by ARIEL HARSINAY
Sharing is caring, but not when it means that women have to share the same day with a day designated to appreciate pancakes. It truly seems there is a disconnect when the support for International Pancake Day trumps International Women’s Day. Sure, you may say that you can’t expect people, especially teenagers, to be as excited about International Women’s Day as they are about going to IHOP and getting a free pancake – but why not? When we learn about feminism in US History and learn about women’s struggles and how we weren’t granted the right to vote until 1920, it seems appalling. It seems backwards and far from the reality in which we live today. But this isn’t true. It is remarkable how our society still views women, and how the mindset of a large part of our population doesn’t stray far from the perpetual patriarchy of our history.
One place where we see the evidence of the skewed priorities of our generation is through social media. Just by logging onto Twitter, you can see the long list of jokes about the intertwining of both holidays, such as a tweets like “international women’s day < international pancakes day”, posted by a female nonetheless. It’s not as if ignorant teenage boys are merely making a joke by tweeting this for laughs, but girls themselves are expressing how they care less about feminism than they do about a breakfast food. We aren’t raising our girls properly when they have this perception. You can also see the thousands of jokes by girls and boys alike where they question the “coincidence” that International Women’s Day and International Pancake Day are on the same day, since women belong in the kitchen anyway.
You can say that these are just harmless jokes, but they perpetuate the mindset that women are inferior. You might be Tweeting it as a joke, but someone reading it might see it as reassurance for their perspective that women are lesser. Another shocking piece of evidence of the warped priorities seen on social media was the fact that Tumblr had a huge banner ad for International Pancake Day but not for International Women’s Day. This seems to be the last platform where you would expect this. Tumblr is known for its social progressivism, but once again the support for women was trumped by free flapjacks.
Listen, I love a good pancake as much as the next guy. There just seems to be a crisis when nobody cares at all about International Women’s Day, yet they’re willing to skip three periods of school so they can wait on line for 45 minutes for a single soggy pancake.
We are ignoring the fact that the women’s rights movement still has a long way to go. We are ignoring the fact that 64% of illiterate adults are women, that while women work ⅔ of the world’s hours, they earn merely 1/10 of the world’s income. That every day, 39,000 girls are forced into early marriage, and that more than 100 countries today still legally restrict women’s participation in the economy. 95% of countries have only had male heads of state, including our own. Women make up half the population, but only 21.9% of Parliamentary seats, and just 8% of the world’s executives.
You might not see the evidence of women being held back every day, but the evidence is there. Look no further than the hordes of people who ascended on IHOP last week for free pancakes without having the foggiest idea that women’s equality was being celebrated on the same day.