Balance For Better
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #balanceforbetter and we love this idea. Some would say hey you can vote, isn’t that what this is about? Way back in my university days, I remember a young woman, who felt we didn’t need feminism or any more attention to gender equality issues because we already had them. I’ve never forgotten that comment and I do wonder today with the maturity of years and experience, if she would feel the same. At the time I disagreed and still continue to disagree with that statement. While things have certainly improved for women and gender equality; it is not an understatement to say we have a very long way to go.
My POV is from a western white woman and I know from that point of view, I experience privilege that others do not have, so it is with the utmost of humility that I highlight some of the history of the journey of gender equality. In 1910 Germany’s Clara Zetkin proposed a day to be set aside each year to celebrate women and to evaluate and lift up themes women were fighting for. By 1914, the idea was accepted in Germany and parts of Europe. It took a fairly long while for this idea of a day to celebrate gender equality to spread but by 1975, the United Nations announced 8 March to be the official day of International Women’s Day.
Theme colours for IWD are purple and white. Purple is known to represent royality and white represent purity. Coincidentally, purple is also the favourite colour for a sex toy, probably not a coincidence at all!
This year’s theme is reminding us to strive for balance for everyone in terms of our professional lives and how women are seen in media. In the USA, 47% of women make up the current work force. Women generally earn 80 cents to the dollar that a man earns. This is slowly changing younger women are more closely paid to their male counterparts. But along with this pay difference, women often carry the financial burden of child care as one example. This clearly needs to change. Women in media are more severely criticized than their male counterparts. Obvious examples are women in politics. Women are told to keep slim, look young, smile more, don’t sound shrill, don’t be angry, don’t be serious, do be serious…you can see where this goes…women have to be everything to everyone and do it with a smile, but don’t look vapid.
Maybe this will seem too pollyanna but I truly believe when there is balance, everyone benefits. There is still pressure on men to be strong, tough, silent whether you are gay or straight. Exploring feelings and having a dialog with one another is actually just the best thing for a relationship and society. When you acknowledge the elephant in the room, you’ve just started your first steps to equality for everyone.
There are many ways to celebrate and acknowledge International Women’s Day for an extensive list, click here. Every little bit helps, share stories with family, encourage young people, create an Instagram story. Be a part of a great movement that is good for everyone on the planet.
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear hear breathing ~ Arundhati Roy
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