Editorial: International Women’s Day highlights powerful women in a tumultuous time

By The Editorial Board

Thursday was International Women’s Day, one of the very fews days during the year that women get even a fraction of the love that they deserve. Social media was flooded with posts by mostly women telling other women how much they love and respect them. Even a few men chimed in and posted pictures of their moms and lady friends. “Happy Lady Day,” one girl said to another in between classes, and perhaps some professors even brought up the fact that March 8 is a special day.

International Women’s Day was proposed by the International Socialist Women’s Conference in 1910 after an American Women’s Day was held in February of 1909. On March 8 of 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated with women demonstrating in several European countries including Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In these areas, women marches for their right to vote and to not be discriminated against.

Eventually, other countries like Russia and the United States joined the female-loving March power and held their own demonstrations. Interestingly, this day was heavily tied to the socialist and communist parties up through the 1960s with several party leaders marching in parades and organizing strikes rallies.

In 1975, the International Year of the Woman (also the Year of the Rabbit), The United Nations moved to put their seal of approval on March 8 as the day for ladies. A couple years later, March 8th was officially named the UN Day of women’s rights and world peace.

It certainly seems fitting that the day celebrating women is also the day celebrating world peace. After all, women all over the world have been working towards peace ever since there was peace to work towards. Recently, women like Malala Yousafzai, Laverne Cox, Aly Raisman, the actresses in Black Panther, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Patty Jenkins and Cardi B., just to name a few, have been paving the way for humans of all sorts with their bravery and intelligence. And yes, The Griffin does think that Cardi can alongside these other wonderful women.

As they have done since 1996, The UN released a theme for this IWD with the phrase: “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.” Mirroring that, the International Women’s Day website stated that they were pushing the theme #PressForProgress. Of course, these two themes are reflective of the past year’s setbacks for women, as well as all the literal press coverage given to men being taken down for women.

With both themes in mind, women took to the streets on Thursday to rally for their rights. Women in Spain walked out of their jobs and homes to protest the gender pay gap and rampant violence against them, women in Pakistan held their first ever women’s march, and women in South Korea marched for the #MeToo Movement.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin delivered a rousing speech where he stated he was “happy to have such a wonderful occasion to express again our deep respect for you, our enchantment with your beauty and tenderness.” He went on to say that the women of Russia are “the kind and serene figure in every man’s life.” To nobody’s surprise, Putin certainly missed the mark with his comments about women, but nevertheless, Russia celebrated a four day weekend in witness to their national holiday.

While this special day is a wonderful opportunity to show ladies some love in person and on the ‘gram, it’s also about women who don’t have the opportunity to see your posts about your beautiful (and valid) best friends. This day was about women in abusive marriages, single moms working three jobs for their kids, out trans women and closeted trans women, non-white women, and women you hate.

Moving forward, The Griffin has a call to action for all you lady-lovers out there: keep telling the women in your life that you appreciate them. Even more, learn about women from other places who are doing amazing things. Buy from female artists, consume books and media created by women, ask yourself if you are judging women more harshly than you are judging men.

To all your incredible female movers and shakers on campus and beyond: The Griffin appreciates you very much. We see your good work, we see your struggles, and we support completely. You are what makes Canisius special, you incredible ladies.

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