Another International Women’s Day has come and gone… along with any number of marches, speeches full of platitudes and bromides, a call for a general strike by women that almost no one took seriously and at least one world leader blithely donating millions of dollars of his citizen’s money to other countries to buy himself kudos from feminists.
Here is an honest question for everyone out there: Am I the only one who finds all of this “Women’s Day” stuff to be unbelievably condescending to women?
Personally, I’m uncomfortable with the premise that women as a group need to be stroked and pandered to like this. Am I really to accept that females are so insecure, so unsure of their personal autonomy and agency… and so needy of validation that a day has to be set aside every year to congratulate them for actually being able to do things?
Who for instance (other than feminist women it seems), finds the idea that women can be pilots so extraordinary that it requires special attention and self-conscious recognition?
And how needy of ego-affirmation must you be to see this cloyingly ludicrous concept of a little girl representing some fantasized challenge to the momentum of American capitalism as anything other than deeply patronizing?
The hyper-irony here is that for the premise of a Women’s Day to have any meaning… it presupposes women’s self-worth to be dependant on the approval of men. For there must be an audience to whom this attention seeking behavior is directed and from whom all of this validation and recognition is so desperately sought. And who is it that we crave validation from? Those we know to be our equals? Hardly.
In fact, the analogy that keeps coming to mind is how our parents would affectionately pat us on the head after being handed our crayon scribbled, stick-figure drawings…. and the satisfaction we felt as children, basking in the effusiveness of their praise as they validated our efforts and placed our work high on the refrigerator door for all the world to see.