Why International women’s day celebration has become a byproduct of the Capitalism
Deconstructing Women’s day in the face of Capitalism.
No, I am not a feminist. I am an Equalist. As I am writing this article, I secretly am dreading tomorrow’s Women’s day. It is not because I’m not too fond of it, but because I am dreading all the messages, wishes, and commercialization it comes along.
I hate buzzwords, love some inspiration, sure but walk around with a mug stating- ‘She believed she could, so she did as a gift doesn’t do much! Women don’t need Capitalism in the face of feminism to believe in themselves.
If you want to generate income and create a second version of Valentine’s day- by all means, sell these but don’t pretend to be doing it to celebrate International Women’s day. It’s sad enough that the original celebratory brilliance of this day has been long forgotten.
A quick History lesson for those unaware: This special day began as part of the labor movement and reduced gender disparity. Fifteen thousand women marched through New York city streets to raise their voices and fight for better pay, shorter hours, and equal pay. It was legen-wait-for-it-dary!
Now, multiple ideas come to mind- especially for men when they read this- why do we not celebrate International Men’s day at this scale? We have come a long way from the 1900s and are equal now! We don’t need another feminist article! But, this article is dedicated to dismantling the struggles that women face.
Having said that, trust me, I understand you men have your struggles too but speak to the women in your family, and you will get your answers and if not, keep reading further.
Every year, Organizations celebrate Women’s day by either giving flowers, chocolates, or a straightforward celebratory message on this day. Don’t get me wrong- I like the classics too, but this isn’t what we want. We need equal pay, gender parity, having a voice in the decisions, equal work opportunities, and the list goes on.
We do not want to be excluded from the decisions- be it cultural, organizational, political, or anything else for that matter. Women have been perpetually subjected to unjust, unequal parts of the system.
While we can celebrate the day with increasing consumerism and fancy slogan gifts, we all must ask ourselves how we give women in our circle the power to stay vocal? What actions have we done to contribute to their success? How are we empowering women to be freed from the shackles of the capitalist patriarchal system that we built ourselves?
While I encourage the economic boost by selling all different quotes from Google, Pinterest for Women’s day merchandise, we need to acknowledge our society’s current status unbiased. Let’s see some facts down below-
Women have been oppressed a long time in our long-existing patriarchal society. Of course, you are thinking; this isn’t ancient times, Jinal, move on. Though we are better off now, Capitalism only worsens the already existing oppressions.
Let’s give you more context- When the capitalists needed extra labor, they called upon the Female gender to work, paying lesser than men, thereby reducing the daily wage generally. This dragged down wage hurt the economy in myriad ways while still being shown as women getting work opportunities.
Not to forget, the castism, geographical biases for women coming from rural areas face much harsher situations.
Think of one country that boasts of equal gender pay, or at least look it up. You won’t find any. Canada, Netherlands have fallen a few places to the back of the list too. While pregnancy, menstruation, child care are all considered valid reasons for absence at work- Capitalism uses these to exploit the gender overtime hours or lesser wage as they see fit.
Thinking there is not space for all genders to work alongside and succeed is the mindset of failure. It has been repeatedly proven in history that women, when treated as equals, succeed and bring in the emotional intelligence required to build rapport.
While we walk the tightrope of meeting everyone’s expectations while being likable to owning a voice, while IWD can be a powerful day, we still face most of these underlying issues just through a shinier surface.
It’s still rare to see equalitarianism being prioritized as much as the marketability of selling Insta-worthy Women quotes’ goods.
We need to ensure ALL Women are granted power. The power to have a perspective, the power of giving them a spotlight(for the right reasons), advocating their rights to stay vocal as they have been silenced far too long.
To win the oppressing struggles at the root, we need to overturn the system’s existing order. The working class, the privileged, of course, can accelerate this, but not to exclude the rest. Every Person- women and men- need to acknowledge these issues and raise concerns to be a powerful force strong enough to bring down these ideologies.
Sure, if you want to wear a Feminist t-shirt while doing so, go ahead and ensure women are given the equal opportunities they deserve to stand up in a Political debate and prove their stance while defining their own rules.
So, while you celebrate the IWD in your unique way- don’t forget to question the stereotypes, negotiate salary for that job, refuse dowry and validate the disparity happening amongst us.
Not all is broken, we have so many examples of extraordinary women who were fearless to bring in change and create an impact-
- Princess Diana
- Indira Gandhi
- Queen Victoria
- Benazir Bhutto
- Mother Teresa
- Anne Frank
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Justice Anna Chandy
- Anandi Gopal Joshi
- Kalpana Chawla
Just like them, let us all work towards a more inclusive society where women have an EQUAL VOICE AND SAY in all aspects of life as Men.
And let us women celebrate other women’s achievements and help raise one another. Happy International Women’s Day, All! :)