International Women’s Day – Why Its a Problem That Only One Male Liked a Quote I Posted
Happy International Women’s Day!
Like many others, I showed my support for the day by posting a photo to instagram (the photo included in this post). I scoured the internet to find the perfect quote, presented perfectly. I found this and thought it summed up everything I wanted to say.
Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
I attached the caption ‘Here’s to being and supporting strong women’, thinking that says everything I want to say without being ‘pushy’ with my beliefs.
So far, it has only been liked by one male.
Maybe that’s normal for all my posts?
It’s not. Yes, admittedly I am followed by and receive more likes from more women than men, however I have never seen such a huge gender split in the likes.
Maybe people just didn’t see it?
Again, its a fair point, however I feel due to it being abnormal for me this is unlikely. It was posted at approximately the same time I post the majority of my content on instagram which leads me to believe this isn’t the case. If all my male followers didn’t check instagram at this time of day, they wouldn’t like my usual content either.
I can think of two possible reasons for this divide. It’s possible that my male followers felt it was not their place to engage in International Women’s Day by liking the photo because they thought it was only fair to allow women their platform without getting involved. Whilst I want to believe this, I am doubtful.
I think a more likely explanation is that my male followers are fed up of the countless posts about International Women’s Day and don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Similarly some people put it down saying ‘every day should be about celebrating women’ which, whilst true, is somewhat missing the point in my opinion. In a world where women continue to be treated unequally to men, International Women’s Day is about lifting women up and celebrating their achievements. Its about celebrating any and every inspiring woman, whether that’s women like Malala Yousafzai or your own mother. It’s about recognising that every single woman can have an impact on other women. It’s about dedicating an entire day to empowering women.
Why does it matter that only one male liked the photo?
The reason I have such an issue with my male followers not liking that quote is because I believe feminism needs men. I believe, as with any issue of discrimination or oppression, it needs the side which holds the power to support the movement before change can properly occur. Throughout history this can be seen. Although there are pressures on the Government, ultimately they hold the power. Without some male MPs supporting women’s suffrage and eventually passing a bill to grant it, it could not happen. Without white people supporting the end of the slave trade, it may not have happened. I understand that these things result from pressures on the government to make changes, but without them agreeing to it there would just be a standstill.
So to any men who may be reading this, support women’s day! Get involved! I’m sure I speak for most women when I say we want you to! We want you to engage in debates and support us so your peers begin to think about women’s rights differently. We need your support.
And to my one male follower who did like that quote, thank you.
*EDIT* After a discussion with a (male) friend who had read this post, he pointed out that I missed one key reason my male followers may not have liked the post – the fear of being judged (by both men and women). In his words, “The majority of the guys I know support feminism and international women’s day, but many may not physically show their support by liking posts out of fear of being judged as ‘unmanly’ by doing so.” I think this is a really important factor to consider that I totally missed when I first wrote the post. So if you’re a guy afraid of being judged despite caring about the cause, know that the majority of women want you to be involved. If you’re someone who is doing the judging, remember that the day is about celebrating women, not putting down men. We can build up one without tearing down the other, so let’s.