A bone to pick

8 Mar

Holy cow I’ve had an exciting day. I have a friend who has just bought an amazing house on the Gold Coast (fully pimped out with an 80’s curved mirror wall) and another friend who has just revealed she’s 8 weeks pregnant. The Boy has finished nights (which meant a massage for me last night – score!), and I spent my lunch hour sitting in the sun with a cup of tea and a few Scotch Finger biscuits, completing a drawing assignment for my graphic design course.

All in all I’m feeling really, really good. Mostly because when I checked my calendar this morning I found I have only nine more weeks left at work. And only five of those are full-time. I’m telling you, you couldn’t wipe the grin off my face today. D-day is fast approaching and soon The Boy and I will have an actual baby to hold, rather than a rather heavy lump to keep on poking.

In other news, today is International Womens Day. As such, I’d like to hereby invoke my rights as a woman to request my husband cook me pancakes for dinner. Pancakes and lasagna. Husband? Are you listening?

In all seriousness, I’ve read a few articles on the topic this morning. Most have been relatively well written and have highlighted how far women come, and how far we’ve got to go. You know, the usual. But what really got my goat was the number of men commenting on these articles about the lack of international men’s day. Complaining about how hard they have it that they’re totally unrecognised. Many argued that men fought for their own rights – to be able to vote, to create unions etc – and that women have piggybacked off their success.

While I’m not about to go into the finer details of this argument – my lunch hour is, after all, officially over – what I don’t understand is why it is so hard for people to recognise and acknowledge that some sections of society – be it women, men, the disabled, the aged, migrants, heck even whole countries – have it hard sometimes and it’s not going to hurt anyone to recognise that fact on the odd day or two.

So what, today is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to say ‘OK, sure, I can see where you’re coming from. I have a mother, a sister, a wife or a friend who I wouldn’t want feeling this way… so you go girlfriend,’ not ‘OMG I can’t believe how whiny all you bitches are. You don’t see ME complaining about how rough I have it!’

Reading all those comments left me pretty disheartened. It’s not because I don’t feel men should be heard, or that they don’t have their own battles to fight – paternity leave is an example of where I think men get totally ripped off. It’s because the majority of these comments stem from what appears to be a seriously selfish mindset. Why should women get a day and not men? Why should we give aid to Africa when there are new flat-screen 3D TV’s on the market? Because life isn’t always about what you get, and making sure your glass is just as full as everyone else’s. Sometimes its about realising that you could probably get by with a quarter of a glass, while that poor bugger over there who hasn’t had a drink in five days might relish the extra.

So you know what? I’m going to celebrate International Women’s Day, and every other damn day that I feel is valid. I’ll celebrate Martin Luther King day not because I’m black, but because I believe all people should be treated equally. And I’m going to start by asking that prick in a suit to get up and let me sit down on the train tonight. Because while it’s often argued that women fought for equality and now we should lie in the bed we made, I don’t see many men out there bearing the brunt of carrying a six month old fetus on an hour commute home.

A little bit more empathy, a little bit more compassion, and a little bit more kindness would go a long way. So before you jump up and down about your own rights and hardships, ask yourself – is it really too much to ask to let someone else be heard, just this one time?

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One Response to “A bone to pick”

  1. Kerry March 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    You do me proud 🙂

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