Am I offending you if I say that I don’t like to celebrate International Women’s Day? Premise: political correctness is not my suit. Or any political notions: I prefer to value and celebrate those that inspire me based on their achievements rather than their biological (or psychological) attributes.
Being one of the flagship holidays of the communist era when I was a child back in Ukraine (at the “falling-apart” stage of the Soviet Union) – this particular holiday always left a fake aftertaste in a mouth to even a greater degree than the rest: sounds like a good idea, never turns out to be one after-all. Arriving to US I was quite relieved to discover, that an International Women’s Day is not that “International” after-all – nobody even heard of of it till Obama administration re-instituted it… and extended to a full celebratory month of March!
Yet, the funniest fact that I recently discovered was that International Women’s Day actually originated in our own near and dear NYC!!.. My nerdy side got the vibe, and went on researching more interesting facts around it. You can find some juicy bits below, but as a result – I ended up putting together a special little gallery of inspirational people… who just happened to be women 🙂Interestingly, International Women’s day actually takes its roots from the dear streets of New York: the 1908, March 8th women’s rights march in New York City is considered to be the origin of the holiday! 15 thousand women demanded shorter hours, better pay, and the right to vote. Women didn’t get any of those that day or for quite some time. Instead, three years later, Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland awarded them with their own special holiday. I guess, as a sour cancelation prize for ignoring all actual attempts for an equality that women were trying demand. After that the holiday plunged into the obscurity till UN recognized the holiday in 1975. Some other interesting trivia in regards to this holiday:
- Some countries, like Macedonia, Uzbekistan, Serbia, and Albania (as well as Ukraine, my country of origin!) – treat this holiday as a combination of Women’s Day and a Mother’s Day.
- In 2011, President Barack Obama declared the entire month of March as Women’s History Month in the United States. ***(Hey, did your boys wonder when the Men’s History Month will be declared? I tried mumbling something about thousand’s years of history only concentrated on men… but then figured – why the hell not?! History is by far one of my most favorite and most important subjects out there – incredible men influencing our civilization still should get the recognition they deserve!)
- An artistic fact for color theory addicts another portrait photographers, haha: do you know the official colors of International Women’s Day? Purple, green, and white. These colors were chosen to represent justice, dignity, hope and purity. Interesting designations, isn’t it?
- How old is International Women’s Day? This year we celebrating its 111th birthday: the first one was observed on March 19, 1911 in Copenhagen, voted by the Conference of Working Women into existence.
The most amazing women that I feel inspired by – are featured here. I am blessed to know them, learn from them, aspire to walk in their footsteps… and feel constantly inspired by. As a contemporary Portrait photographer – I am blessed to have had these amazing ladies in my Middletown NJ studio for a super special photo-session, an incredible experience I am blessed to create, to share, to preserve memories of.
So… with all the facts and inspirational figures – International Women’s Day… or Month… suddenly doesn’t look so fake after-all!
Does celebrating this holiday feels true to you?
Do you exchange gifts, flowers, well wishes or just prefer to give a tribute to some special women in your life on this day?
And, super excited to learn – who are some of the inspirational women you think I should have included (or omitted)?
Would love to see whom I haven’t thought of, whom I should have included – historical or current – comment below who is just super special for you!