What Say You, IWD?

Tuesday, March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD).   I’ve never heard of this “day” before.   Have you?

IWD is an official holiday in 27 countries.  It’s a day for men to honor women.  So, if you were born with the anatomical parts to pee standing up without getting your shoes wet, March 8 is not your day.  Sorry guys.  You’ll just need to go out and honor the ladies.  We take cash, checks, chocolate, and sincere compliments.

Personally, I feel like I should have done something awesome to earn the praise.  But, no.  It’s all due to a slow-moving X spermatozoa that got lost during a freestyle swim in the 1970s…and made a girl.

©Molly Ashford

I’m all for feminism and women’s rights, especially in developing countries.  But…what I don’t get is when feminist groups in America say that equality hasn’t come far enough because women aren’t represented in equal number in corporate boardrooms…in politics…and in certain professions. 

Come on!  Of course we aren’t…and we won’t be …probably ever…for the simple fact that women have the parts to give birth and the estrogen levels to mother. 

Women have the right to stand toe-to-toe with men on every level.  I firmly believe that, in part because I stand there, toe-to-toe, every Monday – Friday.  However,  just because women have the right and opportunity to stand there, doesn’t mean we have to choose to exercise that right in order to be respected as equals.  If I had a family and quit my job to raise children…I would still be just as smart…just as motivated…and just as successful…and just as equal as I am today.  I’d just be applying my self and using my BACKBONE in different ways. 

A woman can choose the house…

and/or the Senate.

 Back to IWD.  Apparently, there will be IWD events in hundreds of cities across the globe where men and women alike are to show support for women by going outside and…

standing on a bridge. 

It’s true.  Check out this site where you can find a bridge to stand on.  I’m sure it’s metaphorical for bridging gender gaps.  But, still.  Really?  I don’t see how standing on a bridge is going to help the cause.  I know more than enough couples who’d like to push their significant other over the railing for…let’s just say…irreconcilable differences.

 

Do you think there is still a need to promote gender equality in industrialized countries, or has that battle already been fought and won?

Have you ever experienced gender discrimination?

If you liked this post, you may also like The Man Mall and The Trouble with American Women.

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23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by susan on March 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I think there is still an “old boys club” in corporate America. But, you’re right – there are simply more men in some arenas because we take time off from work and other ambitions to raise families. So, so the boys clubs will continue to form.

    Reply

    • Oooo, the boy’s clubs. Yes, they are definitely out there. I always tell the men in my office that they need me around to balance out the testosterone levels!

      Reply

  2. Excellent post…it’s all a matter of choice, and that choice is up to us!

    Reply

    • Thanks Suzicate. As the quote goes “Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life.”

      Reply

  3. Posted by 1959duke on March 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

    To me a women should be payed the same for the same type of work a man does. One of the things about the feminist movement that always bothered me was with all the talk about a womans right to make choices. Many women who decide to stay home and raise children were looked down on.

    Reply

    • That’s a point I was trying to make. Women should be treated and respected in equal degree to men. But, if a woman (or man) decides not to work, their level of equality should not be diminished just due to that choice. The trouble is, the less women “out there” letting our voices be heard, the more quiet that collective voice becomes…therein lies the issue.

      Reply

  4. First of all….Happy IWD, to all you wonderful women in the world!!!

    In my opinion women are fabulous, therefore should have their day!

    And even being a man, I believe that women are just as equal as any man.

    I think you stated it perfecting when you said….

    “doesn’t mean we have to choose to exercise that right in order to be respected as equals. If I had a family and quit my job to raise children…I would still be just as smart…just as motivated…and just as successful…and just as equal as I am today.”

    Not to get off from your topic here, but I feel the same way about gay marriage. Fine, I think everyone has the right to get married…..HOWEVER….I know so many gay people who are only interested in legalizing gay marriage ONLY to prove to the whole that gays are equal. I’m sorry, but legalizing gay marriage is not going to change the opinion of the rest of the world, so a person needs to know they’re EQUAL regardless of whether or not gay marriage is legalized. And this is coming from a gay man.

    *okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now*

    AWESOME post, Tracy! LOVED the video!

    X

    Reply

    • “…legalizing gay marriage is not going to change the opinion of the rest of the world, so a person needs to know they’re EQUAL regardless…” Well said, Ron. And when people beleive they are equal, they will project the confidence of equality, which will help to advance a mass social mindset change. BTW, I like soapboxes.

      Reply

  5. We’re getting there – but not there yet. IMO, it’s not as much about numbers or quotas, as about opportunities and attitudes.

    If a woman takes off work for 4 months, say, to have a baby, this will set back her career more than a man who mangles his knee skiing, and ALSO takes off work for 4 months.

    Corporate America is still structured in such a way that it highly rewards the 60-70 hour workweek and does not offer the same career advancement to those who “only” work 40 hours (or less) a week, no matter how productive those people are, and how UNproductive those working more hours may be. If your body is physically present in the office for XX hours per day, even if half that time is cruising porn sites, the perception is that you are “more committed” to your job. This is not healthy for mothers OR fathers, who need fewer work hours, or single people caring for an aging parent. And, generally, it IS women who take the lioness’s share of caring for young children or aging parents, though sometimes men do their share.

    There is still plenty of gender discrimination out there, just as there is still plenty of racism. So, yes, the need is there, and yep, I’ve personally seen and experienced sexism. Not as bad as it was 20 years ago, but it’s not gone yet, that’s for sure.

    Reply

    • “…it’s not as much about numbers or quotas, as about opportunities and attitudes….” I very much agree with that statement.

      With a whole crew of women out there still experiencing sexism in the workplace and hitting their heads on the corporate glass ceiling, I envision a wave of ladies leaving Corporate America and starting their own companies. Game on, boys!

      Reply

  6. I think IWD is pretty neat. It honors the generations of women’s struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

    As for gender equality in industrialized countries, I think it’s tempting to say we’ve come a long way because we have compared to Haiti or the Democratic Republic of Congo. But we still have a long way to go. In the U.S. woman is still paid 76 cents to a man’s dollar. We don’t have paid maternity leave across the board which pales in comparison to countries like Denmark, Romania, Germany or Norway that pay the mother up to one year to stay home with her child. The U.S. child care system is non-existent compared to inexpensive quality child care in France or Denmark. The current Congress is slowly but surely frittering away at a woman’s right to choose, yanking funding to Planned Parenthood, re-defining rape and introducing legislature requiring a woman to prove she had a miscarriage, otherwise punishing her for having an abortion. I can’t help but think that if there were more women in Congress instead of the measly 17% (in Rwanda, the female representation is at 57%), we wouldn’t be needing to fight this issue that was won 35+ years ago. And of course, there are the stereotypical standards of beauty that young women and gilrs literally kill themselves to adhere to.

    Reply

    • Locally, here in Pittsburgh, there are various programs and outreach events to encourage more women to run for elected office. I agree that having a greater say in policy-setting would go a long way in advancing women’s issues across the board.

      Reply

  7. Posted by 1959duke on March 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    There are certain things in life that will never go away. A couple of those are racism and sexism. Is it right in any way shape or fashion? No. Does it justify conduct that hurts certain groups in one way or another? No. In all this talk through the years of others feelings one thing gets made fun of every single day. That is stuttering. Jokes are made about people who do it( which everyone does). How many times have we all heard “Well I didn’t stutter’?. My wife was the first one 15 years ago ( before we were married) noticed that when we went out to eat I would order things with numbers next to them. Not because I wanted that item but it was because I thought I could say it.

    Reply

  8. Any woman who has ever set foot in a corporate office has experienced gender discrimination whether it was overt or covert, whether she chose to acknowledge it or ignore it.
    As for the battle…it is on going. We’ve made great strides and I believe something quite significant is happening for women’s voices right now, but I agree with Belinda. If you look at what Congress is trying to do in regards to redefining rape, Planned Parenthood and a women’s right to choose and make her own decisions about her body, there are efforts afoot to try and push all the progress back.

    Reply

    • Posted by 1959duke on March 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      You ladies are right. Congress needs to stay out of peoples bedrooms. Every once in awhile there is this noise about Roe v. Wade getting overturned. That’s not going to happen. My only problem with that decision was I feel like its a states rights issue and not a Federal Government issue. Rape is rape. One of the things I find ammusing is that all of these men who created this mess in D.C. do whatever they can to keep things the way they are. Here’s an idea. Why don’t we take away their right to produce children and then walk away?

      Reply

    • Joanne, you’re right. I’ve personally witnessed blatant gender discrimination (“will you take the notes in this meeting, dear?” from a male manager to a female manager of equal status)and the woman happily complied without even realizing the note-taking was putting her at a preceived disadvantage. I wish she would have said “No, I think Bob should take the notes.”

      Reply

  9. Sadly, I do think it’s necessary. Fact of life. It’s not equal yet.

    Reply

  10. As a university student who took some gender and women’s studies courses, I can say that a significant aspect of equality is women believing and acting like they are equal. After all, you get what you put out there. I felt like in a lot of my classes the discussions with regards to the level of equality women have achieved in industrialized countries was beat over and over again with a stick. You kind of get tired of hearing women complain about the negative most of the time instead of doing something about it themselves. Especially when you think of how women in Third World Countries are treated. I definitely agree that modern day feminism is about having the choose to decide where you want you’re life path to go.

    Reply

  11. I would just like to add my two cents to this issue.

    It was back in the fall that I discovered how full of crap NOW was. In California you had Brown running against that woman who founded eBay (I can’t remember her name). Well NOW endorsed Brown for governor and not the woman. Why did they do that? Well because NOW only supports “Democrats”. So here you had a self made woman who started and ran a very successful business and NOW endorsed the man simply because he was a Democrat. Yea NOW is a bullshit organization in my mind for that. Isn’t NOW supposed to favor women?

    Reply

    • Everything is so political these days, it drives me crazy. The worst part is believing something is not political, only to find out it soooooo is. Thanks for stopping by Justin!

      Reply

  12. Amen!!!

    Reply

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