International Women’s Day … so what?

Let’s see … how many women were killed at the start of this year – in France – by their partner or ex-partner?

26. We are only eight days into March and, already, twenty-six women have been brutally bludgeoned, stabbed, strangled, run over with a car, shot or had their throat slit. The word is Femicide: the killing of females by males because they are female. And President Macron has done nothing to eradicate or ease this problem. Two-thirds of those deaths, leaving behind traumatized orphans and broken families, could have been avoided.

On the government website, Stop the Violence, the words, L’Etat vous protège (the State protects you) are written. No, I’m sorry. The State does not protect us.

Today is International Women’s Day. So what?

Does it mean that for one day only, on March 8th, men should refrain from killing women?

Does it mean that for one day only, on March 8th, forced marriages and FGM (female genital mutilation) should cease?

Does it mean that for one day only women’s sanitary products (tampons and other products, classed as ‘luxury’ and ‘non-essential’) should not be taxed? Since when are monthly menstrual products deemed non-essential?

Does it mean that for one day women should receive a higher salary? Women earn 77.9 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Does it mean that for one day men should stop harassing women in the street, in the office and elsewhere? Women the world over face sexual and non-sexual harassment in the workplace which range from unwelcome verbal, visual, non-verbal or physical.

75% of women who find themselves subject to hostile situations in the workplace do not report their harassment for fear of being fired. People often ask “Why did the victim not report?” I did report. On more than one occasion, in well-known law firms in Paris, I found myself out on the street and unemployed for no other reason than I was harassed (one of my harassers was a female senior lawyer.) When I reported my tormenter’s actions to HR, they were utterly untrained and clueless as to how to treat harassment cases. “Just get rid of her” seemed the easiest option for those involved.

Does it mean that for one day only employers should put an end to Maternity Discrimination? The Guardian reports that over 50,000 women lose their jobs over pregnancy discrimination.

Most of the above refers to First World “advanced” nations. I shudder to think what women in Second and Third World countries go through.

Let me share with you a chilling photograph that iced women’s blood around the world, including my own. This is what patriarchy, misdirected power and misogyny look like. In other words, a horror show.

“The Trump administration rolled back important women’s rights protections with an executive order that enabled more employers and insurers to assert objections to the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

from an article written by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett (The Guardian)

Look at these men. Look at them. Gathered around the most powerful man in the world – a man who has openly bragged of sexual assault, who refers to a vulva as a woman’s “wherever” – as he signs away the reproductive rights of women in developing countries. 
Nothing quite says powerlessness like the removal of your right to bodily autonomy, at the behest of a group of people who will never – can never – know what that feels like. There’s a reason women are using the word patriarchy: if you are emasculated by the notion of a woman making her own reproductive choices, then you were never much of a man to begin with.”
Y’know what chills me more than Trump himself? Trump supporters. Those who actually voted for this gangster.
I could go on. But I’m tired. My feminist sisters have been marching since the 1960s and I since the 1970s. The world is a very different place today. In many ways better, in some ways worse. Social media and smartphones have improved and also degraded our quality of life. Pornography is rampant, available to one and all.
The pornografication of girls and young women.
Young women today, misdirected and desirous to please, think it’s normal to use a filter or an app to enlarge their lips on their selfies, making them look like porn stars.
This does not look like empowerment to me. Wasn’t that the whole idea?
“Young girls and teenagers are subject to daily pressure from the media and those around them. The message sent to them is clear: they must be beautiful, sexy and sexually available. Many are thus led to believe that their only power lies in their appearance, and they will make daily efforts to achieve this model of physically perfect and sexy woman. Young women become dependent on the appreciation of others and, by the same token, very vulnerable with consequences harmful to their mental health.”
BREAKING NEWS. As I sit here typing, a woman was stabbed in the middle of the street by her companion (or ex-companion) in the city of Metz. If she dies, the number of women killed so far this year in France will rise to 27. As the year progresses, that number will not only continue to rise, but will surpass last year’s numbers. I feel it in my bones.

6 thoughts on “International Women’s Day … so what?

    • Hello SuSa,
      Yes, please do so. I just added some breaking news to my blog post. Please read it again. A woman was stabbed in the street THIS MORNING by her partner (or ex-partner, it hasn’t been determined yet.)
      Thanks for commenting!

    • Bonsoir Nicolas. N’aie pas honte. C’est la faute des gouvernements et des institutions, partout dans le monde, qui ne font rien ou très peu pour protéger les femmes des hommes violents.

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