International Women’s Day

I am not a Monday person. As I ate breakfast today, I heard on the radio that it was International Women’s Day today. I asked myself if this would be a good subject for a blog post. “I’m too fatigued on Mondays, fuggedabatit” was the reply. As the radio program kept on, it mentions this day marks the 100th year since the first international women’s conference, which was held in Copenhagen. I finally gave in, and told myself “Oh, all right, I’ll [expletive removed] do it”.

While the pendulum indeed swings the other way sometimes (as in, men are the center of discrimination instead) it cannot be denied that as far as gender-based discrimination goes, a very vast majority has been targetted at women throughout history. There seems to be a wide-spread misconception that women’s rights activism suddenly started in the 1970’s; it has had a rich history.

The day appears to have had a more distinct role in Russia. After all, the day was started by socialists, even though Karl Marx himself perhaps wasn’t the most avid supporter of women’s rights, saying that a woman’s place was at home. In 1913, women in Russia observed the day for the first time. In St. Petersburg, they demonstrated, demanding the right to vote. In 1917, the big year when the revolution in Russia begun, the mass demonstration by women on this day is considered by quite a few historians to have been the spark that lit the gunpowder keg. Alexandra Kollontai, a Bolshevik, persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the USSR. In 1965, it became a non-labor day. Alexandra Kollontai is also famous for having been the Soviet ambassador to Norway, making her the first female ambassador in history. Incidentally, Khertek Anchimaa-Toka was the Chairman of Tannu Tuva (a small country in Siberia which was independant from 1921 to 1944 [which I happen to have a peculiar interest in]) from 1940-1944, making her the first elected female head of state in the world. International Women’s Day in the Soviet Union eventually became more, hmm, lame, becoming more an apolitical event in which motherhood, spring and so on were focused upon. But there’s no questioning that today, in the Russian Federation, it is a bigger holiday than in other countries.
The woman. The myth. The legend.

Now, through combined efforts of women rights activists, we have come much closer to gender equality. We still have a long way to go; even though the laws in many places around the world have been modified, the domination of men in positions of power are still strong, with lines of graying men. Breaking this norm will be hard, and perhaps we’re taking a step backwards in many areas, but I think that if we’re passionate and conscious, as well as unwilling to bend to old paradigms, we can take a huge step on the way towards real progress.

Also, don’t forget to celebrate International Men’s Day, the lesser known day, on November 19th. 😉

Before I forget: I saw the following comic today:

Guys' Night

I know that the author and most people reading it find it amusing, and I do find it a bit amusing too, but I cannot see the joke as far as the comic applies to me. 😛


One Response to “International Women’s Day”

  1. malin Says:

    Great post there brother of mine! Specially liked the comic, it says a whole lot about gender stereotypes and is thus (not alas!) interesting in many ways. The force is strong with you!

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