Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy International Women's Day 2018

Today, March 8th, 2018, is International Women's Day.

Since the world is still pretty much run by straight white men, and therefore pretty much every day is already Men's Day, we are pleased to celebrate International Women's Day (observed since 1911!)

But especially in this time of daily shocking allegations of sexual abuse against women in all areas of life, and the evidence that women are STILL paid less than men for doing the exact same amount of work in the exact same position, we observe International Women's Day now more than ever.

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.

Now, more than ever, there's a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. There's a strong call to #PressforProgress motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive. Collective action and shared ownership for driving gender parity is what makes International Women's Day successful. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." So make International Women's Day your day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women.

Visit the International Women's Day website to learn more:

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