When you ask me the above question, here’s what I hear:
- I think I am funny and original. I live in a bubble so privileged and sheltered from the real world that I cannot even imagine that at eight o’clock in the morning on March 8th I’m not even the first person to ask you that question.
- Despite this International Women’s Day clearly being a thing, I have never even given a single thought to why it might be a thing; why people feel there may be a need for it; how women’s lives are different to my own little bubble of privilege.
- On a day deliberately designated for the celebration of diversity and inclusion, I can’t be bothered to take a second to think about whether my behaviour and comments are inclusive, or within the spirit of that day. Let’s not even talk about all the other days of the year.
When you ask me the above question, here’s how it might make me and others around us feel:
- Dismissed and trivialised. It’s bad enough that there were cupcakes involved.
- Put on the spot. I can either stand up to you and be a role model to those around me, at the price of some significant personal discomfort, or I can not look in the mirror for the rest of the day. Either option will upset me sufficiently to distract me from doing my job.
- Disappointed. Because really, you should know better, and there is no way in hell that I should have to deal with this.
And when I finally answer the above question, here are some things you maybe shouldn’t do:
- Be surprised that I spoke up for myself.
- Look at me like I just kicked your puppy for telling you that “That’d be all the other days of the year.”
- Tell me you don’t think that’s quite true.
Just some food for thought.