International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Well, it’s late at night (early in the morning) where I am, and most likely where you are too. But I’m sleepless.

I’ve been thinking a lot about entitlement to righteous anger. And I think it’s keeping me awake.

I had a “friend” explain to me today that if women are going to always cite the extreme, we’re unlikely to get men on board with our objective. He suggested we should slow down, be less aggressive. Things are changing. Just takes time. I said, “you know – a lot of women are just asking you not to murder or assault us”. The extreme suggests the acceptability of the less extreme, I believe.

As many as 10 women a day are victims of femicide in Mexico. Official figures state more like 3 – but those are only the ones that are officially attributed to gender based violence. The number is likely much larger.

Another friend who works in Latin American journalism mentioned that it’s not even officially a crime to beat your wife in Nicaragua.

Another friend asked why there isn’t an international men’s day. Yet another, in a Facebook post, wished that we didn’t need a day to celebrate women, hopeful that we will come to a time when everyone is equally respected, despite gender, race, religion.

All of these conversations today, because there is an international women’s day.

We need this day. And we’ll need it for a long time coming.

Residents of so-called-Canada aren’t off the hook by any means. Our record for turning our heads and ignoring the fates of hundreds, if not thousands of indigenous women is shameful, at best.

I hope this day brought you an opportunity to think of not just celebrating the women in your life – but an opportunity to stand with us in solidarity.

Don’t forget that the anger behind gender inequality is righteous, and necessary. There are women, every day, fighting for their lives, exclusively because they are women. Would I love to live in a world where people are judged by the human they are and the actions they take, and no other determinate? Absolutely. I bet you would too. But until then, this day (and other days that direct our attention to inequality) is about solidarity, not just celebration.

Reminding people that women face more gender based violence than men doesn’t take away from the horrible ways that people treat each other for any other reason. And taking a day to think about that can only make us all a little kinder.

I hope you also spent some time today thinking about these things. And I hope I can sleep now that I’ve shared this.

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