Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Brief History of International Women's Day

Ooops! Forgot about this one. I'm only two days late, though. Thought I'd re-run the post from last year.

In this year's White House "celebration," it is reported that President Obama created "the White House Council on Women and Girls to 'ensure that our daughters and granddaughters have no limits to their dreams.'" [1]

What's he up to?

He also said, "That's why so many of us are here today, because of the women who came before us, who were determined to see us sit in the high seats. So now it's up to us to carry that work forward." [2]

I suppose if Bill Clinton was "the first black president," (according to Toni Morrison) then Obama must be the first woman president. Right? or is he the second black president? :/


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(While doing research for another post I came across this interesting little tidbit of feminist history of which you may not be aware.)

International Women's Day
A Brief History


March is Women's History Month in the United States and has its roots in what has been dubbed as "the first recorded organized action by working women anywhere in the world." On March 8, 1857, hundreds of women workers from the garment and textile factories marched in New York City to protest their low pay, long hours, inhumane working conditions, and not having the right to vote.[1]

Fifty-two years after that notable event, and to commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the Socialist Party of America declared the first official observance of National Women's Day on February 28, 1909.

The following year, Clara Zetkin, a notorious Marxist feminist from Germany, suggested at the first international women's conference held in Copenhagen that there be an established International Women's Day (IWD), but no official date was determined at that time.

However, after the October Revolution in Russia, Lenin was persuaded by Bolshevik feminist Alexandra Kollontai to make it an official holiday in that country. Ironically, women in Russia didn't even get the day off for this day held in their honor until 1965! (We really appreciate the work you do, now get back to it!)

The United Nations gave its sanction to and began sponsoring International Women's Day in 1975, which had also been designated as International Women's Year.[2]

President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a Presidential Message supporting the celebration of Women's History Week in 1980, and a bi-partisan Congress passed a resolution declaring a National Women’s History Week the following year. Then, in 1987, Congress expanded the commemoration to the entire month of March with a resolution for celebration of Women’s History Month each year.[3]

The highlight of Women's History Month is March 8, International Women's Day. Each year Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush have each, in their terms as president, issued proclamations in honor of this radical socialist, feminist high day.[4]

The United States is currently recognized on the official IWD site as one of the key governments around the globe who support the celebration.[5] In recent years, this day has been honored enthusiastically in our own White House by President and Mrs. Bush with the First Lady even being the featured speaker at the 2002 "Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities" observance of IWD.[6][7]


US First Lady Laura Bush, Secretary-General Kofi Annan,
along with Her Majesty Queen Noor of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
(UN/DPI Photo by Eskinder Debebe. 80302ed6)

Observations Concerning IWD

I guess I wasn't really surprised to find that there is a day set aside as "a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women."[8] However, I was struck by a particular image associated with this celebration. It pictures a woman carrying a red flag as she pulls another woman out from under a pile of kitchen wares.

According to Wikipedia, it is a "1932 Soviet poster dedicated to the 8th of March holiday. The text reads: 8th of March is the day of the rebellion of the working women against the kitchen slavery and Down with the oppression and narrow-mindedness of the household work!"[9]

Notice that the woman pictured on the left is crawling out from under a pile of plates, pots, pans, tea kettles, and a huge samovar (tea dispenser). Apparently, what began as a commemoration of women struggling against adverse working conditions in factories became a clarion call for women to leave the "oppression" of the fireside at home to work in factories. What I must ask is how anyone could be convinced that this was a good idea for women.

But, isn't that the big lie of socialism, Marxism, and the feminist movement in general? The big lie is that women are oppressed, kept down, and left without a choice unless, of course, these organizations can convince them to become "liberated."

Here's another question: If women leave their kitchens, who will prepare the food and clean up the pots and kettles? In most cases, it will be other women. It would be interesting to find out how many women who hold political office in this country and around the world have women as domestics. How about Oprah? Have you ever heard of Rachel Ray, her personal chef? Of course, these women are paid -- Ms. Ray especially well, I am sure -- but, many domestics today are illegal alien women who are paid very poorly for doing what these liberated women consider "oppressive" work.

Please consider that the women in the textile and garment factories of the early 20th century had left their kitchens in order to work there. Many were wooed by the empty promises of the feminist movement of that time which played on their discontent and hid from them the down side of working outside the home.

After 100 years, the sales pitch is the same, only now it is dressed up as "achievement." Yet, many women who seemingly "have it all" are still discontented with their wages, exhausted by long hours, sick and injured on the job, and still don't have a voice or a choice in the matter. And, I bet they didn't even get the day off.

[1] "International Women's Day," Womenaid International <http://www.womenaid.org/iwdmain.html> (10 March 2008).
[2] "International Women's Day," Wikipedia, 10 March 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women's_Day> (10 March 2008).
[3] "March Women's History Month,"
Federal Heritage Month Celebrations, University Dining Services, University of Vermont, Sodexho, 2007 <http://uds.uvm.edu/diversity_calendar.html> (11 March 2008).
[4]Gerhard Peters, "Proclamation 6400 - Women's History Month, 1992
January 16th, 1992," The American Presidency Project, 2008 <http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=47328> (11 March 2008).
[5] "Featured Governments Supporting IWD,"
International Women's Day, Aurora, 2008 <http://www.internationalwomensday.com/organisations1.asp>(10 March 2008).
[6] "President and Mrs. Bush Celebrate Women's History Month and International Women's Day," The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 10 March 2008
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/03/20080310-5.html> (12 March 2008).
[7] "International Women's Day at Headquarters 8 March to Feature Afghan Women," U.N. Press Release Note 5712, 27 February 2002
(12 March 2008).
[8] "International Women's Day," Womenaid International.
[9] "International Women's Day,"
Wikipedia.