Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's International Woman's Day! - Where's my flowers?

So I was just looking up things on Google, when I noticed the female symbol in the logo, and became curious as to why. Turns out, today is International Woman's Day, who knew? Apparently all around the world several countries (and apparently the US) celebrate women on March 8th with compliments, flowers, gifts and the like to their daughters, mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, colleagues, etc. According to in the US, March is Women's History Month.
I have to wonder, why is this the first time I've heard of this? Am I just ignorant? Is it because Hallmark only has Mother's day cards, not a "Happy Woman's Day" card? Or is it because the US has jipped us fellow females and unlike in Asia where women have a half day off of work, my fellow Americans only get a Google doodle and a few news articles? Granted, I do feel better knowing that we aren't discriminating against women by giving men a half day off of work either, but why does the US seem to have so much less of a following on this holiday?
This holiday, is in accordance with our discussion today about feminism and the work towards woman's equality, and is a celebration of how far women have come from the days of working against women's suffrage, to a society full of strong female role models in the government, businesses, and media. However, as this holiday is coming to an end, I can't help realizing that our society still has far to go in order to have full gender equality.
So I ask you, what was your knowledge of IWD before reading this? To the guys (or girls) do you feel it is fair to have IWD but not International Men's Day? Would and IMD have a negative view around the world?
And for your viewing pleasure I have attached a short introductory video on IWD.


  1. Wow Emily, I did not know yesterday was International Woman's Day or that there even is such a celebrated day. I don't think we are ignorant for not having prior knowledge of this day because the United States doesn't put emphasis on IWD by advertising this day of celebrating women. I believe that the lack of United States acknowledgment of this day has to do with equal rights. In my opinion, it would not be fair to have an IWD but not an IMD (men's). Women have come so far in achieving equality with men that having a day where women can take the day off from work would go against the achievement that we are supposed to be celebrating. I feel that if in the United States, women were given special treatment on IWD then it would contradict the gains for women's equality.

  2. At first I felt the same way, Alexandra, but then I got handed a flower on Ho Plaza just because I was female, and surprisingly, it actually made me feel great. I had never felt more connected to our sex. It was like, finally, being recognized just for being a woman, not for doing something impressive, or doing something manly, to prove my worth (which I feel happens all the time we consider "women's equality", many times it is just women becoming more like men). I think it's a great holiday, and yes, perhaps if men and women were completely equal it wouldn't be fair not to also have an International Men's Day, but do you see men complaining? Some would argue that every day is Men's Day.

  3. To be honest, I didn't know about International Women's Day until this week. I believe that the progresses that women have made should be celebrated and is nice to have a day for it. I don't think that having a International Men's Day would prompt some outrage, but not because it would be unfair, but because it's really unnecessary. As Emily said, International Men's Day is arguably most days. Men have never been truly oppressed under the confines of a patriarchal society. It wouldn't have such a positive view around the world because men don't truly need to be celebrated. Making 1 dollar for every 70 cents a woman makes is celebration enough.

  4. Thank heavens for Google! I am so glad you posted about this because a couple days ago, I remember the thought crossing my mind of "Wait, there is an International Women's Day? I had no idea." In regards to IWD, I hold no stand on whether I like the holiday or not. On one hand, I appreciate that people are trying to spread the knowledge of women and our suffering throughout history to the world. On the other, I feel that it is sort of unfair to men to not also have a holiday. Don't we want equality? Once we begin biasing too much to the women's side, doesn't that make us hypocritical? Feminists preach how much they want to achieve equality, yet, in order to do so, we are trying to victimize the women so much that in any case, the man looks like a bad guy. A select few men have contributed to the feminist cause, so we should be appreciative of them and not throw them in the bunch with all the other "male chauvinist" men.
    Don't get me wrong; I want a feminist revolution as badly as the next woman, but I don't want to succumb to treating men in the same ways that we've been treated in the past.

  5. I never knew that International Women's Day was March 8th, Heck, I didn't even know until now. I do believe that this holiday should exist, given women's struggle towards securing the right to vote and the different waves of feminism striving for more equal rights in education, work, and marital laws.Also, since there is a International Women's Day, why not have an International Men's Day? Men have also made sacrifices from our nation to our household. We should have a sense of equality. Even if we have these holidays, I feel that they should be promoted and that people should be aware of them.

  6. We almost certainly do not need an International Men's Day- as noted in earlier comments, men's day is almost certainly most days of the year. In fact, the notion that there is only one "womens" day suggests that every other day is men's day- What else would it be? I find it difficult to celebrate holidays or months dedicated to struggles, such as Black history Month, or Woman's history month, because it seems as though that is the only compensation that these groups receive, and gives others the perception that the issues they struggled with in the past are no longer relevant today. I have frequently heard arguments that Black History Month is a testament of how far we have come because we are celebrating people of color during that time. But what about all the other time? What about the other months? Woman's history month and women's day create the illusion that women have reached equality in America, and that the justice that many women deserve has already been accomplished. Sure women have made huge strides in equality since the 1920's, and that most certainly should be celebrated, but that does not mean we should be stagnant in continuing the movement towards full equality.

    It may seem as though I am arguing against celebrating womanhood, but that is not the case- I am merely suggesting that women deserve more than just March 8th, and just March to be celebrated. If society continues to interpret theses holidays as the end of the struggle for sexual and racial equality than all the work that has been done to secure equality will be lost. Women deserve to be celebrated at all times, not just during designated months that a patriarchal society decides arbitrarily.


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