8 Mar 2010


March the 8th - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY is a worldwide day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

Started in 1911, next year sees it centenary celebration.

Probably not as knowledgeable as I should be on the matter, I'd not describe myself as a feminist and yet according to the dictionary DEFINITION I am as I "believe in the need to secure rights and opportunities for women equal to those of men" and yet .........

Grief, here it becomes complicated!

I don't for one moment think we are the same as men, just as strong (generally in different areas I grant you), but definitely not the same. AND to be honest I dislike the term 'GIRL POWER' with a passion and even more so when it is used by 'women' who ceased to be 'girls' a long time ago ( and yes I include myself in this).

I don't know, perhaps I've got the whole thing wrong, the 'wrong end of the stick' so to speak, as to what it truly means to be a feminist but for many of today's women (and in particular young women) the idea of feminism seems to result in them choosing to behave as men. Nothing wrong with that, I hear you say. Maybes not, but to me there is when that behaviour sees women wanting to act out all of the worst behaviour traditionally associated with men - drinking too much, swearing too much and 'sleeping around' etc. All of which I dislike equally in men as well as women I hasten to add.

No, I definitely wouldn't call myself a feminist as (laughing) I enjoy men holding doors open for me, I enjoy men standing to give me their seat, I enjoy ....... (I could go on but won't) and yet, at the same time, woe-behold any man who insinuates that I'm a lesser person, a (dare I say it?) 'weaker' person just because I happen to be a women.

Still it makes you think what the SUFFRAGETTES, as the first women to campaign for women's rights and in particular the vote for women, would have made of it all. 'Turned in their graves' is a term that comes to mind.

That said, yes, by all means lets celebrate women in all their glory. But which women? For me it certainly wouldn't be any of the so-called celebrities that seem to inspire so many of our young women. I mean what happened to being inspired by the likes of FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, MARIE CURIE or indeed the women mentioned on the INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN site? Talking of which Aine over at THE EVOLVING SPIRIT has an interesting blog, one of the themes of which is 'Women Who Inspire Me Wednesday', women like the first female president of Chile MICHELLE BACHELET or protester NAOMI KLEIN.

Anyway enough of my wittering. Which woman/women inspire you? Are they women like those mentioned in the post or are they women closer to home?


Kissed by an Angel said...

I agree with what you say!! I am a woman, I don't want to be a man or act like one!! I am quite spoiled I suppose, my husband helps me as much as he can, and always has!! I do believe in equal pay, and conditions! We definitely should not be treated like second class citizens!! I think that when push comes to shove women do have a stronger character than men! Or do we just handle thing differently? The women of days gone by are inspirational - they did things unheard of then for women - so it was much harder!! Although men are still not totally for women in male orientated jobs!! I have a daughter in that area to prove it!!!

TheLittleFlower said...

I love girl power. Great post! Go ahead and and take my idea,I don't mind at all :)

chitra said...

I believe in Women's empowerment. It is benefiting a lot in a country like ours.
Happy Women's day PW

themethatisme said...

Constance Markiewicz

susan s. said...

I think this is a good thing for recognizing and encouraging women, but here in Berkeley, CA, USA, it has been a school holiday for years. The problem is that it is not a national holiday and so working mothers have to find child care so they can keep working and the child gets another day out of school. Of course the women teachers get the day off, but it seems to me to cause inequity in the ranks, if you know what I mean.

Aine Butler-Smith said...

Thanks for the mention Tracy. I think feminism has been mischaracterized (as so much usually is) by mainstream media sources and pop culture. If one thinks of Mary Tyler Moore on her show as a female news producer in the seventies as a feminist, she certainly was considered such in her day, she was by no means masculine in her behavior. She did wear pantsuits though.
The feminism idea is about equality, pure and simple, and this equality cuts both ways, allowing men to be more sensitive and open to emotion and options in life themselves, which has allowed men to be better partners and to connect as nurturers with their children.
I understand the confusion so many have about this issue. Thanks for sparking the conversation - hey, maybe I should blog about it!!!


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

LOL..... I thought I would stop by and check on my long distance friend here and I find you ranting about Womens rights.... hee hee

Love the post! I agree! I am all about being a strong woman but I do love being treated like a lady and have no desire to be anything else.

Sounds like you are feeling better too :)

MOLLYC said...

This is a very interesting topic: I am of the first generation of "women's libbers." My girls grew up seeing their Mom put on a suit and pearls and go out to work every day. As a result, the concept of being simply a "homemaker" is alien to them. I feel that the momentum created by the original women's movement has created a generation of women who now look to staying home as a return to the "good old days," and who wish for a simpler world where women could rely on men to make a life for them. I know that my girls suffer from "career fatigue" sometimes, and wish for a much less complicated life.

Vivienne said...

I feel bad that my ten year old daughters had to inform me that it was International Women's Day. I confess that I haven't ever heard of it before. Shame on me as a woman!

Dorte H said...

Great post!

I don´t want to be a clone of a man either. I am inspired by intelligent women, and obviously many of my role models are crime fiction writers. I also admire some female politicians - but only when they do a proper job and stay clear of scandals, bribe and abuse of their power.

Kelly said...

Happy Internation Women's Day to you, Tracy. I don't believe I knew the holiday existed!

It sounds like we think along the same lines when it comes to feminism and equality.

I can think of several women I know in my community that I admire greatly. They have juggled families and careers, reached out to help others on a regular basis, and done it all well.

Jennifer McLean said...

Great post, the idea of feminism, as the above commenter mentions, is so misunderstood. My younger cousin (she's 22) claimed stridently that she was not a feminist, that she wasn't like that. I answered her with a question.. "so you don't agree that women are equal to men and we deserve equal treatment under the law?" She looked quite shocked at me. Of course she believed THAT! Then you're a feminist. Period.
A man can still be polite and open your door and you can even enjoy it, you can still believe that women are worth as much as men. The door opening is because he is a gentleman not because you are the weaker sex. A man opening a door or pulling out a chair is MANNERS, equivalent to saying please & thank you, it has nothing to do with equality.
How do we teach the younger generation that?? :o)

Alyce said...

I have to admit that I didn't really get that feminism was about equal rights until I was in college. Prior to that I had been biased against "militant feminism" by my family and church - taught that it was a source of evil (in regards to things like abortion, etc.).

In college I ran into one girl who cleared it all up for me when she asked if I thought the only opportunities women should have were to stay at home and raise kids. It was one of those "duh - of course not" moments.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I don't think being a feminist is a bad thing, except when it goes to far. Like the song "Push" by Matchbox 20-a bunch of feminists threw fruit at the band! Its just a song people!

Anyway, I think courtesy (as you describe opening doors, taking seats, etc.) is a nice thing and can be taken graciously without the need to feel like a lesser person. A strong woman can see that.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I am thankful for all the women who have brought us to the standings we have now. We can walk beside our men instead of behind them. But I am one who is not willing to go overly on the idea, especially with this day in age. I have to agree, If I where to go to the extreme of the feminist ideas I would feel as I was being just like the men on the male issues. And I really don't like the term 'girl power' either. It bothers me when I hear that term used. But, hey we needed those women to get us to where we are today.

Great post today!

The1stdaughter said...

I love this post! I was actually a little put off at the thought of an "international woman's day". Not because I don't want to celebrate women, but because I think a lot of it turns into a "men are no good dogs day".

But your post is exactly what it's really all about. Celebrating women, our achievements and the inspiration they give us. I would have to say most of my women role models have been one's I've met along my journey in life and not so much the "big names", although they did some amazing things too. Thank you so much for this post!

....Petty Witter said...

AINE you blog away, I'd like to see what others have to say on the subject.