Every year the internet hosts a great grand party on 8th of March, to celebrate Women’s Day. The guest list is pretty much the same every year, with additional entries of men-turned-feminists after a new Akshay Kumar movie.
The brands obviously know how to make an impression. They enter the party just in time to help the host lay plates on the table. They come bearing grand gifts like ‘50% Discount’, ‘Buy one, get one free’ and other such great deals on ‘fashion & home’ products, sometimes electronics too (ovens and mixers are electronics, right?). Impressive deals at stores, special ladies’ nights too, because what’s a party without a little alcohol? And if the alcohol is cheaper, shots free and the clubmen free, I’m in!
Can’t not mention the advertisements. Agencies are at their peak with Women’s Day campaigns for brands. They get in hoards of hashtags for the hosts. #WomensDay #WonderWoman #StrongWoman #Instawomen #InternationalWomensDay #empoweringwomen etc. They come to the party only to hog on the free food. They fill their plates with dollops of promotion, with a delicious side of increasing engagement, and when there is a good brand image for dessert, one obviously makes space in a full stomach. Not to mention the boosting SEO. Okay Google, find a not-capitalized women’s day. Error 404: Results not found.
Then enter the men, fashionably late to every party. Making a grand entrance with their long and loud Facebook and Instagram posts. Forgetting to leave their shoes filled with entitlement, they have large dirty feet and they might ruin your carpet. They come bearing gifts because, of course, they are capable of taking care of their mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives. Sometimes they break a wine glass when they’re arguing about why is there no Men’s Day, and sometimes even a plate when they throw it in anger, because there actually is a Men’s Day on 19th November, but they are too ignorant to know that.
Then there are those friends of yours, who are disliked and ignored by everybody else. You secretly like them, but others in your party do not count them in. Transgender females, genderqueer folks, those who identify as she/her/them, women of colour, women of the suppressed class, women of the suppressed caste etc.
It’s all a party, until it’s not!
Everyone has eaten this day off till their hearts (pocket’s) content, and is now at the door ready to leave, while the host, the women, all of them, still fight for bread and peace. History goes back to 1908, when women marched on the streets of New York City. Sadly, we need to do that now for as much as basic human rights. We fight for the right to vote in some countries, while in others we fight to be in the government. For education, for safety, for access to places, for equal payment the list goes on and on.
If others cannot host the party, they might as well learn to be good guests. Men can be better allies, by using the power positioned in them by patriarchy for the betterment of everyone. Women need to be represented more, paid more, read about more, given equal opportunities.
Feminism which has become the new forbidden ‘F’ word, needs to be screamed out in the open. Feminism puts down patriarchy and lifts everybody else first. It validates male survivors, the LGBTQA+ community, people across all races, castes and religions, people with disabilities etc.
Men have always been privileged enough to have the mic. If they could just pass on the mic and let women be heard, everyday after women’s day would be an after party.