International Women’s Day

Pardon the lack of joyful tone today, but once in a while, this blog is also a place for me to talk about things that matter and not necessarily related to decor and design. I recently posted a quote on the blog’s Facebook page from author Maya Angelou about feminism, and was shocked by the number of negative, derogative and plain insulting comments toward female readers that applauded the feminist cause. For many people, apparently, being a feminist is being against men. I couldn’t disagree more with this. For me, being a feminist is about giving a s**t about the cause and condition of women around the globe. Men can be feminist too. Actually, thankfully, many men are feminist and rally the cause of gender equality.

What’s your take on this? How do you define feminism? Why is the word “feminism” – and “feminist” – so largely misinterpreted?

Today is International Women’s Day. So much progress has been achieved for the cause of women, but there is so much that still needs to be done. In the 21st century United States of America, women are making 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. According to a research conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if change continues at the same slow pace as it has done for the past fifty years, it will take 44 years—or until 2058—for women to finally reach pay parity.

And in other countries around the world, women and girls are subject of the worst possible crimes against humanity. My good friend Esther recommended me to watch “Half the Sky”, a 2-part PBS documentary about two journalists from The New York Times who decided to investigate and wrote a book [Half the Sky] about the conditions of women around the world. If you haven’t watched “Half the Sky”, I highly, strongly, urge you to. It’s available on Netflix streaming.

In the documentary, many women leaders are interviewed, but one statement by Hillary Clinton particularly struck me : “The role and rights of women, their freedom, quality and dignity, is the unfinished business of the 21st century.”

International Women's' Day

Fast Facts about Women’s conditions in today’s world*:

  • One in five women will be victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
  • In the United States, a woman is abused, usually by her husband or partner, every 15 seconds and is raped every 90 seconds.
  • 102 countries have no specific legal provisions against domestic violence and in at least 53 countries, marital rape is not a prosecutable offense.
  • The UN estimates that approximately 5000 women are murdered each year as a result of honor killings. This figure is at least 4 times higher in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
  • In many communities around the world, girls are still seen as less valuable than boys. As a result, 60 million girls are ‘missing’ due to selective abortions of female fetuses, mistreatment and neglect of female children.

*Source : Half the Sky Movement

So next time someone tells you they don’t like the word and the notion of ‘feminism’ and they don’t understand why we need an International Women’s Day, tell them you know why. Xo, Si-

Comments

15 thoughts on “International Women’s Day

  1. Well said and you made some great points with your informative stats. I think the term feminism is often misunderstood. Nicely done.

  2. Amazing post! I read Half the Sky, and it’s a book I highly encourage everyone to read. Proud feminist!

  3. Beautiful post. Thank you. The most feminist person I know is a man…. My husband. He is all about empowering women. He talks about this subject constantly. He loves women especially their sensibilities and instincts. He has told me several times he would love to be a woman. He’s quite a man! I love him dearly.

  4. Hi; YES!!! Ofcourse we are feminists. I feel that there are even more common places where women are under scrutiny, like when employers (usually men) complain about maternity leave and daycare cost (as if women have children alone and have sole responsibility). And I noticed this week that it sometimes permiates into my own thinking as well.
    I told my hubby I wanted to go back to school, but the school is pretty far away (I am the primary carer here), he replied: “No problem, we can move there and I can relocate my job and we will be fine.” just like that not one second of hesitation at all. To be fair he just got his PhD, so that needed some support from us. But I never expected that, I thought I would be alone in that.
    Anyhow, we need to pay more attention to this topic and to support one another in our efforts. It is not just for us, but for our children as well. I first wrote daughters in that last sentence, but our sons will not have much chance at a very happy life if we raise them thinking that they are entitled to cross girls boundaries and if we don’t teach them to deal with disappointment (which are in my mind two of the causes for abuse and rape).
    Have a wonderful day!

  5. I always say I’m a feminist. In fact I am such a feminist that I really struggle with the notion of getting married, (haven’t managed to do it yet), because of its historical connotations of belonging to a man as property; and with the drudgery of housework (reminds me of my mother and grandmother’s lack of opportunity). But I love to pieces my man and boy, and father and all males who also recognise that what’s between your legs should not define what you can and can’t do in life. It’s purely about being recognised as a human being first, gender second.

  6. Great post! Always enjoy your quotes as I have collected them for years.

    Thanks for such an enjoyable blog.

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