Wikipedia describes International Women's Day in the following manner: "the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebrations of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements"
Just a day?
The definition goes on to explain that what began as a Socialist political event and was then adopted by the United Nations, has since 1975 become an added quasi-holiday; an adjacency to the other isolated days where the focus is primarily on women --- Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. In other words, the two occasions we recognize how important women are in relation to what they do for men. So essentially, women are allotted three days, or .0082% annually, on which we are to be reminded that yes, we actually do matter in society and that sometimes, what we do makes us special.
Isn't that special.
I find it ludicrous to attend a party for one day only to wake up the next in the same world where women are marginalized, paid less, denied positions of political power (nice group photo there, SCOTUS), objectified, verbally, physically and sexually abused and then told that while it's OK to complain about these injustices, just make sure we do so in a manner that won't offend anyone (a.k.a. piss off the oppressors). Choose our words wisely and monitor our tone. Passionate rhetoric and resistance are still reserved for the masculine realms of business and politics and activism and while we've been granted a few seats at the table, they seem to be the fold-away, temporary type.
We are only a minority by a mere .24 percent. Less than a whole. We comprise 49.76% of the planet's population and are responsible for 100% of it (albeit with several seconds of assistance, and even then our progesterone has to beckon the reluctant little swimmers forth). We are already everywhere, doing everything, so why does a day need to be designated to validate that? The fact that it does reveals so much about the impairment of our society's vision. The spotlight today only highlights how imbalanced we are, our disproportion the base cause of all of our cultural clashes and shortcomings. A truly fair and equal society would see every day as both Men's and Women's Day, as equality is a nod to all, but that's not our reality. it's just a wish, an ideal dangling somewhere out there in the foggy future, which is why this day exists in the first place. The real celebration will be the day when we no longer see the need to have this day.
I suppose it's a matter of perspective, and I'm simply seeing the empty portion of the half-filled glass. If I thought that the focus brought to this day would be a catalyst, a crack in the societal concrete that would let in some change, a space opened up for us to fit comfortably into the foundation, side by side, I probably wouldn't be as cynical about it. Too much time passes, though, between the days. I might feel more optimism and hope about this if we instituted an International Women's Day of the Week, celebrated all year long, reminding us often, lest we forget from one year to the next.