I want to say “Happy International Women’s Day” to everyone who identifies as a woman.
I’m angry about the state of the world for the women in it, in the US, along the US border, in Egypt, inDR Congo, in Brazil, in Scotland, in Australia, women in every country all over the world, black women, brown women, white women, tall women, short women, dwarf women, fat women, thin women, in-betweenie women, trans* women, women with disabilities, able-bodied women, neuro-typical women, neuro-atypical women, old women, young women, girls, women with children, childfree women, healthy women, ill women, poor women, rich women, middle class women, employed women, unemployed women, insured women, uninsured women, immigrant women, migrant women, English-speaking women, non-English-speaking women, progressive women, conservative women, women in unions, women in uniforms, women in male-centric careers, women in comas, straight women, lesbian women, bisexual women, asexual women, demisexual women, partnered women, unpartnered women, poly women, powerful women, weak women, vegan woman, vegetarian women, omnivorous women, religious women, atheist women, agnostic women, educated women, uneducated women, women who have survived trauma, women who want my advocacy, women who don’t, and/or every other conceivable expression, intersectionality, and experience of womanhood that exists on the planet.
I am angry at what we are denied on the basis of our womanhood, or the insufficiency of our womanhood, or the unacceptable expression of our womanhood, as arbitrarily defined by people fiercely guarding their privilege.
I am angry that we are denied autonomy, dignity, respect, the right of consent, safety, security, opportunity, access, equality—and many things smaller than those.
On International Women’s Day, I’d like to question who gets to define “woman” as a paradigm (cis, White, able bodied, etc.). And I’d like to reflect on how media will offer a normalized gaze over women to actually continue perpetuating the normalized “woman”. My word of the day on IWD: exclusion. Which women are excluded from this universal? Who do we celebrate & which paradigms do we re-enforce?
How do we empower women on International Women’s Day? By challenging the narrow minded and binarist definition of “woman”.
Also, International Women’s Day was established by an assembly of socialist women workers to create awareness of working class struggles. Media “celebrates” International Women’s Day by obscuring working class issues and instigating more middle class values as desirable.
Trans women are targeted for systematic violence, what do we “celebrate” on International Women’s Day? Who gets to claim “woman” as category?
We, as women, should be acutely aware of how intragender violence works and who we deny a place on the International Women’s Day table.
How do we support policies that oppress immigrant women? How do we enforce racist paradigms of definitions of “woman” and beauty.
As feminist women, we fight against patriarchy while we obscure our participation in kyriarchy. Now THAT is my IWD’s challenge.
When undocumented immigrant women are abused in internment camps while waiting for deportation and we remain silent, we become complicit.
I should adapt my personal motto for the day “MY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT”.
And because this bears repeating: Racism is also gender violence.
On IWD, I don’t want equality in a hetero-cis-normative, racist system. I don’t want a “career” in it. I want to do away altogether.