Sunday, March 8, 2015

International Women's Day 2015

Today, March 8th, 2015, is International Women's Day.

Since the world is still pretty much run by (straight white) men, and therefore pretty much every day is Men's Day, we are pleased to celebrate International Women's Day (observed since 1911!) and to celebrate mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, aunts, wives, and friends. After all, we all, each and every one of us, came from a woman. (Thanks, Mom! I miss you!)

To the women in my life, I love you all. I wish the world was a better place for you and treated you better. I truly believe women are still seen as second class citizens. Unfortunately, misogyny is alive and well... feminine things always take a backseat to what is masculine. Manliness is seen as a virtue while femininity is seen as a weakness, something to be avoided or discouraged. And unfortunately, misogyny is the basis of homophobia (an unnatural fear of what is perceived as feminine).

Of course there are countries around the world where women are still literally treated as second class citizens, denied the ability to drive, vote, live alone, own property, and work at a chosen career--or they are treated like property and beaten, raped, or mutilated because they are female. I am thinking particularly of the recent controversy in India over the documentary film "India's Daughter" in which the men convicted of the brutal rape, beating, and murder of a young woman on a bus in Delhi express not a bit of remorse for their actions, and in classic rape-culture logic, blame the victim. The pervasive attitude of misogyny still rules most of India.

As a man, there are many things I don't have to worry about like whether or not the clothes I am wearing are too revealing so as to attract the attention of a man who might attack me, being molested or raped on the way to my car at night or even in broad daylight, being sexually assaulted at work, and having my personal feelings and ideas discounted because I am "hysterical" or because it must be "that time of the month." I have heard many stories from my female friends about what clothing they could wear if they felt safe, and about how their thoughts or suggestions were passed over at work in favor of the exact same thought or suggestion from a man. This still happens. Not all the time and not to every woman, but enough of the time and to too many women.

Visit the International Women's Day website to learn more and for a directory, by country, of events:

Also visit:

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