Yesterday, March 8th, was International Woman’s Day. For some of you, this is a new holiday, but for the majority of women around the world, this has been their day since the early 1900s. In many countries, it has the same status as Mother’s Day does here in America. All day I have seen people complaining about the protest and strikes that have happened today, but what they don’t realize is that this is exactly what is suppose to happen on March 8th.
In 1908, 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City demanding to be treated equally and then in 1910 in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin proposed that “every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs – and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament – greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.” It is a day “celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.” I am not making any of this up; this is not “fake news” or “alternative facts”. This day wasn’t created this year to piss off republicans. It has existed for MORE THAN A CENTURY.
For more than 100 years on March 8th, women have marched, protested and held signs demanding equal treatment. Please notice that I did not say equal rights because technically, we already have those. I would also like to point out that technically, African Americans had the right to vote prior to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and technically, people who use wheelchairs were allowed to enter any building before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Wait! What? You mean to tell me that Martin Luther King, Jr. marched from Selma to Montgomery for a right he already had? And those people in wheelchairs crawled ALL THE WAY UP THE CAPITOL STEPS to gain access to a building they were already allowed to enter. That’s crazy. Why on God’s green earth would they go through this:
They were beaten, attacked, and humiliated for rights they ALREADY HAD. Why did they do it? They did it because even though technically those rights existed. They were just technicalities; so they fought to be treated equally and they achieved it. The government had to force Americans to stop treating millions of their fellow Americans like they were undeserving of the rights the Constitution gave them; like being black made them ‘less than‘ whites.. Those who fought for equality were beaten, humiliated and killed because whites were so certain that they were in the right. They used the Bible to justify segregation. When Dr. King asked for the support of his fellow ministers, no one stepped up; they wanted things to stay the same.
So, what rights to women only technically have? Well in 13 states, even though rape is illegal, a woman can’t deny her husband sex. If he forces her against her will, it’s okay because she’s his. In all 50 states, when a prostitute tries to report a rape, she is often denied because of her job. On college campuses across the country, young women are being blamed for their own rapes because of what they were drinking or what they were wearing. What women who protested yesterday or any other day are trying to do is convince the government to force Americans to stop treating them like they are ‘less than‘ men. I’ve already laid out so much of what women are fighting for Here if you would like some statistics on rape in the US; read them and then say that women are equal to men.
The point of all of this is to show you that women do still have to fight, not to be given rights, but for their rights to be recognized. They have a right to say what happens to their bodies. They have the right to earn the same as men for the same work. They have the right for their voices to be heard. Every year on March 8th, women will continue to fight until we have equal status in society as men because we are not less than them; we can be just as smart, just as strong, and just as capable and we deserve to be treated as such.