Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy International Women's Day!

It is very interesting that this day is not celebrated as a national holiday in the United States. It seems paradoxical that in a country with strong liberal ideals, the International Women's Day does not receive such attention. Well, perhaps it is not that paradoxical. After all, we still have a high degree of sexism. I am still gasping for air after watching what happened to Hillary Clinton under the attacks of virulent sexism. For us, women lawyers, it is still a challenge to practice in courts housed by males as judges and lawyers. Women are still treated paternalistically and for some reason there is still the expectation that they have achieved something not through their brain, but through 'bed' (crudely speaking). Quite too often they are not treated seriously and when they become aggressive, they are punished. Do not tell me anything new, I have been punished many times and many ways. And yes, I have refused to achieve goals through 'bed', believe it or not. That is why, I am a solo practitioner now. Unfortunately, some women have the image of Playboy girls and that sets the expectations of men about everyone else. In some professions such as legal, 'Playboy girl' image is simply out of place. I am sorry, that is the truth. You do not have to lose your femininity by being a lawyer, but there is a certain line...

Human nature does not change from country to country. But it is really ironic that Russia has been celebrating this Day since the beginning of the 20th century, when socialism took its roots there. In fact, this day really is an outspring of socialism and the first major parade on this day happened in Russia. Russia is a country with no liberal democratic institutions and is currently being ruled by a 'dictator', correct? Yet, women do get flowers on this day and do get a national appreciation day. Of course, that is not to say that women have achieved more in Russia. By no means. Yet, symbolism matters and no woman would shy away from recognition and flowers. I call that 'culture.'

Unfortunately, because of the 'culture' in the United States, I always had some difficulties buying flowers for my own professors. For some reason, I felt awkward and afraid that the symbolic gesture would not be acceptable... True enough, sometimes it was not. Very sad. So I stopped buying flowers except for my own Mother.

Happy International Women's Day!

Watch the video on the history behind the Day

Click here for Tamara Gverdtsiteli's Dedication to Women

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