Every day is women’s day

Social media reminded me as soon as I opened my eyes that it was international women’s day, and I cannot help but compare it to all other hypocritical celebratory days like Valentine’s or even Independence. Let’s drink to women everywhere so tomorrow we can go back to throwing the empty bottles at their faces for daring to be just that: women.

It took me several years to appreciate the fact that I was a woman, to celebrate my double x chromosomes and proudly wear the label. As a child, all I could distinguish of the female gender was the “fragile” stamp we seemed to all receive at birth, one we couldn’t wash off or replace in a society too stubborn to acknowledge our strength, our power and our deserving all the same rights and opportunities as our male counterparts. Then I woke up, and how glad I was to finally brandish my lipstick and fire away all the sparks my womanhood had bestowed upon me.

However I can’t shake the feeling that giving women a day to celebrate them somewhat diminishes their value, just like Valentine’s or mother’s and father’s day diminish all the fireworks our loved ones deserves every single day. It also feels filled with hypocrisy, the way everyone picks up pink pens and paper on this one day, writes a post on Facebook quoting whichever prominent feminist the internet provides in the search results, and then goes back to not caring or worse, going against what feminism stands for the day after. Your neighbour is a human you should respect, not catcall when she picks up her newspaper in her bathrobe. Your waitress is serving you to pay her bills, not to worship all the nonsense you think you are entitled to utter as a paying customer. That girl didn’t wear a skirt for you, she wore it because she feels good in it. That lady is feeding her child so he is well nourished and can grow to become someone who will stand up for the mothers you deny the right to breastfeed in public spaces because it makes you queasy. Every woman is a being to be respected just like any other being on Earth, with beautiful superpowers like those of procreation and overflowing emotion and empathy. To all those who still doubt it, our hormones are one of our sources of magic.

Ultimately, everyday should be women’s day and mother’s day and an occasion for all those beautiful celebrations to remind us that we should love each other with no boundaries, no misogyny or sexism or antiquated patriarchal ideas on the place of women in society. A woman’s place is wherever she deems fit, wherever she feels comfortable, wherever she feels useful and hopefully, wherever that is, she can feel safe and strong.

Scissors ate my hair

I woke up yesterday, looked in the mirror and just decided to take the leap; goodbye my curly locks, time to see why Jean Seberg and Audrey Hepburn were so fond of their short hairdos.

As my hairdresser gradually chopped one strand after the next, my heart felt extremely serene; it felt right. He made me remove my eyeglasses during the whole procedure making it impossible to see how much he was actually taking out of my not so demure hair. As he was putting the finishing touches, he gave me back my glasses and my piercing that had fallen off my ear – from all the excitement probably – and finally, after calmly gazing at a hazy shape swiftly sliding around me, I saw my reflection clearly in the mirror. My first emotion was relief; I liked it. Twirling around the salon trying to understand my new look, a sense of freedom graced me with its presence, freedom from the patriarchal stereotypes surrounding female beauty and how girls are supposed to have long hair to be deemed beautiful or feminine. I still looked like a girl, a girl I felt had been waiting to express her adrogyny proudly without the ridiculous assumption that short hair meant lesbian. I’m straight, but that doesn’t stop me from loving neckties and suspenders, or shopping in the men’s section because let’s face it, a tshirt covered in glitter and flower print pants don’t always make the cut; my closet would probably vomit them out anyway.

Then came the giggles, my first time brushing my newly acquired beast, my brush flying from my hand as I combed too far after my do and having my hair stand on my head because hey, now it can! Or taking a bath and not knowing how much shampoo to put only to drown in what was formerly an acceptable amount, trying to wring out the excess water but instead grabbing the air that now replaced my previous mass of hair and finally wrapping a huge towel around the tiny little bob left on my head. Laughing alone in the bathroom, as if my mum needed more proof of my insanity.

Funny how something as simple as hair can change a person, physically or psychologically, lift their mood a few centimeters at a time, maybe a colour and a comb stroke too. I have short hair now, it looks rock n’roll and I love it.