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Please do not wish me a « Happy Women’s Day » ever again.

by Emilie Barbry on March 10, 2022

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Yesterday was the International Day for Women’s Rights, and each year I get just as annoyed. Geeeez, I’m upset. Here’s why.

I joined a bunch of friends in a bar. A female friend greeted me with a warm and cheerful « Happy Women’s Day! » I know it was coming from a good place, but I still nervously blinked twice and clenched my jaw, I think she misread. Gurl, it’s not the « Day of Happy Women », it’s the International Day for Women’s Rights. And after this, I’ve been wished to have a Happy Women’s Day several more times, each time making my blood boil a little more.

Gurl, it’s not the « Day of Happy Women », it’s the International Day for Women’s Rights.

I don’t get it. What’s happy about this day? Just the name itself is quite a big hint to let you understand that it’s not a « happy » day, no?  Just the fact that the term Women’s Rights needs to exist is infuriating. WTF. It means the treatment between cis-men and anyone else is very different (and catastrophic to say the least) and that there’s a need to fight for Women’s Right - I believe that there’s an urgent need to rename this day something like « Day Against Patriarchy » for example, so it would include the large spectrum of people who are victims of patriarchy, plus it would name the fight more accurately, but that’s another debate.

What’s happy, seriously? Or maybe it’s like Christmas, everybody seems to enjoy it and I’m the Grinch. Maybe I’m missing some information? Are we getting presents or something like that? I guess it’s the case for many women. Like when I was a child and my dad used to offer flowers on March 8th to my mum, wishing her a « good Women’s Day » and she thanked him with a kiss before going to the kitchen to prepare the flowers herself for a vase and then preparing lunch for the whole family whilst he was heading to the living room, crashing in an armchair and carelessly watching TV. What a treat! I’m not sure he got the point lol. Maybe this was his yearly acknowledgment for the hundreds of unpaid labour hours she was doing?

I do not find the International Day for Women’s Rights to be a happy day. It’s freaking sad that it needs to exist.

I do not find the International Day for Women’s Rights to be a happy day. It’s freaking sad that it needs to exist. It’s the day when we do the accounts and shed light on the difference of treatments between cis-men and everybody else. It’s the day when we honour the memory of the hundreds of women killed by their male partners or exes. It’s the day when we try to make the inequities a bit more visible. And I do not understand what’s happy about this. It’s sad, infuriating, frustrating, devastating, all of this and more. But I don’t see any room for happiness in this.

I went to a demo against patriarchy. It was a very sunny day in Berlin, and you know what, as much as I find it important to get together against patriarchy, I would have preferred to do literally anything else. Like, I don’t know, hang in the sun with my friends, finish this novel I’m reading, have a nap, stare at the ceiling. Honestly anything but this. But here we are. It’s 2022 and the right to abortion is still threatened, FLINTA* can’t just casually walk home at night, street-harassment is not punishable, you get paid considerably less for the same job if you are female-identified, we still use the expression « violence against women » instead of « violence perpetrated by men », men are still not accountable for rape and other violence, slut-shaming is still raging, men only do a ridiculously small fraction of the unpaid work (but are massively praised for changing 1 diaper or preparing 1 meal), should I continue?

It’s 2022 and we still have to spend time at demos against patriarchy. Because it’s still so vivid and so toxic. Of course we fight it everyday, but March 8th is the day when the cause is emphasised, and again, I don’t see any reason to be happy that it has to exist, and I myself am zero seconds happy that I have to spend this day at a demo.

Could it be that this patriarchal system we live in simply deceives and dismisses us once again and switches this « revolt day » into a « happy day », because you know, women can’t be angry, right? It’s not pretty and it makes too much noise.

The thing is, « happy Women’s Day » is an expression you see and hear a lot. On social media, in the press, from friends, acquaintances and so on. So I see 2 possibilities here. The first one: there’s something about it that I don’t get. If it’s the case, please HMU, I too want to have a party.

The second one: Could it be that this patriarchal system we live in simply deceives and dismisses us once again and switches this « revolt day » into a « happy day », because you know, women can’t be angry, right? It’s not pretty and it makes too much noise. Or could it be that this aforementioned system calls it a « happy day » to weaken its message? It could also be that capitalism (a very good friend of patriarchy btw) has marketed this day as a « happy day » to sell us some shit?

I can’t freaking wait for March 8th to become the day of remembrance of the fight against patriarchy. If this day happens before this whole world turns to ashes, and if I myself am still alive, then yes, I’ll celebrate cheerfully. But before then, I’ll keep clenching my jaw in anger each time I’m wished a « happy Women’s Day ».

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