Why I refuse to celebrate International Women’s Day
International Women's Day makes me feel uncomfortable and bored.
There, I've said it. Cue the criticism.
But I refuse to be bullied into supporting a facade of feminism.
Every year it is the same: a flurry of purple cupcakes, photo shoots of female athletes and the naive excitement that we can march into work and smash the glass ceiling with a roundhouse kick of our stilettos.
In reality, most women don't even realise today is International Women's Day, until they quickly check their social media feed before madly thrashing through peak-hour traffic to make childcare pick-up.
But every March 8 I feel clammy at the pressure to fist pump my way through this day of solidarity with my 'sisters'.
I am not anti-feminist. I was raised by a strong, intelligent mother, who endured intimidation and phone tapping for her advocacy for abortion during the Joh-era in 1980s Brisbane. I support equal pay and equal opportunity. I want the same treatment and same rights as men.
But I am also a realist.
International Women's Day is not credible or even useful.
This 108-year-old, UN-instated, 24-hours of tokenistic hand-holding has achieved … nothing.
We still earn less than men - 21.3 per cent less for doing the exact same job, according to the Australian Government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
All IWD offers is a day of artifice, spreading a thin smear of hope that change is coming, while cramming in every possible #strong #empowered #women issue.
What does genital mutilation in Sub-Saharan Africa have to do with female beer brewers? How do radio stations with female-only presenters address domestic violence? How do Beyonce tribute shows or ladies-only dawn yoga sessions help close the gender equality gap?
It's reductive and trivialises valid campaigns.
We are half the population. We are not some special subgroup like redheads, coeliacs or Game of Thrones fans.
Just because we share a chromosome does not mean we need to lump every issue that in some way includes women into a day that's 'celebrated' with purple cupcakes.
It disparages issues that need attention. Violence against women, against anyone, is sickening. Mental illness, depression and suicide levels are concerning for all people. Discrimination against any person is wrong.
Setting ourselves apart by our gender, as though we are more special and more important, only sets us back.
This militant advocacy of the sisterhood only encourages inequality.
And isn't that what we are meant to be 'fighting' against in the first place?
Lucy Carne is the editor of RendezView.com.au. @lucycarne