Lots and lots of images showed up in my social media feeds on March 8, celebrating women--strong women, kind women, powerful women, great women, women, women, whoooooa-man.
But in these two years of p*ssy hats, farcical marches (at which pro-life women were spat at and had their signs torn up), and vulgarity on full display all in the name of feminism, I couldn't just get in the spirit and offer up some social appreciation for the fact that I, along with half the population, am a woman.
This lady in the Telegraph summed up some of my irks:
"I’m afraid just the thought of IWD is enough to make my teeth hurt. Think it through, girls. If we need a special day dedicated to our gender, does that mean the other 364 days of the year belong to men?
The trouble is, the more that well-meaning females attempt to say we are all the same the more we risk being patronised and treated as some kind of sad, special-interest group...
How fatuous is it for women in advanced western countries to pretend that they belong in the same boat as women in Saudi Arabia where, according to Sharia law, a woman’s testimony in court is valued at half that of a man?"I am all for a day that helps women (and men, for that matter) in other parts of the world who face true, desperate, horrendous inequality, especially at the hands of their government. I think of all the millions of baby girls either aborted or murdered immediately after birth in China (and that has been happening for decades). I think of those same Chinese mothers who were physically assaulted and forcibly had their children aborted. I think of female genital mutilation in Africa. I think of the mothers who are watching their babies starve and die of malnutrition in Venezuela.
But does throwing up a little #strongwomen hashtag on IWD from my comfortable home in America do anything to ameliorate any of that?
I'm thinking no.
Pair all of that international strife with a growing sense of unease at what will happen here, domestically, in a few short months. During the lead up to the second Sunday of May, we will no doubt see (as happens every year) the shaming, the scolding, the vitriolic condemnation of another day celebrating women: Mother's Day.
Just for kicks, type "I hate Mother's Day" into Google and scroll through the pages and PAGES of women penning scathing rants dedicated to a myriad of complaints attributed to the day, which at its onset was meant to celebrate the sacrifices mothers make in raising their children.
Complaints range from "I hated my own mother and she was a monster" to "I chose not to have children so this day is ridiculous" and "it's mother's day so my kids should be PERFECT today but they're not" and of course there's "there are too many 'mother'-like people in my life so to expect me to celebrate them ALLLLL today is asinine."
I was feeling fairly lonely in my dislike of IWD until it dawned on me to Google the opposite of hating Mother's Day. Type "hating International Women's Day" into Google and jackpot! Lady after angry lady scaling their digital soapboxes and proclaiming their dislike of IWD. Complaints range from "it's an empty day meaning nothing" to "what we really need is more abortion and childcare" (what??? that doesn't even make sense) and "men telling me 'happy international women's day' are idiots" to "it makes women feel like a special needs group and is patronizing."
If there's one thing women can agree on, apparently, it's that they hate the days dedicated to them.
I'm not going to quit celebrating Mother's Day and I doubt any of the IWD enthusiasts are planning to pare back their celebrations next March. But in spite of my differences with supporters and dissenters on either side, I'm committed to fostering projects and charities (both at home and abroad) that truly help women (and men, and children) who need it. And I hope that's something that all women can agree to do, every single day.