Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day 2016.

When I was a kid, I thought I was dead smart for asking my mum why there was a Mother's Day and not an equivalent for children. We're not that arsed about Mother's Day in my family- my mum always says it's a rip-off and besides, we're major Christmas people- but I've never not marked the day in at least some way. So, to be honest, I don't know that I was really that bothered about not getting a card (let's be honest, when you're a kid the only point of cards is to have somewhere for people to tuck money) and a crappy pot plant or even- as me and my brother tried to give our mum one year- washing up gloves, but I was pretty proud of my reasoning.

My mum rolled her eyes at me when I asked her about it. So far that they virtually rolled up into her head, in fact. Give or take a few bloodys, her answer was, "Bloody hell, Rebecca, every bloody day is bloody Children's Day." It's a little exchange I'd completely forgotten about until International Men's Day last year. 

Today is International Women's Day and it's a pretty sad state of affairs that we still need the day. It's somehow even sadder that the response by a lot of men to the day isn't to knock down the barriers to the development of women's equality and rights, but to come up with an official International Men's Day because the 364 days a year that are unofficially IMD just aren't enough. International Men's Day. Puh. Lease. 

To paraphrase my mum, "Bloody hell, every bloody day is bloody Men's Day."

I identify as a feminist and when I tell men that, I immediately see eyebrows raise. Sometimes in a way that indicates the person is threatened, but generally more in a patronising way, which is even worse. I cannot abide being patronised. Men look at me almost pityingly, as if I obviously don't understand the world we live in or get angry that I want supremacy- as it happens, I want equality, thanks- as if they're scared that if feminism prevailed, they'd be treated the way that they treat women now. 

Just to warn you though lads, as much as most of us want equality not supremacy, you can't keep treating women how you do and then bob yourself at the thought of us treating you that way. It's the old adage about treating people the way you'd like to be treated. I cringe when men say they're feminists because they have mothers or daughters because that's only recognising women by their relationship to you, not as people in themselves. I'm not a daughter or sister first, I am a woman first and everything else comes afterwards. I am strong, I am worthy, I am deserving.

So mark today by doing absolutely nothing... that you shouldn't already be doing.

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