On this amazing day of celebration I would, perhaps somewhat controversially, like to focus on men (I know, because it doesn’t happen often enough…). I woke up this morning to a bunch of misogynistic tweets by uneducated men thinking that International Women’s Day was an excuse to tweet pictures of scantily clad girls and call it “appreciating” women. So these men are twats, statement of fact, but I’m not sure that it is entirely their fault.
I’m not worried about women; we’re strong; there are more and more of us not just overcoming the oppression of our society and marching towards an equilibrium of respect, but also starting to overcome the ridiculousness forced upon us by our fellow kind in advertising and the media. I am confident that as long as we remain strong and true in our push for complete equality, that we will get there, perhaps not in my lifetime but I’m fully planning on educating my children to carry on the fight when I’m gone and just maybe, it might happen in theirs. It’s the male-folk I’m worried about.
I was surprised this morning when I came across a tweet that said “happy #internationalwomensday boys” accompanied by a picture of a bikini clad celeb. For me this seemed to be a complete lack of understanding of the point of International Women’s Day, and I commented as much…I may have also used the word “cretin” but in my defence I was only stating the bloody obvious. I was then surprised further still by the tirade of responses I got from men telling me to “go back to my knitting” and that I had completely missed the point that they were just being “ironic” and that they were actually “appreciating” my entire sex. My bad, I didn’t realise that actually by subjecting women to only physical forms and rating them on scales of appreciation based solely on how pleasing they look, was a perfect example of appreciating the true wonderment of women on International Women’s Day. Don’t I feel silly.
But the thing is while we’re busy educating ourselves to create a better future for our gender, I’m slightly afaired that we’re leaving the other half behind in the dark ages. Men aren’t born chauvinistic twats, they develop these traits and glowing attributes as they grow and learn (or not as the case may be) and of course I do expect a couple of old toggers to pipe up with “there’s no such thing as International Men’s Day” (uh, that would be every day), I really don’t expect a bunch of young, average guys to fundamentally misunderstand gender equality in the most stupid of ways. Women are amazing, every day I am surprised and astonished and proud of us (granted not all of us, but I do think the majority) and I so want to be able to say that exact same sentence about men. I’m lucky because I am surrounded by men who do make me feel that way, but I feel know that they are the exception, not the rule.
I’m constantly told that I should temper my opinions (especially at dinner parties) but how can I when faced with men who think equality (and indeed the norm) is them wearing suits and women wearing bikinis. I’m afraid actually that from today onwards I may have to be slightly more militant in my tolerance (or lack thereof) of these people, and if you want to live in a world where you are praised for your free-thinking brain instead of degraded for it then I suggest you do the same.
Happy International Women’s Day.