THE PROBLEM WITH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

 

I saw an ad from a major chain store running a promotion for International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is today, March 8th. The subject line in my email was ‘Its a good day for an offer’.

 

The headline reads,

Celebrate International Women’s Day, March 8

The next line reads 10am – 2pm.

This caught my attention, but not for the reason the decision-makers had in mind.

 

I wonder what the discussion around that boardroom table was like? Based on the result, I’m imagining that it was primarily an all-male meeting?

 

 

‘Let’s do a special promotion for Women’s Day. We’ll acknowledge them for a day with a special offer. It’ll make us look good and show that we care.’

‘But let’s not get too carried away.’

‘How about we do a Buy 1 Get 1 ½ off any purchase.’

‘No, that might cut too deep into our profits.’

‘Let’s give them a 10% purchase promo.’

 ‘ok’

‘But all day?  We need to watch our bottom line.’

‘Yeah, it seems a bit much.  What would be reasonable?’

‘Let’s say a full workday, so make it a 9 to 5 promotion. It’s kind of clever since we’re addressing women entrepreneurs, aren’t we?’

Well, I don’t know. A special discount for a full day and all you have to do to qualify is be a woman who works?’

‘You’re right.’

‘Let’s give them a ‘window of opportunity’. We’ll give them a 4-hour window, in the middle of the workday.’

‘That’s it. We nailed it.’

High fives are shared around the boardroom.

 

I don’t mean to bash all males here. Most of the ones I know and associate with do not think this way. The ones I know are far more highly evolved.

As a society, we can do better. Part of the problem we face is acknowledging such days. What does that mean anyway? Is my life supposed to improve because of it? I can’t recall if it ever has. I don’t feel any different today. I didn’t really know, so I took a closer look.

 

The first International Women’s Day was held on March 8, 1914. According to https://www.internationalwomensday.com, it’s a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. That sounds reasonable.

I wouldn’t be benefiting today from the freedoms I currently take for granted if it hadn’t been addressed by the thousands of women who stood up for what should be basic rights. So I thank them for their courage and efforts.

You think I’m kidding? Take a look at some of the laws that existed previously and tell me I’m wrong,

In 1848 Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law. College and universities did not accept female students.

After 72 years of effort, the Women’s Rights Movement finally won women the right to vote in 1920. I can’t even imagine not being part of the voting system.

Here’s one that still exists today in Carmel, California,

All women who want to wear high heels that exceed two inches with a base of less than one square inch must get a permit from the city. This was created to protect their sidewalks.

I doubt that last one is still being enforced, but it is the law.

 

The problem isn’t that women are equal or not. We pull our weight. The problem only exists in the laws and the people who regulate them. The problem is in corporate headquarters that see personality over talent. The problem is among women themselves when we don’t step up to the plate to let others see what we’re capable of.

The bigger issue is that we categorize people. Who we are, what we look like, where we come from should make no difference. This problem will continue to exist for women, for people of color, for gays, and for the middle class so long as we continue to place them in categories. It’s not a women’s rights issue, it’s a human rights issue.

 

And the truth is, not all humans are equal. Nor should we be.  I’m not interested in traveling to the moon, as cool as that might be.  But there are women (and men) who are.  We need to look past our physical demarcations and look at value. We all have a unique set of talents, skills, and interests. There’s room on this planet for all of it. Some skill sets lend themselves to a particular industry or sector better than others. It’s up to the individual to rise up to their own potential, to give what they’ve got to the best of their ability. Not everyone has the same aspirations. Those that do, go further. It’s a choice.

 

 

 

The reality is that these issues persist. And we want to make it everyone’s problem.

 

Listen to what Gloria Steinem said. She’s known as a world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist.

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."

I’m with you on that one Gloria.

 

It’s beyond a political problem. It’s beyond a corporate problem. It’s a human problem. As long as we keep labeling our differences, as long as we feed into the mania, as long as we continue to judge and place emphasis on our differences, we continue to keep this fire burning.

It’s not the government’s fault that women are not being voted into office. The public votes for who they want. It may not be the fault of the corporation to decide who gets to sit at the boardroom table. Qualified candidates need to be visible and ‘available’. I think women have a hard time with that one.

What needs to shift is our collective consciousness and how we perceive our various roles. That takes time. That’s called evolution. Until it runs it’s course, the battle will continue with only a ‘popcorn’ impact at best, where a few select people will stand out seemingly having broken the barrier. That’s ok. It’s how we evolve. We must continue.

 

I like what Singer-Songwriter Laura Mvula said in a recent Marie Claire UK article,

‘We need a day to celebrate great women doing great things. On International Women’s Day we are not only reminded of these women, but each of us refuelled and impassioned to reach higher.’

 

We do need reminders. We do need to refuel. We could all use a little support from one another. Not because we are women; because we are people. There’s a big difference.

Screaming & shouting will only get you so far and often barely moves the yardstick. You come away battered and bruised. Just think about the last rally women organized with their March on Washington. What changed? Where’s that conversation? The only lasting impression I’m seeing are the grotesque pink hats that show up here and there.

 

I’m trying to understand this plight of women. And I’m having a hard time. It’s not that it doesn’t exist. It does. But much of the commentary I hear is about ‘they’ have to make it fair for ‘me’. Which translates to ‘them’ having ‘power’ over you. I find that messed up.

“Women who place a low value on themselves make life hard for all women.”

~ Nellie McClung, 1945

 

My fear is that the collective opinion of these women feels that unless someone seats them at the boardroom table, they are devalued. This kind of thinking can also backfire with a type of reverse prejudice – appointing positions to accommodate what appears to be a socially accepted, even progressive choice.

This is dangerous as it no longer seeks to qualify candidates, but it seeks to fulfill a mission with a different intention. This is not much different than awarding every kid on every team a trophy. They lose sight of what it takes to come out on top. A quick glance at our millennials will explain how that worked out.  (I love you millennials)

 

I’m not saying the specially allocated days are useless or that the conversation isn’t an important one. But it cannot stop there. You can’t show up, shout, go home and return to your regular routines. The impact is going to be lasting when you go home and start living to your potential. And that takes guts.

 

 

I recently launched a Facebook group called PASSION INSPIRED SUCCESS where we speak about your uniqueness, your passions and creating success your way. It’s open to everyone that is passionate about doing better. If you want to lead with passion, you can ask to join the group by clicking on the link below.

 

submit button

 

When I work with developing Experts, one of the main criteria is to develop their positioning so that they stand out. It has little to do with their gender and everything to do with who they are. The right positioning allows you to become a person of influence. You make a bigger difference when you are recognized as an Expert in your industry or with your cause. That’s where real power to make change lives.

 

There’s no question that there are real problems in this world. There’s no doubt that an inequality exists. This is not news. It’s been this way since the beginning of time. If it’s not women, it was race. If it’s not race, it was social class.

I am not anti-women. I am not anti-men. I am pro human. We all matter. We all have the ability to find what we exclusively are gifted at. When we tap into that, we tap into a True Value that we can use to contribute to the people we can help most directly. That’s how you affect change.

The greatest contribution any one person can make is to become successful despite all of the issues. Issues are not new. They have always been there, just concealed in different packages.

 

One place to start is to utilize your passions.

 

In my upcoming program, IGNITE YOUR PASSIONS, I’ll show you how to focus on the areas of your life that truly matter.

 

The best way to win this race is to BE(come) success. Once you do, BE(come) available to help others find a way to be a success too. When we do that, it won’t matter if you’re female, Asian, short or wear purple shoes.

 

 

 

 


 

COMING SOON;

 

 

 

 

 

IGNITE YOUR PASSIONS, The EXPERT'S PATH TO FULFILLMENT online course

 

Be first in line to be notified,

 


 

Stay informed. Don’t miss the next blog.  Go to this link now to subscribe,

http://3cfusion.com/blog

While you're here, SHARE and LIKE this post!

Thanks, it inspires me to keep writing for you.

 


 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked