This day feels a little hollow in this age, doesn't it? A day celebrating women and womanhood, and yet...
Cry babies complain that women writing speculative fiction is ruining the genre, based on... nothing at all but the fact that they're women.
There is a constant deluge of people trying to silence us.
In Russia, domestic abuse is no longer illegal, and women have been told to "be proud of your bruises."
Planned Parenthood, one of the few places where women can go for complete, judgement free health care, is constantly under attack.
A woman's right to choose if and when to have children is being eroded, with laws demanding that women get permission from their husbands. That they be made to wait for a length of time that can only be described as an undue burden, or being denied access to birth control (which is used for far more than birth control, incidentally).
Women still do not earn as much as their male counterparts for equal work. In some places, they aren't permitted to work at all. In some places, women are shot for something as inane as seeking an education.
Women who participate in game play are forced to hide their voices in group chat, because the revelation that they are women drives gamers to hurl all manner of sexist vitriol at them.
Transwomen, especially transwomen of colour, are killed in increasing numbers, suffering the greatest in this new wave of LGTBQ+ hate.
Justice in the face of sexual assault, including rape, seems unattainable, with judges deciding that black-out drunk women can, apparently, give consent. With rapists being let off simply because they may have a promising sports career ahead of them. Such rapists are portrayed sympathetically in the media, with pundits exposing how tragic a guilty verdict is. All that wasted potential. And their victim? Well, they shouldn't have gotten so drunk. They shouldn't have been wearing that skirt. They shouldn't have gone to that party.
Any woman who dares express an opinion online is inundated with threats of incredible body harm. Some are even doxxed. Many women simply get such threats just doing their jobs.
We are seen.
Despite the shit that is constantly thrown in our direction, we persist.
You, all of you, are impossibly strong. You are fierce. You have carried burdens that would break the backs of others.
Your history inspires me.
Your present inspires me.
Though it often feels like we're moving backwards, your future inspires me.
So happy International Women's Day, to every woman I know. You are a wonder.
Perhaps one day, we can stop persisting.
Perhaps one day, we can just be.
All my love.