Native Writes: Women’s Day brings thought


Today, Thursday, March 8, is International Women’s Day.

This year, International Women's Day will coincide with the “A Day Without A Woman” strike.

Think of what will change if all women go on strike for a whole day.

Someone will need to change the diapers. I mentioned this to an elderly man and he asked when men would have their day.

Most won’t “stoop to women’s work,” he said.

“Oink,” I replied.

What?

“Male Chauvinist oink.”

What happened to the pig?

“I didn’t want to insult the pig.”

Women don’t just change diapers. They are receptionists, secretaries, appointment clerks, wait staff, laundresses, housekeepers, retail sales and much more. They also are nurses, teachers, administrative personnel and outstanding leaders.

What if none of them worked today?

Men can do many of the “traditionally female” jobs, but few do.

Some could argue that it’s been that way so long that it just naturally happens. It’s like “the big lie,” if it’s told often enough, it will be considered truth. Our society, with its growing costs, generally commands two-income households.

International Women’s Day has been observed in some form for more than a century. Today is devoted to the continued fight for gender parity and global celebration of the achievements of women in society.

In 1908, 15,000 women took to the streets of New York City to march for voting rights, shorter hours and decent pay. The rally took place on March 8, commemorating a similar protest held in 1857 by a group of female garment workers, marching against poor working conditions, unreasonable hours and subsistence wages.

March is “Women’s Month.” Some men complain that they don’t have same observation.

They have their own International Day on Nov. 19. The day focuses on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality and highlighting positive male role models.

Calls for an International Men’s Day began at least in the 1960s, when the New York Times reported, “Many men have been agitating privately to make Feb. 23 International Men’s Day, the equivalent of March 8, which is International Women’s Day.”

The men’s day takes place in November, when many men grow out their facial hair to raise money for men’s health charities. Organizers say the day is for society to appreciate the men in their lives and celebrate their achievements.

National and state leaders sort of talk about it but downplay the goal of supporting research into HIV/AIDS.

They openly support their candidates, take stands on various male-oriented topics and work on gender-specific legislation, affecting the lives of women much more than those of men. The current gun control debate stemming from the latest pointless school massacre is an example.

Asked to name a female who has armed herself with a semi-automatic weapon, entered a school and indiscriminately killed children, no one can.

Women excel in the shooting sports, displays of markswomanship and gathering big and small game for the freezer and dinner table.

Men and women are different, no doubt about it, yet there are areas where equality can and should reign strong. Why must women keep fighting for gender parity and global celebration of the achievements of women in society? During World War II, women entered the workforce and did jobs normally done by the men, who were away at war.

They drifted back to their “traditional roles” as men returned to their jobs. Today, women are working to break the cycle of unequal pay for equal work, distorting of women’s health issues and disparate hiring practices.

I’m celebrating women while my younger sisters take action.

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