I’d never given much thought to International Women’s Day, assuming it was a corporate ploy to pay lip service to women while doing everything they can to maintain the status quo. (In fact, that is exactly what internationalwomensday.com is, full of fluff about changing the world with…poses?)
But I just started following feminist Clementine Ford and learned from her posts and stories that IWD was started by Theresa Malkiel, a factory worker and first woman leader in the Socialist party. Per Wikipedia,
In theory, the Socialist party was committed to equal rights for men and women, but in practice, it made no effort to reach out specifically to women workers and showed little interest in their concerns. Malkiel concluded that socialist women would have to fight their own parallel battle for equality.
Thus, National Women’s Day in NYC in 1909; in 1910, the International Socialist Women’s Conference proposed a Women’s Day promoting equal rights and suffrage, and it was celebrated officially in 1911.
It remained a Socialist/working class event until 1967, when second-wave feminism jumped on board and it got more widespread attention. In 1975, the UN recognized the holiday…and here we are. Again, per Wikipedia:
By the twenty-first century, IWD has been criticized as heavily diluted and commercialized, particularly in the West, where it is sponsored by major corporations and used to promote general and vague notions of equality, rather than radical social reforms
I dunno, comrades…given that American women can’t get an abortion in 21 states, trans women are afraid for their lives, the gender pay gap keeps getting worse, especially for women of color, and the American right seems to want to take us straight into The Handmaid’s Tale... it might be time to get a little radical again.