Hello to anybody reading this! I realize it is not Friday, however, I felt I could make a special exception given that it’s International Women’s Day! So, sit down with that cup of coffee, wipe the Monday sleep out of your eyes and let’s jump right in!
I know that there are some people out there who might ask why we even need this day. I have heard (way too many times) others say, “things are not that bad for women anymore, what do they have to complain about?” Well, I’m glad you asked!
Let’s start with violence…violence against women—women of color and trans women being the main targets—is jarring! Of course, there are cases of women being violent towards men, but when you look at the data, violence against women occurs much more frequently!
Note: I am going to include multiple sources to back up my claims as I go—anything I miss can be found on the many reputable sites that the internet provides us with.
Of course, violence and mistreatment of women is not only limited to beatings and murder. Sexual violence/assault/abuse is a frequent happening as well. As a woman, I can personally say that specifically in this category, I have experienced this issue many times—even at the hands of a family member. It’s an embarrassing thing, one that makes a woman feel ashamed and the media’s constant “slut-shaming” and victim-blaming of the women who actually manage to report it does nothing to aid the ever growing problem.
Some might think, “well everyone knows about these things! Crime happens to everyone, it’s just that women complain more!” Well to that I would say, no, not true. Yes, crime can happen against anyone but many violent crimes occur much more frequently to women. Also, women actually do not “complain” often, as many violent crimes—both sexual and otherwise—go unreported. If that is still not enough to convince you that this is a pressing issue, then let’s talk about the often overlooked problem of pay inequality and how it is almost impossible for women to get ahead in countries all over the world!
The pay gap between men and women is something that everyone knows about or at least have had a discussion about. However, it is often looked at with a blind eye. Not only that, but keeping women stagnant at lower positions in the workplace is also an ongoing occurrence that makes the chance to ever advance in life (compared to a man) nearly impossible. Do not even get me started on the “pink tax” which has proven that women are often charged an elevated price for goods, even when similar to a man’s—such as razors, deodorant, shaving cream, etc.—simply because we are women and they feel they can get away with that, despite us also having less to generally spend and live on every year…
Again, as a woman, this is something I have experienced all too often, even at my current place of employment—which I will not be naming here. What I will say is I have seen men come into the job after me, who had less experience, that still made the same or more. Moreover, I am a healthcare worker, I aid people on a daily basis and there are multiple “units” or “wards” throughout the building. Women and men occupants are separated. However, as a woman, I am expected to go in any unit they throw me in—men’s or women’s—but my male coworkers can only work with male residents because of the fear of assault against female residents. There is a lot of information to unpack here. For starters, some women can be criminals too and can very well assault a man or another woman just as well as a man could (though, noted, that it is not as likely). However, if the women at this job are expected to do more of the work, why are we not seeing more money? In short, because it is expected of us, because many of us are desperate and need the job, and because we are not taken seriously.
I am not trying to bash men by any means, that much is certain. There are many ways in which society harms men as well—many times by instilling in them the values of “toxic masculinity” that often contribute to these issues and harm against women. That being said, feminism, despite the name, is for everyone. It is a fight to get everyone on equal ground, to end the senseless violence and job inequality towards women but to also aid men in a chance to be able to be emotional, wear what they want, and find an inner peace in truly being themselves. This concept often eludes the masses—it flies way over people’s heads and not many people (including some feminists themselves) grasp the true concept.
We must do better and International Women’s Day is a way to reflect and build on that. The main goal is to not just post about this once a year and never talk about it after. We have to be active in this issue—men and women alike. We must find a way to end this cycle and do better. This is why this day is so important. This is why women still “complain”. This is why women advocate for themselves now more than ever.
Let’s keep that momentum going! Let’s change the world!
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