The International Women’s Day has come and gone. Symbolic commemorations were held. Some aligned with patriarchy and capitalism, while others took to social media with memes of respect and women’s victories worldwide.
It all seemed curious at this particular moment in time. With much of the media warning us of socialism, it is forgotten that the first International Women’s Day was born on the heels of a socialist workers uprising. It was an eleven-week strike led by 20,000 women during the brutal winter of 1909. Young strikers, many of whom were immigrants, faced opposition from manufacturers, police and the courts. Their struggle continued for five years, inspired movements around the world and gave birth to the day we honor, March 8, 1910.
Today, women cry “misogyny” over Elizabeth Warren’s presidential withdrawal yet remain unaware that Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race. They act oblivious to the Democratic National Committee’s exclusion of Tulsi. It is even more telling that women of color, who are taking the lead to educate and rally people towards justice and inclusion, are ignored or chastised for their strength. And yes I am thinking of Nina Turner, AOC, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib to name a few.
And in the patriarchal and whitewashed commemorations of women’s day, how many remembered or taught about the murdered and missing indigenous women or highlighted the efforts of those trying to end human trafficking?
Perhaps it is time we leave the ivory towers of patriarchy and the comforts of capitalism to be more inclusive, to be more human, and to be more effective.
Roll up your sleeves, there is work to do.
photo of some of the women who participated in the 1909 shirtwaist strike, compliments of wikipedia