By Narcissa Lyons
I went to work this past Wednesday and one of my workmates asked me what I was doing there. “Here I was thinking it was typical to show up if you wanted a pay check”. And I was then educated that last Wednesday was Women’s day. That taking it off was what we were to do. To mark the importance of who we are, what some of us have done in past years to better our cause, et cetera. I will preface the rest of this article by letting you know, emphatically, that women are crucial to this world, and really its survival. We keep it going, bar nothing. It isn’t obvious but we run this show, or most of it anyway. Could we do a better job? Yes. But we are working on it and it is one big ass world with myriad and endless problems.
Since that is our mission, to keep the globe mobile, to keep the family in stride, to keep humanity, well, humanity, then that is what we must continue to do–without taking time off just for being female, thereby thwarting our efforts for 24 hours. In case you haven’t looked around at the state of things lately, we cannot spare that kind of time. We should not seek glory or recognition for how we were born into this world. I heard some teachers took the day off. TEACHERS. That taking a day off because you’re a chick is somehow more important than educating our youth. How is our missing a day proving our value rather than proving our silliness in needing that kind of short fame? Ruling the world is difficult, and slightly more so when it is done with the discretion we have thus far employed by necessity or by preference, but that is exactly how we have been successful. It may seem trite and a little white-gloved-hand-over-the-mouth demure, but this is what has been helping us gain ground. It has been easy to present the slighter side, to sooth the tired husband, to let some shit go. But here we are. We have stood by our men and let them man the helm (so to speak) because they are mostly good at what they do and because we can influence positively. Why oh why do we all need a pat on the back? We are not 10.
The fact that my workmate said what he said about me taking the day off with a smile, the rest of the male crew softly chuckling with him, and the fact that many other women rolled their eyes with me when this day was referenced …..is telling. When you balk about something that does not need to be balked about you will not be taken seriously. When you differentiate the entire gender from the gender you believe has wronged you (or the male dominated government, whatever), you are invalidating most of your cause. There are women in this world who have real problems, large populations actually, and thankfully there are causes and groups out there trying to address these problems, but feeling unrecognized and complaining about it enough to have a freaking day dedicated to us is just humiliating. What is happening?
Easy answer. We have fallen off some ridiculous cliff. We are living in a section of the world where things are actually fairly OK for females (no, not perfect), and have become so spoiled that we demand importance be noted, and don’t you forget us. Of course we are important, and of course we are vital, and of course we must fight the good fight, but I want to go back to fighting it intelligently and with dignity. With subtlety. For shit’s sake, we know better. This is not simplicity, but taking the day off to prove women are valuable is flinch inducing, and a not-so-dainty step backwards. Until recently, we have handled the imbalance with nobility and wisdom. I don’t know about you, but I know exactly what is what. We are all that. But don’t give me a day off or tip your hat just because. Thankfully, there are plenty of us out there that still wield the theoretical sword silently, and it is understood we are respected by both/all sexes, albeit it that such people are of the intelligent variety. I’ll not soon be asked for my vote on this, but I move to return to that nobility and doing what we are good at–furthering the agenda not just of women, but of humankind at large. And that is a full time gig.