I'm going to frame this straight off the bat - this is a rant. Not a bad rant, probably not a good rant. Just a rant. Don't judge me too harshly before finishing the article.
The basis of this rant began a few weeks ago. I was walking home from an event. It was a cold night in London. I could see my breath, and was very thankful for my mother's gifts of a warm scarf, jumper and gloves. It was a cloudless night, and I could see some stars (which is unusual for London).
There was a woman walking on the same side of the road as me, but going the opposite direction. She saw me walking towards her, and hesitated. For those who don't know what I look like physically, I'm far from intimidating. Under six-foot, far from muscular... somewhat skinny, even. But this woman crossed the road, so she wouldn't have to cross my path.
And I felt offended.
Not because she had crossed the road. Not because she thought I was a potential threat. But because other men, whether from experience, stories, or any other source, had made her feel unsafe. I felt offended that her night may have been affected just because she'd encountered a man on the streets. And she felt threatened.
It made me feel sick. My niece, my possibly future daughter, my mother, my grandmother, my friends, any future partner - They may have gone or will go through this. All because some horrible individuals "get a bit 'laddy'", and think it's OK to treat other human beings like...to be honest, I can never think of a possible example. Some people treat animals better than how they view other people.
Some treat them a lot worse.
If you haven't got the theme of this thread yet, this is a bit of a feminism rant. But it's probably more accurately a humanitarian rant. I was speaking to a friend the other day, and she was telling me how progressive her country is right now (Canada), because the Prime Minister was teaching his son about feminism. And the people loved this.
I couldn't understand why this was so monumental. BECAUSE (stealing Trudeau's thunder...) IT'S 2016!!!
They should already be learning about human rights and equality. That should have been standard thirty years ago! More than that! It was stupidity and bigotry that created so much trouble for the last few hundred years (WAY MORE, but don't get me started). To me, feminism is an extension of the fact we are all people, and we should be treated equally. Women have fought (and died) for this. As have equal rights protesters, homosexuals, transgender people, whoever - But we were all people to begin with.
We found ways to divide ourselves. By skin colour, class, monetary value, education, nationality, religion, or political viewpoint. Even within those, we found other ways. Darker or lighter, middle or lower, well-off or posh, private or public, blah, blah blah.
I don't want to diminish the idea of International Women's Day. Far from it - I want people to talk about it far and wide. But I want it to become a relic in the sense that people should look back at these days as say, "Wait, why was that a thing? We're all people."
We need to learn from our past, but look to the future. It's bleak enough as it is (global warming, different rant...), let's, at the very least, get along while we can.