International Women’s Day


Talk about a teachable moment! International Women’s Day makes for a great case study in co-optation or soft power. International Women’s Day was originally a socialist holiday and it was first officially recognized as a state holiday by the Soviet Union in 1918, but you’d never know that unless you really wanted to research it beyond the stupid “Google Doodle” and the “YouTube Spotlight.”

An interesting excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on IWD:

“A popular apocryphal story which surfaced in French Communist circles[85][86] claimed that women from clothing and textile factories had staged a protest on March 8, 1857 in New York City.[87] The story alleged that garment workers were protesting against very poor working conditions and low wages and were attacked and dispersed by police. It was claimed that this event led to a rally in commemoration of its 50th anniversary in 1907. Temma Kaplan[85] explains that “neither event seems to have taken place, but many Europeans think March 8, 1907, inaugurated International Women’s Day.”[85] Speculating about the origins of this 1857 legend, Liliane Kandel and Françoise Picq suggested it was likely that (in recent times) some felt it opportune to detach International Women’s Day from its basis in Soviet history and ascribe to it a more “international” origin which could be painted as more ancient than Bolshevism and more spontaneous than a decision of Congress or the initiative of those women affiliated to the Party.[86]”

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3 Responses to International Women’s Day

  1. beetleypete says:

    I didn’t know it was IWD. To be honest, every day seems to be ‘Something Day’ to me these days. I can’t keep up!
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Prole Center says:

    I think it’s actually tomorrow. But, yeah, you’re right Pete, every day does seem to have something extra special to commemorate!

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