Thursday, 8 March 2018

Women Deserve to be Supported in the Decisions They Make - By All

Today is International Women’s Day.

There were several events causing me to consider writing about International Women’s Day and these were also causing me to have mixed views about the day.

It is difficult to explain. I wonder if the need for such a day is counterproductive in itself. For example, are we saying “lets allocate a day to thinking about and recognising Women and then get back to our business feeling better about ourselves for having done so, with nothing changed”?

Alternatively, taking a day to commemorate those who have fought to progress equality and to re-set for the future is of great value.
Double J online radio was acknowledging International Women’s Day by playing music by female artists only, presented by all female on-air personalities. Part of me felt this to be a novelty, trivial even. Alternatively, it is a tangible means of raising awareness of prejudice towards Women making their way in the creative industries.

I received a message from a friend first thing this morning. She was referencing International Women’s Day and I suspect felt I would be writing about it. She questioned it’s relevance given the rise of the #metoo movement. We exchanged a few messages and I will address this in future posts.

As a Male in my 50’s, I am always conscious of valid criticism of my qualifications to write about such topics. I therefore sought feedback and input from a wide range of friends. By wide range, I included male and female, gay and straight, singles, marrieds, parents and grandparents. I included self-employed, employees, business owners, educators and unemployed. There was a sprinkling too of people raised in other cultures.

The feedback so far has had several distinct themes to it and I will address these in the coming days.

Today, I want to talk about some of the most passionate and perhaps most concerning feedback.

It comes from a couple in their early 30’s who have been together for 4 or so years.

They are building their careers and establishing themselves. There has been a little travel but nothing exotic.

The feedback received talked about the disappointment with the support of women for the choices of other women.

Specifically, they feel they are constantly judged, denigrated and undervalued predominantly by Women for not having started a family or sharing any plans to do so.

Women do not support their choice.

They cast doubt on the authenticity of a Day where Women collectively raise a glass and toast themselves.

There is clearly much hurt for this couple and “her” in particular at the constant judgements passed of them and expressed to them, by women.

I know many Women for whom the planets have not aligned for them to have children. Relationships haven’t worked or they spent periods of time between relationships when they might otherwise have been having a child.

I know several people who are simply unable to have children no matter desperate they are too.

I suspect they have been subjected to similar treatment.

Much of the feedback I have received was expected while much like this case, was a complete surprise.

International Women’s Day is one where perhaps the focus is on greater equality and ensuring Women can make the decisions and have the same opportunities afforded us males.

However, surely it should also be a day when we all re-focus and commit to supporting everyone for the decisions they make, the pathway they wish to take and that this be equal for all.

Including Motherhood.

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