Opinion: International Women’s Day is an important celebration

By Alex Szewlow

A pedestal isn’t necessarily a bad place to be. Especially if it’s for only a day.

By right and design, we all, hopefully, find ourselves on a pedestal one time per year. Even if it is by one’s own, individual doing, a birthday affords us all an opportunity to revel in expressions of appreciation and celebration if for no other reason than the simple fact that we exist. We are here. We are unique, and add an undefinable touch to this world that, if omitted, would be noticeably missed.

It’s a good and proper custom. Take a hundred different people, and it’s a strong probability that a hundred nuances will be found in such celebrations. Yet despite these nuances and differences, the result is the same; the acknowledgement and embracing of the quirks and peculiarities inherent to the honoree.

And that is why celebrating, or at least acknowledging, International Women’s Day is more important now than ever before.

It has been a whirlwind of a decade when it comes to social issues. And gender issues have, like it or not, been in the eye of what has proved to be a society-wide hurricane. Indeed, that hurricane continues to spin to this day. We saw the winds intensify last summer when the United States Supreme Court overturned a 49-year-old Roe vs. Wade ruling that for decades seemed strong enough to shrug off any attempt at flipping. In 2015, the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal throughout the United States. In 2010, any suggestion of either realities would have been laughed off as whimsical daydreaming.

Change happens. Revolutions happen. It is as constant and reliable as the changing phases of the Moon. There are winners and losers on both sides of such struggles. The longer a nation and society exist, the greater the odds such upheavals will occur on multiple occasions. 

But the past few years have seen an assault on one of nature’s non-negotiable fundamentals. And it is an assault to which society must not surrender. Not so long ago, discussion over the differences between man and woman was framed more in terms of Mars vs. Venus. It was a debate over the strengths of Venus and her assumedly more peaceful, estrogen-driven attributes versus Mars and his assumedly more aggressive, testosterone-driven attributes. The tone of such debate ranged from garden-variety ribbing to red-faced tantrums. And participants on both sides of the divide played all roles in the drama. The debate was socially subjective, and lent itself to a mostly-harmonious truce that, despite occasional alterations to the contract, has held pretty much since the beginning of time. The definition of what it means to physically be a man or woman has never before been legitimately challenged to the extent it is being challenged today, nor has the push to change that definition gained as much traction as we are witnessing now. The forces behind this push have gained various degrees of legal support in advancing their efforts. Add the forces of social media to the assault, and we find ourselves in an epic struggle of Bizarro dimensions.

It has been said that no matter how you cut it, a man will always be a man, and a woman will always be a woman. No matter the surgery, no matter the chemical, a man will always be a man, and a woman will always be a woman. If the distribution system for these chemicals is ever interrupted for an extended time, nature will return those under its influence…aka all of us…to what it intended. Denying this fundamental fact stands as an unapologetic raspberry in the face of womanhood and all of the beauty and strength inherent to it.

Despite its socialist origins and its enshrinement as an important holiday in both the Soviet Union and its post-Soviet spinoffs, we here in America would be well-served to use this International Women’s Day, and all to follow, as an opportunity honor, strengthen, and protect true women, all they represent, and all they are. Women, in their God-given uniqueness, offer the world so much more than this invasive orthodoxy allows them to give. In Roman mythology, Venus was not only the goddess of sex and fertility, but of prosperity and victory as well. If we are to continue with the Venus and Mars characterization, the men among us owe it to our women on this International Women’s Day to defend our women against the undignified doctrine of the new, creeping orthodoxy, and see true women and everything they represent shine from a pedestal upon which they so richly deserve to stand.