Last Friday my social media feeds were overwhelmed with the celebrations of International Wimmin’s Day. There were so many wimmin saluting one another, celebrating, clapping and pointing out our sameness despite our obvious differences. I was celebrated by wimmin from near and far by; some that I would consider feminists others that I would consider some of the reasons we still have to celebrate International Wimmin’s Day.
My first inclination was to participate. In the past I too have posted the Wonder Woman is every Wommin meme on my pages, so why not this year? Once I started thinking about the actual reasons for having to celebrate a wimmin’s day, the history behind the celebrations, the evolution and growth of wimmin and how celebrating it in 2019 made me feel, I wasn’t left with the need to celebrate. I was left with the need to jump on a soap box, lead the charge and point out celebrating a wimmin’s day this late in the game doesn’t feel celebratory at all. It leaves me feeling marginalized and points out that wimmin are still fighting just to be; wimmin are still proving their worth not only to the world but to each other and especially to themselves based on their gender alone, when we just shouldn’t have to.
Researching wimmin’s day also left me with questions. Does that make the other 364 days all man days? Or have we opened up the calendar and offered differently celebrated people worldwide; does that mean there’s still 364 opportunities to claim a day while completely excluding men because we already know everything is about them anyways? (reverse sexism is a real thing celebrated by many marginalized groups under the guise of humour or bitterness and admit it right there you either smirked cause it’s true, but funny or you snarled and said something equally sexist in your head about me) I can see it now People Born as Identifying as a Unicorn Day, Men who identify as Wimmin but decide to be Tigers Day…. that leaves 362 more ridiculous days of celebration when the only thing we should be celebrating is equality for everyone, in all things. Equality period. Nothing else. Three hundred and sixty five days of sameness. That would be a reason to celebrate every day; human evolution into equality for all despite gender, race, financial status or any other criteria we use to judge our fellow human’s value.
Here’s what I have to say about International Wimmin’s Day. To me International Wimmin’s Day has become a sad day because it is proof wimmin will never be recognized as equal. Instead of being accepted as an active part of everything we still need a day to point out our accomplishments and to ask once again for the same rights men have worldwide. Historically it started as a necessary and a great thing, at a time when the world needed to recognize the valid contributions and rights of wimmin. Many people think International Wimmin’s Day was born in 1975 when the UN came to the table and held an international party. At that time Wimmin’s rights needed to be established. Wimmin’s freedoms needed to be stated and demanded thereafter. Wommin’s right to kill herself simultaneously at work and at home needed to be recognized. Fueled by the bra burning Wimmin’s movement and the money of the upper middle class the first UN celebration launched an annual event that social media has turned into another empty gesture. A few countries, mostly the larger ones we’d all expect, were on board from the start, many were not. Through the years the movement has gained steam and recognition; but still there are major resistors, mostly in countries where the worst persecution of wimmin still exists. So for every victory we celebrate I question how much we have truly gained? I looked deeper. The true roots of International Wimmin’s Day celebrations go all of the way back to February 1909 when an American Socialists political group held the first noted celebration. The hot topics Wimmin’s right to vote, earn pay and own their own bodies. That means 110 years later, depending where you live in the world, you could be celebrating the need for these same things in your community in 2019. That’s 110 years of celebrating the small victories while ignoring the big blatant truth. No matter what day it is, what we’ve come together to celebrate wimmin are still considered “less than” by other genders and often themselves. Here in North America we are still talking about pay equity, sexual harassment everywhere (I almost said workplace, but be realistic), childcare and even the right to things like the right to say no or the right to choose. Those items were all on the table in 1975 when the makers of that decade’s feminist movement were still trying to prove they could be it all – wife, mom and CEO. They could do more, be more and basically kill themselves with work just to prove their equality. How does doing it all prove you’re equal to anyone? Wouldn’t that make you by far superior? In reality it makes you old, bitter and often times divorced. Just because wimmin can do it all doesn’t mean we want to. It certainly doesn’t mean we have to.
Being equal cannot be proved through effort. Spiteful actions and over reactions do not prove validity. Equality is a frame of mind and a perspective of life. It’s how we address the world and all of its inhabitants. I don’t need a day to celebrate wimmin. I celebrate wimmin every day.
International Wimmin’s day is a conundrum for me. I shouldn’t have a huge problem with it, but I do. My biggest issue is fact that no matter what we celebrate on that special calendar day it will change very little on the tomorrow. Wimmin worldwide will still be exploited, marginalized and abused just for being wimmin. Tomorrow wimmin will still make less in the workforce while being asked to do more and look good doing it. In the name of God’s not celebrated everywhere wimmin will be forced to live lives they do not choose for themselves. No matter what tomorrow wimmin will be sold into slavery, forced to work in the sex trade or be given by their parents as a child bride against their will. For over a century this celebration has been in place not just to say good job to a few exceptional candidates; it’s also been designed to shed light on the plight of wimmin worldwide. The plight hasn’t changed. Think about the things that have changed, evolved been invented in a century and question why wimmin are still fighting the same battle. We could evolve a car from a crank start to an electric plug-in but we cannot create social change that gives equality to all. Why?
So next year while you’re patting your posse on the back, reminding yourselves how great it is to share that girl thing, take a minute to think about why we need to celebrate wimmin at all. Celebrating the fabulousness you share with your inner circle doesn’t need a date. It should be on any day you choose or even a daily thing if you prefer, not a calendar day based on gender. Gender needs to become the basic ingredients for procreation and otherwise erased. There are two real genders. These genders define the two chemical chains that are required for procreation. Any other gender asking to be recognized is an emotional label that shouldn’t really be necessary; if we were all equal our differences wouldn’t matter. Whether they come from a male and female or a female, identifying as a male that recently realized he’s an IPhone and the frozen sperm of a transsexual man that took the precaution of harvesting his opportunity to procreate before making his final decisions shouldn’t matter, they should just be two humans with the ingredients to procreate. Regardless of the label people choose for themselves they are equal to the person standing on either side of them at all times. We all come into this world the same way, equal with the same basic needs. Geography and financial status take time to kick-in; in those first moments we are all equal. What we do in the middle of that and the moment we die is different; but that final moment before you go is the same – there’s a moment of great clarity, perhaps a moment of shock, the realization that you’re going into the great unknown alone and in some cases fear others bliss, until a last breath happens a final word or phrase uttered. At that moment just like in birth everyone is equal. As a group we need to see that all of that time in the middle of birth and death, the part where we do the living, isn’t about our great differences; each of us is fundamentality the same entitled to the same considerations and compassions. We need to, as a worldwide community, start celebrating equality days. We have 365 annual opportunities to celebrate why our differences still make us the same. That’s 365 times we can affirm that gender, skin color, birthright, sexual orientation and any of the other differences on a myriad of lists and conceptual proposals that have been introduced by people who feel marginalized and defeated in society as a whole. There are so many factors we use to judge, a social movement to erase the differences needs to be celebrated every day in as many ways as possible.
I long for a time when International Wimmin’s Day will not be needed. I dream of a time when every wommin on Earth lives a life of freedom and choice; not because she’s a wommin, but because we have extended that right to all humans. Equality for all is the answer to end so many battles and stop the threat of impending wars both small and large, yet equality seems to be the biggest threat of all.