International Women’s Day

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Come on, you knew this post was coming, right? If any of you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw my tweets and retweets about today.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with that famous interview with Morgan Freeman about black history month, and how he’d rather there wasn’t one. It shouldn’t be needed. We shouldn’t need an International Women’s Day. But I think we do still need it. We don’t yet have the same rights as men.

In America, the question of a woman’s access to birth control, legal abortion and sexual health care is still raging. It may be that many American women find themselves with little to no free, legal access to some pretty essential services.
One in four women will be a victim of domestic abuse.
Two women a week are killed by their partner.
Every minute, an incident of domestic violence is reported to police.
Two thirds of the children denied school are girls.
In Africa, women produce 80% of the food, but own only 1% of the agricultural land.
Women earn only one tenth of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property.
Across Europe, there is a 25% pay gap in like for like work.
Women hold less than 13% of the world’s Parliamentary seats.
Today over 2000 IWD events were held. Would anyone be attending them if today wasn’t needed?

Today, I was actually pleasantly suprised that only one ignorant prat felt the need to tweet sexist idiocy into my timeline on Twitter. Comedian Michael Legge retweeted an unfunny joke about how IDW was supposed to be yesterday but we took too long to get ready, and then proceeded to tweet things like “I’m tidying up #internationalwomensday”. No. You silly little boy, don’t undermine the need for equality, awareness and understanding. Luckily, there were also people like Lauren Laverne, Sarah Millican and Bangs and a Bun tweeting sensible things about today.

What makes me angry is the ‘it’s only a joke’ attitude. I wouldn’t believe for a second that Michael Legge supports any of the statistics above (at least, I hope not!) but by cracking jokes, you do undermine the seriousness of these things. It’s this attitude that allows these things to happen. It promotes complacency about these things. It lessons the impact of these horrible things. That’s not right.

I suppose what I’m saying is, don’t be complacent. Take notice of these facts. Get angry. Do something. Be heard.