven’t defined my life by the encounter, nor have I labelled every other man, straight or gay as a potential threat to me.

Do we really support each other?

The worst aspect to feminism is that if you are brave enough as woman to counter the feminist anti-male agenda you are generally then ripped apart by your fellow women! I stand for equality, not superiority.

I am equal

I already know I am equal. I know I am worthy and I know I am intelligent. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to fight for the rights of other women who are not in the same position as I am, nor do I believe I am superior in any way. I just refuse to believe that I am not any of the things that feminism fights for on behalf of all women. I am. That means I can be a voice for women, just as we all can and not only that, men can be a voice for women too, because all humans should be the voices for other humans.  Women’s rights are human rights.  Men’s rights are also human rights.

However, I do believe in the power of International Women’s Day (I also believe in the power of International Men’s Day – 19 November). Here’s why:

  1. Women are our own worst enemy for so many reasons

Having a day where we celebrate the sisterhood and put aside our petty judgemental attitudes is wonderful. I love women (platonically), but I despise how we judge each other, I even despise how I know that some women reading this will be angry at me for not being a feminist!  Women put each other down, women judge each other by the way they look and the choices they make in life.  STOP.  Accept each other as individuals and be stronger for it.

  1. Having an international platform is one of THE best ways to communicate important messages.

These include messages about the plight of women around the world who do not believe they are equal and are treated appallingly. All women have human rights that are being ignored and worse, abused, and International Women’s Day gives those women an extra voice

  1. Any excuse to love is a good excuse as far as I am concerned.

    International Women’s Day encourages women to love themselves and each other! Yay.

  2. The media is encouraged to celebrate women’s achievements on this day

Hopefully, in doing so it inspires other women (and men) to go for their goals!

  1. Alas there are still many industries where the male/female ratio is overwhelmingly in favour of men (including the one I work in)

Nothing against men here, but that is not equality! It strikes me though that there could be many reasons for this not just the industries and companies within them being gender biased, but because women do not necessarily follow careers in these fields. This may be because they feel they can’t, so highlighting them shows women they can. (Remember there are also industries that are overwhelmingly female biased too!)

  1. Despite being legal in many countries, equal pay is not working and it not legal in ALL countries.

Raising awareness of this should be an all year focus but it is no bad thing to highlight it on a prominent media covered day

  1. Women are still judged by how they look and what they wear in the media rather than what they think and achieve

MEDIA! Get behind women dammit. This is my biggest bugbear. Not only do women judge each other, complain that men objectify women, but also buy purchasing the magazines and newspaper that encourage this, they all allow the media to reinforce this judgemental behaviour.  This is damaging in so many ways, not least on how we judge ourselves, our body confidence and our equality among men.  Instead of celebrating a prominent woman for her achievements or intelligence  as they do with men, the media cant help but comment on her shoes, or whether she looked fat in whatever she is wearing.  That is what encourages objectification and judgement.  International Women’s Day if it does nothing else,  FORCES the media to publish coverage about women’s worth beyond the size of her arse.

I have a call to action.

Stop buying the magazines; papers and other media rubbish that only comment on how women in power and in the public eye look. Make the media houses feel it in their pockets. Invest your time and money in journalism that matters. Encourage companies to remove advertising spend from any title that objectifies human beings as nothing more than something to look at. That will make a difference, because as long as there is a single media outlet still out there defining women (and indeed men) on how they look, we will never win the equality wars.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. funkysquishydonut says:

    Love this! I often will say to my husband “I’m not a feminist … BUT” and then go on about one of these issues you’ve pointed out that makes me angry. I don’t identify with modern feminism mostly because I do find that a lot of the rhetoric can come off as anti-men and that just seems really hypocritical.
    I really loved how you pointed out that sometimes the male/female ratio in industries isn’t off because of gender discrimination but is off because one gender or the other just isn’t into that type of job for whatever reason. I work in an office where ALL of the secretaries are female. ALL of us! It’s not because our company wouldn’t hire a man to be a secretary it’s just … no men ever apply!
    I also loved the bit about how women are portrayed in the media because I agree, it sucks! I’m currently in a community theater play where I have to undress and redress on stage several times and when I found that out I got really nervous because I’m not the size 0 I was when I was 18 … 10 years ago. Then I figured “fuck it!” this is the body I have and the body type that MOST women have. MOST women who aren’t pictured on magazines and billboards and in movies or shows are not size 0 string beans!

    Like

    1. stuffnfings says:

      I am so happy it spoke to you. Everything you’ve said is why I wanted to write this piece but I’ll be honest I nearly didn’t click publish. I’m so glad I did now. Xx and well done you for doing the play!

      Like

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