Happy International Women’s Day!
As I write, hundreds of thousands (millions?) of women are taking to the streets around the world in celebration, protest, and solidarity. One of the movements today that seeks to channel that original, radical, troublesome spirit of the suffragettes is #WeStrike, a broad coalition seeking to bring direct attention to a variety of issues: from trans lives to justice in family courts, pensions and working conditions as well as abortion rights, sex work decriminalization, and sexual harassment.
This radical contingent isn’t just occurring here in the country of Mary Wollstonecraft, the Pankhurst’s and Emily Davison however – in Spain we see the first ever nationwide feminist strike #Huelga8Marzo, with offices being cleared and radical teach-ins and blockades closing railway stations and roads. Huelga8Marzo is inspiring not only because of its no-nonsense attitude, but that it is pitted against what writers call a machista culture of overt, aggressive masculinity. Sadly, with the exposure of #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns we can see that self-entitled patriarchy isn’t just a problem in Spanish-speaking countries.
These voices in the streets reminds me, naturally I guess, of the women in my life: Of the untold hours of housework that my single-parent mother did bringing up her unruly brood of three kids – all while holding down a job as a palliative care nurse. Or it brings to mind my sister; a mother of two herself now, whose drive and adventurism has always been a stellar inspiration to me. I don’t see either of them enough. I could do better.
Fundamentally – I start thinking about whether I am a good husband. Whether I listen enough, whether I do my bit.
I am grateful that I still have time, at least. I can do better. We can always be better.