Tuesday, March 8, 2016
International Women's Day 2016
Today, March 8th, 2016, 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. In many places around the world, even in developed countries where one would not expect it, 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.
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.
Take the #PledgeForParity at the International Women's Day site. If you do these things already, as I do, pass it along...
International Women's Day and beyond, I pledge to ...
*help women and girls achieve their ambitions
*challenge conscious and unconscious bias
*call for gender-balanced leadership
*value women and men's contributions equally
*create inclusive, flexible cultures
Visit the International Women's Day website to learn more and for a directory, by country, of events: