There was never a stronger call for it. A day devoted to acknowledging, celebrating, and empowering the work of women. In a year of #MeToo and #TimesUp, International Women’s Day had an energy — and a visibility — that it’s often lacked. There were fewer awful jokes about when International Men’s Day is (November 19th or every day, depending on who you ask). Support for the day no longer feels radical or left to some tiny corner of the internet. In the current political climate, it sang.
Sure, there is still abuse hurled at women every International Women’s Day — and that shouldn’t be overlooked. We overlook it far too often. The derision, the cynicism, and the misogyny all still exist. But there is a shift in the tide, a shift in the air. And yesterday the support was palpable. But what happens today — and what happens tomorrow? It’s March 9th now, International Women’s Day is over. How do we keep the tides from turning back?
The political movements, the Hollywood movements, have helped. There’s no longer only the occasional surge of momentum. There’s a sense of a more permanent evolution. But that’s dependent on commitment. It’s dependent on not allowing these days and these gestures to become tokenism. We have to continue to acknowledge sexism and harassment, continue to shine lights on accusers and to support victims. We have to not just acknowledge, but confront injustice. And it has to keep happening.
International Women’s Day in Numbers:
Every day, 830 women die of preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth, leaving behind grieving families and orphaned children. #IWD2018 pic.twitter.com/wQsUxa51Kx
— Karolina Kozik (@kozikkarolina) March 8, 2018
So if you showed your support yesterday with a photo or a hashtag, if you have been on a march or changed a profile photo, don’t let it stop. Of course not every day can be a holiday, a parade, a burst of movement — but what these days are about is simple. We’re talking about equality, empowerment, rights, education, and safety. And those can and should exist. Those things can and should be fought for. Every damn day. But for so many women, these basic needs aren’t a reality. Those are the women we should be remembering and fighting for. Every day. We already saw signs of #MeToo and #TimesUp fading by the time the Oscars hit. When there are no more gorgeous black gowns to splash on the front page, what will the movement have?
Every day should be international women’s day. Nuff said.
— Alexandra Park (@AlexandraPark1) March 9, 2018
Well, it will have all of us. It will have regular people who give a sh*t. Who donate to causes that matter, who educate themselves, who march, and who speak out. And we’re not going anywhere. International Women’s Day was yesterday. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be today, too.