IWD: a survival guide

International Women’s Day is bloody ace. It’s a reminder to pay thanks and gratitude to the sisterhood that has your back all year. It’s a moment to celebrate women who’ve previously been ignored. And it’s a cracking good chance to reflect on a year’s progress. And what a year!

But there’s always a few who can’t understand it. Here’s the usual responses and how to counter them

What about International Men’s Day? How can you talk about equality when you get a day and we don’t?

You do. It’s in November.

I’m all for gender equality but it has to work both ways

That’s what gender equality means. To use synonyms, ‘all people are equal’. Gender=men and women and all genders. Equal=the same. You can’t be ‘more equal’.

Some feminists take it too far

Can you give me an example? Oh the suffragettes?! What a great 100-year old example. Men do dreadful things for power* and 100 years ago women did dreadful things (mostly to themselves) for equality. But yeah. Sure. Any more recent ones?

*96% of killings are by men and most of the 4% by women are in self-defence.

Women make a fuss about the small stuff- it’s ridiculous

Emojis matter. Blue liquid in sanitary towel ads matters. Language on birthday cards matters. Slogans on tshirts matter. We HAVE to sweat the small stuff because it signals that we will not tolerate the big stuff.

How can you be a feminist and…?

Wear lipstick? Work part-time? Use the word ‘wife’? I can be a feminist and do the heck I like- that’s the point. As Caitlin Moran says: ‘feminism isn’t a set of rules, it’s a set of tools’. And women AND men can use them.

Women have equality now

Privilege is saying something’s not a problem because it doesn’t affect you.

You’re a white, middle class, privileged woman.

Good point. I am. And I have a voice and a platform and I want to use this privilege to educate and reform. Intersectional feminism is about knowing the feminism and inequality and priorities vary depending on background and experience. But don’t silence my voice, just include another. Don’t ask ‘why should I listen to you?’ But listen and then hear someone else’s voice and experience too.

Sister. Mum. Me. White Middle Class women doing their best.

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