International Women's Day: Who Needs It?
It's March 8th and today we are "celebrating" International Women's Day. What sort of crazy holiday is this? Who needs an International Women's Day? What is the point? We don't have an International Men's Day. Should we have an International Men's Day?
This whole thing seems silly; not unlike Black History Month. Isn't history, history? Again, there isn't a White History Month. Should there be? And if so shouldn't there be a "Medium Skin Hue" History Month? An "Olive Cast" History Month?
The point again is that history is history. Our history is shared whether we are men or women. Our history is shared no matter what the color of our skin is or where we hail from.
Or is it?
I would like to live in a world where International Women's Day is needless. Where Black History month is redundant. I want to believe that we live in a world where these things do not matter. That no one cares what sex I am, or what my skin tone is or how tall, short, fat or skinny I may be. I WANT to believe that and yet I know it is a fantasy. For now it is. I still have hope. I have the hope that humanity will someday come to realize that people are people. We are different and yet made up of the same basic components. Despite all that I see around me that is disappointing and disheartening, I STILL have hope that this world can have respect for all living things. (And I say that because respect is not just about humanity, but for all living creatures and this planet that we all call home.)
There shouldn't need to be a day to celebrate women's history and achievements; it should be part of the norm. History should be inclusive. When we talk about "American" history we are learning about the people native to this land and all the immigrants who came after. (For unless you are descended from a Native American Tribe, you ARE descended from an IMMIGRANT.) American History should be about the men AND women who fought to create this country. (Yes, there were women...if you need an easy read about some of them try: http://mentalfloss.com/article/67905/9-women-who-helped-win-american-revolution). And about the women and men who continue to move this country forward. We need to know ALL the stories of American and that includes the ugly ones. American history is not just wars; it is the story of our continuous evolution.
History is about ALL of us. No matter what land or country we live. We are all part of history. We to globally recognize all contributions. We need to realize that history is not just one person, but multitudes working towards a common goal. (One of my favorite quotes from the musical 1776 points out how EXCLUSIVE history can be as John Adams proclaims: "I won't be in the history books anyway, only you. Franklin did this and Franklin did that and Franklin did some other damn thing. Franklin smote the ground and out sprang George Washington, fully grown and on his horse. Franklin then electrified him with his miraculous lightning rod and the three of them - Franklin, Washington, and the horse - conducted the entire revolution by themselves.") We need to celebrate ALL the contributions and we need to make sure to pass down this inclusive history; to have it be the norm.
I look forward to a time when there are no special days or months because humanity will have come to a point where we recognize our shared inclusive history. Where the importance of all peoples, regardless of sex, race, creed, etc. is universally recognized.
However, until that time, I'll celebrate International Women's Day and share the accomplishments and achievements of those who are unknown or lesser known with the hope that one day there will be parity for ALL.