Updated: Feb 1, 2022
International Women's day is on March 8th.. As a cis-gender woman, I would like to extend this to all oppressed genders. While I do see the importance of individualized awareness days, this one I am comfortable sharing with anyone who has been oppressed by their assigned gender, gender identity, gender expression, or gender fluidity. I do believe women should be equal to men, but I don’t believe there are only two options for genders, and that equality should be extended to all human beings regardless of their gender, race, or sexual preferences. No one deserves discrimination.
If you see me genderize and say “woman” please know I am including all who identify as a woman as well. Because there aren’t as many studies or statistics about other genders, you may see my statistics are limited to the male/female labels. This is not to exclude anyone, it’s only to include the information I could find. Similarly, I’m not perfect. I’ve had misguided judgements, I’ve said stupid things. I couldn’t ever be president, that’s for sure. This is meant to educate to the best of my current ability because not enough people are trying. I’m sure I won’t die before saying more insensitive, or misguided things, and I hope I’m educated when I do. I’m not here to call anyone out, but to help whoever is interested, learn a little more about the disparities and how they are affecting our society. I have no illusions that I know everything or know about all experiences. I’m not going to let all that stop me from using my voice right now.
What is Gender Equality & Why is it Important?
Gender equality rights include the right to live free from violence and discrimination; to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; to be educated; to own property; to vote, and to earn an equal wage.
Sustainable development relies on ending gender discrimination and providing equal opportunities for education and employment. Gender equality has been conclusively shown to stimulate economic growth, which is important, especially in countries with higher unemployment rates and less economic opportunity.
For example, the World Bank reported that many women around the world are still prevented by law from working in certain jobs. In 18 countries, men can legally forbid their wives from working. Globally, women only earn 81 cents for every dollar that men earn. These barriers translate to $172 trillion in lost income potential.
Unless women have access to empowerment opportunities, allowing them to join the workforce, many countries won’t develop as well as they could.
When women have paid work, they invest as much as 90% of their earnings back into their families – compared to men, who reinvest only 35%. The UN states that women’s education is a crucial factor in cutting child mortality rates.Globally, more than half of the people suffering from chronic hunger are women. In addition, less than 20% of landowners in the world are women.
So the thing I hate about history lists in awareness days, is that it’s just a block list of dates and what happened. While I can’t reimagine another way, I do hope you pay close attention to the actual dates. Creating this list shook me in ways I didn’t think possible when I realized how much we have had to fight for these rights, and how it is a fight that is continuous, evident in the more recent dates on this list.
I didn’t go back to BC times, as I hope to whatever God you believe in, that I don’t have to prove to you that women’s right disparities and trans people did, in fact, exist. I imagine those people would never find themselves on my blog site, though.
Until SEVEN YEARS AGO, women couldn’t choose whatever job in the army they wanted to. You know how your parents said “You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up?” If you’re a woman, they were lying to you.
Cece McDonald was assaulted in an anti-trans, anti-black hate crime and was subsequently imprisoned for defending herself. She was forced to serve her 41-month sentence in a male prison. Since then, she has sought to unveil the structural violence and discrimination imposed on trans women of color.
You remember 2012 right? The year Barack Obama was re-elected president.
NCTE was founded by transgender activists who recognized the urgent need for policy change to advance transgender equality. With a committed board of directors, a volunteer staff of one, and donated office space, they set out to accomplish what no one had yet done: provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, DC.
The Do Not Call list was created. So everyone got the chance to opt out of telemarketing calls when this major organization was founded.
Clinton signs the Violence Against Women Act as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, providing funding for programs that help victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, stalking and other gender-related violence.
Not many of you were born after 1994. Many of you can come up with your own “I remember when xyz happened in ‘94” For me, we had the biggest snow storm in ‘96. We had to shovel our way out of the front door. In ‘91 the INTERNET BECAME PUBLICLY AVAILABLE. Let that sink in. We had internet access before women had funding for shit like this.
This was also when the first space shuttle was launched. We had enough technology to go to space, and women were just beginning to be sworn into office.
An early high-profile transgender athlete was tennis player Renée Richards. Already a promising tennis player in the men's circuit, Richards underwent gender reassignment therapy in 1975 and started playing in women's tournaments a year later.
The Vietnam War also ended! Do you know anyone that was in the Vietnam war? They might remember this happening.
The first male-to-female surgeries in the United States.
The Miranda Rights were born this year, too.
Martin Luther King James Jr. times.
This is when the Beatles reached #1 hit for "I Want to Hold Your Hand".
First Trans-rights riot in response to police harassment of LGBT people at the 24-hour Cooper Do-nuts cafe in Los Angeles
Hawaii became the 50th state during this year, as well.
This same year, the first Pulitzer Prize was given.
Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is completed, declaring “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” It is nicknamed “The Susan B. Anthony Amendment” in honor of her work on behalf of women’s suffrage.
In Puerto Rico, only literate women won the right to vote in 1929, but it wasn't until 1935 that all women were given that right. And Asian American immigrant women were denied the right to vote until 1952 when the Immigration and Nationality Act allowed them to become citizens.
Literacy rates in women were a mere 8.8% in 1929.
This was the year of the Great Influenza Epidemic. 1935 is when the Hoover Dam was being built and Amelia Earhart flies across the Pacific ocean.
Margaret Sanger opens the first birth control clinic in the United States. Located in Brownsville, Brooklyn, her clinic was deemed illegal under the “Comstock Laws” forbidding birth control. When she had to close two additional times due to legal threats, she closed the clinic and eventually founded the American Birth Control League in 1921—the precursor to today’s Planned Parenthood.
America renamed the poem "The Defense of Fort McHenry" to "The Star Spangled Banner".
Trans autobiographer Jennie June and others organized the Cercle Hermaphroditos; noted "the first known organization in the United States to concern itself with what we might now call transgender social justice issues"
This was also the year we had the first race of gas powered vehicles.
A former slave turned abolitionist and women’s rights activist, Sojourner Truth delivers her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech at the Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. “And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne 13 children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?”
This is also when the New York Times was founded.
First woman's rights convention organized by women. 68 women and 32 men signed the Declaration of Sentiments, which sparked decades of activism, eventually leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.
But while the passage of the 19th Amendment enabled most white women to vote, that wasn’t the case for many women of color. Also prevented from voting were the Native Americans — both men and women — did not gain the right to vote until the Snyder Act of 1924.
This is also the year the California Gold Rush started.
Abigail Adams wrote to John “Remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
John as in John Adams. Abigail Adams as in his wife. Yep, the 2nd President of the United States. The 2nd First Lady thought we needed equality. It’s what our country is founded on.
This was also the time of the Revolutionary War.
1776 the genderless Public Universal Friend arose. A preacher that got sick pretended to die, and rise again as a genderless evangelist and preached in androgynous clothes all throughout the Southeast United States.
This is also the year our country claimed Independence.
Now, this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are a lot of dates I didn’t include. I chose the ones I thought would be impactful and help you grasp the timeline of these events.
So, What Can You DO?
Reduce gender assumptions and gender assigning in your own life.
Try to understand that colors are not gender. If a boy likes pink, it says nothing about him, his sexuality, or his gender, and vice versa with girls and blue.
Chores are chores. Teach the girls to mow the lawn and fix cars. Teach the boys to do dishes and laundry. They’re skills every person needs, and should be taught accordingly.
Confront stereotyping when you see it.
Educate people around you. Sharing information you find will help everyone understand. Be smart about it and make sure they’re open minded, and do what you can to open their minds, but also don’t push your beliefs on others. That often just pushes the person you’re trying to teach further from the truth.
Vote. Don’t only vote, but vote educatedly. My partner and I set aside an evening to drink a glass of wine and google the candidates. We make educated decisions on each and every person. We give preference to candidates with similar morals, BIPOC, and women (and will for trans-people whenever presented with the opportunity).
Advocate for funding of rape-crisis centers and other services for girls and women who have been raped and/or sexually assaulted.
Fundraisers can be as elaborate as a bake sale or as simple as a facebook fundraiser. Use your voice to get people around you to donate. Even $5 from a number of people adds up. You can make a difference, all you have to do is care.
Mentor a woman. If you have a skill that is marketable, share it!
Hire women. If you are an employer, and you have a choice between an equally qualified man, and an equally qualified woman, choose the woman. The man won’t have as much trouble finding a job because not everyone is as woke as you are. Black transgendered women are the most discriminated against. Remember this in your hiring processes.
Similarly, to ensure EQUALITY, as an employer, you should absolutely be offering Paternity leave.
Support women entrepreneurs. Whether it be watching a woman directed movie, reading a woman-author book, or buying a homemade product off Facebook Marketplace, you can do small things in your everyday life to diminish the disparities.
Empower little girls. Don’t make them feel like little girls. Instead of calling them princesses and talking about how many hearts they’re going to break when they’re older because they’re so cute, encourage them to be strong independent women. Teach them that they can do anything and be anybody they want to be, they just have to be brave enough to do it. There is no right or wrong way to be a girl.
Commit to a cause. Pick one and donate to it every year around the same time. Maybe for you that’s Christmas, maybe it’s your birthday, or the anniversary of loss.
Share their social media information across your platforms.
Encourage your friends and family to donate.
Contact them and see if there’s anything you can personally do for the organization. Who knows, maybe they need something you have in abundance.
Challenge beauty standards. It's not unknown women are expected to take more time to get ready than men. There is a disproportionate value placed on a women’s appearance that isn’t placed on men. Watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race if you have questions about this.
Rethink what it means to you to be beautiful. Regardless of gender, start with the mirror. Notice the way you think about yourself and what you criticize most. Next time you criticize that thing, try giving yourself a compliment.
Challenge judgements you have about other people.
Treat all bodies as equally valuable and deserving of celebration—regardless of size, ability, or colour—and call out body shaming when you see it.
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