A Reflection on International Women's Day

"Fine, Call Me A Feminazi" But I'm Still Celebrating

By Anna Hallahan

If you were to open your browser to Google right now and search for gender equality, you would come across a plethora of articles depicting the horrendous wage gaps affecting Hollywood actresses and Kenyan women on tea plantations alike. The startling statistics are enough to eject you from your seat and set you on a crusade fighting the good feminist fight.

But then what?

Humans need both positive and negative reinforcement to motivate behavioral changes. Alarming calls to action in the face of increasing perversity are undoubtedly motivating, but without the evidence of progress, it can be easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom.

By all means, I am a proponent of revealing the current state of affairs and encouraging others to take action against the sickening realities of gender inequality. While the negative reports may be in the nature of our news cycle, however, I want to advocate as well for the positive movements of progress that GUWIL members and fellow female-empowering crusaders have achieved.

I never feel as proud and fortunate to be a female as I do when I hear Emma Watson speak. In a recent interview, she said ‘Fine. Call me a ‘diva’, call me a ‘feminazi’, call me ‘difficult,’ call me a ‘First World feminist’, call me whatever you want, it’s not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing.” Her unwavering bravery to stand up for her beliefs and fully give herself to a cause, emulates the beautiful passion that hallmarks the fight for gender equality.

However, Emma Watson is not the only one whose inspirational character has brought forth a refreshing sense of spirit. International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 unleashed an abundance of multimedia highlighting the strengths and beauty of womankind. Goodbye to horrendous wage gap statistics and hello to the empowering, feminist video on Google’s homepage. For reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztMIb6nEeyg. 

I for one am celebrating this wave of positivity, as I reflect on what it means to be a feminist and the great strides we have made in recent years to increase awareness of this special cause.

Check out some of my favorite IWD shoutouts:

-Scotland’s national newspaper temporarily changed their name for the day to “The Scotswoman”  (http://www.scotsman.com/) 

-The Economist released a report highlighting the best (and worst) places for women to live and work. (http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/03/daily-chart-0)

-Hillary Clinton advocated in many tweets the benefits women bring to the economy and highlighted the progress of strong females such as Eleanor Roosevelt.

-The steady stream of photos depicting the IWD marches across the globe, such as this one in Delhi, depicts the unwavering, international support for gender equality. (http://www.ibtimes.com/international-womens-day-2016-events-marches-celebrations-new-york-delhi-london-2330604)