International Women’s Day is coming up. Well, there should never have been a need to have a day for celebrating women. But until we develop a time machine, we will live with our history. And so it does make sense to have days like these to make people aware of the different challenges people of different genders, abilities and communities have faced. And how, over hundreds and hundreds of years, many of them have suffered silently, may be not even knowing they deserve better. And how those who refused to believe they were inferior have given up their comfort, peace and lives to rise above the norm, the expectation. And it is good to celebrate them, and all those who are doing their bits and pieces to make the world a more equal place. And to hopefully make the rest aware of what the person next to them is, in terms of hopes and dreams and capabilities.
I would urge all to celebrate this day in the best way they can. Show more appreciation for the women in your lives and for others who have championed women. This day, give up at least some of your stereotypical expectations from women. If you are a man with women in your family, learn to cook, to clean, to take care of household chores. If you are a man walking in the street, don’t whistle or cat call a woman. Let the women be able to walk the streets any time of the day or night without feeling the need to have their father or husband or male friend or brother or son walk beside them. If you have a female boss or colleague or employee, don’t assume that they do not have the required skills, qualifications or abilities, that they didn’t give it all they had all their lives to get where they are, that they can’t do the same quality or quantity of work as their male counterparts, or that they do not deserve the same pay and respect. And let this day be not a single day in the year when you respect and celebrate women. Make it the day when you started doing it everyday.
And if you are a woman, break your boundaries. If you want to celebrate this day by dressing up, or partying, or getting pampered, go ahead. But also do something you’ve always been told you can’t do or shouldn’t do because you are a woman. Or don’t do something that you have been told you should do because that is what women do. Maybe don’t dress up. Don’t bother looking beautiful. Don’t cook, order in, or make the men cook. Play football. Lift weights, and if they tell you that women do yoga and zumba instead, show them your muscles. Ride a heavy bike. Take the front seat in a cab and the men can sit at the back. Maybe learn to drive a truck. Buy hardware. Fix some furniture or plumbing in the house and don’t plead to the man to do it. Walk out alone. Do something different. Anything you’ve learned over the years as things you can’t do. Think hard, figure out what you’d be most scared of doing, and if any of that has anything to do you being a woman, do it.
Happy Women’s Day.