Saturday, 9 March 2013

Women's days

Yesterday, depending on your timezone, was International Women's Day. I didn't even have a clue there was such an animal until my Twitter feed flowed and overflowed with #InternationalWomensDay.

So I stared at it for a bit, scratched my head, shook my head, and wondered ... if today, this one day, is allegedly Women's Day ... do I have to do something special today? Do I have to stop doing something special today? Am I not female the rest of the year (all 364 days of it)? What on earth might you need a Women's Day for - Hallmark show a loss in their bottom line?

I had to go look it up on Wikipedia. Women's Day, as mandated by the UN, is 'a day when political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide is brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.' This grammatically unusual sentence raised another question for me. Women's Day. So after Women's Day ... we stop 'hopefully examining' women's struggles? Do we do anything except examine them - de-ball the Taliban, for example?

 It never occurred to me that mandating a day in the year as "Women's Day" was needed. The women who live in the First World countries, have, for the most part, little to worry about and have only to put foot to ass to get wherever it may be they want to go, and probably the ones who really need it, like the poor sods in strongly Islamic areas, have either never heard of it or feel it's a First World conscience salver.

To me personally, it made me laugh. I don't see my gender as the be-all and end-all definer of me, my personality and what I can or can't do. I have periodic run-ins with people who disagree. I drive my own car, re-wire my own plugs, have my own job, and my own bank account. I don't think I'm a lady, and tend to make mildly tasteless jokes when referred to as such.In short, I tend to be myself as hard as I can be all year round, without thinking all that much about my gender.

I considered if perhaps, to accommodate others' sensibilities, I should stop that once a year, and spend the day smiling prettily at people (that might be quite a trick), wearing impractical shoes, and pretending I can't open doors or lift anything weighing more than a few pounds. It took me all of ten seconds to decide that was a lousy idea.

Instead, I allowed myself a horrifically unhealthy slice of Starbuck's chocolate cake and a hot chocolate (yes, there's a theme), and put philosophical debate over gender issues from my mind before I gave myself a headache.

My final thought on the topic was ... Is there a Men's Day? Lord knows men seem to struggle plenty.

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