Today is International Women’s Day. A day that celebrates the strength, determination, struggle and rise of women worldwide. A day which reminds each and every woman that it is more than okay to be a woman.
For me, feminism is something hugely worth supporting. Not because I hate men. Hell, I love men. Feminism is equality- it is allowing women and men to exist on the same level with mutual respect and like opportunities.
As a white, middle class woman from the West, I know that my own struggles have paled in comparison to those of other women of different races, classes and areas of the world. This saddens me.
I don’t class the struggles I have faced as a woman any worse than identical struggles experienced by men, however, the inequality comes from those struggles I have faced because I am a woman.
Struggles like being called ‘bossy’ as though it’s a bad thing that I’m assertive, it’s a bad thing that I have aspirations and goals and know what I want and how to achieve it.
Struggles like being called a ‘psycho’ because I’m a girl and we woman are weak and feeble and if we show just once ounce of anger or emotion at a personal injustice, our mental stability is put into the firing line.
Struggles like being compared to other women, based on ability, or looks, or weight, and allowing those comparisons to completely absorb my own mind until I feel like I am wading through a tar-like chaotic darkness.
Struggles like going for a graduate job, and working my ass off to research everything I can about the company, to show them just how much I want the job. Working and perfecting my skills and what I’m going to say and the examples of how I can benefit their company only to sit down opposite a panel of white, middle-aged, middle-class men, and seeing that look in their eyes. Little girl- she can’t do this. I’m a good judge of character; I feel your judgement too.
Struggles like being verbally harassed on the street by men I do not know, who think its totally cool to call sexual remarks at me when I’m 15, 16, 17, 18…. I don’t know you, and even if I did, it’s not cool.
Struggles like getting my ass grabbed at work by a complete fucking stranger and being told to “not make a fuss, he’s a paying customer”… I was a waitress in a pretty mainstream cocktail bar. Pretty sure it was a strawberry woo woo he paid for.
Today is an amazing day, because it allows women of all shapes, sizes, sexualities, races, religions and homelands to come together and unite and prosper. It also lets the amazing men in the world show their support for women, and to mark their place in the march towards equality.
However, even on a day filled with such positivity for everyone, there are always those people who have something negative to say. Who aren’t happy to see a positive celebration. “Fuck feminism”, “It’s sad that you need a day to celebrate your gender”, “Typical feminists”. You can imagine.
I think the key thing to remember is that, in the words of Chimamanda Ngozi, feminist is: “the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”
So, fuck yeah women’s day, what a rad, positive day to celebrate our gorgeous mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, aunts, grandma’s and friends of the world, regardless of whether you are a male or a female.