opinion

Why we don't need International Women's Day in 2017.

This morning, a man named David Spencer was seen by several witnesses at Central Station at approximately 8:43am, scrolling through his phone as he alighted the train.

With no warning, his Facebook feed alerted him that today, the 8th of March, is International Women’s Day.

Spencer was overheard scoffing in the direction of no one in particular, “Pfft – why the hell do we need an International Women’s Day? I’m not sexist.”

Indeed, Spencer has a “soft spot” for women.

Research reveals that his mother was, and continues to be a woman. His grandmother was a female too, and Spencer liked her very much. He married a woman, who he sleeps in the same bed as every night. Spencer is a father to two daughters, who he loves more than anything in the world.

As onlookers considered Spencer’s remark, the tide began to change.

The Mamamia Out Loud team explain why we don’t need International Men’s Day.  Post continues below. 

One 22-year-old woman was heard muttering to herself, “He’s right… it’s 2017. I can do whatever I like.”

A 41-year-old man nodded vigorously in agreement, and a group of high school children started a slow clap.

You see, what we’re all so afraid to say is that; Spencer is right. 

Why would the world Spencer lives in, in a country where we had a female Prime Minister that one time, and in a state where women got the vote more than a century ago, still need a goddamn International Women’s Day?

The whole concept is as absurd as it is outdated.

In 2017, the day is more or less about a bunch of angry feminists making a fuss. Women love making a fuss.

So here’s to the Spencer’s, who find this day entirely unnecessary.

"Am I blind? Coz I can't see sexism anywhere..."
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It's 2017 and women can read and write.

All except 493 million of them.

It's 2017 and all women are entitled to basic human rights. 

All except the 20 million trafficked women and children worldwide, 98 per cent of whom are female. In 2017, sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.

It's 2017 and women are protected under law. 

All except the 603 million women who live in parts of the world where domestic violence is not considered a crime.

It's 2017 and arranged marriages are a thing of the past.

For all except the one in five who are forced into marriage before the age of 18. That's 60 million child brides.

It's 2017 and women are safe. 

All except the one in three women worldwide who have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partners in their lifetimes.

Women aged between 15 and 44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war, malaria, or any other preventable health issue.

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It's 2017 and women have control of their own finances. 

All except the 1.7 billion women worldwide who don't have their own bank account.

It's 2017 and women run the world. 

Except that they don't. Only one in ten world leaders are women.

It's 2017 and a woman can run for President.

She just can't become one.

It's 2017 and women have ownership of their bodies.

All except the 37 per cent of women in the world who don't have any access, whatsoever, to contraception. Or the 20 million women who will undergo an unsafe abortion this year.

President Donald Trump surrounded by six men, signing an anti-abortion executive order. Image via Getty.

It's 2017 and childbirth is medicalised and low-risk.

All except the 250,000 maternal deaths and 1.7 million newborn deaths that could be avoided if basic family planning and health services were met.

It's 2017, and men and women in developed countries like Australia are absolutely equal. 

Except in regards to pay, domestic and childcare duties, leadership, and political representation. Of 29 Prime Ministers throughout Australian history, we've had only one female.

It's 2017 and women in Australia comprise almost half the workforce.

Except to earn the same as her male counterparts - she just has to work a little bit of overtime; 66 days or 528 hours over a year. Which is lucky, because women have lots of spare time given they do twice the housework, and twice as much childcare, as men.

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It's 2017 and a woman can be CEO.

Except in Australia she only holds 14.2 per cent of chair positions, and represents only 15.4 per cent of CEOs.

It's 2017 and women are strong and independent.

Except the leading cause of preventable death amongst young Australian women is domestic violence. One woman is murdered every week by her current or former partner.

It's 2017 and women in Australia are not disadvantaged simply because they have a vagina. 

Except once a month, when their bodies are taxed 10 per cent, because sanitary items are considered a 'luxury'. Lubricant, toilet paper and condoms are tax free and regarded a 'necessity'.

It's 2017 and women are sexually liberated. 

Except one in five Australian women have been the victims of sexual violence - some of the highest rates of reported sexual assault in the world. According to one survey, Australia is at double the global average.

It's 2017 and the David Spencer's of the world don't think we need an International Women's Day.

And to them we say thank you.

Because they remind us year in and year out, why International Women's Day is so incredibly important.

You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here.

You can follow Jessie Stephens on Facebook, here.

You can follow Luca Lavigne on Facebook, here.

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