Sunday, March 8, 2009

8 Mar: International Women's Day

In the line-up of "International Days", I'm sure there are more "Days" than there are days in the year nowadays, the 8th of March I guess is one of the better known: International Women's Day. First observed in 1909 on the 28th of February it now gained attention worldwide and recognition by the United Nations. In western society International Women's Day was observed through the 10s and the 20s but dwindled after that. Until it was revived by second wave feminists in the 60s.

Small side note of interest to some of you maybe: demonstrations marking the International Women's Day in Russia was the first stage leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Thus so far the history lesson, now let's get personal...

For me women's day would have been getting slammed into the pavement by a girl half my size (almost) and half my weight for a women's self-defense demonstration near City Hall in Seoul. You'd be surprised how far the prospect of a free lunch goes in convincing you to participate in such masochistic an event. In any case the event was called off due to people who were organizing it not really organizing anything... all I could think of was "damn, no free lunch!"

Though somehow the idea of being thrown down by a girl is enticing... Okay, I digress I digress...

But on this auspicious of days I do would like to give some critical comments to this women's movement. As a transgender woman, and a former sex worker, I guess I could say that this movement has it's issues, big issues, still... Especially here in South-Korea it seems that feminism too often equals anti-sex work, anti-let's-enjoy-having-sex (cause obviously all men who want sex are evil...), all about transgender-is-okay-but-you-aren't-women-and-you-don't-understand... Naturally I've gotten a bit of an aversion towards these radical second wave feminists that seem to dominate whatever movement here in Korea.