International Womens' Day is upon us again. Or maybe it was yesterday, and I was so enraptured by trains I didn't notice (that would explain some of the bits on the news last night).
I'm looking foward to the day when this Day disappears. I think it's pretty condescending to set aside a day to say 'isn't that clever what they've done?' or 'see, women can do stuff''. Especially when the newspeople cast about for some female to showcase, and wind up inevitably a century ago with Marie Curie (this is France here). What, is every other day Mens' Day??
News flash: women do stuff all the time. Have jobs, make discoveries, raise families, make policy, run companies, etc etc etc.
Reality: women doing stuff is ordinary. It's the status quo. It's normal. The world would grind to a halt otherwise.
But that's just me in the West. I'm all comfy here in my office, running my lab, deciding on my research, going home to my house in the evening to do whatever I've a mind to there too. Women in countries not so very far from here don't have those luxuries. At the extreme, they exist at the whim of their husbands or fathers. They cannot go out, they cannot own, they cannot decide. They are owned just like the livestock in the yard, and are sometimes not valued as much.
That's what International Womens' Day is about. And once every woman can shake her head and wonder what such a day is for, it can be abolished.