I know that most of us celebrate feminism and the progress of women every day, but just because everyone loves a party, March 8 is International Women's Day. This holiday began around 1908 to bring exposure to issues women were facing at the time, specifically with trying to earn the right to vote. Well, we can vote now of course, and there are more women in the workforce now than ever. But Feminism is still important, and celebrating women is still important, and I'm going to talk a little bit about why because honestly, it's been a while since I really stated the facts about it. Whats a better way to celebrate the day?
Our enemies around the world are constantly trying to portray feminism as a selfish, whiny, useless movement that should have died a long time ago. They've always said this. In the 30s, when we had the right to vote, people didn't understand what more we could possibly want. In the 40s, when we got to work in factories to support the war, people didn't understand why we'd possibly want to stay in the workforce after the men came home. Throughout the century women have trudged along to gain a place in society, and just like 50 years ago, people are saying we should have everything we want now.
But we don't. And I'm sorry if that's considered "whining".
There are countries in this world where it's still perfectly legal for a man to rape his wife. There are places where women are stoned to death for wanting to leave their abusive husbands, because only a man is allowed to initiate a divorce. Women are arrested and sexually tortured for political beliefs, and countless crimes against women go unpunished every week.
We were shocked last year when we learned that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan prevented women from going to any kind of school or doing work, but those laws had been in effect for several years with no action from the United States. It was only when they started harboring terrorists who commited violence against our nation that we did something.
Now who's being selfish?
Women do great things everywhere. We're mothers, sisters, girlfriends, and spouses. We're teachers, nurses, engineers, accountants and politicians. There are 14 women senators today, more than there ever have been. We've come a very long way, especially in the United States, and we should be proud. But we also have some work to do. So don't give up on Feminism. Don't feel ashamed to celebrate womanhood just because someone points a finger at you for pushing a "dead" movement. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world."
Happy International Women's Day to everyone here, male or female. Go make things happen! And call your mother, too.