International Women’s Day

 

I can’t believe how fast time flies and I find myself writing about IWD again. With the time moving so fast, we need to remind ourselves that each day is an opportunity to fight gender inequality. Not just today, every day we have to remind ourselves that we need to reach the level where women and men, girls and boys, are equal. A lot has been done, and a lot of people strive to make even more changes in their own lives and globally. But let’s face it, there is a lot left to be done and changed.

Just think about the small remarks that we accept as if it’s the norm, as if there is nothing unusual. Speaking from my own personal experiences, there were quite a few people that shocked me from the last to this IWD. Congratulating a person for getting a baby boy as if it’s such an accomplishment and a better option than a baby girl. Addressing women as girls, while still addressing men as men. Shaking my husband’s hand but not mine.  Screaming obscenities after me and then accosting me and harassing me for confronting you and then actually knocking on the bathroom door when I am alone in there, waiting for me outside. Looking through windows and opening doors to our private mostly-female dinner in a restaurant.

All of that is not okay. And I was equally stunned by the men and the women for staying quiet. Why do we have to let it go? Why do you get to say whatever you want as a man? Why do I have to be welcoming and overly nice in response to unwanted attention as a woman?

And there are even bigger issues that still need to be fought and eradicated. Whoever believes that equality has been reached is delusional. Women aren’t treated the same as men, aren’t paid equally. And it’s 2019! These problems shouldn’t exist anymore. Or at least be exceptions.

I also find it interesting how often I have to have a discussion with someone, explaining to them what feminism and fight for equality actually is. Why it needs to exist and what the goal is.

Feminism isn’t reserved for women and girls, everyone should believe in it and support it. It’s not about believing women are better and should take over the world. It’s about believing that gender doesn’t define you, that it shouldn’t give you more or less opportunities. It’s about equal opportunities. It’s about the person, not the gender.

Some judge feminism as being too harsh, too aggressive, as too collective. Sure there are people, women, that go too far, that are radical. But doesn’t every group? Every belief? Somehow when it comes to feminists that is generalized to everyone else and condemned more harshly. Are all Muslims terrorists? No! Are all men douchebags just because a few are? No! Can men support each other and voice their opinions on all levels without being called aggressive and loud? Yes! Are all Christians blind to everything else but what their priest tells them the Bible says, sticking to extremely conservative views? No! And so much more! You can’t judge a group, a belief, a nation, a gender… because of the smallest and most radical fraction. 

Feminism is something that needs to be present. That needs to be active. That everyone should be involved in. That is needed for finally reaching equality. And it is something positive. And something quite simple as an idea but with a very challenging role.

It would be very sad if a person believed that their mother, sister, daughter, wife… doesn’t deserve the same opportunities, the same respect and attitude as their father, brother, son, husband… It would be very, very sad.

I look forward to the day when equality and the fight for it will be a thing of the past. I just hope I get to live and see it. Because I believe we can do it. But it’s something we can only do together.

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