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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Days

You may have noted, as did Carman, that I did not post anything yesterday regarding International Women's Day. My feelings about this special day, one among many days to honour this group or that, are dubious.

[Just a side note here: dubious doubtful, uncertain, wavering or hesitating in opinion,inclined to doubt . ]

About twenty years ago my employer said to me "You're a woman; why don't you organize International Women's Day this year?" But he really couldn't give me much guidance as to the objectives of such recognition. Is it to celebrate the accomplishments of women? Is it to highlight the inequities, the injustices, the many ways women of the world continue, with their children, to be the ones who most suffer from poverty, hunger, violence, war? Just what is the purpose of this special Day anyway?

We have lots of days in our culture. In fact I understand our federal government is about to institute a Seniors' day (I'll likely get to organize that one now too.) We recently observed Family Day here in Ontario. That was fun. My cat and I got some cleaning done.

I recall Mothers' Day was the day the women got to organize the Sunday service, and our youth still get pulled into service for Children's Day or Youth Day. Neither of those circumstances ever seemed quite right to me.

If issues are worth crusading for--ending poverty, treating human beings equitably, stopping violence in families, in society, providing proper care for children, women, men!--then we ought not to be limited to a single day. In fact most of those things are much too important to allow the possibility that anyone might say "Oh we have a Day to pay attention to that"!

And if someone's accomplishments are worthy of honour or celebration, then find as many ways and days to honour and celebrate tham as you can. I'd be happy to have special days popping up all over the place. But make your day a day of genuine celebration; pull out all the stops, or take home a big bouquet, or spend the whole day with your family in the park, or whatever pleases you.

There you have my cynical rant on special Days! I'd be really pleased to hear from our readers holding a different perspective. As I said earlier, I'm still wavering, and am ready to be convinced otherwise. What do you think?

Posted by Marion

2 comments:

  1. Something about International Women’s Day leaves me not knowing how to respond, not because there is nothing to think about but because there is so much. The world owes everything to women, and yet around the world, women are always treated unfairly, shamefully, even hatefully.

    A few years ago, in my business career, there was a very capable and dedicated woman on my staff who was paid considerably less than her male counterpart. The official reason for this was because she had been promoted from a low paying, entry level position, and the company policy was that nobody got more than a 10% raise, even with a promotion. As her manager, all my arguments about changing this inequity were lost on a U.S. head office that saw no reason to change. It wasn’t until the Canadian government finally legislated equal pay for work of equal value that we were finally able to get this corrected. She was still paid less than the man, but at least she was finally within the same salary range.

    In our congregations, women have always been the people who made the church work (who taught you in Sunday school?), although their efforts were not usually very well appreciated. I could go on and on about that, but it would not help, so I will stop. Instead, I will just say that I share Marion’s ambivalence about “the day”, not because we shouldn’t recognize the achievements of women; we should. But to have one day a year to do that seems like tokenism, especially when all the inequities around the world remain.

    Marion, thank you for finally posting on this issue. It helps me to put words to my pondering.

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  2. Who said anything about being limited to a single day?! I think you missed the point. We've just finished up African American History Month, here in the USA (admittedly not a single day) but what this means is that in churches, schools and public institution all across the land, children, and adults share stories of the past and dreams for a better future.

    In many parts of the world International Women's Day is an opportunity to weave women's issues into curriculum, liturgy and public life.

    There are enough useless days like Halloween to fill up elementary school bulletin boards.

    Surely mother, you jest!

    Surely your post is aimed more at heating up the conversation on your blog than truly advocating an anti-women's day position.

    As for the women being asked to run it, while certainly nothing in the pronouncement of the day makes that necessary, Gus and Loretta did an excellent job of teaching our Sunday school class during Black History Month. Seemed almost a little too perfect when I heard that they had been asked. But in their case, I'd never heard them teach a Sunday school class before nor talk about the amazing stories they shared.

    International Women's Day certainly may not be perfect but it can be very, very good.

    ReplyDelete