One thing I admire about women’s activism is that it is like a session on a trampoline or the net beneath a high wire acrobatics. I visualize it as women standing on a web or net that overlays a map of the country or globe. As individual women change activist levels to attend to family, work, and community matters, and she sinks down a less active level, others raise up with outrage and vigor, and a small few are bouncing like mad up to the sky in near manic activity. The later activists are often bounding from place to place across the network as well.
This “sproing-ing” network is how I first became aware of International Women’s Day. On March 8th, 2003 when I marched with CODEPINK Women for Peace in their first mass action in Washington D.C. I stayed active with this group from then until 2010 when I last traveled to D.C. to join with other CodePinkers for an action.
I was not among those arrested. I was among the 10,000 supporters who rallied in Malcolm X Park (Meridian Hill) and marched and rallied with them. For a good review of this march and the peace and IWD history and linkage, go to Jo Freeman’s site.
I guess I am one of the one’s who has sunk down into a less active state, but I am part of the network that connects women across the U.S. and the globe to act in coördinated fashion per issues of importance to us all. At a conference I attended last fall, Tear Down the Walls, the women of the conference called for recognition of the need for women’s integral participation in united action in the peace and justice movement by including IWD or Mother’s Day into a global season of action. What emerged in altered form is the Global Climate Convergence which is great, but includes neither International Women’s Day or Mother’s Day. What emerged was from (Mother) Earth Day to May Day.
I love and respect the dedication of the international labor rights movement, but, always the outsider, I cannot condone the emphasis on what I consider outdated socialist iconography and language. If our goal is to energize old and activate new participants into a process that creates a new planet-round infrastructure we have to focus on women, women’s concerns, and women’s condition in the world and not traditional male dominated political narratives, including socialist and communist ones. Working from the triple bottom lines model that integrates people, planet and profits and refashion our human culture into a peaceful one that supports a sustainable society then we must make women focal to the structure as the basic human state, defined by numbers, is the female.
Celebrate an commemorate women everyday, not just today.
So, in this spirit of unity, I am calling upon all of my sisters of the earth to look for the avenues we already walk together that can lead us toward not only a livable, but a sustainable, future.