Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Womens Day

Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day and I wonder why on earth we are celebrating it. Its become not a day where real action and insight is provoked on advancing the position for women, but a “show day” where we celebrate the few who were acknowledged as outstanding women. There are more women than I could count that deserve acknowledgement as outstanding. Perhaps those who knew how to create bombs and undo the ongoing oppression with terrorism could be acknowledged for choosing not to. Perhaps we can celebrate the fact that only three percent of corporate psychopaths are women. We could celebrate the fact that only a small portion of the female population are hired to kill people when their government orders it so. We can celebrate the fact that due to the fact that women make up a small portion of the worlds leaders, police force and military – we have not contributed greatly towards the ongoing hunger, corruption and violence.

But I do not celebrate women’s day as it was not really our day, but a “show day” where the male dominated media really celebrated how we really have no part in how society runs, there is no real place for us here – except to serve men. Occasionally, there might be women co hosts to compliment the ego of its host or a token women to participate on boards and the occasional female political women that is not really there to promote the rights of women, but for our entertainment. A way of saying, “No need to fight for women's rights, everything looks equal here”. I cannot help but know that the clothes I buy, the food I eat and the home I reside in is controlled, designed and made by men. It might be why our clothes are made not to last as long or provide adequate resistance to the weather and generally cost more than it does for men. It might be why we are constantly being told to “Loose weight” and become frail, because it “Looks good”. Good to whom? It might be why our homes are designed to feed into the ever consuming male dominated market that eats away at the life that surrounds us as we know it. It could be why there is a competition on which city has the worlds tallest building that strangely resemble the shapes of men's anatomy.

I cannot help but wonder what our world would really look like if women had equal participation and rights in society. I wonder whether women would have shot at children and a journalist in Iraq as though it were a game or whether women would be so eager to destroy marine wildlife to extract oil. In fact women have barely participated in the most destructive acts we hear about on the news everyday. It is not that we are angels, but there is a logical explanation. Our bodies are designed to give life and some of us do. For those of us who have, it seems an extraordinary waste to take life away when it takes so much effort to bring life into the world. In a world dominated by men, many mothers struggle to nurture life under harsh conditions like poverty, discrimination and violence. In fact that’s what most campaigns by women have been about – life. Before patriarchal religions took over, women were truly celebrated as they should be today, for creating and nurturing life. Then “God” took the credit and then it became a competition of whose man – god created life by ironically destroying it. Perhaps it should be written, “She giveth life, he taketh it away”. It would after all have been a bit more honest in how patterns have been woven post patriarchal religion.

If only it were as simple as, “You have your side of the planet and I'll have mine” and see which one does better. I wonder whether half the earth would be blown to bits. Then some survivor asking whether we could, “clean it up”. Because, it was after all, “our fault for leaving them”. I cannot help but wonder as to why our male leaders do not take responsibility for their actions or consequences of their decisions, why we who have little participation in some of the most important life and death decisions are often adversely affected by them. Why we are tortured by having to watch our children suffer. Why we even speak as though the problems of the world today as a consequence of action or inaction when women played and continue to play a very small part. Most of the achievers announced, did it for free. Yet with men's work, there is always a cost. A cost to the environment, our children’s future, to the animals that share this planet and most of all: life. I even wonder whether any increasing of women’s participation is only because men have lost the plot and as many of us are requested to “clean it up”. I therefore consider that in our world today, International Women's day is really a day of mourning. Mourning of what could have been before it got to this stage if women were allowed to equally participate in the last 100 years. Lets hope that the next 100 years are a little saner.

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