Women’s Day? Please!

Women's Day? Please!

‘International Women’s Day, 8th of March. Let us all rejoice, hug our mothers, sisters and girlfriends and offer them a flower or chocolates – maybe even jewellery for the most affluent. How lucky and appreciated they should feel!’ This is the general sentiment of Women’s Day that I refuse to treat with anything but disdain. It is part of the usual tactic: let us devote a day of the calendar to all those groups which have been traditionally treated badly and marginalised. Let us set aside a day for them, because we desperately need a reminder to make us stop and think about what women have done for us – lest we forget. First of all, one question springs to mind: which ‘women’ are we honouring? I, personally, have never seen an unmarried, childless lesbian get flowers  on the day or get commended for being a woman. Yet how is she not a woman? Therefore, has ‘woman’ become a synonym for nothing more than the (heterosexual) mother and/or wife? Is the world suddenly turning black and white? Is ‘woman’ only seen in relation to her attachment (and need, for the assumption of both roles) of a male figure? That’s what it is all about at the end of the day: perspectives. There is certainly more than one to each seemingly innocent and born-out-of-love reality. Moreover, why do we need to celebrate a day for women? Why do women still need to be singled out and why isn’t there a ‘Men’s Day’? Well, that is probably because Women’s Day is a holiday stemming from guilt, and has been created to do nothing more than appease that guilt. A celebration of women is merely a re-affirmation of the power of a patriarchal society; it can erase the wrongdoings of the past, it can seem generous when it is actually entirely self-serving. That’s right, you can fine well devote one day to us women. Yet you still feel inclined to stare at our breasts instead of our face when conversing, to assume that wearing a short skirt in the office means ‘I want you John, take me on the photocopier’ and that getting a promotion equals sleeping with the boss. Oh, let’s not forget the good ol’ stereotype: by opposing Women’s Day, I must be a hardcore feminist, therefore ugly, therefore without a man, therefore miserable. Let us try something else: today is Please Do Not Be So Gullible Day.