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COMMENT | This Int'l Women's Day, I'm thinking about how tired we are
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COMMENT | Readers, I’ve got to level with you: I struggled to write this piece. Not because writing can be soul-crushing work (though it’s not that), but because I’m a sceptic when it comes to the concept of “International Women’s Day”.

How do you adequately answer a question with such a broad range of answers: what does it mean to be a young woman in 2021?

I tried to find something to say that wasn’t so bleak or full of black rage, while also trying to convey that yes, feminists do have a sense of humour!

Would earnest curiosity punctuated by righteous suspicion work? “Men do care about the women’s movement, and here are five brands that prove it!”

I hope you’ll forgive my cynicism, but after 27 years in this female-presenting meat sack, it feels like the only rational response.

Jokes aside, writing this essay did force me to think long and hard about the meaning of womanhood in the year of our lord 2021. Are there good things about being a woman in the modern world? Or, put another way, has there ever been a better time to be a woman?

To wit, probably not. We stand more than 110 years from the moment (German socialist and feminist leader) Clara Zetkin declared the necessity of a worldwide celebration of women’s suffrage, and undeniably, there’s been a lot of change since.

Women have seen their life expectancy and wages improve. We have seen women ascend to the highest offices of power, we’ve seen girls lifted out of poverty and given the right to education, the right to drive, the right to vote.

Women are better educated, better represented in media and real life, are more enriched and empowered than probably at any other point in history. It’s quite nice, yeah?

And yet, despite Zetkin, despite the representation, and the hard-won rights and freedoms — is the world a better place for women-presenting folks? After all, the world is still a dangerous place for us: one in three women will face physical and/or sexual abuse in her lifetime.

We have barely broken 10 percent in Parliament and 30 percent in the boardroom.

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