By: Abby Jones

Ha!  I shamelessly got you to click on this article by making you slightly enraged, just to realize this article is actually about how we should celebrate women all the time, including today.  Or maybe not.  Honestly, as I’m typing this, I’m unsure how this article will end.

I oversee social media for Lucro Management, and I have been struggling a lot with how to celebrate different holidays.  Just putting up a quick post seems too disingenuous; sharing someone else’s post feels like a copout; and not doing anything at all seems unnecessarily defiant.  I go back and forth between thinking that sharing posts on social media is wonderful because it gets people actively thinking about issues, but also makes people apathetic, because a quick post qualifies them as “woke.”

I struggled with this for Black History Month, and I now I am struggling with this during Women’s History Month.  Although the two celebratory months are very different, I get the sense that the prevailing surface level, watered down thought of the communities who are supposed to be featured during this time of year is, Thanks, I guess, but this isn’t really what we’re asking for.

This morning I opened TikTok and the first video on my FYP was @wilstracke.  Basically, her video was telling viewers to stop giving out “cupcakes” on International Women’s Day.  “No more International Women’s Day breakfasts, organized at times that women with caring responsibilities can’t come, and priced in such a way that the average woman can’t afford it.”  The video was exactly a summation of how feminism is supposed to be about equity and equality.  Feminists aren’t looking to be treated differently; that’s the exact opposite of what the movement is trying to achieve.

This got me thinking back to college when I traveled abroad to Bulgaria in 2010.  This was “before” I was a feminist.  I became very close friends with my roommate and another young woman, both originally from Bulgaria.  Both were extremely beautiful and amazing in their own way.  One was a total boss, and just the coolest, and the other was highly motivated and dreamt of becoming an ambassador.  They were everything I wasn’t and wished that I was.  I remember on March 8th they asked me how I felt about International Women’s Day.  I literally had never heard of it.  They explained why they didn’t think it should be a celebrated day, explaining that it perpetuates the idea that if women are given this day the problematic hierarchical systems can still exist.

I understood, but I was surprised that two strong, motivated women didn’t want to participate in a day that celebrated them.  I also wondered why the U.S. didn’t celebrate the day.  As if the universe read my mind, this morning NPR broadcasted a segment about the day.  The reporter explained that although the day originated in the U.S., it has become more popular around the world as a day of protests with anti-capitalistic roots.  This is a large reason to why the U.S. did not celebrate the day until recently.

So now comes the wrap up of the article where I reflect on everything presented and basically conclude that all sides are correct and incorrect, and everyone should do everything and nothing at the same time.  I guess, in conclusion, celebrate and elevate women, but also don’t give up on challenging systems.  Congratulate yourself for your hard work, but recognize that there are other voices that need to be heard.  Either celebrate the protests or protest the celebrations.  Any way you choose to recognize International Women’s Day is valid as long as the sentiment of the day is upheld.