Today is International Women’s Day. I know we should celebrate this event but the truth is that I’m not in the mood for it. I’m a man, and I’m sick and tired of hearing horrible stories whichever part of the world I travel to, about how badly and unfairly women are treated in their respective society.
I’m sick and tired to know that 35 per cent (35!) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
I’m sick and tired that there are fewer women at the helm of top Australian and US companies than men named Peter or John sitting as chief executive and chair positions.
I’m sick and tired that good men all around the world are so much the slaves of their sexual desire that they end up groping, catcalling, lacking respect, hurting, hitting or raping a woman (or a girl or a boy or another man for that matter) because of it.
I’m sick and tired that some men tell me that ‘there is no sexual violence in my village’ but when I confront them with an actual case they answer ‘this doesn’t count, it happened within the family’.
I’m sick and tired that women aren’t given the same salary rates than men in the same position.
I’m sick and tired to know that 700 million women alive today were married as children.
I’m sick and tired that in so many countries, when a woman is raped, she is being treated as the guilty person and is hurt even more because of it.
I’m sick and tired that girls and women can’t grow up and live happily because they feel too fat or too ugly or too insecure.
I’m sick and tired to know that between 40 and 50 per cent of women in European Union countries experience unwanted sexual advances, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at work.
I’m sick and tired that some men will laugh at this blog post because they are victims of their false sense of manhood.
I’m sick and tired that, in the West, most toys for girls are pink and princess-oriented and most toys for boys are black and blue and action-oriented.
I’m sick and tired that 30% of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.
I’m sick and tired that so many men think that women aren’t capable of doing this or that, or believe that women are more emotional or less rational than men.
I’m sick and tired that women around the world are hidden away because men can’t control their impulses.
I’m sick and tired that sexists jokes are considered harmless.
I’m sick and tired that some women are such victims of this all, that they consider it normal to be raped or hit by their husband.
I’m sick and tired to know that my partner, my mum, my female friends, and women all around me don’t feel safe in their daily lives. That they have to think of what to wear because we men can’t see their dignity and humanity for who they are, not for how they dress.
Women feel at risk, because they are.
We men, don’t have to protect them. We have to behave.
Honestly, I just don’t get it. How do we accept this? Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, but we really should be celebrating ‘Wake Up Men’s day’. Like yesterday and tomorrow.
It’s really up to us men, to stand up and denounce any form of discrimination against women. To raise our boys and girls in respecting each other. To listen to women’s daily ordeal. To live by example.