A 5 Year Old’s Birthday Rant on Congressional Woman-Hating

March 8, 2012

by

It’s my party, I’ll pout if I want to: a sort-of satire.

Oh, hello, International Women’s Day. I didn’t see you there. This is probably because every other day of the year is International Patriarchy Day….even today, as it turns out. It’s not your fault, or any individual’s fault, really. The problem is, hegemonic masculinity has asserted itself so aggressively that women feel the need to declare a day—today, in fact—(and, actually, this entire month) to celebrate and encourage the accomplishments of women everywhere.

You know why? Because we don’t, as a society, do this already. Happy International Men’s 11 Months?

Today, in Boston, women will be standing on the Mass. Ave bridge to celebrate the milestone. On Saturday, there will be a march (starting at noon, at the Commons gazebo) that will focus on women’s issues of today, including T fare increases and reproductive justice. That’s the rub, isn’t it, though, that even in our “celebration” of Women’s Month, we are still fighting for equality. We are in the midst of a national battle for basic equality in medical care for women right now, and International Women’s Day is less of a celebration of what we do well and more of a fight to just gain a little more equal footing.

Think about your birthday. For me, I love doing what I want—and nothing else—on my birthday. It comes only once a year, after all, and I’ve worked hard, so I have an excuse to enjoy it. Well, women, as a whole, would probably enjoy this one day to celebrate all of the work we’ve done for the year. In a society that is trying to control our health, wallets, job opportunities, and parenthood, we are still kicking ass, etc. Yet, even on this one day of supposed celebration, we basically have to spend our party fighting for the equality that our society can’t bear to grant. Women can’t choose to ignore these pressing issues just because it happens to be our special day—we have to exploit the attention we are getting, and use it to help ourselves.

Honestly, I don’t want to fight the bakery just for the right to get my cake on my own birthday. I should be able to celebrate what I’ve done right on the day set aside as mine. Every day that Congress tells me what to do with my uterus and my (future) children, they’re depriving me of basic freedoms, and there’s no way I can have a carefree birthday with that sort of burden looming. Just because the fight shouldn’t be happening doesn’t mean we aren’t going to fight it all the same, no matter how much self-care we are denying ourselves.

Admittedly, this metaphor doesn’t carry the gravity of the issues I’m talking about. I just happen to find it ironic that the loudest voices on the day that should celebrate women (which should be everyday, but here we are, and that’s not the case) are people like Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh, who are both uninformed and disinterested in basic equality for the genders.

I’ll buy my own damn cupcakes this year, thank you, and I’m only sharing with the feminists who have supported me when the legislature was thinking up “mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds.” In the words of Amy Poehler and Seth Myers, “I mean, really?”

 

An International Women's Day parade in the Philippines. | Photo courtesy of Keith Kristoffer Bacongco via Wikimedia Commons