By Petra Andersson
Would you congratulate someone on World hunger day too?
You probably wouldn’t – after all, it feels a bit tasteless to send postcards to starving people in Yemen.
Today is a special day – the 8th of March and international women’s day. The only day out of the remaining 364 days that the main narrative and voice belongs to a woman. This is the day when we are reminded that being born a girl makes you less valuable then if you were born a boy. This is the day that we scream from the top of our lungs to get the same rights and opportunities as our brothers.
So you can imagine my surprise when the first comment I got was ‘Congratulations on international women’s day!’ I understand it was kindly meant, but to me, this British tradition of ‘Happy international women’s day’ doesn’t make sense.
This is not a day to celebrate; this is a day to fight. We might have gotten far from 1910 when Clara Zetkin wanted to honour the women’s liberations movement in the fight for the vote – a right that women finally fought through in 1918. But to be fair, most of the victories for women – such as contraceptives, the right to work and paid maternity leave – lay at least 40 years behind us. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970, but 48 years later we still don’t have equal pay. Our Irish sisters still don’t have the right to decide over their own bodies.
Here are a few injustices women have to live with in 2018 that makes me want to scream:
– Women on an average have to wait 9 minutes longer before they are let into the emergency room.
– More than 12 million women wrote shared their experiences during the first 24 hours of #metoo but yet almost nothing has happened.
– 95 percent of first-time mums experience some kind of vaginal tear, and severe tears have increased four times between 2000 and 2011. But, alas! It’s too shameful for us to talk about as a society so we let mothers suffer in silence.
– The clitoris or ‘clit’ is part of the female anatomy but is still seen as a ‘dirty’ word.
– My British sisters still don’t have the right to free childcare, which makes it much harder to juggle family life and career.
– Hollywood turned domestic violence into romanticising blockbusters but forgot to mention the fact that 113 British women where killed by their male partners in 2016.
– Women usually don’t feel comfortable to accept a promotion or a new role unless they are 100 percent sure the can do the work, while men settle for a 60 percent certainty before they say yes.
– That most of us think the female genitalia is called vagina, but it only refers to the internal canal and leaves out all the parts that are associated with pleasure.
– All the women like Zelda Fitzgerald and Lee Krasner who had to stand back to take care of their ‘genius’ husbands.
– The violence in action movies is seen as fiction, but porn is not.
– That the final thing my friends always tell me before we part is ‘call me when you come home?’ because we all know that there’s a risk that I won’t.
– That it takes an average of 8 years to diagnosis endometriosis that causes insufferable pain and sometimes even death.
– That cunt is seen as the most offensive word in the English language.
– Period blood is the only blood that isn’t caused by violence but is seen as the most impure.
– That Lise Meitner didn’t get to share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Otto Hahn for their mutual discovery of nuclear fission. Apparently, it’s impossible for the Nobel Prize committee to change the mistake.
– If I shared this blog post and made it go viral on Facebook, I would probably face 70 percent more hate – including rape and death threads – than a man posting the same thing.