Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pardon Me As I Roll My Eyes At International Women's Day

Guess what ladies!? March 8th marks International Women's Day!!! What does that mean for you!? I'm going out on a limb here and say: Not a damn thing!

Okay, so I'm a bit jaded by this "holiday." The first time I ever heard about International Women's Day was when I came to India and I completely missed the "International" part of it. Living in the US, I had never heard of this day.

The roots of International Women's Day are strong ones and at the time it was instituted, it set out to do a lot of great things. While I appreciate the overall sentiment, I have to laugh when I see it celebrated with such enthusiasm here in India. To me, it's about as effective as present day labour unions. Granted, India might want to look into those too.
How do we celebrate Women's Day here in India? Here's what I've observed:
1. Women get flowers
2. Women get chocolates
3. Every online retailer is offering some discount on women's clothing and accessories
4. Parlours are offering beautifying package deals
5. Bakeries have extra pretty cakes for sale.
Terrific! That's really going to do a lot to advance the cause for women in India. Instead of chocolates and facials, why don't we focus on the following:
1. Preventing Rape
2. Preventing Acid Attacks
3. Preventing Dowry Killings
4. Eliminating the Caste System
5. Ending Female Infanticide
I am disgusted by the fact that women can be celebrated one day in a year and gang raped and murdered the rest of the year, and yet for that one day we think we've made so much progress.
And if you do wish to celebrate, here is a quote from the above clip that will provide suggestions for celebrating in style and do as much to advance the cause for women in India as the current Women's Day celebrations "Well, yeah, you know, 'cause 'cause he never appreciated you anyway. In fact, you know what - you kicked HIM out! And now that he's gone you're gonna go into town, you go to Bloomingdale's and find some nice dresses, get yourself some shoes, you know, find somewhere, maybe you can get a facial. And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN."


  1. I am very sorry but I didn't like this post. Woman's Day is strongly celebrated in eastern Europe and post communist countries like Russia, Poland. It is much more important holiday than American Valentine Day. Instead of laughing at different celebrations it should be understood that especially in counties like India Women's Day is important. It definitely won't eliminate rape but at least there is 1 small occasion to appreciate women in some way and notice their importance.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Magdaleana. For starters, I don't recall drawing comparisons between International Women's Day and Valentines Day, but since you brought it up I think it's a perfect comparison! I personally don't see any difference between the two. Is your boyfriend/husband/significant other expected to only be romantic on this one day of the year, and do what they want the other 364 days? Then when you mention their lack of romantic gestures throughout the year, do they say "Ohhhhh, but I brought you flowers on Valentines Day!" And if they did, would it lessen your craving for romance the remainder of the year? I don't see how IWD in India is any different. Not yet anyways. While the celebration is undoubtedly embraced all over the world, you need to consider the living conditions of women in India compared to those in Eastern Europe. I would venture to say that those in the countries you mentioned, such as Russia and Poland, have a significantly better day to day existence than women in India. Sure not all, but probably the vast majority. Having spent 3 years living in India, I feel that I've done more than my share of observing and accepting which is what lead me to the eye rolling brought on by the enthusiasm this is celebrated in India when all too often, it falls by the wayside the other 364 days. Notice, I did not mention how other countries celebrated it, as in all my blog posts, this is specific to India. The point of the post is mention how far India still has to go in order to be remotely in line with other developing or developed countries and how I feel, the focus of the day is in all the wrong places. Thanks for your comments and I would love to hear your thoughts on other topics I've posted about on my blog. Have a great day!

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  3. My original post was destroyed before I could post it, for the best Im sure. And with my nerve issue, one twitch will wreck a whole post.

    I just have to know. How can you trash a culture YOU willing not only walked into, but then married into? If this ONE day out of 365 sees one woman treated like a Queen, then it is worth it. For her to have ONE day out of the the other 364 that are filled with crap, to be treated to something pretty, maybe a few extra hugs or night of love- making..... To HER its worth it. Does not your husband bring you flower, or take you out to dinner? Is he not romantic enough? Did he change after marriage? What has you so against this ONE day? The other 364 can be full of fighting for a cause and fighting because.

    I dont mean to be rude or judgmental, but by what I read so far, you must not like India as previously stated. You have said nothing nice, so I felt not reading further would be my best choice. That much venom has to come from somewhere. What will you tell your daughter if you have one about her special day? Or will you fight his whole family alone to forsake their traditions?

    I honestly hope you have found happiness and love and learned to embrace India as it has you since this article. To love abroad is hard each culture can be a shock, but speaking so harshly then marry it, Im at a loss as to why one would do such a thing.
    Again not judging you, just trying to fathom such a choice. <3

    With Blessings and Respect

  4. I admit, I'm having a hard time understanding where you're coming from. The same venom you seem to feel towards this post, is how I feel towards IWD in India. I DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES think that a woman being made to "feel pretty" 1 out of 365 days is acceptable. I think you misunderstand the cirucmstances when you say "The other 364 can be full of fighting for a cause and fighting because." Let me refer you to the following recent occurances that made news out of India, and you tell me if a 20% off coupon to Shoppers Stop, some Cadbury Dairy Milk, and a dozen rozes would make up for it:

    As you mentioned, you didn't read further, but perhaps if you had, you would have seen that I'm not talking about homebound squabbles related to cooking, dishwashing, and child rearing. I'm talking about much more prevelent themes whithin India.

    Another distinction to me made, since you mentioned it: I did not move to India out of my love for the country. I moved to India out of the love for my husband. I also don't appreciate your accusations about what he does or doesn't do, or how he might have changed after marraige. Basis your own understanding of the holiday, it would be fine for him to be a big jerk 364 days, and bring me flowers on 1 day to make up for it. It doesn't work that way in my household. My husbands a prince. We don't need crap like this holiday to make things special in our household. My husband was raised to treat women with dignity and respect.

    I will admit to more flowery posts when I first set foot there, because I was afraid to offend anyone. Then I got to the point that I simply wasn't worried about what anyone else thought. This URL is here for me to share my thoughts and observations. I'm glad you stopped by to share yours.