international ask a question day

  • In a lesson I taught yesterday, one of the high school boys, upon being told it was International Womens Day, asked the time old question 'but when is it ever international mens day?'
  • Before I could say a damn thing, a girl on the other side of the class, who incidently is my new favourite student, yelled across at him 'every other fucking day - its the default that men get celebrated.'
  • Feminism lives and she is 15 years old.

anonymous asked:

so I have a question..Was it working women's day? Or women's day? I'm new here and I was wondering if maybe u could briefly explain why so many people just say women's day if it was originally working women's day... Or if there's a reason some people have decided to change it to working women's day? Do u know what I mean? Hah. I'd like to be in the know and if it's been discussed I won't see, I don't follow a ton of radfem blogs because too much talk of violence and sexual violence is..U know.

This is a good question! This article has an in-depth history of the beginnings of the holiday, but I will give you the stuff that most directly relates to your question and if you are curious to learn more I would definitely check that article out!

Clara Zetkin, a German socialist, first proposed an International Working Women’s Day in 1909 at the second International Conference of Socialist Women. (well, it was something like Feb 27th back then in Russia- different calendar) It has always been about working women, and a day for action.  In the following years, mass demonstrations and strikes by women in Germany, Denmark, Russia, all over, were held in early March/late February, until 1914 when it seemed to stick to March 8th after that. In 1917 hundreds of thousands of women went on strike in Petrograd to call for the end of WWI and better working conditions, and this was the beginning of the Russian Revolution. The Czar fell literally days later- after officers were asked to shoot women and they refused to follow orders, the masses were emboldened and won.

The conference of socialist women was a call specifically for working women to be invited to the socialist movement- and not to be fooled by bourgeois feminist movement. The year before,1908, there had been a congress for all Russian women but was really 700 bourgeois women to 45 working class women. Every issue working women proposed was denied- including universal suffrage. That’s right- the bourgeois feminist movement was against giving all women the right to vote. In the US this was true too several years later, it was ok giving the vote to rich white women. But poor women? Black women? That’s going too far.

So basically there have been tensions between working women and bourgeois feminism since the beginning. The bourgeois feminists are happy to use working women, their numbers, their energy, to accomplish things when our interests a aligned on certain issues, but do not mistake them for allies on all fronts. They do not fight for working women, they fight for their class.

The world didn’t want much to do with it since Russia celebrated it and it was part of the whole anti-communist thing. It wasn’t until the 70′s that the UN declared it International Women’s Day, dropping the first W. 

So the main reasons the ‘working’ got dropped is because of bourgeois feminism and anti-communist sentiment. 

Also, I hope you feel safe on my blog and if there is anything else I can do please let me know!