I’m trying to figure out what I should do on International Women’s Day on March 8th? Dust off my shrine to Hillary Clinton or Aung San Suu Kyi? Stand outside the Dail dressed as an abortion demanding the Repeal the 8th? Get hairy leg patches sewn on? Be offended by stuff? I don’t know. Quite frankly, I’m not really in the loop. I think International Women’s Day is a joke and should be scrapped.

When I hear people talk about gathering outside the White House to march, I get a little confused. Is it 1919? Have we not got the vote yet and are we banned from pubs? Wait I’ll grab my pantaloons and a pair of long boots and charge through Washington DC demanding change.

As a working single parent, on whose shoulders all responsibility rests- financial and otherwise, I should be feeling sorry for myself on International Women’s Day.

How stretched am I? Looking through the pages of newspapers and magazines this week all I see is photographs of female journalists with their kids going “I’m so busy,” “I love my life, but oh the running around I have to do. Why do I do the lion’s share of caretaking? Making school lunches, dealing with the headmaster, arranging playdates etc while my husband does nothing?”

Would you like a medal perhaps? A purple heart for choosing to get married and have kids? How’s about you do all that stuff on your own from hospital visits during pregnancy to traveling alone to sorting out schools and paying for everything yourself?

I should get a photo of myself in my pajamas, laptop in hand, with my daughter covered in chocolate jumping on my head, some saliva trickling down the side of my face, a glazed expression and a caption going ‘my poor me single mother world.’

In reality, it’s hard, but you can still have a life. Despite what popular rhetoric would like you to believe, I have time for swimming, hiking, coffees, afternoon drinks, all that stuff. Why is it that mums’ in particular always feel they have to be wrecked in order to be credible?

I often wonder what mum’s with one kid do all day if they don’t work. I know I’m really pushing the boat out here, but it’s true. More than one child is different, but before that, it’s totally manageable and I don’t want to hear any woe is me stuff.

Its interesting how none of the supposed women’s champions ever bat an eyelid over the fact that men routinely leave women holding the baby. Imagine if a woman did that – dropped a child on its father and went off to join the circus. There’d be an intervention, but men do it and they get a pat on the back.

Besides the self pity at choices women make consciously in life, what really annoys me about International Women’s Day is the group thing.

I shall rob some wise words from the great George Carlin: “I love individuals. I hate groups of people. I hate a group of people with a ‘common purpose’. Because pretty soon they have little hats. And armbands. And fight songs. And a list of people they’re going to visit at 3am. So, I dislike and despise groups of people. But I love individuals.”

Once a philosophy goes tribal, its original belief structure is compromised as the interests of the herd take over.

Luckily this year we don’t have to hear the waffle from great philosopher of herd think, Michelle Obama who, will probably be spending International Women’s Day on a pedestal making life easier for women and girls. Yawn.

“My message to women: Do what makes you feel good, because there’ll always be someone who thinks you should do it differently. Whether your choices are hits or misses, at least they’re your own?” she said. What gobbledigook is this? We make our own choices in the west. Also for the record, no one cares what other people do, because everyone is so self serving these days.

Except Emma Watson of course – a trailblazer of the ‘Times Up’ movement. Whatever that is. In an effort to be street, she made a total fool of herself at the Oscars with said tattoo on her arm. Lol. Time’s up darling. On you and your self importance.

So rather than go around saying #ustoo #imwither #timesup, #metoo, #moo I think  on International Women’s’ Day we should just be men for the day. Be non committal, say you have to do your thing, accidentally say hurtful stupid stuff, don’t listen while your man is trying to tell you something, make decisions with only yourself in mind.

Ladies we won. In the west. We have vagina hats and gender balance. In the UK there are more female doctors than male doctors, which means that by the time they have children, a second doctor needs to be trained up, costing taxpayers over €600,000. Why because, most female doctors end up working part-time and then retire early, once they have kids. But let’s not mention that part.

In the 1960s and 70s, bra burning feminist protested to gain equal rights in the workplace, universities, health care, and in the home, now we’re protesting because a female in Hollywood got less lines than her male co star.

Let’s abandon this entire notion of victimhood. Let’s not do an England winning the World Cup in 66 on it and still bang on about it. Scrap International Women’s Day and remind yourself: ‘I don’t want to be like men. I’m happy being a woman, being completely different, having a heart.’ That kind of thing. Let’s just celebrate that.


  1. Well said Barbara. International Women’s Day is an embarrassment. And I, too, hate groups especially when they’re comprised of self-centered, privileged, shouty women wittering on about gender balance. Many women don’t want to be CEO’s or Taoisigh. A lot of us choose to work part-time when our children are young. And a recent survey showed the majority of women who continue to work full- time would prefer to be at home with their children if they had the choice. The whole victimhood thing is becoming really tiresome and it’s time someone put a spoke in the wheel of that particular bandwagon.


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