Friday, March 04, 2005

The Whole Damn Calendar

The high-pitched paeans for women (so lovely, so accomplished, so smart... let us salute them) are all over the newspapers. Again.

As a rule, I am all for dedicated 'days'. Friendship Day. Rose Day. Wear White in the Rain Day. Don't drink Coffee Day. Be Nice to Rude, Senile Neighbours Day.

But Women's Day, I do NOT like.

It suggests that women are something out of the ordinary. And that one must make a special effort to recognize their worth. Like it wasn't somehow okay to be a woman (especially a successful/professional/happy/independent woman) all round the year.

On International Women's Day, Africans will salute the Angolan women. China will reward her workers.

I have no clue what India is planning for her women. I sincerely hope: nothing.

Ever thought of why we don't have a Man's Day?
Of course not.
Why not?
Because they don't need one day. They've got the whole damn calendar!

This is one reason why I don't approve of reserved seats, special queues, and the 'women and kids first off the sinking ship' attitude.

Let us not have Ladies' specials, not until they introduce special seats for men, on which I'm not allowed to stravel. Nor a Ladies Only queue, unless you can have a Gents Only queue as well, where I am not allowed to stand.

There's nothing more galling than the realization that I am part of a group that needs this day of celebration. This leg-up. This day on which you will be honoured. It is a constant reminder of the fact that I'm not quite equal, not yet.

I don't want to be the first off a sinking ship. I prefer to be mundane and not the least bit worth a day of celebration.
I want the whole damn calendar!


zigzackly said...

This got me introspecting too.

Morquendi said...

Well I think we have to deal with the fact that almost all over the world women are still considered second class citizens. A lot of us would like to change it. A lot of us are working towards change. But the fact remains that there's a long long way to go.

And as long as that continues to be the case International Women's Day is important.

When a day dawns when no woman is considered a second class citizen because she's a woman, then we can all forget about IWD and do something else on the 8th of March.

Till then, the points that are made on women's day need to be made.

They need to be made on other days too. But if there's at least one day in which people will pay more attention to them, then let's celebrate it.

I think the need is clear when we look at the way women's movements around the world have used IWD to make and restate their demands sucessfully. If it hadn't been for IWD women's movements around the world might not have made the progress they have.

Yes, in an ideal world I would be against seperate queues and quotas for women, but it's not an ideal world. And women achieve a lot of things because of their access to these things. They get places where they would not normally have been able to get to, they do things they would normally have needed a man to do for them, because these quotas and facilities exist.

But in an ideal world they would not exist. We need to work towards that. But till then let them be there.

That's just how I see it.

I'm having a little "Morquendi Celebrates Women's Day' party on the blog :)

anumita said...

Actually, you get the whole damn calender and a day more!

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