The feminist in me is conflicted as I wish people a “Happy International Women’s Day” today. On the one hand, of course, I think that women–their lives, bodies, and experiences– need attention, appreciation, and empowerment.
But I also wonder if having a day to celebrate “women” doesn’t also do two pretty harmful things:
1) Having a day to honor “women” continues to convince us that the category “women” is real/objective/fixed– we are told again that some people are women and some people aren’t and that is negotiable. Problematic. I think that if we are ever going to have radical equality, we need to complicate/interrogate the terms “men” and “women” and highlight their arbitrariness and their culturally contextual construction.
2) Having a day to honor “women” forces people to identify themselves as “women” or “men.” For a variety of reasons, people may not be able to or may not want to fit nicely into those two categories, and it is cruel to continue to force them to do so.
I hear the accusations of post-feminist heresy in the offing.