How nice! An entire day to celebrate us international women. Ladies, may the men in your life treat you to a coffee today. Gentlemen, thank you for your courteous consideration. Let’s see where we are.
While many modern women might not even notice International Women’s Day the sad fact is that many others have nothing to celebrate. Sexism is even worse than racism in that it dehumanizes people across all racial lines. To be a member of a minority may cause one grief but to be a female member of a minority can result in even worse treatment. And all because of some stupid, archaic prejudice.
Unfortunately the right to refuse an unwanted marriage has yet to be enshrined within the current catalogue of human rights. Many women in sexist cultures are offered up as bridestock by their own families. This is nothing short of human slavery. Where money or property is exchanged for a female–who’s often underage, it’s also prostitution.
False legitimacy for these practices is often sought from religious or cultural mores. The woman generally has no right to divorce or faces inhuman consequences if she tries to obtain one. She might quite literally be persecuted to death.
There are also horrid cases of stalking and killing that take place in modern cultures. An ex-husband or boyfriend may decide to make life miserable for a woman he once ‘loved.’ The archaic idea of owning one’s mate has resulted in numerous crimes against women. Children and pets are often endangered when the abuser is on the warpath. Though it’s not as common some men stalk women who have celebrity status or other means to fight back.
Some would argue that men feel threatened by newer definitions of their role in society, that strong women are threatening to their self-esteem. (If that’s all it takes, the fellow really is pathetic.)
Yet most modern men behave responsibly and support women in their newer roles as equal citizens. Abusers will always find excuses to commit crimes against women. There is no justification.
That’s not to say all women have accepted their own equality. Some still cling to an archaic idea of being the submissive, useless princesses who need white knights to rescue them. This places them and their daughters at a severe disadvantage, beginning with the fact that white knights are few and far between.
Under the guise of being more traditional some unenlightened women oppose modern females who want more out of life. This can spawn jealousy where no offense exists and break up friendships.
Becoming a wife and mother should be a personal choice of one’s own–it should not be used to judge women who are single or juggling a career and family.
Women have so much to offer. It’s a shame centuries have been wasted by not allowing us to participate fully in all aspects of society. Most of world history could have used a woman’s touch.
It may be tempting to moan the past but it’s more productive to celebrate the opportunity to make the future better for everyone. Education and opportunity should be available regardless of gender. It’s a thought.