“IWD is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.” Right. We’ve come a long way, baby. Can’t deny that.
Though I don’t see a lot to celebrate recently, to be honest. Perhaps we’ve hit a plateau. I hope it isn’t a brick wall.
I’d attend a dawn candlelight memorial service for women and children all over the world murdered by violent partners, but I don’t think that’s caught on as an International Women’s Day ritual. It’s alarming that it hasn’t, really. So, at the risk of raining on the self-congratulatory feminist talk-fest parade, here’s where my thoughts are at, and who IWD ought to be for.
No celebratory event should begin today without first acknowledging the women and children who’ve died, and those who live and suffer often for their whole lives, from the violence perpetrated against them.
May no woman be murdered in Australia today.
For women who today will be subjected to violence in their homes everywhere in the world.
For women today who will suffer sexual violence.
For women in Australia, and the children who are with them who have no sanctuary, because the refuge nearest them has been closed down by the Minister for Women.
For women who will be admitted to hospital every three hours today with injuries sustained in attacks by intimate partners.
For the children who witness.
For women in Australia who can no longer access legal aid to protect them from violent partners, because the service has been terminated in their area by the Minister for Women.
For Indigenous women who remain consistently overlooked, disregarded, disrespected and silenced.
For women and children who are homeless.
For women everywhere who are in harm’s way.
For women who struggle with every kind of oppression for no reason other than they are women.
For the women who believe they have smashed a glass ceiling by being permitted, that is being permitted to eat their celebratory lunch at Tattersalls’ men-only club in Brisbane.
You’ve been colonised by a particularly insidious type of masculinity. Or, to put it more crudely, you have pricks in your heads.
For the Minister for Women. No you aren’t.
So, remind me. What’s to celebrate?
International Women’s Day. Australia. 2015.