A Day for Women
International Women's Day is a day where both women and men all over the world should look back at the profound struggles waged over the decades for women's enfranchisement and feel intense pride at how far they have come. With each new year, it is a day when the future of women's equality and the possibilities for actually changing the world to a more accepting and fair place should be celebrated as, if not imminent, then certainly closer at hand than the previous year.
2017 saw more female CEOs join the Fortune 500 list than ever before. Women make a lower salary than men for doing the same jobs, the gender pay gap still persistently slow to change, but it narrows every year. Just today to mark the occasion, the Prime Minister of France gave French companies until 2020 to close the gap completely or begin facing fines. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, was widely praised in 2015 and continues to be for his policy of 100% gender balance in his cabinet, along with his perfect response that went viral when asked why he made that decision.
In America though, one of the biggest stories of the day today is how the porn star Stormy Daniels is suing President Donald Trump for apparently never signing the hush agreement to keep her from talking publicly about their alleged affair. Now don't get me wrong, Daniels was entitled to every penny she wrung out of Trump, (or his lawyer, whatever was the case), and if he didn't sign the NDA, she has every right to do the talk show rounds and turn her fifteen minutes of fame into serious cash. But that affair came at the expense of his, at the time, new wife Melania, a woman who has been subjected to humiliation after humiliation because of her shameless, lecherous husband.
Melania, though ravaged by Trump's public scandals, is certainly not blameless. She must have had an inkling about the kind of person he was before she said I do, and she's still with him after all. A notorious womanizer, serial cheater and sexual predator since at least as long as he's been in the spotlight, Trump as president enjoys the backing of almost the entire conservative Evangelical community and the GOP, who still earnestly use the doublespeak slogan "Party of Family Values" to describe themselves. His daughter Ivanka, a self-proclaimed champion for women's rights, does nothing of the sort either. If she were actually serious about empowering women, she'd stand up to one of their most visible and ardent opponents. Instead, she is aghast that 60 Minutes asked her if she believed the women accusing her father.
Like most progressive issues in the US during Trump's era, women's suffrage has taken a nosedive, especially in the realm of abortion rights. Despite the fact that he actually does tend to surround himself by strong women, the personality cult he propagates keeps them sycophantic and subservient. The reason he does it is largely ornamental anyway, their brains are incidental. The good news is that for two years running, women's marches have become an annual throng of public resistance to Trump. American women at large are not subservient and their progress will accelerate even faster the more they feel dismissed. We should all look forward to that. Happy International Women's Day!