March 8, 2010

Women’s Day

Opinion 2 Comments

As a man, I felt somewhat slighted when I saw the top ‘trending topic’ on Twitter this morning: “Happy Women’s Day.”

Huh? This must be some sort of Twitter in-joke, like when everyone tried to fool their friends into thinking that some balloon-faced Canadian kid named “Justin Bieber” was in the Billboard Top 40.

< epic eye-roll > Right. < /epic eye-roll >

Crushing a half-smoked Lucky Strike into the ashtray, I launched Safari on my iPhone, typing out the following: “Women’s Day.”

Something looked… off. The capital letters, the apostrophe — all of it legitimzsed things. This bothered me to such an extent that I retyped it, as follows, with the surrounding quotes: “womens day”

Search. Loading…


It’s, uh… real. With its own official website, even. I’ll save this audience from muddling through the holiday’s Atlas Shrugged-length history, and instead summarize:

International Women’s Day was first observed around a century ago after being declared a holiday by the Socialist Party of America; during its early years it was influenced by lots of Eastern European and Soviet-Russian themes. Today, it’s seen in most of the world as a sort of cross between St Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Well, Freud certainly would’ve been keen.

However, I find it asinine. The very idea of celebrating women’s achievements tends to invalidate them. Why? Because, at a basic level, it says, “Yeah! Let’s celebrate human progress and achievement! … oh, but only when spurred on by individuals with female genitalia.” I’m surely not alone in supposing that most of the women who historically achieved were quite a lot more preoccupied with doing amazing things than they were about ensuring placement for “Women’s Day” on calendars every 8 March.

Besides that, it’s also essentially a holiday to commemorate women for being born as women. Why should I commend that as though it’s some sort of fantastic accomplishment? Perhaps we ought hold a celebration once a year for gingers? “To commemorate the achievements of red-headed people across the world!”

Bollocks. Absolute bollocks. What say you?

Eric Ludzenski (@ericludzenski) is a visual artist who currently resides in Austin TX.

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  • Anaiis

    I wonder whether the notion of being celebrated for our genitals more than our talents was on Kathryn Bigelow mind last night when she won “Best Director” at the Oscars — and became the first woman to ever win in the category.

    As Fishbowl LA reports, she called it “the moment of a lifetime,” and saluted “the men and women all over the world who wear the uniform,” but generally shied away from that aspect, saying: “I’m ever grateful if I can inspire an intrepid, tenacious male or female director.”

  • Eric Ludzenski

    I was just talking about this with a friend at Loyola Marymount – herself an aspiring female director.

    In short: We both thought it commendable that she essentially avoided the issue of ‘gender’ altogether, instead accepting the award based on its intended merit.


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