DANSEREAU: International Women’s Day

Opinion

(Image curtesy/ freepik)

(Image curtesy/ freepik)

Monday March 8, 2021 was International Women’s Day; so to truly reflect on this day I am going to write about some of the incredible works, whether it be writing, film, public speaking or acts from women that I found to exemplify the resilience of women.

I believe that there has been a major shift that has been progressing in the past few decades when it comes to women and women’s rights.

We’ve seen women, such as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, be one of the few women in the world to give birth while serving the role of Prime Minister, and just two years later go on to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic quicker and more effectively than any other country or world leader while raising a toddler.

This year the very first female, first black and first Asian-American US Vice President was inaugurated—Kamala Harris.

In 2020 women and allies stood with one another to protect their reproductive rights against legislations trying to ban abortions in country’s including but not limited to the United States of America and Poland. It was inspiring to see women rise up against decisions being made (big surprise- not by women) in regards to their bodies.

This March a new film by comedian Amy Poehler was released on Netflix called Moxie and I found it to be a brilliant feminist work of art.

The movie’s main character starts out as an unsure girl who sees sexist things happening around her at school but never says anything as to not rock the boat when she finally enough, and starts spreading the word of female empowerment and being brave enough to stand against patriarchal systems put in place that inherently make women, and especially young women, feel powerless.

In my honest opinion, this movie was so well done and constructed that it should be played in schools to not only show girls what they are capable of, but also to show what male feminist allies look like and that it is attractive when people step up and actively speak against toxic masculinity.

For a brilliant read that reiterates the gender divide and how we can make changes to society to support women more I highly, HIGHLY, recommend reading or listening to the book Invisible Women: Data bias in a world designed for men. This book, released in 2019 taps into so many micro-fractures of society that impact women which eventually build into something much bigger, contributing to the gender divide.

The author, Caroline Criado Perez, deep dives into how a gender gap in data perpetuates bias and disadvantages for women. Built on hundreds of studies in the United States, United Kingdom and across the world, Criado Perez outlines how “product designers use a “one-size-fits-all” approach to everything from pianos to cell phones to voice recognition software, when in fact this approach is designed to fit men. Cities prioritize men’s needs when designing public transportation, roads, and even snow removal, neglecting to consider women’s safety or unique responsibilities and travel patterns. And in medical research, women have largely been excluded from studies and textbooks, leaving them chronically misunderstood, mistreated, and misdiagnosed,” (Chapters/ Indigo critical appraise for Invisible Women) and so much more.

I haven’t even nearly begun to scrape the surface of how amazing and powerful women are, and how their work is changing the constructs that used to define us everyday.

Happy Women’s Day to the nurturers, the go-getters, the emotional labourers (lets start closing the gender divide on this one!), the inquirers, the strong willed, the loud and the quiet. Happy Women’s Day to all the incredible women in my life including my family and my co-workers, and to the women (and our allies!) reading this paper. The power of women is undeniable and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.