On the slogan-happy occasion of International Women’s Day, I would like to give a shout-out to people everywhere, in particular to those of you who believe that feminism is dead and that we don’t need a day in the spotlight to trumpet our power and herald our cause. I am here to raise my digital banner, to sing: I am woman.

In the late 60’s as my childish hand drew nipples on to my Barbie’s plastic boobs, a cigarette ad linked smoking to women’s emancipation and empowerment by using the word slim in its brand-name and proclaiming its melancholy logo: We’ve come a long way, baby. Well, not nearly long enough. It outrages me that John Lennon and Yoko Ono are still right: Woman is the nigger of the world. We still do not have equal rights, pay or tolerance. In the West where we remind ourselves of how far we have come, sex discrimination and misogyny (unequal pay, power, the cult of thin, the GOP war on contraception, etc) are less an issue of survival and not always easy to prove, while in huge swaths of the world it is a shit-storm: murder, rape, veiling, torture, stoning, acid-attacks, to name a crushing few. A violence-crazed wheel of global misfortune hell-bent on destroying our mothers and sisters, our partners and friends. A staggering void of love and respect that reminds me that until women everywhere share equality with men, none of us are truly free. Friends, there is much work to be done.

In the lacy haze of growing up a North American girl, I remember putting poor Barbie upside-down in my bedside lamp to heat-style her synthetic hair, and as she waited in the blinding light- docile, patient and perfect on her permanent tippy-toes, I set my doll on fire.

FYI:

Equality Hurdles Persist: http://tinyurl.com/7ff3pa7

Documentary on Acid Attacks in Pakistan: http://tinyurl.com/6n63dxv

US Republicans and Contraception: http://tinyurl.com/7curg2k

Women’s Rights in China: http://tinyurl.com/74dt4yo

Saudi Women and Driving: http://tinyurl.com/6prba4p

Women Directors in Hollywood: http://tinyurl.com/6or6yhh

Getting More Women in Boardrooms: http://tinyurl.com/6sqpbnr