Women’s Day

I hate women’s day celebrations. There i said it. To me, the very act of having a day to celebrate womanhood and equality seems non-descript. I have my reasons too. Why would you celebrate it for just one day? I’m sure most of us take pride in being women every day of the year. Starting from walking around the house in the morning brushing our teeth to being choosy over the huge variety of clothes we have bought, and even to making our selves heard at work & in the family. Marketeers would know that women are a strong influence point and that’s why so many ads are targeted to us. Listen, its the science talking. Not some random ad-copy guy’s creative. Organisations have taken note of this and leveraged this for years. Be it FMCG, Banking, Insurance to Tyres & even Politics as the recent Jaago Re campaign from the Tata’s will inform you.

Another issue is equality. Why do we need to talk about it? In today’s world men and women are equal and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to go back to school. They have a lot to catch-up on. This is the same reason why people in rural india need more education to drive down crime rates & progress. A woman is not just a symbol of objectification whom men exert power on. She is equally (if not more) smarter and equipped to make her decisions for the entire household.

Lastly, the idea of the day was born out of oppression & suffering. If you look back in history the first time an event close to women’s day was observed in 1909 when women took to the streets in USA to protest against bad working conditions. The next time they observed it was in Copenhagen in 1910 to garner support for universal suffrage for women. In the 1913-1914 period this day was just another day to protest against World War 1. Lastly in 1919 women in Russia protested for bread and peace. There was not even a fixed day for it. March 8th came much later. My point is that why would one celebrate a day remembering all the pain, suffering and fighting for equality. We must instead remember these contributions every day. Everyday, when we muster courage to fight against a perpetrator of abuse, when we voice our concern against what we find inappropriate or when we push ourselves through the work place. That would be the best way to honor what others had to go through so that we could be where we are today.

Tear those fancy brochures and pamphlets giving you a free hair spa or a fancy buffet to celebrate. Because you My Lady, are a celebration every single day of the year.

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18 thoughts on “Women’s Day

  1. I’m not sure I agree with your comment and I will tell you why:

    While I’m aware that most special days (Schmaltzy days like Mothers Day, fathers Day and the worst of all – Valentines Day) have been invented and smartly marketed by greeting card companies(and the like), Women’s day comes from an honest place. It started off as a fight against oppression and will hopefully commence into a day of commemoration but until that time, it will be a day to recognise, celebrate and continue the radical movement for women’s rights.

    We are very far off from equality. You and me are very fortunate to live in a somewhat egalitarian society where, our education, hard work and determination can-and-will take us places. That’s the hand we have been dealt. But, the rest of the world doesn’t exactly have the same opportunities or choices as us. I say, more power to Women’s Day if it can actually get more of us to act – as long as it is clear that these are not issues for women only, but causes that unite us all.

    • Hey Shwetha! Thanks for the comment. Very true and its sad to see how businesses have exploited the real essence of the event. Yes, there are many women in the country who are battling these issues everyday. My point is , let’s make everyday this special. If we can create an impact on one day in a year, we should be able to sustain this through to see a vibrant change!

  2. In an utopian world yes men and women are equal, though you need to realise in the real world there are many who beg to differ. If that was not the case you would not have crime against women specifically in the developing world. If the women and men were really equal they would not have a separate quota for woman reservation, they would not have a separate section in the Delhi metro for only women.
    Its a day started with good intentions to promote women equality and women heroes who have inspired many. Its also a day which is a marketing event for the marketers all over the world. I don’t see harm in using women’s day to push one’s product or increase one’s sale.

    I agree that one women’s day does not solve the grass root problem but the day is not there to solve a problem. Its there to pay cherish the success achieved by the women so far.

    • Hey greatraphsody, thanks for the comment. I have no issues with marketeers either. In fact i’m one myself! But yes i’m not in favor of quotas and reservations. Kind of nullifies equality if we are fighting for it.

  3. Nice post Neha! Of course there are innumerable arguments and debates when it comes to oppression, feminism, and equality; but i agree with your basic stance of not reserving a day to celebrate women (especially when we men have no such day :p)

  4. To say there shouldn’t be a women’s day is to say there shouldn’t be a ladies’ compartment on the Mumbai Local. Yes, in the most ideal world, these separations shouldn’t exist. To say we don’t need to talk about equality is to undermine the efforts of thousands of brave men and women who are fighting to make equality a reality—because, contrary to what you’ve expressed, men and women are far from equal. Women’s Day does not have roots in spa specials and brunches; it’s a movement to celebrate how far we’ve come and inspire us to go even further for equality. Don’t be frustrated that Women’s Day simply exists; be frustrated that it HAS to—and this weekend, do a little something that contributes to making celebrating women an every-day, year-round thing. 🙂

    (If you’re in Mumbai, there are lots of great mission-driven and action-oriented events going on that will leave far more satiated than a brunch special.)

    • Hey Badal Ja, thanks for the comment! Very valid points and my effort is not to undermine anyone’s efforts. It’s exactly what you pointed out. It’s my frustration that this day HAS to exist!

  5. We definitely should live the spirit of equality but sadly, that does not happen and thus, we require reminders! Women’s Day is one of many such days that reminds us of what we have forgotten.
    Look at it this way. We should be patriotic but it is usually just on two days of the year when we are really patriotic and it is just so because these days remind us of patriotism. Also, we seldom express our love but days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and every such day gives us an opportunity to express our love. We can do that on other days as well but unfortunately, we do not remember doing so and these days are just reminders.
    Similarly, Women’s Day is a reminder to the world of how equal women are to men. Even in a city like Mumbai you will come across several sexists and this day is for these people who fails to realize the importance of women. Believe it or not, just a few are rationals and just a few walks with good morals. Thus, it becomes necessary to keep reminding people.
    You just said that you are against reservation but if you see the other side then it is these reservations which have made you capable to be able to write this post. Reservations stop the powerful from taking the advantage of the weak, it gives the voice to the ones who is afraid to speak! Without reservation it is hard for all who are been discriminated to rise. The roots of discrimination are deep and reservation is just attacking the roots. Without reservation that sexist asses will come in the way of equality again and again. They are the hurdles which have to be taken care of and so, reservation deals with such issues.
    Every coin has two sides. There is an ugly side but there too is a good side. Live with the spirit of equality and keep spreading it. 🙂

    • Thanks Aditya for the comment. True there are several sexists in Mumbai itself, but they need to see the importance of women very single day of their life since they do have a mother or wife who is a constant support or partner through their life. I disagree with you on the reservation bit. I have never taken advantage of any quota or reservations. All my degrees were from institutions where I appeared for several national exams as a general candidate. The companies I worked for also are equal opportunity providers. Hence it was more of my will to do things rather than reservations helping me. There are countless examples though of people exploiting the reservation system too. I agree that we should live with the spirit of equality and yes we should keep spreading it as you rightly said!

      • I assume that your parents are very supportive. It is good that you did not require much help. Sadly, that is not the case with everyone. Sexists too are parents and thus, that affects the growth of their children. There are many who considers a girl child to be a burden. Many find investment on a girl’s education as a futile investment. Out of those who educate their daughters there are some who educate their daughters not because education is necessary for her growth but because it is one of the requirements in the checklist of many men looking for a girl to get married to. Many girls get married at an early age and some families wait for their daughter to turn 18 to get her married. This also happens in metropolitan cities.
        Reservation is for those who cannot help themselves. Without it they would forever be underprivileged. It is a requirement. I agree that there are many who misuses it but that should not affect the ones who really needs it. We can afford good education but what is the fault of someone born at a place where good education facilities are not available or in a family that does not believe in education or those who cannot afford it? Reservation is to uplift the ones who else will not even be taken into consideration.
        Untouchables were not allowed to be with the general people. Even their shadow was considered unholy. There still are many who believes in caste and religion. It is because of reservation that the ones who else would not be allowed to grow are today sitting among us as one of us.
        Conditions in metropolitan cities is good but if you see India as a whole then you will know why reservation is required.

      • Aditya, it’s not just me but most people in urban cities have an education like me. Many people are graduates at least. Also education is a basic right. The scenario you are talking about is rightfully the case in rural india. Sadly 90% of rural people don’t even know about this day. Many of them aren’t aware about reservations as well. I think the crux of activity for sensitising people should be focused on the rural areas. Then we can see a change.

      • I am not particularly talking about rural or urban India but India as a whole as laws are for all. I agree that in urban areas the need of reservation is fairly less than in the rural areas but not all in the urban areas are at benefit after all, the rural India crowd also comes to the urban areas for a better lifestyle but with that they also bring along their orthodox thinking. Well, to conclude all that I have been trying to say, all should live by the spirit of equality but since they don’t days like Women’s Day are a mechanism to remind them of how equal women are to men. There are women who do not believe in women empowerment and so, it is for them to realize that it’s not bad to be a woman and there are men who think they’re superior to women and so, it’s for them to realize that they stand exactly where women does. So, cherish being a woman and keep up with the spirit of equality. 😀

  6. Hey Neha – an interesting post and the comments so well thought out as well.
    I won’t even attempt a wordy or worthy comment. I agree as women we should celebrate day every day and be proud of who we are. If Women’s Day can help women to pause and consider, then that is good. Though of course women in rural areas around the world will not be aware of this …

    I found you while checking out the A-Z list and commenting a bit on those of interest to me.

  7. Hi Neha – thanks for your post on Women’s Day. I’ve actually heard a lot of similar points describing how African Americans in the US feel about our Black History Month. It is difficult for me to say whether or not we should have an International Women’s Day – for me, white, female, educated, living in the US, I have had few troubles in life brought about by my gender. However, there are vast areas in the world where women aren’t even given the right to an opinion about Women’s Day, much less know about it. I do hope that efforts to shed light on the mistreatment and inequality of women are continued, particularly for these women. While there are those who would argue that men and women *are* equal and we do not need a single day to remind us, I would argue that because men and women are equal we need *every* day to remind us. Particularly those who seem not to understand the concept yet.

    I came across your blog when reading through those signed up for the A to Z Challenge. Your writing is beautiful and I can’t wait to see what you bring to the challenge in April! Cheers, marci (Fuzzy Undertones) 😉

    • Hey Marci, thanks for the comment! I didn’t know that Black History month had similar overtones. Yes, efforts to shed light on the issues for women should be made on a continued basis. I’m looking forward to the challenge too. Glad you liked my writing 🙂

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