If you haven’t checked Facebook, Instagram or the rest of the Internet yet today (which, I guess, means you are reading this because someone helpfully printed it off for you), you might have forgotten that it’s International Women’s Day.1 It’s that day where women—and their allies—get to share memes and hashtags to celebrate the existence of ovaries, without getting anything tangible like gifts or time off.2 Still, it’s nice to be recognized, even if it is a sort of hollow, social media-inspired gesture that’s more about virtue signalling than inspiring lasting change.
But, which women deserve the most celebration? You don’t want to waste all your #positivevibes and general statements of vague support on the wrong one. Because, news flash, there are bad women out there. Like, for instance, Annie Wilkes, Ursula the Sea Witch, or that German lady in Wonder Woman with the porcelain face mask and an affinity for biological warfare. And granted, all these examples are fictional, but we’re not about to disparage any real women on International Women’s Day. So, here is a definitive list of the women that deserve praise on this special day.
No surprise here. Mothers top the list thanks to their selflessness, sacrifice and (mostly) unconditional love. And sure, mothers will also be at least semi-responsible for your emotional hangups and relationship issues, but since they gave you—and everyone else on the planet—life, they deserve some love on IWD. Go Moms.
Like moms, in that you’ve known them your whole life and, as such, have a huge impact on how you see the world and gender relations. Less powerful than mothers due to the fact that you’ve been in subtle, constant competition with them since you, or they, were born. Still, you got each other’s backs. Way to go sisters!
The only reason daughters don’t outrank sisters is because they tend to come on board later in life. Still, daughters deserve praise on IWD since apparently they are the only people who teach men that sexual harassment is unwanted and bad. Where would men be without the humanizing influence of their own progeny?
4. Female Teachers
From the first one you get in kindergarten, whom you mistakenly call ‘Mom’ on a regular basis, to the one in high school who didn’t take any of your bullshit (even though that bullshit seemed to satisfy all the other authority figures in your life), to the university professor who taught you the concept of intersectionality, shout out to the women who likely have the most influence on your worldview outside your own family. And, naturally, are paid accordingly.
5. Your First Real Girlfriend
She was patient with the zeal you displayed while attempting to kiss in the French style, and kindly never mentioned all the times she knew you were trying to hide a boner. Also, she reinforced ideas of gender equality by being better than you in every way that mattered, including and especially Super Mario Kart. She was the first person to break your heart. You have mostly gotten over it.
Like sisters, only you aren’t related and you see them way more often. Don’t fuck this one up.
7. The First Doctor That Saw You Naked as an Adolescent/Adult
Simultaneously taught you that women are equal to their male counterparts while disabusing you of the notion that your penis is interesting to anyone but yourself.
8. Women on SNL
Other female comedians can be included in this category. The amount of bullshit these women had to overcome in order to be funny in public, only to then be accused of not being funny, would make a grown man cry.
9. Sigourney Weaver
“Get away from her, you bitch.”
10. Police Officers
The more female authority figures, the better. Not to mention, when was the last time a female cop shot an unarmed black man?3 Oh…they have? Women can be horrible monsters, too? White people are the worst.
11. En Vogue
They were very important to you at a very important time in your life.
See also: TLC, Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah, and Britney/Christina/Jessica/(and to a lesser extent) Mandy.
12. Women in Politics
Because they persist, despite the kind of blatantly aggressive sexism that would convince people that a bloated, thin-skinned, embarrassingly unprepared and woefully stupid former reality TV punchline was somehow more fit for the presidency than a former Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady who can explain complex policy in her sleep.
Sometimes you disagree with them, other times you agree with them so much you post their article on your Facebook feed accompanied simply by the word, “This.” And still, other times you fall in love with them only to see their byline move from a popular feminist website to a certain men’s magazine you read monthly, thus becoming, in your mind, the perfect woman. You know who you are.
15. Playboy’s Miss _______, 19__
Until then, you had no idea breasts could be so interesting.
16. Your Partner
She’s at the bottom of the list, not because she’s the least important, but because she’s the culmination of all that went before. They all prepared you for her. Unless you just broke up, and it somehow wasn’t your fault, then hell yes she’s at the bottom of the list.
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|1.||↑||Does this mean that we celebrate women who come from other countries, and are thus international, or does it mean that we celebrate women on a global scale? Basically, is it the International Day of Women, or the Day of International Women? There probably isn’t much difference, since every woman is international compared to somebody.|
|2.||↑||But that won’t stop some trolls from complaining about it. They might even think themselves especially clever by wondering aloud why there isn’t an International Men’s Day—never mind the fact that there is one (it’s in November), in addition to every. Other. Day.|
|3.||↑||Answer: Betty Shelby of Tulsa, Oklahoma, shot and killed Terrence Crutcher in September 2016.|