I know this is primarily a writing blog, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. It’s International Women’s Day which for some has elicited eyerolls and cries of “when’s men’s day?” The answer is: November 19th, but you don’t necessarily need one. Enjoy the rest of the year, when your life is easier than that of most women.
Things are changing, and it’s such an exciting time to be alive. So many women are speaking up and loving each other and themselves while making the most beautiful art and media. It took me a long time to learn to love women, and I spent a good few years believing I was ‘not like other girls’. I know first hand it can be hard to lift each other up and not feel crippling jealousy, but learning to love the achievements of other women is a really important step.
As a woman, even a relatively privileged one, I can see the difference in how we are treated. Since the day anyone found out I was a girl I was afforded less opportunities than my male counterpart. I have to work that much harder to prove myself and be noticed. I have suffered daily micro-aggressions: men not trusting my work on its own merits, being talked over in academic conferences, being told my tastes are too ‘girly’. Outrageous standards of beauty and the negative way women talk about themselves wormed their way into my subconscious and made me do silly things like not eat. I have dealt with cat-calling, low-level sexual harassment, persistent advances despite my polite refusal. I worked in a bar for years and I was harassed, felt up, and called a c*nt on more occasions than I can count. All of this and more serious abuse that I don’t care to relive.
So it’s sad that we only have one day, but take the uplifting messages and articles circulating today and let them inform the way you live and treat yourself and others. It can be really, really shit to be a woman, even a privileged one. It’s hard in ways too numerous to count, ways that men cannot possibly understand, and ways that we don’t even notice ourselves as they are so pervasive. It can be shit, but women are so fucking wonderful and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. Treat all the women in your life the way they deserve to be, and celebrate them today and always x