Women’s Day thoughts

As you might all know, yesterday was the International Women’s Day.

This year I was full of emotions and thoughts on this day:

I was inspired by the #virághelyett (translated as ‘instead of flowers’) civil campaign in the Hungarian media. Women were sharing their wishes they asked for Women’s Day, like equal salary, real appreciation, places in leadership positions in business and politics… instead of flowers.

I felt thankful for this video for the important words of wisdom by a man (unfortunately it’s not available in English, yet).

I was proud of Emma Watson, who reinforced that feminism is not a stick to beat up other women.

I was stunned by the video, which told us the story of undervalued female researchers in science.

I was excited about the new story book, Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls, in which there are stories of famous, successful, clever and confident women, instead of empty-headed princesses, who are only waiting for the prince.

I was not touched by the meaningless flower pictures in the social media, the empty Women’s Day wishes.

 

Until today.

 

This morning one of my friends shared on Facebook that she had not got a single flower yesterday.  There were likes, angry faces, hearts and under the post, in the comment section, oh yes, there were “tons of” pictures of bouquets and flower emojis. Then I did a quick Facebook search and indeed, could not find a whole lot of “typical” Women’s Day posts.

 

For me, Women’s Day is not about flowers.

 

You might appreciate getting flowers, and that’s also fine. Fortunately, we are all different and I want to emphasise, that this is just my opinion, how I see things, not the only and unquestionable truth. Flowers to me are the easiest way out. It’s not only boring and evident but also meaningless; an empty gesture. We get flowers from people who don’t really know us so have no idea what would really make us happy. Flowers are the most conventional way to imitate a tiny bit of appreciation. In fact, they are the socially accepted symbol of imitation. And also, getting a piece of dead creature as a present is just not my thing.

 

I still felt sad when I saw her post. I know it wasn’t about that freaking flower. More like she did not even get a flower, the false impression of appreciation. And that’s the real problem.

 

In an ideal world

people are equal, have equal rights and possibilities, there is no discrimination nor oppression AND women are not getting flowers on Women’s Day. Maybe there is no Women’s Day at all as there is no need to imitate, as the appreciation is REAL.

 

Women face a huge amount of difficulties and discrimination because of their gender on a daily basis.  Even though feminism has won important cases and we have a long and significant path behind us, there is still a lot to do.

 

On Women’s Day we have to look back to revise the past and also to look forward in the present moment to concentrate planning the future. Until there is wage gap, female circumcision or domestic violence in any part of the world, feminism still has legitimacy and assignment.

 

Women’s Day is not about women’s right, it is about human rights and equality.

Women and men should stand up together against humiliating discrimination, against the toxic social expectation, to get out of the wring of sickening tendencies of hundreds of years.

 

Real appreciation and attention would be the real thing and not only on the 8th March of every year, but every moment of every day forever.

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We are at the beginning of changing our own lives! Here are a few suggestions that might come handy during the journey towards a better life, every day:

 

  1. Listen to each other. Women are more likely to experience verbal abuse (being cut short, talked over or lauder by conversation partners who are simply not paying attention to what they have to say)
  2. Respect each other. Not because of their gender or age, but for being a human being. Everyone deserves respect.
  3. Support each other. Our society is unfair towards men too. Just think about the sky high expectations towards all of us. Know that you do not have to be superhuman 24/7.
  4. Speak up! Dare to speak. Know that your thoughts are important!

 

We are interested in your opinion too, join the conversation and leave your comments below!

2 responses to “Women’s Day thoughts”

  1. JustineF says:

    I finally post a little comment here, as I think there is so much to share on this subject, and just like you said, we are all different and we all see things differently.
    Even if I am a woman and that I want equality with men, I’m sure I am still far from getting how different women still are from men to the eye of the society. So indeed, when I see someone with impact as Emma Watson, who talks about simple and empiric things, I realize a bit more and I’m happy that she is actively doing something. Actually, I realize more and more that I much prefer her as a person than as an actress ! 😀
    Also, about the whole flower story, I personnally love flowers and would be always happy if I get some, but I don’t care as much receiving flowers from someone I don’t really know, let alone a PICTURE of a flower (get me at least a real one !). Indeed, those pictures of flowers have been settled to be a symbol of women for whatever reason… Which actually sets again an inequality. Who ever saw a man receiving flowers ? (With the exception of the rose in Finland after the YO exam. Why would flowers be linked only to women ? Because they are fragile and pretty ? Anyway…
    As for Women’s Day itself, I listened to a radio podcast that was pointing out how Women’s Day was stuck in between Tennis Day and Plummery Day. I feel that lately, there are so many “X” Days that we are loosing the values of actually emphasizing something more than another. I come to wonder if Women’s Day is actually a good thing if it has to be lost in between such things as tennis and plummery (not to denigrate those two though). But by doing too much, we often lose the point of it. I would like to say that, same as for people saying “Everyday should be Valentine’s Day”, every day should be also Women’s Day, and yet I feel that the cause for women still has to stand out somehow. So this is hard.
    I won’t complain about not feeling the social pressure on me as a woman, but I would still like to sympathize more. And I say that in a way that I understand that this is important to want equality in human rights, but it’s far from being my primary fight. I am shocked when I hear something that shows how much inequality there still is, but at the same time, I admit I’m thinking a bit “Oh but maybe they are doing too much about it and it’s not that much of a big deal.” I’m a bit ashamed of saying that but maybe it’s because for me, equality is such an evidence that I have a hard time to imagine it couldn’t be for the rest of the world. But apparently I’m wrong…

  2. BDLV says:

    Hey JUSTINEF! A great comment and thank you for doing so. I believe that provided there are more men (such as myself) prepared to face the scrutiny that the majority of ‘men’ will place them under for ‘softening up’ and being ‘too’ sensitive, we will eventually have the world see that the standard model of the regularities we’ve adopted as a society is completely ruining humanity. Buying boys masculine action figures and toy guns evoke the violence and anger within a person. And conversely buying girls ‘Barbie’ dolls and Princess dresses has a massive impact on the future mindset of that young person. Thus a girl feels she needs to be pretty and a boy needs to feel macho. The media has a massive part to play in the perception of what is masculine and feminine too. A male who feels affection and love and promotes this kind of thing is often regarded as homosexual. And a heterosexual is so scared of being ‘seen’ as a homosexual that he would most probably withhold any comment or suggestion. This is just hypothetical but I imagine you get the idea. The truth is we are both masculine and feminine at the same time – our minds are left and right brained. But the conditioning of an individual is what shapes their outlook on such things. People are more leant towards what they are told they should do – like be more ladylike – or boys should ‘man up’. As a proud ‘feminist’ man I can’t help but think the word itself provokes resentment in men. Men who care to look into it will realise its meaning as Emma Watson defined in her speech. But to the majority of men who care not to look into it feel feminism is pure hatred towards men due to their oppression. Iceland has taken the step that people around the world need to take note of by introducing equal pay. But to be fair, an introduction was never needed, because it should have been standard issue in the first place. We will get there because we will make our voice heard. We are people together after all.

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