I am writing from London, still buzzing from the event in The House of Lords yesterday. Being surrounded by a group of women always has that effect on me.
I hope one day I'll get an award for just being an entrepreneur, without gender specification, but in the meantime, I celebrate enormously these ones because I support the spaces and visibility that are deliberately given to women in an effort to shine light on a problem. These awards are the result of a problem, they respond to a bad reality, but they are very much needed.
For the same reason, we still need to celebrate International Women's Day with passion. We need to make all the angry demands, but also all the celebratory acts around it. We need to shine lights on the problems, and sometimes it's not only about demanding but about highlighting, sometimes it is about giving a voice and the stage to women and letting them have a fair share of applause of their own. It is the combination of all the above, the demands, the positive discrimination, the safe spaces, the marches, the strikes... that will amplify the effect of the message.
We need all of it. The same way that the feminism needs all of us. The ones empowered by looking super sexy and made up with heels, the ones rocking the androgyny style, or the tracksuit, or the I don't give a fuck about how I look style. We need the mums, we need the ones without any intention to even have pets, we need the prudes, we need the sluts, we need the shouters, we need the whisperers. We need to recognise each other in the common cause and value it, we are only an army if we identify each other as one of our own.
International Woman's Day caters for all of us. There are conferences, and film projections, there are empowering messages, there are hardcore messages, there are a lot of funny ones in both. There is no age, no religion, no uniform. There is room for all the voices, there are so many different initiatives under that umbrella that is International Woman's Day.
And as exciting and needed all those events are we need to remember that they are only the result of a problem. They are the evidence of how behind we still are, they are the consequence of the unfairness.
Like feminism itself, International Women's Day gets a lot of backlash. My award gets belittled, the solutions get dismissed, the events get surrounded by a lot of "what about men?' .
I read an amazing articleby Jessica Eaton about the whataboutery received by anything female oriented and she is very clear about it: "This is not about equality. ‘Whataboutery’ has nothing to do with equality. It’s not about reminding us that men suffer too. Social issues aren’t equal...Whataboutery’ comes from a place of misogyny. An arrogant, derailing technique used to respond to a campaign, video, research study, intervention, organisation or communication that screams ‘I don’t care about women, talk about men!!’"
So I am so proud that I wrote about International Men's Day the 19th of November to be able to send this article back to the same people that are now trying to make me lose my temper dismissing what is the peak of a yearly fight!
Go to the events, get the buzz of being around women in certain events, admire her art, enjoy her film, her book, her music. Use your voice, at whatever volume you are comfortable with, and fight or applaud, or both, whatever your style is because we need it all. Happy International Woman's Day everyone.