March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

A lot of people in this country prefer to believe that we live somewhere where men and women are treated equally.

I have to say it- that takes a lot of cognitive dissonance.

We live in a place where every single woman has a story about being followed and heckled, leered at, threatened. Every single woman has a story of the time they were terrified that they were about to be raped, or worse.

We live in a place where one in three women is sexually assaulted, where women STILL only earn 75% of what a man in her position would earn.

And you know what? Women in the United States have it pretty darn good.

At least, in the United States, women are allowed to vote. Women are allowed to work. Women are allowed to own property.

But we're still couching it in those terms- we're allowed to do these things. As though we need a man's permission. As though equality is not our fundamental right.

For some reason, "feminism" has become a dirty word. "Feminism" implies militant, angry mobs, bent on domination.

That's not at all what feminism is. Feminism is the belief that all people- men and women- are equals.

I'm proud to have married a feminist.

I'm proud to be descended from feminists.

I'm proud to be a feminist.

Today, on International Women's Day, think of all the child brides across the world. Think of developed countries like South Korea where women send head shots with their resumes, where plastic surgery is a tool for high school students to use in order to ensure a good job. Think of developed countries like the United States, the ONLY developed country with no standard paid maternity leave.

Think about how far we've come. Think about how far we have left to go.

Think about what you want for your daughters.

That's who this day is for.

Happy International Women's Day.

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