Every year on this day I reflect on what this day is supposed to mean, and I don’t believe we will every truly understand what it means until well into the future, when we take stock of how disadvantaged women and children are in this society (but this recent UN policy brief gives a good current overview). It is difficult to call this civilization civilized.
I look at the trajectory of my life and see so many opportunities lost because the lion’s share of domestic work and care fell on my shoulders, and I was willing to sacrifice. It’s what a capitalist system bets on, that you will be willing to make the sacrifice, because you care. Capitalism relies on unpaid domestic labor.
Throughout my life I have tried to build a career through calculated risk and often meager yet hard earned reward. While I have certainly improved my salary negotiations, it is a constant struggle to gain even a thousand or two annually. So I am not much interested in these superficial campaigns to laud women’s accomplishments; not when I am constantly met with denial of advance, of life quality improvement, of gainful employment. A sincere campaign recognizes we still have very far to go to truly gain equality for women in modern society. There are some sincere equality campaigns out there, of course, but I don’t have the energy to sift through the pomp this year.
And today, while I take stock of the fragments of my life, my education, my career, I wonder what I will do with it all to make it a coherent whole, a mosaic of life and meaning.
Years ago I created this blog because somewhere along the way I thought it would be a good idea to motivate me to write. It has been an odd relationship, really, this public space to write what I think. Sometimes, and perhaps often, I am discouraged or not even interested to share what I think. I realize now it is because I prefer to work quietly, in the background, unbothered. Writing publicly can easily be an invitation for argument of some kind, and from my experience, it can be difficult to be a woman with an opinion in public space. So instead, I decided to write a longer work. Something I can finish without being bothered. A book.
However, I do still want to write publicly from time to time, an essay here and there, as I am a part of this society after all. I am not dead.
That is what I have to share today, on this supposed day of liberation.
A cynical hope for a better life, through the power of the written word.
© Copyright Dawn Nelson, 2022