International Women’s Day supports narrow message


Women hold signs at Women’s March in Downtown Chico. Photo credit: Jovanna Garcia

Kyra Stemplinger

When I was growing up, I thought feminists were insane and that it was all overrated.

Before coming to Chico State, I wouldn’t have known about International Women’s Day. Even if I had, I wouldn’t have been one to support it.

March 8 is a day to celebrate the emerging voice that women have in society. It is a day to focus on fighting the sexualization of the female body, and the stigma that women are weak.

Although there has been resounding support across the country to recognize the efforts of strong women to change societies perception of the female gender, there is also people going against it.

Most of the people who presented issues with the women’s marches during International Women’s Day were not opposed to the movement, but rather its message. Sporting genitalia hats and protesting outside of Trump Tower didn’t get the message across that most people wanted.

Destigmatizing the women’s body is important, but it became clear that it was one of the only tropes present in the marches. Focusing on issues regarding female genitalia mutilation, honor killings and sex slavery would have had a stronger impact.

This isn’t to say that the marches didn’t do great things. They brought to light the issues facing many women today. All it means is that they could have done more to represent other factors of society that would have captivated a wider audience.

There is activism spreading across the nation for women, and it is helping reduce the typical image of women that many people still hold. Women are not meant to “settle down” or just be a housewife, they are important members of society that still have to fight for equal rights.

I do not want my body to be defaced for a beer advertisement, and I also do not want to be attacked by anti-choice protestors for trying to exercise my rights. Both issues are important to women today, and both should have been represented through the marches.

Kyra Stemplinger can be reached at [email protected] or @TheOrion_News on Twitter.