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Why We Have International Women’s Day

If you catch yourself thinking women are privileged for “having their own day,” then we’d like to have a talk with you.

Why, in 2016, do women need International Women’s Day? Probably because we still need to defend it. It’s because some people still think feminists “hate men,” as if fighting for liberation will somehow steal someone else’s.

It is because our work is often overlooked, underappreciated, and not recognized by society.

Because even after all these years, women are still discouraged to work in STEM, despite the amazing strides we have made in the scientific and technical world. It is because gender still influences career path, making us flock to jobs stereotypically “meant” for women only.

It is because we are still poorly represented in all media.

It is because a pay gap exists, and when we take race and age into consideration it gets even wider.

It is because women are still killed for saying no to sexual advances. Because women are more likely to be physically and sexually abused just for being a woman. It is because it is not likely for trans women to live a long and prosperous life, but rather more likely for them to be murdered.

It is because too many people think women should not have access to education. Or vote.

It is because some people still think women should not have access to reproductive care, or abortions. It is because our bodies and our sexuality, for some reason, still need to be regulated.

It’s because female sexuality is considered so wrong, so immoral, that little girls are having their clitorises removed, which has short-term results like severe pain and bleeding and long-term results including problems with the urinary and reproductive systems, or even death.

It is because women are still oppressed anywhere and everywhere you may go. A cultural oppression that invades our thoughts, actions and self-understanding. Women are the subjects of daily microaggressions, when our value is based off our looks (or age), when we are talked over, when we are ignored, when we are called bossy, when it is assumed we cannot do or account to much. We are oppressed when it is considered common knowledge that we are the weaker sex.

International Women’s Day exists despite all this. We observe this day in recognition of all women, proclaiming we are important. Our accomplishments do matter. We will not stop celebrating, fighting, and advocating for women until all of us are fully recognized, accepted, and liberated.

 

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Written by Becki Fernandez

Becki Fernandez is a college sophomore, part-time rockstar and full-time feminist. She is in an all girls feminist rock band, Swine, that will surely save the world and rock n roll. She is majoring in Communication Studies at UNCW, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. In her free time, you can find her at Taco Bell or crying at sloth videos on her laptop. Becki is fiercely proud of her Cuban heritage and is not afraid to steal the aux cord at parties and play some salsa. Her life goals include dying her hair pink and punching Donald Trump right in his bigoted face.

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