The problem with International Women’s Day

I was stuck deciding between two topics for this blog. Either Tyrone Mings receiving a 5 match ban for a stamp when Zlatan Ibrahimovic had received a 3 match ban for a deliberate elbow to the head; or International Women’s Day. Rest assured, I have strong opinions on the first, but the second seemed a much more important topic in the grand scheme of things.

I’m of the opinion that International Women’s Day is total tripe. Not because I’m a monstrous misogynist. But because it doesn’t actually mean or do anything. Except for dividing, seemingly, the entire world into two camps. For one day a year, everybody is, usually accidentally, labelled pro-female or anti-female. And that’s the inherent problem. I’m sure that IWD wasn’t meant as a pro-female cause. It’s a pro-gender equality cause. So the fact that it splits people largely into these two groups is the first issue with the day.

The second issue with IWD stems from the fact that it is meant to be pro-gender equality. The way in which this day is handled by its staunch supporters does not, in the main, serve to bring the two genders closer together. And I’ll try and explain why, though I know its difficult and I’ll probably not do a very good job of it.

Some people use IWD as an opportunity to go ultra-feminist with a view that women are inherently better than men (by the way, these are the people who make this day utter nonsense). This completely defeats the purpose of the day. Feminism is not about proving that women are better than men. It’s about bringing females to an equal standing with males worldwide. Or have I missed a trick somewhere? Like, I’m a feminist because I think women are just as good as men, neither being better or worse than the other. This is why feminism as a whole needs a massive change in marketing or something, because the word is now synonymous with bigotry.

Here’s the biggest issue. IWD appears unquestionable. You dare not speak out against it, because you’ll be labelled sexist, whether you are or not. There’s no middle ground, there’s no space for discussion. Supporters of the day have no time for the opinion that it does more harm than good because that opinion is rife with sexism. It’s, above all else, intensely irritating to see.

How are you meant to start dialogue with people and change attitudes if you are not able to hear someone’s differing opinion or point, without flying off the handle and “putting them in their place”? International Women’s Day may have been started in good faith. It may have set out to raise awareness of the value of women. But the day has been hijacked by psychos and now stands as one big middle finger to males across the world. It doesn’t help gender equality one iota. In fact, it does quite the opposite. International Women’s Day, and International Men’s Day (who actually created that?) both need to be ended permanently.

You simply cannot solve a divide by purposely singling out one section of the global community. You can’t heal racism by singling out black people. You can’t heal sectarianism by singling out Muslims. In the same way, you can’t single out women and expect it to heal the gender divide. Because, no matter which group is in the spotlight, the others will always feel aggrieved for some reason. They’ll feel insulted or accused, like a lot of men do on IWD. It helps nothing.

What can be done to heal the gender divide instead? I’ve no idea. I for one will keep believing that women are as good as men, and that’s about as good as I can do, because I literally have no idea where to go from there. One thing’s for sure – I’m not going to support a day which, in its very nature, hurts a cause I feel strongly about.

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