Maybe I’m bias, but I love women. I also love International Women’s Day.
“But what about International Men’s Day?” Someone faintly cries in the distance. “This is double standards at its finest!”
Breaking news: every day is International Men’s Day. In a perfect world, March 8 would just be another day because there wouldn’t be anything to celebrate. Women would have total equality, so we wouldn’t have to dedicate a day towards women’s rights and in honor of women before us.
I don’t see any malicious intent in celebrating; while there are obviously outliers of the “men are trash” variety, feminism at its core is about equality. Women are undervalued in all aspects of life, and that’s not something I’m willing to argue about. White cisgender men have never faced discrimination and prejudice in their life, the least they owe other people is a day to celebrate their own gender’s achievements.This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Press for Progress” according to their official website. People are being encouraged to fight against gender parity in any way possible, including challenging stereotypes and celebrating and creating positive visibility of women.
International Women’s Day is so much more than just receiving “special treatment” for being a woman. It celebrates past achievements while highlighting the fact that women around the world still face disparities. Internationalwomensday.com says that the day is “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”
So much progress has been made towards gender equality, but it’s foolish to say that it’s been achieved. 42 percent of women have faced workplace discrimination, according to Pew Research. The study touched on a wide variety of issues, such as being denied promotions or being treated as though they aren’t competent.
The most significant issue faced is pay inequality: 25 percent of women surveyed say they have earned less than a man who was doing the same job; five percent of men reported earning less than a female. Our entire existences are devoted towards pleasing men; women have been told that our entire lives. We’ve been discouraged from changing our appearances because “you won’t get a boyfriend looking like that” or making decisions on our reproductive rights because not wanting children is insulting to your husband. True equality isn’t anywhere near being achieved yet, commemorating the women of the past who worked so hard for our rights while acknowledging that work still needs to be done is essential. People equate this day to something like Valentine’s Day, thinking that all we want is flowers and a pat on the head. International Women’s Day is so much more than that; we want people to realize that inequality still exists and actively work towards closing that gap.
Izzy Manzo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org