International Women’s Day has come and gone and next to a myriad of good intentions, strong statements and some fabulous actions we can not help but notice a stale feeling in our stomachs.
Theresa Serber Malkiel (1874-1949) was a Russian-born American labor activist, suffragist, and educator. She was the first woman to rise from factory work to leadership in the Socialist party. As head of the Woman’s National Committee of the Socialist Party of America (SPA), she established an annual Woman’s Day which was the precursor to International Women’s Day. The UN adopted the day in 1975 and in In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.
Now in a world where we even celebrate World’s Nutella Day on February 5th (yes it is a thing look it up) it’s quite something that this day still even brings such loud discussions in all feminist forums and get’s the troll’s out like there is no tomorrow. Do we even need such day? Should we not also celebrate International Men’s Day? – well, guess what – we do (other than Germany and a few other countries). International Men’s Day falls on November 19th and is according to UNESCO Director of Women and Culture of Peace Ingeborg Breines:”An excellent idea that would give some gender balance.”
So let the troll’s mind be at ease: it’s all taken care of in the name of equality. But what really gave us the shivers and made us wonder, what on earth is going on in our society are two other tendencies that became painfully obvious again during March 8th:
NR.1 GOES TO ALL OF US WOMEN: DEAR LADIES – WHERE IS THE LOVE
The Guardian already published a brilliant article about that topic in 2013 titled: “The tragic irony of feminists trashing each other!” And Hell yeah hallelujah, not much has changed since. The article quotes: “It seems that no one walked away unscathed, and today, little has changed. Online feminism faces many of the same challenges our foremothers faced: not enough support, too much attention for the dominant groups, vicious internal attacks, and bitter frustration and disillusionment. The same dynamics of “trashing” that Jo Freeman wrote about in 1976 are alive today. Trashing, she says, is not about opposition or critique: It is not done to expose disagreements or resolve differences. It is done to disparage and destroy.”
Let us visualize just one image that is only one of many really upsetting things where feminism is misused for different agenda’s:
To quote: We are your voice:”To assert that transmisogyny or any experience of trans womanhood is less than or isn’t as “real” is cissexist violence and is often weaponized to enact more violence.”
In Berlin a right-winged women’s initiative tried to caper the #metoo movement storming the stage at a feminist discussion, trying to imply that sexual harassment is an imported problem caused by migrants.
And one might now shrug this off as some singular incidents of extremists, but let us all look in the mirror for once. There is not one feminist forum, not one feminist tweet, with an objective, inclusive and open discussion that is not putting one aspect down in favor of another. Be it the discussion of not feeling save if men have an opinion on feminism, be it one woman trying to tell another that her personal sexual preference of liking pornography is not feminist, or be it us for being scrutinized for taking money from women to support women (although more than 50% of our buyers are male)…I think you hear us.
International Women’s day should be a celebration, of womanhood, of achievements and of respect. Respect for each other and of others. Let’s not make the same mistakes, that brought us into this mess in the first place, let’s cut out the supremacy of any kind ones and for all, starting with our own. Let’s stride the path to equality not through another powerplay amongst ourselves and towards others. Let’s set a new example how we can win the came without copying the same dominant behaviors we taunt the men with.And please please, let’s not ever allow anyone to caper feminism for any kind of political agenda impelled by hate and exclusion.
NR.2 GOES TO THE INDUSTRY – IF YOU WANT TO RIDE A MOVEMENT DON’T DO IT FOR APPLAUSE
We have already written various blog articles against femvertising and why it is not right to just use a movement for a campaign. There are very few companies in the world that get it really right and our sole hero ist Patagonia. There are many many bad things we can point out on local level, but we were told that blog articles who can’t be read in under 10 minutes are not really of interest, so let’s finish this plea with the one that made us most angry this women’s day – Mattel: Building on the success of the recent release of a hijab-wearing Barbie modeled after fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, Mattel is releasing dolls based on 17 historical and current role models from a range of backgrounds and industries. According to Mattel, 81 percent of moms worry about role models for their daughters. New dolls are made in the likeness of Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim and others, while a new Inspiring Women series includes Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and aviator Amelia Earhart. – Really a good intention, at first sight, that, unfortunately, ended up incredibly wrong.
Dear Barbie, in what world is it empowering to young kids to come up with role model dolls but stereotype their bodies to a size 0 and westernize their ethnicity. Please don’t EVER do that.
So here is our plea for Women’s day 2019: Let inclusiveness and empathy reign, let’s practice tolerance and an open discussion culture and as for the industry – if you do want to empower our kids, please think it through all the way.