Hello Cupcakers! It is International Women’s Day! A very important day for women around the globe.
“International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.” (quote taken from https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About)
For years women fought for equality in civilized society; they fought for the right to vote, the right to equal pay, the right to have the same jobs and opportunities as men. Some may argue that it seems silly to have an entire day dedicated to women, when men don’t have the same day. However, some say that every other day is international men’s day, so it makes sense to give women at least one day.
“‘The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,’ says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem.” (quoted from https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About)
Internationals Women’s Day (or IWD- as it can be quite a mouthful) started in the 1900’s; the peak of the industrial revolution, which was a time of great technological and economical change as it is. It was a time of discovering new and easier ways of living, mass production was at a great high, with the invention of the department store. The internal combustion engine was a great way to travel, and life in England, London especially, was slowly becoming the fastest growing Western World anyone had ever seen.
Women in the past were generally expected to only achieve a few things, grow up educated, learn to sew, draw and look after a home. This prepared them for being married, being a housewife, and being a good mother. Women weren’t generally thought of as career minded, so whenever any woman pushed her career more than anything else, it was considered as outrageous or out of the ordinary.
Well, women started getting a bit tired of this attitude; having to live their lives a certain way and not really getting a say in their paths or goals. One thing that really took the cake was women not having the right to vote. The Suffragist movement soon saw an end to that in the late 19th and early 20th century. Women like Emily Pankhurst used methods taken from old Russia like, hunger strikes and chaining themselves to fences, to push the world into listening to their point of view. It cost a lot of brave and ballsy women their lives to get equal rights when it comes to voting, but they managed it.
What I really want to cover in this article, is how does Women’s rights affect women now, are we really completely equal to men? Or is it all just an illusion? Have men just given us what we think is equal rights?
One big issue that women face is how much they earn in compared to men, otherwise known as the Gender Pay Gap. I have looked at a few articled and this one took my eye from Marketingweek.com
It is still pretty obvious that on average, women earn less than men in most job sectors. But what shocks me the most, is that men earn 43% more than women in the Fashion Industry! And there was me thinking that women pretty much ran the Fashion World. I guess not. In a money driven world, money usually means power, and as men earn more money, they have more power. Right? With men running Mass Media, it seems to me that ‘the male gaze’ is something that is very much still prominent in Western Culture. Women are still seen how men want them to be seen; as sex objects, as femme fatales, as victims or damsels, or as hard up bitches. However they want women to be, on a magazine cover, on a billboard, on film or TV; that is how they are seen.
Now I am acutely aware that women aren’t just passive idiots that let men tell them what to do, I’d be a fool to even consider that. In fact, women are the polar opposite of that, we are actively pushing to be seen as we want to be seen, women are becoming directors, doctors, producers, magazine editors, CEO’s, whatever we want to be. We are the bosses and what we say goes. Most recently, ever since Donald Trump became president, women all over the world have hiked their skirts up and marches, protested and began preparing for office, celebrities and non-celebrities alike. Women have stood hand in hand and demanded that we have freedom. And it seems to have worked, it has created a massive social media hype that has spread like wildfire, everywhere women are hastagging, blogging, and posting like their lives depend on it. In the last couple of years it seems that women have taken back the power that, I personally, think they lost in the early 21st century, and it’s just getting stronger and stronger. We were this close to having a female American President, we have a female Prime Minister again, and other female political and cultural figures across the globe are having their messages heard.
Even though women are still seen as sex objects in modern media, and in other, less advanced cultures and societies they are still getting treated like dirt, there is a big thing about women having the choice as to how they are seen. Faces in the spotlight like Rihanna; she is a sex symbol, she is often referred as various body parts etc. But she chooses to wear raunchy outfits on the red carpet and on stage, she chooses to promote a certain version of herself on social media, she is aware of the male gaze, and has turned it around, controlling how she is perceived. She is basically sticking two fingers up to massive male media moguls and proving a point, and that’s pretty awesome.
I feel the next step for women is to try to close that earning gap as much as possible, women are just as capable, if not sometimes even more capable as men when doing the same jobs. Plus some of us are mothers, grandmothers, we have homes to run and people to look after (I’m not saying that men don’t, but if one was to do a quick survey of how many women ran the house compared to men, I’m sure those numbers would still be high for us girls). We really need to be taken seriously now, we need to control the way we are seen to the point where the male gaze doesn’t even exist. Most importantly, and I can’t stress this enough, we need to look out for each other. I see girls and women fight with each other, be catty and two-faced towards each other, when really they have a lot more in common than they realise. Now I’m not saying that everyone should be best friends, because that’s not how the world works. Some people just genuinely don’t have any common ground, and therefore don’t get along. What I am saying is, that the Spice Girls had it right in the 90’s, it is really about girl power, and us ladies should really stick together, because, let’s face it, men sometimes just have no idea…..
Peace and Love Cupcakers!!!