International Women’s Day – What Does That Even Mean?

Truth be told, I’m not sure quite how this works. I get Mother’s Day, and I actually do get it. I get some nice things from my offspring, and lots of congratulations from friends and relatives. Being a mother is a very designated role, and you get really specific applause. 

Being a woman, in this society anyway, does not get you a round of applause. Not even a designated round of applause on March 8. The one that exasperates me every time is when they offer financial support for women-owned businesses under the umbrella of “minority owned businesses.”  Minorities deserve support! (I heard this so many times during the initial round of loans during the onset of the pandemic -) Asians! African-Americans! Immigrants! Native-Americans! Women! 


As if there were no such thing as Asian women, right? Like Native Americans and women are two separate categories of minority? 

And that’s just the level of ‘stuff’ at the top of this heap. 

Every time I look, women are not the minority. We are 51% of the population. We do more of the work and get less of the pay. We have fewer assets, and fewer resources, but somehow manage to get a lot done. 

Child care is, for reasons I cannot fathom, classified as ‘unskilled labor.’ Same for ‘elder care.’ Classroom teachers, an overwhelmingly female profession, require college degrees but are generally paid less than the average truck driver. During the last 50 years in Russia, as more women became doctors, both the paycheck and the social level of respect for the medical profession dropped. 

AND that brings us around to the international scene. It’s clear that patriarchy is the grandfather of authoritarianism, right? While everyone is freaking out over Putin’s insanity, what’s insane is that any one person is allowed to have that much power to begin with. 

Women are not a minority, not a sub-category, not some alternate life form. The human race is not just decades behind were it could be, but centuries overdue to accept that genius is not the sole province of the Y chromosome.

Feminism is the radical – yep, still radical – idea that women are people. Today, you might make it a point to think about how this impacts every single part of your life. Because it does. 

Judith Martin-Straw




The Actors' Gang

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