The downlow on International Women’s Day

by | Mar 9, 2020

The downlow on International Women’s Day

A glance of social media posts today, on Sunday 8th March – International Women’s Day, gave a mixed reaction. An article by Anna Rawhiti Connell was posted with an apology: ”sorry, but I don’t love it” was the gist. You can read her column here.

Lots of businesses had giveaways prefaced with “all you need to do to enter is..” followed by a list of conditions, retweeting and sharing and liking various pages.

Google had done another of its famous doodles that included our Prime Minister holding baby Neve.

But you know, other than those things and a few cursory posts, the day has gone by largely unnoticed. And us at Brazen, well it’s quite obvious we are very pro-woman around here, we wanted to do something for IWD but weren’t sure exactly what. We wanted to remark on the day and a few of us had organised blog posts to put up.  But it occurred to us that given our platform is about sharing women’s stories, why would we suddenly change tack and only publish our reckons on IWD? Why do that when we could actually just ask the women around us what they thought?

So that’s what I did.

I asked a few women around me what they thought of IWD. Did they celebrate it or not? How were they feeling on IWD?

And I got some good answers.

My 8 year old daughter shrugged her shoulders. “Is it like Mother’s Day? Were we supposed to do a thing for you?”

“No sweetie, you weren’t” was my reply. I did shoulder tap her with her Rebel Girls book though. “Read a bit of this today, though, ok?” She did.

I asked my Mum and her reply was along the same lines. “Oh, is that today? I hadn’t noticed.

And so, as it seemed that most of the women in my close circle weren’t too bothered by it or weren’t affected in the slightest, I went to Twitter. My wonderful pocket pals always have something to say. I asked them, and I’ve shared their thoughts below. Some are anonymous, some are named.

So take with a grain of salt or get good and proper fired up. Us at Brazen are hoping that our work will help change one day of focus on women to everyday inclusion. Forever.

On International Women’s Day I remember all the diseases suffered mostly by women which continue to be under-funded & little understood. I think of all the women who are psychologised, minimised and ignored who are suffering from organic diseases which limit their lives and their contribution to life, the economy, their families and communities. I think of the #missingmillions and wonder if things will ever change.


Julie is on to something here. You only have to look at health conditions like endometriosis where it takes anywhere from 5-15 years for a diagnosis. Us hysterical women just need a wheat bag and a Panadol and we’re grand, right? Well actually, these conditions are debilitating for life, have no cure, and can attack every month for 2-3 days as well as random stabs an any unexpected moment. Five days of sick leave doesn’t really cover it.

I wish it meant more to me. It tends to make me reflect on that fact that it is going to take another 100 years for women in NZ to have pay parity. I am relatively newly single after a 20 year marriage and I am still bitter about how this has gone down – banks wouldn’t loan me any money as I needed to prove I could budget and I would have the kids. My ex doesn’t financially support the kids, I earn more than him despite having been a stay at home Mum for over 19years and I had to suck everything up so I didn’t lose the house that I brought into the marriage and didn’t get pinged for spousal support.


It’s being able to celebrate the success of women who don’t get the recognition they deserve.


Sadness, because things are not truly equal yet everyone keeps touting they are. Rage, for all the women that keep being raped, beaten and killed while the media enquires about their clothes and sexual experience. Disgust, when I see how the day has become a marketing ploy.


It’s sad that the majority of women I spoke to all feel the same way. Corporatised, fake, not inclusive of all women. We have a lot of work to do!

Absolutely nothing. None of these days mean anything to me.


It’s not International if it only has a first-world women focus.


It’s sadly another day that’s been taken over by corporate entities. That disappoints me because it should be about celebrating global successes of women and encouraging our sisters who don’t have our privileges. We need more WOC, disabled, and LGBTQI women included.


I remember that I’m awesome, am genuinely and unashamedly good at what I do, and I’m happy with myself, inside and out. I also see other women who are the same around me, or virtually. And yet we have a long way to having this be the norm.


It reinforces the hills we need to climb to stop violence, to make women safe, to ensure same pay and ensuring that indigenous women are heard.


It is a chance to celebrate how far we’ve come on the pathway to gender equality, but a reminder of the inequality still existing today (not just in the country we call home). We should all consider how we contribute to a future society where everyone is treated fairly.


I think it tends to be a way for the media (and corporates) to pretend to embrace equality, do a bit of PR, and then breathe a sigh of relief that they don’t have to think about it for another year.


Just seems like a marketing campaign for makeup brands and other such companies.


I didn’t include them all but the marketing campaign comments took up the majority of voice for this article. Women are not stupid. We see right through cheap campaigns and are not impressed. Men in marketing roles could learn a thing or two! 

It’s pointless. Women calling out how amazing women are. We already know this.


It’s as useful as the following weeks and months reveal it to be. If it’s an opportunity to kick start new changes that last the rest of the year, that’s excellent. If it’s a one day thing, then there’s no point.


Just waiting for the day we don’t need it any more.


Is this what you were expecting to read? Do you agree or disagree? We’re happy to continue the conversation. You can follow us on Twitter, and Facebook @brazenworld, and Instagram @brazenworldnz. And if you’re wondering, we have intentionally posted this article after IWD. Women are not for just one day. We are for every day.

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