It is with distinct honor and joy that I hand the writing of this blog post over to the inimitable talents of my favorite writer and feminist, Lola. I felt a good way to celebrate International Women’s Day would be to step aside and get a woman’s point of view. Yesterday morning, I asked Lola if she would want to write something in honor of the day. She seemed intrigued but was also busy with her own work. I told her no pressure, just let me know in the morning. When I woke up today, she was clicking away on her computer. Mind you, Lola is a bit more colorful in language than I am, but without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, here is her take on this important day:
When Dan first asked me if I wanted to do a guest post for International Women’s Day, my first thought was, “Oh isn’t it just like a man to wait until the last minute to ask a woman to drop everything and tend to his wants.”
That’s not true. (And that’s not Dan.) Actually, my first thought with it being International Women’s Day was how I might take a multicultural approach even just in my personal observance. It was early in the day and I was feeling ambitious. In the end, I’m ashamed to admit, I just ended up wearing red, an act that women across the U.S. were called to do in solidarity with and as part of yesterday’s “A Day Without a Woman” strike. However, in all truthfulness, my wearing red was an accident (or possibly unconscious activism).
I am a feminist. Card-carrying. Somewhere in a filing cabinet I have a story I wrote in second grade––illustrations and all––about a girl joining the boys’ baseball team and giving the school bully a giant fuck-you by hitting the game-winning home run. I have always been a feminist. I just was not a good feminist yesterday.
I’m trying to make up for it today though I’m already certain that I’m going to miss the post deadline Dan gave me so I won’t be able to say all I want to about women’s rights which, at this particular moment in history, is a whole helluva lot. A. Whole. Helluva. Lot. (I just tried to say it all to Dan out loud––right as he woke up and before he had any coffee––so hopefully he retained some portion of it and will do me proud.)
But actually, the reason I was not a good feminist yesterday was because I was writing for most of the day and had my head deep in my work. My being a writer––my being at this point a childless writer especially––are choices that I am able to make with more ease than generations of women before me. I am living the life I am because women before me withstood attacks on their character to persist in the fight to defend their right to have choices in their lives. So, my behavior in reaping the reward of all this effort without pause for reflection or gratitude for how hard women have fought is really pretty noble if you ask me.
Except not. Except not at all noble.
So here is the list of all I’d talk about right now if Dan didn’t give me a freakishly early 10am deadline:
I would talk about how right now––in this moment in history––women’s rights are under attack. We are backsliding. Pussy-grabber-in-chief is a disgrace to history. Every day the rights afforded by Roe V. Wade are challenged and undermined by laws that limit choice and disallow access to it. I would go on a whole tirade about this. I would go off on how limiting abortion was a week one agenda item of the Trump Administration and how fucking ridiculous that is.
I would also talk about how part of the history of this holiday has its origins in Russia. And then I would say how last month Putin signed law decriminalizing domestic abuse when the frequency of violence or extent of injury is, you know, more along the lines of the standard fare occasional abuse that is typical in every household. (Every abusive household where abusers abuse people.) I would also go off about the dickhead-in-chief taint-licking Putin.
I would talk about how important I feel it is to bring intersectionality into any conversation about feminism and equal rights. As the platform for the Women’s March in Washington in January stated (and as one of the posters I carried said): Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice.
I would go off about how behind we are in this country when it comes to policy regarding family leave.
I would say how I never thought about how women have to pay taxes on tampons but when I think about it, yeah, that seems fucked up. Especially since viagra, as a prescription drug, is tax-free. I’m not really waging war on viagra as much as I’m considering that it makes sense that a necessity like tampons (or, as Dan calls them, tampoons) should have the same tax exemption as any prescription drug. Also, I really wanted to work in the hashtag #FreeTheTampons (which is a thing).
I would probably talk about abortion some more.
I would also say how, as a woman who grew up in a household of five daughters (six women, one dude)––a household that you might think could be potentially oblivious to (or at least somewhat less affected by) the deeply embedded cultural rules that undermine equality in so many ways––I have strong opinions about how the subjugation of women is an insidious and formidable foe.
Still, I do remember recognizing that mine was a household that kept boxes of tampons out in the open in our bathrooms versus hidden under the sink and I do remember this inspiring this weird sense of pride that I didn’t quite understand.
See? I was a little feminist. I am one. I just wasn’t yesterday.
So today I want to say thank you to all the women who marched and fought and spoke truth to power and truth to family and truth to bullshit. In writing this, I actually feel less discouraged than I have lately. That same spark of pride is lit right now as I think about all the ground women have fought for and managed to gain. There is still work to be done of course. But in fighting on, it’s good to reflect on the victories.
Happy Belated International Women’s Day, everyone. It was nice hanging with you today. Something tells me that Dan won’t be having me guest-spotting on here after this as my take on celebration is somewhat different from his. (I would absolutely be making scone day into a vagina metaphor.) But it’s been real!
Hugs and Kisses.
And remember, #FreeTheTampons!
EDITOR’S NOTES: That, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love her so. Well, one of the many reasons. Thank you Lola for this and for sharing your mind and talents with us. Thank you also to all women who won’t stop fighting until we are all equal. We’ll be there with you.
Next Up: National Meatball Day