Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SOL #8: International Woman's Day Across the Decades

This March writing challenge is organized by Two Writing Teachers

Also, for reasons unknown, Blogger is not letting me center text right now.  

This is partially inspired by a post I read the other day, a play in five acts about the writer's lifelong love of ice cold Pepsi.  For reasons known to me, namely my lack of organization, I am not currently able to tell you who that Slicer was, but if it was you--thank you, and please make yourself known.

March 8, 1990

The choir of the Danish international folk high school (sort of like a live-in community college with a social justice slant) where I'm spending spring of my junior year in college performs John Lennon's "Woman" for an International Woman's Day event.  I've never heard of this holiday before, and the irony of singing a man's song on this day is lost on all of us.  We just like belting out, "I loooooove you, yeah yeah, now and foreverrrrr."

March 8, 1995

My high school students in the Latvian town I'm serving in as a Peace Corps Volunteer bring me flowers.  Well, the boys do.  They also hand flowers to their female classmates.  We are charmed, although not as blown away as I'd be in the US, since flowers are given at the drop of a hat around here.  Still, there is still snow on the ground, so these hothouse blooms are a welcome promise of spring.

March 8, 2006

I'm back in Latvia on a teaching exchange, but only one boy brings flowers for the women at school.  "It's a Soviet holiday" sniffs our next door neighbor.  "I'd rather wait until I'm a mother and get flowers for mother's day.  THAT is a real Latvian holiday."  At our evening language class, the Cuban student brings flowers for our (female) teacher and the two of us in the class who are women.  I wonder if this proves our neighbor's point about the connection between Women's Day and Communism.

March 8, 2017

I have a note on my computer that says: 
  • Wear red
  • Stay off social media
  • Don't spend money
I don't feel like staying home will send any kind of real message.  My substitute would most likely be another woman.   I also decide not to sacrifice the Slice of Life challenge to a strike either, although I will limit my commenting to the minimum of three.  The hardest part, of course, was not stopping for coffee this morning, but after Googling the CEO of my preferred shop and seeing it's a man, I figured I could make it.

How did International Woman's Day go from flowers and songs to strikes and boycotts?  Well, when the status of women in the world and in our country takes several steps backwards, that affects things.  Thinking of how the holiday seemed "Soviet," I can see its connections to labor movements and social protest throughout time.  


  1. I'm pathetic - I hadn't heard about it until this year. I think that just being the amazing women we are and doing the things we love to do make Woman's Day a great day - celebrating us! I like how you wrote your piece in time chunks. That was a great timeline. Thanks for the history.

  2. Interesting! I like how you structured this post. Wasn’t International Woman’s Day started by a socialist political party? Or, maybe I’m making that up. I don’t remember.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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