Where I live, it’s the day after Women’s Day. It’s the last day to redeem discount coupons for beauty products and the final chance to feel “special” before we can feel it again next year.
What a scam women’s day has become. Last year this time around, my Facebook feed flooded with hashtags. He for she, she for all, woman of steel, wonder woman, girl power, and all those goosebumps-inducing supposed-motivational videos, plus “25 quotes from Malala that makes every girl love herself.”
Fast forward a year, and this time, my feed says hashtag whatever. My feed is full of women holding cards that echo the same emotion: we’re tired of glorifying women for a day and trashing them through the rest of the year.
Well, I can sympathise with that.
Except, all these against-Women’s Day hoopla come from corporates, and people just retweet or repost them, making it a marketing success for the brands involved.
Whereas until a year ago, the same brands flashed stereotypical “women are the best” campaigns, and we retweeted and reposted them then too. Last year that worked. This year, brands wanted a new kind of campaign and they chose a more “be bold everyday” message.
If celebrating women on Women’s Day was the marketing ploy of yesteryear, shunning Women’s Day celebrations is the marketing ploy of this year.
And lost in all these ploys is the true essence of Women’s Day: where we dedicate a day in our calendars to thank women for being a part of our lives, wishing each other all success in years to come. It’s no different from Labour Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, or Teachers’ Day. Or even Children’s Day.
Women’s Day is yet another of those social days where we take a moment to appreciate women. Nothing’s wrong with that. What’s wrong, though, is what the biggest brands of our capitalist world have transformed this day into. Gender disparity at work and home is a common issue. Just like teachers being respected less over scientists. Just like child abuse, or less-than-minimum wages.
We seldom make a marketing blast connecting low wages with Labour Day. Or child labour with Children’s Day (thought that’s becoming a trend now). Or abortions with Mothers’ Day.
But Women’s Day has been beaten to death, and somewhere along the way, the sincere thought of appreciation is lost forever.