One of those “days”

On Tuesday morning, I opened up my laptop and was instantly hit by the vague feeling of dread that it was one of those “days”. You know the ones – International Mountain Day, International Day of the Girl Child, International Day of Yoga, World Toilet Day, International “We’re all just Awesome” Day*… For some reason, breastfeeding gets an entire week all to itself at the beginning of August. I guess squirting stuff out of your tits is considered very important in some circles.

Tuesday, however, was International Women’s Day. While I’ll never understand the people who think clicking “like” on a photo is somehow going to cure cancer, I mostly leave people to their delusions. I only ask that they leave me out of it. It seems that I was the delusional one on this occasion though – there was no escaping International Women’s Day.

Just as I was about to tuck into my breakfast, I was “tagged” in this monstrosity.

Appetite murderer
Appetite murderer

Now I know the person who tagged me meant well, but “precious”? “PRECIOUS”? My boiled egg bore the brunt of my fury as I wondered why “smart”, “educated”, “driven”, “ambitious”, “well-travelled”, or around a million other adjectives weren’t chosen instead. But I guess “SAWED” isn’t as catchy as “perfect”. I even had trouble taking in the porn star hair and revealing clothing as my retinas were too scarred by all the pink.

Vomit.

So, my day was off to a bad start. Yes, Tuesday was International Women’s Day, but do you know what else it was? It was a Tuesday, and this woman’s Tuesday typically goes a bit like this. Get up at the crack of dawn, teach lessons, go to meetings, squeeze in some proofreading work, pay bills, do some banking, answer emails and phone calls and try to eat something, that is, when I’m not on one of the eleven trains that I have to take that day.

Bleurgh
Bleurgh

If I don’t feel particularly beautiful, precious or radiant by the time I get home that night, it’s because I’ve been using what’s in my head all day, not worrying about what’s on it. Like most other women. Yes, this may come as a surprise to some, but we don’t sit around all day braiding each other’s hair, having pillow fights in our underwear, shopping, giggling  or dreaming of being princesses. We work our damn asses off.

You might be thinking, “Linda, what are you getting so worked up about? It’s just a couple of harmless memes!”, but it did get me worked up. It got me hopping mad, in fact. You see, International Women’s Day was actually started for a reason, to promote women’s rights. The theme for 2016 was “Pledge for Parity”, which somehow seems to have got lost in the sea of banal nonsense that was being puked out all over the internet.

12814349_1163642106979672_771188842187831703_n
Spew

In Lithuania, IWD is “celebrated” by having police officers pull over women drivers and give them bunches of flowers. Aw, gee, thanks. It’s not like I have anything more important to be doing. How would you like to be picking those pretty petals out of your teeth for the rest of the day, officer?

In China this year, Women’s Day was marked by the special treat of giving women some dried meat to chew on. Yum, yum. We all know women like nothing better than sucking on a bit of meat, right?

From jingdong.com. I kid you not.
From jingdong.com. I kid you not.

The President of India in his message issued on the eve of IWD said: “On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I extend warm greetings and good wishes to the women of India and thank them for their contributions over the years in the building of our nation.” On the day itself, a 15-year-old Indian girl was in critical condition after being raped and set on fire. Well, thank you for that, Mr President. I’m sure your trite twaddle means a lot to the women of India, and especially to that girl who’s fighting for her life in hospital.

So yes, I really have little to worry about. I’m lucky enough to come from a country, and now live in a country, where I have rights. I can choose to get an education, to live by myself, to work, to support myself, to travel freely, to stay single, to not have children (tempting as World Breastfeeding Week is…), to walk the streets without looking over my shoulder, and to pretty much do whatever the hell I like. And I appreciate that every day.

Other women are not so lucky and that’s what International Women’s Day is, and should be, about. Next year, chew on that (when you’re done with your meat sticks) before posting meaningless, frankly offensive imagery left, right and centre.

 

* OK, I made the last one up.

The meat sticks, however, are very real and you can read more about them here:  https://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/ready-for-your-belated-womens-day-special-chew-on-that-bitches/

 

 

 

 

 

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123 thoughts on “One of those “days””

  1. Oh I do like womens day. When I lived in Russia and Ukraine they gave us flowers at work and recitet poetry praising our beauty and grace) no seriously) when was the last time anyone serenaded to you linda? hehe

    speaking of feminism – Im all for equality but I believe that in the west equality for women is achieved so some of those feminists take it a little too far. google christina hoff sommers you can find out more about it. instead of focusing on real issues (such as women getting raped in india and treated like second cass citizens in africa etc, or foucsing on poverty of women in the american working class) they create bogus issues to guilt shame men for being men. it demeans real feminism and belittles the suffering of women who truly should be helped. Im for the proteckion of women against rape, discrimination at the work place, for making her own choices in life but Im anti abortion and against quotas for women…. does that make me a feminist? I guess I just feel more a humansist.

    and the womens day I prefer to have as a day to celebrtae womenhood, recieve flowers gifts and discounts at stores=)))) am I a ost case? I really would love to be pulled over by a cop and given flowers==)))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I think you might be a lost cause 😉 No, not at all. I’m all for focusing on the bigger issues that you mention, but I feel that this sort of stuff just undermines the important things we should be focusing on. Does that make me a raging feminist? Probably not – just a normal, thinking person 😉

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      1. ok but can you give me at least one example of women being discriminated in the west for being women? and I dont mean some separate cause but smth systematic? I mean men get mistreated a lot more, that with them often not being able to see their kids after divorce, havin longer jail sentences for the same crime then women and so on.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree with you on all of those things. Personally, I have never felt discriminated against for being a woman in the workplace (but then I scare most people). I have been assaulted/groped twice which although it should never happen, is nothing compared to what some women go through. Some people have commented that mothers are discriminated against, but not being one, I can’t comment. The systems in place in Europe seem pretty fair to me.

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    1. Ha, unfortunately I’m proofreading Denglish and Runglish rather than my own words! I’ve made a start and everything is there – just a matter of putting it all together in a way that’s interesting to read. Might take a bit longer than I initially thought though… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll be damned! I guess I totally missed this one. I’ve been pretty engrossed in trying to finish my book. So I deactivated my Facebook account for awhile. I thought I saw something about it but had no idea when it was. When did this day become a thing? I’ve never even heard of it before.

    Glad I missed it. Everyday should be international women’s day!

    I guess is just that much more of a statement about how far down we ate on they totem pole. Like a womp-a-mole we get one day a year only to be popped in the head to go back underground. 😉

    Nice post Linda. So, are you a blonde yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, no, I haven’t gone that far yet 😉
      It’s huge in Eastern Europe/Russia though they treat it more like a second Valentine’s Day (more bleurgh). I’d never heard of it either before I moved there! Glad you’re so focused on your book and hope it’s coming along well!

      Liked by 1 person

                1. I’ve never been Freshly Pressed. Simone has. I think they just choose random posts. Not sure if you have to submit yourself for it, or if someone else has to submit you…

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  3. I hope you have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a decorous and profitable way. 🙂
    Some other honourable days worth to commemorate:
    “Tag des Deutschen Bieres”, 23. April
    “International No Diet Day”, 6. May
    “International Beer Day”, 1th Friday in August
    Not really solemn:
    “International Flute Day”, 10. January
    “World Vegan Day”, 1. November
    Strange (?):
    “International Wetlands Day”, 2. February (Charlotte Roche?)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Linda! Way to destroy millions of men, telling them we don’t have pillow fights in skivvies! I think it’s a great thing, to celebrate Women’s Day – next time, less pink, more recognition for things we do beyond look precious.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The thing that makes me even more mental is that many of the same women who celebrate IWD with those AWESOME memes are the very ones who eschew feminism. So let me get this straight, you are FOR International Women’s Day but you are AGAINST feminism. Riiiiiight.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with you, Linda. Most of these memes rely on trite evocations of femininity. Which only reinforces gender stereotypes. I’m not sure we need a holiday to congratulate women for being female, because that gets interpreted the way Erdogan read it. When, exactly, will there be a world holiday to celebrate women who Don’t Like Children and Are Just Fine With That, Thank you? Or World Uppity Bitch Day? (NOTE: ironic use of “Bitch”)

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    1. Oh yes please! Sign me up for both of those! Far more realistic! I still remember the disdainful/pitying looks from when I lived in “that place” and said I wasn’t married and didn’t want kids. Shudder. Haven’t experienced it (so far) in Germany though!

      Liked by 1 person

              1. ” … as a woman, I have the right to laugh if I want”
                Yes. But how much longer? Because it’s quit unwomanly!
                http://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article130678638/Vizepremier-will-Frauen-das-Lachen-verbieten.html
                This is ridiculous and happens only in “other cultures”?
                No! The first instructions for correct behaviour for young women exist in modern (?) Germany.
                http://web.de/magazine/politik/fluechtlingskrise-in-europa/buergermeister-raet-maedchen-abstand-asylheimen-halten-31342022

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  7. Sad though it is, we still need IWD. Where I work all the young women chant the same mantra: “I’m going to work for a couple of years, get married, then stop when I have children”… I really do feel like I’m in a Jane Austen novel sometimes! I support women having choices but as long as the structures necessary for equality aren’t in place (specifically German examples here: a German tax system that benefits the SAHM model, German school day that starts at stupid o’clock and ends at lunchtime, the krippe/kindergarten desert etc, etc) then it will, for the foreseeable future, always be women who will be the emotional carers and men the financial. We need to have quotas in place to force women to the top, because if we’re waiting for workplaces to “pick the best for the job” then we’ll be waiting a long time. Don’t start me on the “outliers” like Carly Fiorina, Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer! 😉 Rant over! Move along, nothing to see here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! Sounded like you needed to get that off your chest! I actually thought Germany was pretty progressive when it came to women working – split parental leave, flexible working hours… then again, I haven’t experienced it first-hand.

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      1. I work with (mostly male) engineers and when the topic of domestic help comes up they say (without irony): “I’ll / I have a wife, what do I need domestic help for?” 🙂 Only the “spinsters” work full-time in my organisation; I even have an unmarried, child-free colleague who works a 50% job because “My boyfriend can’t do the housework!”! Pah! Jane Austen world I tell ya!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha ha! Oh god, that last one sounds like her own worst enemy! Either she doesn’t want to work that badly, or she’s INCREDIBLY fussy about the housework – I mean really, how bad can he be!?
          Ah, “spinster” – at least we seem to have largely shaken that word! Nobody ever wanted to have a wild hook-up in a “spinster pad” 😉

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  8. Women’s Day in the modern western world is like “Save- the- Upper- Class Day” in the University of Cambridge. 😉
    But yes, they are suppressed women of “other cultures” between these endowed ones. But the political correct hypocrisy bans honest and critical debates. 😡

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  9. Perfect?? Precious????? Gaaaag! Completely join in the vomit worthy reactions!! Particularly the contradiction between Modi’s platitudes and reality of how women are treated in my adopted country – appalling. “Udderly” absurd!

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  10. Ugh, I’m glad nobody tagged me in that meme!
    My old boss used to give everyone at work a rose on International Women’s Day – including the single male who works with us 😉 (Maybe he was supposed to give his to his wife?). I actually didn’t mind that – it’s always nice to get a token of appreciation from the boss. But that meme is just sickening and totally misses the point of International Women’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great rant, Linda. Did you see President Erdogan’s lovely contribution to IWD? “A woman is above all a mother”. Gosh, we really must get this guy into Europe now… we have so many values in common. Or not. There are so many “special” days now that it all becomes completely banal. Sunday was “Grandmother’s Day” in France – I refuse to acknowledge it because it was the brainchild of the French coffee manufacturer “Grande-mère”, and because there’s no Grandfather’s Day. As my grandmother used to say, “bugger that for a game of soldiers”.

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    1. Ugh, I read about that. Guess I’m not actually a woman at all… 😉
      I was actually surprised when I saw how many “days” there are! And some of them are just bizarre! I’m with your granny on this one – lovely expression too 🙂

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  12. Well said! What good is a day to focus on women’s rights issues if all people are doing is “you go girl” clips? (Actually every day should be a day to focus on women’s rights issues.)
    I liked that Kiva offered to double all donations to women in developing countries. That seemed like a better use of my time and money. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That does seem like a far better use! And yes, you’re right. Having ONE day doesn’t really achieve much! I do my best to power through the other 364 as well, or 365 this year 😉

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    1. Sunday evening – I have time 🙂 Thanks for the link and I really hope everything goes according to plan for you – sounds like a great move for so many reasons!
      And I will always rant 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, thank you! I couldn’t agree more! Nauseating is a good word to describe it – I got spew, puke and vomit in there. Now we also have nauseating 😉
      Thanks for commenting, Helen!

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  13. Good for you, Linda! Fortunately I didn’t even see such incredibly trite and insulting memes as those on my Facebook page or anywhere else … until now 😉 Still, IWD is about women’s RIGHTS, as you eloquently point out. And while I do hold you in high esteem, precious is not the first word that comes to my mind when thinking of you. Now, these other words — “smart”, “educated”, “driven”, “ambitious”, “well-travelled” — yes, indeed, they do 🙂 Oh, and “damn good writer” and “exposer of all that is sick and ridiculous in the world, including leopard print leggings.” Those also come to mind. Now, on the next IWD, I hope you’re tagged on much more appropriate memes …

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    1. SAWED is way better than “perfect” 😉 And yes, I did feel a bit bad about reposting those stupid images but I hoped that the words would outweigh the ridiculous imagery and messages. Thanks for the support and kind words, as always 🙂

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      1. Oh, yes, your words did their duty. I’m just amazed (well, shocked, offended, pissed) that anyone would think such memes appropriate for IWD. And I read The Lady of the Cakes’s post as well. Seriously? It’s 2016 and so many people are still so clueless ….

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        1. You mean you weren’t sucking on a meat stick? Colour me amazed 😉
          I just got madder and madder as the day went on! I know there were loads of worthwhile events and coverage, but this kind of stuff just belittles all of the good things.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. That pink one!!!

    that is the opposite of the equality international women’s day is supposed to be about.
    I spent day working like any other day and the evening at a Sandi Toksvig show/fundraiser for the Women’s Equality Party.
    To quote Sandi Toksvig…”happy women’s day…I can’t believe we still need one!”
    Equality and unthinking sexism is a big thing for me at the moment…

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      1. she does have a point, and I thought the same thing on tuesday.
        It has been making me really really cross recentlt, possibly because I am further into the fitness industry where everything is horribly narcissistic, but there is such an inbuilt disparity in the way we value men and women.
        Boys and Men are praised for being strong and clever when girls and women nearly always only geet compliments on their appearance. we need to change this from the point children are born before we even stand a chance of convincing girls that they are capable of the same things as men.
        and that is the only way we will get equality in business and pollitics and the like.
        and that doesn’t even begin to address the bigger issues of inequality faced by women around the world.
        ok…I may have gone on a bit there…

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        1. Feel free to go on all you like! I also feel strongly about this and appreciate a like-minded soul – at the risk of being branded a “hysterical, overly-dramatic female”, as tends to happen whenever I voice an opinion over something I consider unjust. Have also been doing some reading on so-called “benevolent sexism” – interesting stuff.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. the worst thing about the “hysterical overly dramatic female” label is the more you try to deny it, even if you do it in a rational way, the more people think you are being overly dramatic :-/
            I will have to read up about benevolent sexism, i sounds intriguing.
            One of the worst things I see is women devaluing themselves, putting all their worth in their clothes size or appeal to the opposite sex. Along with all the women who inadvertantly teach their daughers that the only thing they are destined for is marrying and breeding (not that there is anything wrong with being married or having children, it just should be a choice).
            In case you didn’t guess…I joined the Womens Equality Party (as a founder member)… I am unclear about how to really help at the moment though…

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Every little helps, I guess! Not sure what I’m doing either but will keep on doing my thing anyway, hoping to spread a good message or two wherever possible. Having lived in Eastern Europe for a few years, I totally identify with your comment about putting worth in appearance and breeding/finding a man. I was horrified so much of the time. Germany is helping to restore the balance.
              And god yes, I have had that dramatic female thing thrown at me so many times! It’s so ridiculously patronising and, as you say, so hard to argue against!

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              1. I think I have been fighting this for longer than I realised, I have always done “non-typical girl” things, like being in air cadets and doing engineering and the like. The more I see it the more I am grateful to my parents for having the foresight in the late 70s and 80s to bring me up playing with dolls and cars and to believe that I could do anything!!
                I think we just have to do the things we can do when we see opportunities. even if it is pointing out to people that being shocked that I like cricket because I am a girl is a little bit on the sexist side…

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                1. I find it hard to understand that anyone can like cricket, but that’s not a sexist thing 😉
                  And yes, I’m very thankful to my parents too. They always encouraged me to do whatever it was I wanted to and supported me even when it turned out to be madness. (Hello, Latvia) 😉
                  And yes, I think we’re fighting it all the time, just not in ways that will get our names in the papers. Keep on rocking!

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                2. see that is ok 🙂 a non sexist dislike of cricket is acceptable 😀
                  Keep on rocking, and picking up heavy object and doing things you want to do even if they are “boys” things!!
                  I am teaching my nephew about this by being the one who picks him up and does play fighting…not like a traditional aunt at all 😉

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                3. But a much more fun aunt! I’d prefer that to whatever it is “traditional” aunts do 😉
                  “What did you do with Auntie Ice?”
                  “We (pretend) kicked the crap out of each other.”
                  “Cool.” 🙂

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                4. I have an uncle who subscribes me to things like “Prospect” magazine and broadens my horizons – I’m all for unconventional family members! 🙂

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                5. Maybe my sis will get knocked up and then I can be the unconventional aunt 😉 As it is, I’m waiting for my best friend to have her baby. Doubt I’ll be the official godmother, but being the unofficial one would be much more fun anyway 😉

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  15. on this day- I took a long nice bath with some nice natural oils, candles, had a glass of my favorite white wine, Pouilly fume served by my boyfriend in bathroom. I have nothing against Women;s Day, but actually this ritual I have once a week. It is my meeee time evening and time to be a female.

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    1. Nothing wrong with a bit of me time or sexy time, but we are also functioning members of society for the most part. I can add “women sitting in bubble baths” to the list of images I don’t need to see on IWD.

      Liked by 2 people

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