A Day of Rebellion

Few months ago, I hope you had a good laugh reading my recipe post. Today I hope you’ll have a good thought on this one, as this is a serious me speaking.

Today is March 8th, the International Women’s Day.
But, that’s not all. Women’s protests date long time ago, one of the most significant of those early ones was in 1857, when female textile workers in New York went into strike. That one kind of marked the beginning of women labour movement.  The idea of an International Women’s Day emerges in 1910, by Clara Zetkin, but there was no chosen date, it fluctuated between the late February and early March. The first International Women’s Day protest held on March 8th was in 1914. This date was officially proclaimed in 1917, but still this year we may say that it is a 100th Women’s Day in history of our world. Some anniversary, eh?

At that time, all those labour movements and women’s right movements were organized and supported by socialist parties around the world. So, it’s no wonder that March 8th, being a socialist political event, was dominantly celebrated since 1917 in socialist and comunist countries. Just for your orientation, the UN accepted and supported this date and this event in 1977.

I grew up in a socialist country. I come from Serbia, which was until recently part of Yugoslavia, which was a socialist country since 1945, the end of WWII. Immediately after the liberation, our women were proclaimed equal in every way. March 8th was an official holiday. We learned about it in schools – all the data mentioned above I pulled out from my head. I don’t need to google the history of struggle for women’s rights. We had to know it all, as well as about world labour movements in general.

Today, I see March 8th becoming something like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s. As socialism went down, all those lessons in schools became less detailed and less important. Today I see girls and young women wondering about what is their boyfriend or husband going to bring them as present and that is basically all what they know and feel about March 8th. Ok, flowers and chocolates are always nice gesture, but this really makes me mad. Also, my friends from countries without socialist history (so called West) generally don’t care. They didn’t experienced that tradition, it’s just another Day of Something for them. Maybe I’m wrong about this, please share your stories and opinions.

It shouldn’t be that way. Women’s rights movement had an enourmous impact, it litterally changed the world we live in so tremendously! And that struggle was incredibly hard and it was just 100 years ago. We, today, simply have to be aware of that. And to know about that and to teach our children about that.

Here is something to share on your Facebook profiles and pages today:

March 8th is date of remembrance of 1857 and 1909 protests of American female workers against inhuman working conditions and low wages. The demands were 8-hour working time, a non-working day, a sick leave and prohibition of children labour.

What started as labour movement growed into an international women’s rights movement, a struggle for suffrage for women, struggle for right to make decisions about our health, education, proffesion, assets. A right to say “yes” and a right to say “no”.

Only 100 years ago thousends of women were beaten, arrested, imprisonated and tortured for the rights that we today take for granted.

March 8th is not Mother’s Day and it’s not Valentine’s, it’s the Day of Rebellion. So don’t ask what your man is going to give you for a present today, ask what you will give to yourself and to the women that will come in 100 years from now.

Happy March 8th, stay strong, stay smart, stay respectful to our foremothers!

“I gotta ask you comrades and brothers
How do you treat you own woman back home?
She got to be herself
So she can free herself
Power to the people!”

Love,
Ursula Handmade Jewelry

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