This Tuesday was International Women’s Day 2016 and of course I couldn’t let it pass without a blog post. It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to blog and so thought what better way to get back to it.
Whilst there are so many issues I could discuss for IWD I’m going to take the time to talk about a documentary I went to see: ‘She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry’ and how important IWD is to me. Here we go…
On Tuesday, in honour of IWD I went to see the documentary ‘She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry’ which tells the story of the women’s movement in the United States from 1966-1971. It’s passionate and inspiring and I fully recommend it to women and men alike. It struck me during the film how little of women’s history we learn. I’m a self proclaimed,
very outspoken on the issue feminist who writes about the movement and theory regularly at university and I still didn’t know so much of the history of the movement. Granted it is based in America but it’s still shocking that these great triumph of civil action are swept under the rug. We should be learning about how women have paved the way for us, perhaps then we’d be less likely to take the freedom we have for granted. Throughout the documentary I found it refreshing that they were able to both criticise the movement and praise it. No movement is without fault but by recognising fault it can be made it more powerful. It was inspiring hearing these strong women speak about their experience, they challenges they faced and their resilience to it. I won’t lie, for me it was very overwhelming at times too. This is a fight that happened only 40/50 years ago, how was it possible these issues were still such a problem. More worryingly why are we still having to fight for so many of the same topics?
Why is it in 2016 we are still fighting for equality? Why is it in 2016 even in the countries we class as some of the more advanced in the world and leaders in freedom, do we not yet have equality? Why do women have to fight for the right for control over their own bodies?! Why do we continue to allow causal sexism to happen on a daily basis to a point where it becomes a normal occurrence? Why do girls continue to learn they are less of a human because of their gender? Don’t tell me it doesn’t happen cause it does and oh it riles me up. That’s just to mention a few of the questions I have regarding the topic, I could list them all but this blog would become unbearably long.
Which is exactly why we need an International Women’s Day. I saw a lot of articles this year on how it’s redundant, patronising and unnecessary which is why I wanted to speak to why I think we still need it. IWD was established to celebrate the accomplishments of women and call people to action in achieving gender equality around the world and at home. We need to highlight the lives and struggles women are facing around the world. We also can’t ignore the issues women face in the UK either. They may not be on the same scale as in other areas of the world but they continue to have a impact and reinforce inequality. How can we claim to be leading the way in terms of equality around the world and to care about human rights but ignore our own downfalls? There is nothing patronising about a day to celebrate women and what they have achieved or highlighting what needs more attention. You can still celebrate women the rest of the year too, no one is stopping you. However, a call together on one day a year is such a powerful tool to make people think and it works, bit by bit to get the conversation going again.
Everyday I am in awe of women. Awe of the strength women have, the way the deal with the struggles pitted against them (both big and small) and the compassion they show. I’m lucky enough to have a unit of strong women surrounding me that inspire me everyday. They don’t sit back, they stand up and fight. They are aware of the world they are in and the hurdles they face that men don’t and they don’t just try and hop over them, they aim to smash them down. Without them I wouldn’t have the passion I do or the confidence in myself as a sassy blonde land-mermaid.
(Thank you Leslie Knope) So yes I will always be in favour of a day to support them.
Oh and International Men’s Day is November 19th. Maybe it’s just when everyday seems to be a man’s day when you have a day dedicated to you you don’t even realise.
There is so much more I could say for IWD and women in general but I do get concerned about the length of these blogs. So I will leave it as it is.
Here is to the women who have helped me become who I am and to the young girls I hope help reach their potential…
P.S Here are the links for more information on IWD and She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry