Dear President Trump,
Well, where to start on this 110th anniversary of International Women’s Day (111th if we count its initial instantiation in 1909 in NYC as National Women’s Day)? There are so many relevant directions one could go, but I think I’ll start by telling you that Friday night when we went to the grocery on the late side I overheard a man ask his female partner something to the effect of “So, when am I going to get my international day?” in a half-jokey, half-truly-irritated way. I sort of wanted to stay in close enough proximity to hear her answer, but I honestly didn’t trust myself not to snap at him so I moved safely away.
I’d already fussed at another something-or-other man because he tailgated us all the way through the parking lot even after I turned to get away from him and even when the place was nearly deserted. In other words, there was no earthly rational justification for his behavior and the only explanations I can come up with are that he didn’t like my “PERSIST” bumper sticker, he’s doesn’t like hybrids, he was texting and not watching how close he was, or he’s absolutely f*cking clueless about the fact that one needs to leave more than three feet between moving cars.
Apparently I’m still hot about it. So, you can imagine how much I wanted to lay into the jerky-jokey guy who was whining to his girlfriend about not having a day of his very own. I didn’t know it on Friday, which is probably good, but when I looked up “International Women’s Day” to find out how old it is, lo and behold there really is an “International Men’s Day.” It’s on November 19th and it was started in 1992 by some man who thought it only fair that even though men get 364 days of the year, they need one specially special for them. It’s something of a saving grace that UNESCO hasn’t recognized it, but for goodness sake, the reason that the IWD was started was to bring attention to the discrimination women faced and it continues to be an important day because we still need to bring attention to the discrimination women still face. So hello, whiny men – get over yourselves.
It’s like righteous white people fussing about Black Lives Matter with their pious b.s. about how “all lives matter.” Why yes, that is correct – all lives do matter – but until Black lives matter as much as white lives and until women’s lives matter as much as men’s lives (and non-binary people’s lives matter as much as men’s lives), we need to call attention to these life and death disparities, like the women of Mexico will be doing tomorrow through their country-wide strike protesting the horrific rates of femicide there.
Can you even imagine a world where it would never in a million years occur to anyone that there’s a need for Black History Month or Women’s History Month? And no, I’m not talking about going back to a time when it didn’t occur to anyone with an iota of power or influence that Black people and female people had histories worth noting or contributed anything worthwhile to the greater good. I’m talking about an alternate geopolitical reality that is not based on a creation myth that centers males, that has at its core the belief that all people are created equal and that each is precious and inherently worthy of respect and dignity. In that world there might be rotating celebrations of delightful things, like maybe redwoods or orca whales or daphne bushes, but there wouldn’t be the need to single out groups of people to lift them up in a PR sort of way in an effort to convince lunkheads that those groups of people are worthy of interest and respect; it would simply be a given to everyone that this was true.
May we be safe in whatever bodies we have.
May we be willing to respect the sanctity of all lives.
May we not be threatened by strong women with healthy egos.
May we all let go of ways of being that are maiming and killing some of us.