International Women’s Day

by Natalie P.

March 8, 2007 | Filed Under Politics, Popculture, The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

Today is International Women's Day - really, it's a day to celebrate ordinary women making history, but it's also a day to highlight that women still have a long way to go before they are treated as equals in the world at large.  I wish I could say we didn't need this day - that things were so wonderfully equal in the world that we didn't need to recognize and support the struggle of so many women in the world who are at best treated as second class citizens and at worst, slaves or chattel. There are still places in the world where an 11 year old girl can be forced to marry her rapist, or be stoned to death for "allowing" the rape to happen.  There are still places where parents are so poor, and girls are so undervalued, that young girls are sold into slavery in clothing sweatshops and brothels.

Even in the "first world" nations, where most countries have bills of rights that protect women and minorities, we still don't see true equality. All we have to do is look at the Canadian government and we can see how under-represented women are in the places of power. It seems that every time we turn around women's reproductive rights are under attack in the US and Canada.

HBI in its own small way, is chipping away at the boxes that society would put us all in. We aren't afraid to tell the Emperor that his saggy, hairy ass is showing. We provide that virtual kick to the frontal lobe that tells people to get their shit together and be in Total Control of their own lives - stop blaming others, stop making the same stupid mistakes over and over again. We challenge women and men alike to reject the status quo, act like the adults that they are, and to not only expect equality, but to make that expectation clear.

So in addition to celebrating ordinary and extraordinary women who have made a difference in the world, I urge you to do something to make a difference. Do something small to chip away at the walls that still hold us back in society. Do something big for women who are not so fortunate.  Just do something.  Here is a list of things you can do to make a difference. Some don't even cost money.

  1. Fight Apathy. Do something that takes you outside your "comfort zone" - Express an opinion. Be LARGE. Be Loud. Speak out when you see something that marginalizes women or stereotypes us.  Stand up for yourself. Make a statement.
  2. Write a politician and speak out about injustices in your community or in the world at large. Urge your government representatives to be a part of the solution and not to support the causes of the problems that cause war, poverty, and the marginalization of women and children world-wide.
  3. Clean out your closet and give those clothes you never wear to a women's shelter in your city.
  4. Buy a copy of Women of the World, Acoustic from Putumayo Records - because it's not only a great album of mellow, feel-good music from some fabulous female artists, (I really like the Putumayo label and the music they produce and support,) a portion the proceeds will be donated to the Global Fund For Women in support of their efforts to promote and defend the human rights of women and girls.
  5. Make a commitment to support girls in developing countries through non-denominal organizations like Plan Canada, or to help in the fight to Stop Child Trafficking through Plan USA, or any one of the 60 "Plan" organizations world-wide.
  6. Book a Working Vacation and donate some time and energy to support the disadvantaged in developing countries.
  7. Be a positive role model for a young girl.
  8. Write a blog entry in support of International Women's day, honoring a woman in your community who has bucked the system, and fought for justice and equality.
  9. Support Oxfam in their efforts to protect Women's rights in Canada, the UK, the USA, and around the world.  (If you are in Calgary, Alberta, take in ROXFAM).
  10. Participate in an International Women's Day Event in your community. (there are 431 events in 42 countries!)
  11. Sign up for a class to learn a skill that makes you more self-sufficient and independent.
  12. Buy a book or two from our Kid's Book list for your daughter, niece or granddaughter.
  13. Look in the mirror and decide that you really LIKE who you see and the body she inhabits!
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1 comment so far
  1. marzena March 10, 2007 10:43 am

    What an amazing essay, thank you so much for spreading this inspiring attitude! I bet few other places come to think of these things on Women’s Day.


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