Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

A day or month isn’t enough

IWD and WHM should be a year-long fight
Graphic by Jessica Duch

A day or month isn’t enough: IWD / WHM

By Cassidy Johnson

Last Friday, we celebrated International Women’s Day — forged and fought for by the formidable women before us — specifically German activist Clara Zetkin. In 1910, she proposed the idea of an internationally-observed holiday recognizing women at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. 

Although IWD is over, the entire month of March has also been recognized as Women’s History Month since 1987 when the idea was lobbied to Congress by the National Women’s History Project (NWHP)

Both Zetkin and the NWHP proposed these ideas not only to celebrate women and the work they’ve done to achieve equality, but also to act as a day where women and men alike can fight for equal rights.

Although the sentiment of thanking your fellow women is wonderful, I think sometimes we forget that IWD is also about advocating for your fellow women. We can celebrate the work we’ve done in the past and show our appreciation for women by looking forward to the future and by continuing the fight they started. 

Another way to celebrate is by remembering that, although we should be appreciative and grateful, a month and a day “dedicated” to women is not enough. Sometimes I think the government uses these holidays to make our society seem more progressive than it actually is, that it’s just tokenage in disguise. 

These wonderful observances should not be used as excuses to do the bare minimum. I am incredibly grateful for these holidays, but a month is not enough. The government should be working towards gender equality the whole year. We must be working all year long as well. 

An International Women’s Day or Women’s History Month will never stop feeling bittersweet until we have equal rights. This facade may work a little, but we all see what’s really going on. We see how women’s autonomy is constantly being threatened, how we still are only making 84 cents to every dollar a man makes, and how we still have to pay a pink tax on the same body care items as men and for essential products such as pads and tampons that are somehow still taxed as “luxury items”. 

Just as a present example, Florida has a bill in the works that would prohibit just talking about menstruation.

Yes, we’ve come a long way, and we’ve come far enough as women to have our own month to commemorate women’s accomplishments and the fight for equality, but we can’t stop here. We can’t grow complacent or comfortable, not yet. We’ve come a long way, but we still have farther to go.

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