East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

International Women’s Day 2017

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So, today is the International Women’s Day.
Yesterday night I caught a post from a friend about how she won’t be celebrating the World Women’s day because the folklore behind the celebration was basically a Communist construct based on nothing.
And indeed, to quote Wikipedia…

A popular apocryphal story which surfaced in French Communist circles claimed that women from clothing and textile factories had staged a protest on March 8, 1857, in New York City. The story alleged that garment workers were protesting against very poor working conditions and low wages and were attacked and dispersed by police. It was claimed that this event led to a rally in commemoration of its 50th anniversary in 1907. Temma Kaplan explains that “neither event seems to have taken place, but many Europeans think March 8, 1907, inaugurated International Women’s Day.” Speculating about the origins of this 1857 legend, Liliane Kandel and Françoise Picq suggested it was likely that (in recent times) some felt it opportune to detach International Women’s Day from its basis in Soviet history and ascribe to it a more “international” origin which could be painted as more ancient than Bolshevism and more spontaneous than a decision of Congress or the initiative of those women affiliated to the Party.

Because yes, it was a Soviet celebration – but the Soviets are gone, the world has changed, and basically, who cares?
So maybe Lenin decided it would be cool to have a women’s day. Or a bunch of Communist women (the horror! the horror!) decided it.
They were right.
IT IS cool.
We shouldn’t need a women’s day, mind you – because a special day means something is off, something needs to be set straight. But then again, this makes the celebration important.
And do we really need to overthink every damn thing?


The 2017 Women’s Day has equality on the workplace as a theme.
I can subscribe to that.
I live in a country that provides ample guarantees to female employees – including paid maternity leave, that is not a given in a lot of civilised countries yet.
On the downside, women are less likely to be employed if they are married or engaged, so their employers don’t risk paying for the leave.
As I mentioned, there’s stuff that needs to be set straight.

So here’s to the ladies, in the hopes of a world in which anyone will be able to do their job, for a right pay, and with all the perks and safety nets that make a working life bearable.

Good thinking, that Lenin guy.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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