International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th. This year, however, it feels even more important that women stand up and let their voices be heard. Movements like the Women’s March have sparked the movement towards gender equality and today many women are participating in "A Day Without a Woman."
However, very rarely do we hear (in a productive, non-problematic way) the male perspective, especially college-aged, on issues pertaining to women. It’s important that men do not speak for women, instead listen to their perspectives and share them to other men; perhaps the fear of speaking on their behalf is why they are quiet on the subject.
Fresh U talked to six college males about what International Women’s Day means to them and how they can do better for gender equality. Check out their responses below:
Dennis W., sophomore at New York University:
"I really appreciate International Women's Day because it's a reminder of how women have shaped the world, and it makes me grateful for the women who have shaped my life so much, like my mom, my grandmothers, and my girlfriend. Women don't get enough credit sometimes and I'm happy we have this day dedicated to female empowerment."
Matt G., junior at Syracuse University:
"Gender equality may be the most overlooked oppression in the United States, despite affecting a majority of the population. Forty-five presidents, not a single woman. It's honestly hard to wrap my head around that. The very foundation of our country was built on the exclusion of women, and we have a lot of work to do to make up for that. The future is female."
Jacob K., sophomore at Temple University:
"International Women's Day is a very important day in our history. It serves as a confirmation that we see women and all the hard work and effort they put into everyday. As a man I utilize International Women's Day as a way to thank and acknowledge those women and their hard work. I purposely speak less on this day, white men have said enough in this world and women deserve the space to speak. I also spend the day reaching out to the inspirational women in my life, my mom and sister, among others."
Kevin M., sophomore at Emmanuel College:
"It's an important day to celebrate prominent female leaders as well as the every day women who impact my life in positive ways."
Troy M., senior at Pennsylvania State University:
"I feel like IWD is kind of conflicting for me as a male. I love all the ideas being expressed but I'm not sure what place I have in the day. I'm kind of taking a step back supporting role today. It's a movement I want to support but I think the last thing the day needs is men spreading the message for women, because that repeats the cycle of lost voices not being heard. I feel like today is about rallying women together, while my job is more of to talk to men what it's like to be a man. Men don't need to be teaching men what it's like to be a woman."
Joseph G., sophomore at University of Tennessee - Knoxville:
"International Women’s Day is a day that should serve as a reminder to women everywhere, not just domestically, that women are capable and successful in making progressive positive impacts across the world. This day should be celebrated and voiced by women, and men across the world need to strive to understand different perspectives and appreciate all that women offer the world and will continue to offer. I am a proud supporter of hard work and I think IWD is exactly that: a cause to bring attention to all the hard work women have done and will continue to do, around the globe as a whole."
By sharing these perspectives about the movement towards equality, we can move forward together as educated and passionate individuals.
Lead Image Credit: AIGA.org