Today is International Women’s Day 2019, a day reserved for looking back at female achievements and to celebrate the spirit of womanhood. After all, it was a tough journey, and women didn’t have it easy. All the Marie Curies, Valentina Tereshkovas and Junko Tabeis, on whose shoulders we stand on, had to push and shove their way to the top, especially in a world that’s male-dominated. But a curious thing happens on Women’s Day every year. Someone has to routinely bring up the old “Aren’t women already empowered?” and “Do we REALLY need a day for women?”, “Why isn’t there a Men’s Day?” arguments. If you are sick of it like I am, here are my rebuttals against the common complaints about Women’s Day.
1. We are already empowered!
A common complaint from women of privilege who oppose Women’s Day is that they are already empowered and there’s no need for a separate day to celebrate womanhood. The picture of an empowered woman is that of a female living/working in the cities who don’t need a man to call the shots. But the reality is much different. A sizeable amount of female population are uneducated, financially dependent on males, have no access to quality healthcare, are at risk of female genital mutilation, subjected to sexual violence and have no say in family planning. Until they are empowered, we are only speaking for ourselves. Women’s Day 2019 Quotes 11 Powerful Lines from The Most Inspirational Women in the World Today.
2. There’s No Day for Men
Sorry, it’s a man’s world and every single day is men’s day! And also, there is a day for men, and it’s celebrated every year on November 19. The day is observed to appreciate and celebrate men and the positive value they bring to the world --- much like Women’s Day. Issues like mental health, queer rights, custody rights and childhood abuse are brought to focus on the day. If you didn't know this, google it. Women's Day 2019: Stop Saying These Things To Women NOW! Watch Video.
3. Why Only A Day for Women?
“Every day should be Women’s Day!” Correct! That’s what we want too. Celebrating Women’s Day doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s only one day in a year meant for women. It’s like saying, “Why celebrate Independence Day?” It took women a lot of grit and determination to reach where they are today. There’s nothing wrong with having a day to remember how long we have come!
4. Women’s Day is So Commercialised
Sure, it is. A lot of retailers cash in on Women’s Day because women (particularly the millennials) are a strong demographic with formidable purchasing power. We are sure it hasn't gone unnoticed by the corporations. But if Woman’s Day is commercialised, so is every single festival in the world. So where are all the protests against the blatant commercialisation of Christmas, Diwali or even Mahashivratri?
We have sure come a long way, but it doesn’t change the fact that womenkind is still fraught with a lot of challenges. As long as there are pay gaps, sexual violence, denial of reproductive rights, financial dependence, sexism and misogyny, there will be Women’s Day. It will remind us of not only how far we have come, but also how far we need to go! So sorry, not sorry world. Women’s Day is here to stay!