International Women’s Day 2019

International Women's Day 2019

Yes hi hello, it is I, a woman and a blogger. That’s why you’re here, right? To read some uplifting #girlpower content? Well, if you remember my post on this day last year, you’re prepared.

If not, maybe go read that first. Then, buckle up for Round 2.

Some quick history and a bit of a rant

Long before feminism was something that capitalism saw as profitable (as my ever-growing collection of girl power t-shirts, mugs, and stationery can attest to), the Socialist Party of America observed the first National Women’s Day back in 1909. That’s right; the damn reds were giving us credit long before the country let us vote. The UN didn’t make it international until 1975.

Teen Vogue put out an excellent article last year on Women’s Day’s roots in the American labor and socialist movements that I hahly recommend.

Anyway, it’s 2019, over a century later, and Women’s Day is not a holiday or anything like that in the US. At best, it’s an excuse for bloggers and social media types (including yours truly) to jump on a trending hashtag.

Hey, you can’t say that I’m not self-aware.

What really kicks off my cynicism is when today is used as an excuse to sell you stuff… like my ever-growing collection of girl power t-shirts, mugs, and stationery. (See? I’m painfully self-aware.) You know that feminism is marketable when you can’t walk into Target without being tempted into making impulse buys of t-shirts like these. And yes — I do own most of them.

If you do nothing else today, just be aware of who is talking to you about women and feminism and why. Support femme written and run publications over things created by men who think we’re dumb and are just trying to use us to make a quick buck. Make sure your slogan t-shirt you found at a major retailer isn’t a knockoff of something from a smaller creator. Make sure organizations highlighting women today do it evey day, not just when it’s convenient to highlight token examples.

But mostly, just remember that women are in your lives and deserve respect and credit every damn day, not just today.

My lady friends do some cool shit

With my spiel out of the way, I decided to focus on other women today. This blog is basically about me the other 364 days of the year. A couple of my lady friends are creatinng some excellent content and I think you should know about it.

Jackie Ross and What’s Next

Jackie’s podcast series for Face Beat It, What’s Next, is relatively unique in that it’s been tackling the structures around quidditch instead of analysis of the game itself. But the real thing that makes it different from anything else that’s come before is that we’re four episodes in and not a single man has been on it. (Yet. One of her upcoming guests is a dude.) Most quidditch podcasts are majority male, if there’s any gender diversity at all.

Why? Just look at the topics Jackie’s tackled so far: the volunteer experience, being called bossy, and the role women play in the international community of a gender-integrated sport. While there are male volunteers and men working to make this sport inclusive, so far, these things have tended to be women’s work in quidditch. Jackie is taking that on and using scholarly research to back it up, not just anecdotal evidence — something I’ve relied on in the past.

“But Liz, liking something because there are no men in it is sexist!” Eh, go tell someone who cares. It’s unfortunate (to say the very fucking least) that most of the people willing to put in the time to analyze quidditch and then have skin thick enough to put it out for public consumption are men while women tend to run things or take other, nonpublic facing roles. That’s another blog post for another day.

For now, I’m just happy to learn from a scholar and hear from voices that aren’t the same people saying the same things all the time.

munchkym

My friend Kym has a YouTube channel that’s primarily about being a rideshare driver, but that’s not why I’m singling her out today. You don’t even have to watch her videos. Just check out her comment sections for a verrrrrrrrry instructive lesson on what it is to be a woman on a public platform.

Honestly, I don’t know how she tolerates the constant comments on her appearance, especially when it has nothing to do with her content. Unfortunately, so much of the experience of being a woman is tied to what we look like.

But if you do nothing else, watch this video. It is iconic.

Bookmarks + Breadcrumbs

“A lifestyle blog? Liz, that isn’t feminism!” Nope, get out. One: feminism is all about giving women the choice to do whatever they want, including things that are seen as typically feminine. If I want to share my friend’s blog, one that she works hard on — in addition to her full workload as a high school English teacher — I’m going to do it.

And two: honestly, it is exhausting to feel like I constantly have to be this paragon of empowered and enlightened womanhood. A #ladyboss. (Ugh, I hate that term. File that away for another blog post.)

I don’t always want to be unpacking the experience of being a woman. Sometimes I just want to write about makeup, the joy of travel, life hacks, and other things that I see other bloggers doing. It’s content that other women read for a reason.

Anyway, enough about me. I did say this wasn’t supposed to be about me, after all.

Bookmarks + Breadcrumbs is the work of my friend Karissa. Whether she’s making me salivate over the recipe for the latest thing she’s baked, sharing her experiences as a teacher, or even tempting me into breaking my self-imposed Amazon ban (because good leggings with pockets are hard to find), I’m always excited when I get a notification that she’s posted something new because her voice is so uplifting and engaging.

Tl;dr

I realize I got a little wordy today. Let me wrap this up. Listen to women. Be aware of who’s creating what you’re consuming. Don’t be afraid to unabashedly like feminine things. There is no one true way to be a woman, or to create and consume women’s content.

That’s as true today as it is the other 364 days of the year.

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