What is International Women’s Day?
My partner spent part of his childhood in a Communist State. International Women’s Day was a big thing for the women of his town. A welcome break from the complex lives these women managed with seeming ease. When his father called to ask what International Women’s Day treat he had planned for me this year, my partner told him “We don’t really celebrate that holiday in the UK, dad.”
“Take your lady out for a meal. Do something nice for her.” his father persisted.
At the other end of the spectrum, in the wake of the Time’s Up and #MeToo campaigns, women across the world will be protesting today. As a result of high profile calls to action, women are fighting for change on emotional, intellectual and political levels.
However, if International Women’s Day is truly about change, perhaps it’s about women taking a breath and looking inward.
It’s ironic that the Time’s Up movement has arrived amid a period of particular savagery towards women within the media. A woman within the public eye can expect her looks; age; parenting and relationship choices; to be scrutinised at levels previously unseen. This superficial picking over of women has become so accepted that, in her book “What happened?“, Hillary Rodham Clinton feels obliged to share make-up and diet tips within her analysis of why she lost the 2016 election.
If women refused to consume salacious, spiteful articles about each other’s lives, we’d see a shift. Imagine that.
Share an honest conversation with any woman and she’ll reveal times in her life when she almost broke, but didn’t. As women, we know how much strength it takes to meet the emotional and physical needs of all those who rely on us whilst trying to somehow navigate our own lives. Let’s pledge to no longer judge so easily.
So today, by all means, wear a T-shirt with a trendy slogan or march for your cause, but remember that real change will come from challenging ourselves…and celebrating each other.