Hi guys, I’m aware that this is slightly late given that International Woman’s Day was on March the 8th, but I’ve been up to my neck in revision-even now, I’m writing from the library! As always, thank you for reading-I’d like to hear your thoughts on the issue!
I don’t know how to feel about International Woman’s Day. As a young person who advocates complete gender equality, for the first time in a long time, I don’t entirely know where my stance on this particular issue lies.
It is said that the day is in commemoration of women across the world-with the purpose of making a stand for those who are consistently ridiculed and belittled by a prevalent patriarchy. For those who are ignored and those who are subjected to ongoing sexual assault as a result of their gender. On behalf of women across the globe, trapped in abusive relationships and under oppressive laws, I commend the opportunity to acknowledge the less fortunate.
And, let’s face it, with the rise of the ever-sexual media, women’s intelligence and non-superficial qualities are often ignored here, too; that’s without the issue of the taboos of menopause-that no one dares to speak of in fear of being viewed as “unattractive” and having exceeded the stage in their life in which they can be viewed in a sexual light, even if this is what they wish for.
We live in a world that does, has always, viewed women as second class citizens.
I do not want to demonise men-99% of whom are decent and thoughtful individuals. Only yesterday, I was having a conversation with the father of a five year old girl, who told me about the pain and angst caused by a viewpoint held by the general population that he would want to harm a child in any way, shape or form. To use his exact words, he told me “I saw a small child fall off the climbing frame the other day, and the parents weren’t around. But I felt that, if I were to go over and ask if they were okay, I would be accused of something horrible”.
In many, many ways the world is unjust towards the male of the species, too: and there’s no excusing that.
But being a woman has its own specific stigmas and challenges that only she can experience. If we consider this country to hold misogynistic beliefs about the monthly cycle, imagine the life of a twelve year old child in the third world, confined to her room and unable to leave over the misconceived fear of “contaminating” the family home. Periods are a fact of life for half of the population-and yet we live in angst about using the toilets at school and work, mortified by the very idea of someone discovering our secret. Similar to the issue of breastfeeding, women are shamed into silence regarding some of the most natural aspects of daily life. There comes a time in which the world must acknowledge that the female body has not solely evolved for male pleasure, but as a complex system for reproduction-a fundamental part of life that deserves recognition as we suffer from the cramps, the pain, the acne, and the blood-flow for around a quarter of our lives.
I think the hardest part of International Woman’s Day, is, for me, the bitter reminder that we still need one.