flowers and gifts or a fight for women’s rights?


To be an adornment of the collective, to bloom and delight the eye, to inspire deeds – March 8 rarely does without these wishes. Nowadays, International Women’s Day has become a holiday of spring, harmony and attention to women.

Why is this perception bad? After all, beautiful ladies on this day, as a rule, are released from housework, surrounded by care and inundated with compliments. This is good? Not really, and here’s why.

Firstly, one gets the impression that a woman is thought of only once a year. It is not for nothing that on the Internet, although sometimes in a comic form, the expression is popular: “Shut up, woman, your day is March 8th.” Secondly, this perception negates the original idea of ​​the holiday.

What a holiday it used to be

In 1910, Clara Zetkin, within the framework of the Eighth Congress of the Second International, proposed the establishment of an International Day of Solidarity for Women in the Struggle for Economic, Social and Political Equality.

It was assumed that women would organize rallies and processions to attract the public to their problems. But they did not choose a specific day for this, therefore, until 1914, the holiday “moved” on different dates, until it was fixed on March 8.

“Women’s Day” came to Russia back in 1913, but it was the events of March 8, 1917 that became the reason for the elevation of this holiday to the status of a state one. Then workers of factories and factories took to the streets, protesting against hunger and war, and also demanded suffrage.

It is believed that this demonstration marked the beginning of the February Revolution, and in memory of the participation of women in it, it was decided to celebrate the International Day of Working Women. In the late 1920s, it became known as International Women’s Day.

The modern meaning of the holiday

The UN announces a new theme for International Women’s Day every year. In 2021, it sounds like this: “Women in leadership positions: achieving an equal future in the COVID-19 world.”

The choice of this slogan is quite understandable, because women scientists and women doctors played an important role in the fight against the pandemic – they studied the virus on an equal basis with men, developed vaccines and saved patients. This should be remembered.

And in Russia, the day of the struggle for emancipation and equality gradually became a day of female beauty and tenderness. And this is understandable: the life of women over the past hundred years has remained difficult. Having acquired the right to choose, they also received additional responsibilities: not only to work on an equal basis with men, but also to provide for the daily life of the whole family. Washing, ironing, cooking, helping with lessons, serving relatives. In this life, there really was a lack of a holiday: a day when a woman could be tender, vulnerable, beloved …

Times are changing, but we still have something to fight for. This is probably why young women today are increasingly abandoning traditional colors and perfumes, preferring to mark the date in other ways.

Mark in a new way, congratulate smartly

In fact, in order not to forget about the original meaning of the holiday and not to substitute concepts, it is not necessary to arrange demonstrations.

If you wish, you can take part in thematic events: exhibitions, lectures, fairs, flash mobs or parties. They are organized in order to draw public attention to the topic of domestic violence, objectification and discrimination against women. After all, if something does not happen to us, this does not mean that our friends, relatives, neighbors and “sisters” in other parts of the world do not face difficulties. Together we are strong, and when, if not on this day, remind ourselves and others of this?

But you can refuse to substitute concepts without even giving up traditional congratulations – you just need to change the vector of attention. Instead of evaluating external qualities like beauty and tenderness, it is worth emphasizing personal achievements: after all, we really achieve a lot, work hard, help others and strive for the best every day. So why not praise us for just that?

In addition, it is also necessary to shower with wishes wisely. For example, even a simple “to make dreams come true” sounds much better than “keep inspiring heroic deeds”, since the first is about the woman herself, and the second is about her function in front of other people. But do we really need to be congratulated on this day for being successful in serving others, physically or emotionally?

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