SOL March 8th IWD Rant

Yes, it’s International Women’s Day and I’m angry at capitalism. It’s IWD and yesterday I read at least two reports that women and girls remain deeply disadvantaged in the minds of males locally and globally. It’s International Women’s Day and while I would love to celebrate, I have so many bones to pick that I may not make it to the celebration part.

I’m still super salty about Elizabeth Warren getting a raw deal in the primaries. I’m grateful that she will still be a force in the Senate along with Kamala Harris but it still burns me up that women’s leadership – the kind that is out front, hyperqualified, and in your face, if necessary, still cannot find the broad-based (male) acceptance be the One.

I’m angry at capitalism which leads those who can to buy up all the available supplies of hand sanitizer in response to a PUBLIC health issue. It’s a caustic combination of individualism and capitalist scarcity mentalities that encourage people to behave in ways that further endanger the public rather than mitigate harm, because they remain focused solely on themselves. But the nature of a public health crisis is that we must depend on each other in order to stay healthy. The fact that health care is a big if for huge swaths of the US population only reinforces the embedded structures that favor profits over people.

While women can be and have been voracious capitalists, if you look at business leadership and government representation at the highest levels, you will see primarily middle aged white wealthy men. That’s a problem for all of us. I’m tired of hearing about pipelines and ceilings. Women are plenty ready to lead, to join forces with other women and men who see options for a different future.

Alas, this is my IWD rant, I guess. Our societies have the capacities to be and do so much better that we currently are. Widespread poverty is not natural, nor is hunger, nor domestic abuse, nor mass incarceration, nor frozen wages, nor environmental destruction. Think of the women you know, women you have encountered, women you are raising and teaching – how are they affected by these conditions? If you look carefully or even just throw a cursory glance at the evidence, you’ll understand how and why one can be so angry on International Women’s Day 2020.

16 thoughts on “SOL March 8th IWD Rant

  1. “We must depend on each other in order to stay healthy” – this phrase strikes me deeply on multiple levels. Yesterday I went to the grocery store for the first time in three weeks, as my right foot is broken and I cannot drive. I have had to depend on my husband and son to take me wherever I need to go. At the store – two stores, in fact – the shelves for disinfectants and antibacterial wipes were bare. The phrase “There’s no great loss without some gain” keeps playing, hauntingly, in my mind – for the public stands to lose much while companies’ sales skyrocket. It applies to elections as well – who stands to gain? At what cost? Who pays the price? We must depend on each other to stay healthy mentally, spiritually, yes, even physically; the whole reason I hadn’t gone to the grocery store in three weeks is because others brought meals to my family every evening, of their on volition. I say all this to say that we all need each other in these fearsome times that tax our patience, endurance, and well-being. Thank you for your passion on behalf of others and for YOUR powerful, magnificent voice.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Fran. Having to depend is not easy and I don’t doubt that it can be frustrating to be beholden to the generosity of others. At the same time, these experiences always present lessons for us to learn and process. Hard lessons sometimes, which are often the ones we need the most. Also if you have soap in the house, you’re good to go. Stay safe and healthy!

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  2. “Our societies have the capacities to be and do so much better that we currently are.” – Yes! Caring and collaborative communities, where people support each other, are healthier and stronger. You lead by example.

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  3. I can understand why you’re so angry, it’s an issue that may never be fully addressed unfortunately, due to circumstances and well, the way people are…I’ve spent a lot of time in countries where women are regarded as on a lower level than men altogether and it’s sad. I guess the only thing we can do, is look at how much progress has been made in the last century. Some things have changed for women…!

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  4. We’re a household of Warren supporters (she’s our Senator, too) and my wife is as angry as you about the primary. So are many others, I see from articles and from talking to neighbors. And we’re both angry about the other issues you raised in your rant about women and society. Rants are good. They surface tension and issues and remind us that we all have a lot of work to do. Change starts here.

    “Women are plenty ready to lead, to join forces with other women and men who see options for a different future.”

    Kevin

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  5. Your example of hand sanitizer is so real – I was shocked to see empty shelves and prices soar on Amazon. We could do so much better. People live life without really seeing or hearing or feeling. I don’t know what it will take to change …this line gives hope: Women are plenty ready to lead, to join forces with other women and men who see options for a different future. The future …

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  6. Your ‘rant’ is our ‘rallying cry’ on IWD. When we begin to see the disparity for health care services and medical supplies in our capitalistic society maybe we will begin to see how it is dangerous for all of society. Viruses don’t care about socio-economic advantages, if your neighbors don’t have access to precautionary measures, medicines, or medical attention, then you are at just as much risk with your private healthcare. Ok, that’s my rant. I so appreciate your post today, Sherri. It’s spot on!

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  7. It’s passionate women like you, who speak their mind in different arenas, who are making the greatest impact. Thank you for your words on injustice to woman, the poverty stricken, and the unwell. Our world is changing thanks to people like you!

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  8. You observations are always brilliant, and this one is brave. I’ve been revisiting Paulo Freirel’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and it’s making me angry with capitalism too. And, only now, do I think I understand my mother’s fury and rage at society and the many institutions.

    “Anger is an instrument of moral order” according to Raymond Novaco. Thank you for this post!

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  9. Preach! The world needs this righteous indignation, and we should all–those of us who value merit and equality–be upset about the ways women continue to be marginalized and held to double standards. I agree: “I’m still super salty about Elizabeth Warren getting a raw deal in the primaries.” I’d rather have a strong, thoughtful woman like Warren, Harris, or Klobuchar that any of the men who ran. I’ll tell you, there’s a price to pay if you’re a female who speaks out as you have done in this post. I’ve been thinking about how to write about the loss of friends, those who recede into the woodwork because the men in their lives don’t like the mouthy girlfriend. You know, it might rub off. Sherri, every word in this post rings true, and sometimes, actually often, I think these celebratory days do more harm than good. They say, “there, there, stop complaining. We’ve honored you today. What more do you expect?”

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  10. I appreciate every bit of this rant – you are right on. I find IWD increasingly rubs me the wrong way. I don’t want an f’ing day – I want a life, a whole life where I am wholly part of society. And the thought of “choosing” between old white guy #1 and old white guy #2 for the primaries – and then doing it all over again in the election. Honestly. It all makes me nearly speechless with frustration and anger. So rant on. I’ll lend my voice to yours!

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