What Does International Women’s Day Entail For You?

What is so great about international women’s day 2022? I have been asking myself this question. Because the moment clock tick 12 we are going back to the same life scenario of judgment, gaslighting, discrimination, and whatnot. Will the celebrations work?

Let the day be about knowing your worth and standing up for yourself.
Let this day be about learning to say No when needed.
And let this day be about growing above the stereotypes.
Ask yourself what’s the big deal if I am going to live the same life.

International women's Day

Money speaks

Perhaps International Women’s Day is one of the most commercially viable possibilities for business. Announce a 50% exclusive discount for women and you are done. But it doesn’t matter if the woman who is wooed by this ‘special discount’ is being gaslighted and will continue living the life. As long as you are making a profit but uplifting the feeling of feminine value, those 24 hours is the gold mining time for you. And you know that…

Dear woman, here you fail to see that international woman’s day is a facade for commercial gains. You could have a day off, hang out with friends, celebrate but don’t forget what this day entails for you.

It is a reminder to respect…

To respect every living being irrespective of gender

It’s a reminder to know…

To know your self-worth irrespective of the stamps imposed upon you.

The goddess with numerous hands – Classic case of benevolent sexism

A common stereotype that has been conveniently propagated is that of a woman or a goddess with numerous hands doing household chores, taking care of kids, cooking, working, and more. This is the stamp that the world has been imposing on you. Yes, a woman is capable of unimaginable feats. But who decides that she should do all that by herself? These traditional gender stereotypes are created by subtle attempts of benevolent sexism. To know further we must look deeply into different types of sexism.

Ambivalent sexism

Ambivalent sexism is the theory that differentiates sexism in two forms – Hostile and Benevolent Sexism.

1. Hostile sexism

Hostile sexism is the most flagrant version of sexism where men/women openly proclaim that men are superior to women. The dominance of men is practiced in no uncertain terms. This is a version of male chauvinism. Strangely it has another aspect to it – Female chauvinism. Often feminism is often misconstrued as female chauvinism. While the former talks about equality, the latter is all about hostile sexism. International women’s day is also a reminder that women need not snub their male counterparts so as to uplift their worth and rights. Hostile sexism reflects misogyny and finds women as incompetent lot.

2. Benevolent sexism

This is a subtler form of sexism where women who comply with the traditional gender stereotypes are kept on a pedestal, more like goddesses. A subtle way to say that women are must do certain things in a certain way and men should protect and pamper them. This is an injustice to both genders and also the other genders. This form of sexism is also dangerous as it indirectly forces the woman to prioritize her relationships and prevents her from pursuing her dreams by taking her along for a guilt trip. Sadly, this form of sexism is prevalent and widely accepted.

https://jayashankarrakhi.in/sexist-comments/

Some of the commonly accepted forms of sexist dialogues.

  1. Women have motherly nurthuring instincts
  2. Women are about beauty
  3. Men are dogs
  4. She is a great wife for whom the happiness of family is everything/ my wife is so sacrificing
  5. Every woman is someone’s wife, daughter, sister
  6. She obeys me always
  7. Women are more compassionate
  8. Women need man’s protection
  9. Man is the breadwinner
  10. Women have high moral values
  11. Women are neater
  12. Men will be men
  13. Behind every successful man there is a woman
  14. I let her do everything, I am very liberal
  15. He isn’t man enough to control his wife
  16. We don’t need feminism, we need equality
  17. I control my husband
  18. Gentlemen pull the chair, hold handbags and open the doors for women
  19. Men don’t cry
  20. Ladies first
  21. He looks like a girl
  22. After all you are a girl
  23. You need a man who buys you pad, not condom

On an ending note, there is also a classic dialogue that I have heard – “I will teach your lesson and you will rise after nine months”. Well it is neither benevolent, nor hostile but it is an open rape threat.

What does International women’s day and #breakthebias entail for me?

International Women's Day - Quote

For international women day and break the bias entails the message that a woman is not a goddess, sacrifice is not her virtue. She is not a princess who needs to be pampered. She is just a woman, treat her like one.

To all women, know your worth and also be your warrior. This post is part of #breakthebiasbloghop hosted by Sakshi Varma and Rakhi Jayshankar, powered by Beetees Chocolates.

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8 comments

  1. I was hit hard by your lines at the beginning – “Once the clock ticks 12, we are going back to the scenario of judgement, gaslighting, discrimination and whatnot” and she reminds us of the real importance of women’s day – let us not forget and let us not let the world forget the real importance of women’s day – which is a reminder to respect everyone irrespective of gender and a reminder to know your self worth.

  2. I totally love your take on this and that too, the conclusion. “She is not a princess who needs to be pampered. She is just a woman, treat her like one.” I totally resonate with it.

  3. True.. Respect every human being. All of that juggling – and the guilt of not doing it perfectly – leads to burnout in women. Let’s work together to overcome this bias.

  4. So true Rakhi. In fact, I had a very long discussion with my boy last year, when he started asking me questions as to why he needs to open doors for girls or pull a chair for them. He wanted to do it for boys too, not just for girls.

  5. We need to understand the underline of the women’s day celebration and the thought behind it. And the most annoying part is the forward messages that make fun of women in every aspect. We need to stop accepting such comments and need to react to them even after the one day celebration gets completed. Your post rightly points at the factors we need to think of.

  6. For me, International Women’s Day is a step to appreciate women and to celebrate their contributions to the society. Image of a woman with multiple hands managing it all, somewhere shows the truth because there are many women who have successfully managed it all and are still doing it. All women don’t need to pressurize themselves to confirm to that image but it kind of symbolizes the hard work and effort done by women who came before us so that we can have choice of not having to do it all. I have huge respect for those women who have worked hard and have managed it all, so that we can have more choices.

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