The death of Betty Friedan last month gave many of us the opportunity to reflect on the current status of women in American society. While much progress has been made, thanks in part to the catalytic effect of The Feminine Mystique on the groundswell of activism that followed, there is still work to be done. The issues of reproductive rights, pay equity, and domestic violence are just a few of the areas in which activists continue to press for change. Women continue to be under-represented in many professional fields, notably the sciences, and are in the minority ranks of corporate and media leaders.
In a concerted effort to raise the voices of the blogosphere in chorus on this subject, March 8, which is International Women’s Day, has been declared Blog Against Sexism Day. According to the website of organizer vegankid, Blog Against Sexism Day was inspired by December’s Blog Against Racism Day:
…it was decided that for at least one day we would try to focus the blogosphere on another evil: sexism. While those that write about sexism on a regular basis are gladly asked to join in, we encourage those that never or rarely talk about this important topic to join in. There are no guidelines. All that is asked is that you write at least a little something against sexism. We especially encourage men to challenge themselves and write about the topic.
A 26-year-old web designer/developer with an interest in writing about gender identity and gender oppression, vegankid is a relatively new blogger who has been an activist for the past nine years, and says about the organized effort, “While I felt it would be nice to have a day of talking explicitly about the topic, I was really looking forward to the possibility of all the comments discussions that could spring from this…I like the idea of everyone’s voice being on the same page for a day. And challenging some folks to go outside of their box to write about a topic that greatly and negatively affects all of us.” As of this writing, 162 bloggers have signed up to participate.
The Internet allows all of us to have a soapbox. The ability to put a lot of those soapboxes on the same street corner for a day to raise our voices about issues that should matter to all of us is an opportunity not to be missed. I hope you’ll be taking part in the conversation.