Happy International Women’s Day!

As I was looking for images for this post, I was taken aback by what the search brought up.

Roses – tons of roses – and other flowers. Now I’m a big fan of flowers, but does that say “International Women’s Day”?

The alternative was the female symbol, some with a fist, some without. Or protesting in the Women’s March.

So I chose this one, which is a combination of both. (There were also some cat options, but let’s not go there.)

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International Women’s Day is marked in Israel in a variety of ways. My office job usually gives women a half day off, but since International Women’s Day was on Friday (already a half day for those who work, but not a working day for most), they decided to do a makeup workshop.

A few thought it would be fun. Others were offended. How does dolling yourself up to meet societal beauty standards empower women? I was more on the “it would be fun” side because I think self-care and making yourself beautiful for yourself is empowering. But I can also see that it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you aren’t beautiful without a full face of makeup.

A guy friend of mine told me that he was really angry about what his office was doing for International Women’s Day. They were sending all the women to the movies to see On the Basis of Sex. He really wanted to see it too! He felt discriminated against. (In his defense, he believes in equal rights and would never look down on a woman for any reason.) Personally, I hope all the men in his office felt discriminated against too. Nothing wrong with a gentle reminder of what discrimination feels like.

Another celebration of women that I’m loving right now is female (super)heroes (should I write heroines here instead?). It seems like almost every movie or show coming out right now has a strong female lead. The problem, of course, is when people “get tired of it” and it “no longer sells.” And then the pendulum will swing back to male-dominated movies. Someday, we’ll just have gender-balance. Wouldn’t that be nice?

So for this International Women’s Day, I hope you all appreciate the women in your lives!

**And special to the Women, Womyn, Womxn, Ladies, and Grrrls: Our strength comes from lifting all of us up, not from pushing others down. We are sparks of light who can lead the way through the darkness.