International Day Women
Iphigenie Moraitini Patriarchea
There are so many posts beginning with „Today, on international Women’s Day…“out there. And they are truly lovely posts, that reflect positive attitudes and values. And they give you the feels.
Yet many lack that ring of truth… that intangible value that comes from life and tears.
I remember the first time I considered whether being a girl might be a good thing. I was hanging out with a group of kids my age. We were related, and mostly female. However, when a boy committed an egregious amount of misery, the adults in the group told me to get over it because “he’s a boy”.
I believe I was five.
Luckily for me, even at five, the things I felt in the wake of this injustice were rage, pure relief that my parents didn’t think I was less because I was born a girl… and pity, for the one girl in the group who I knew would believe it.
This was decades ago. Hundreds of minor and major aggressions later have still failed to convince me that any girl, woman, or female-identifying individual, might in any way be intrinsically less.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not scared.
I am scared, because, as the world evolves on the path of gender equality, some privileged women have begun to view feminism as dated; some have been known to argue that the current issue is women being hard on women, and that “more feminism” is really about “unmanning men” by making it harder to flirt and hold open doors.
Consider, if you will, that the subjugation of women is a millennia-old problem. Only in prehistory, in the small sculptures of the neolithic age, do we find evidence of “she” before “he”. Since then? What few ruling women pharaohs existed had to use masculine styles, down to a fake beard. Ancient Athenians stripped their women of their right to vote because they dared to vote to name their city after a goddess, and not a god. The Romans, having no women in their city, decided the solution was to abduct the Sabine girls.
Need I go on? The history of mankind is, as we all know, the history of androcracy.
Can thousands of years of a tree growing sideways truly be fixed in just 200 years of progressive realization? March 8th was established as the International Day of Women and Peace in 1977. It is incredibly gratifying to see how far we have come… as well as utterly terrifying to see how easily women’s rights were erased in Afghanistan this year.
So, today, on international women’s day, allow me this reminder… or let’s call it a prediction:
Feminism will be needed until the day when the last great-grandchild of the last old phallocrat leaves this world. Not in our lifetimes, or even in our grandchildren’s lifetimes, will this mission be accomplished.