I’m a female attorney who rarely thinks of what I do as an expression of feminism. For me, the term is antiquated and the theory often seems reactionary to a world I see as no longer existing. That is until a man calls my firm and asks if there are any male attorneys available to speak with him. My paralegal and I chuckle and scoff. We see him as antiquated as well; a narrow minded chauvinist hurting no one but himself with his ignorance.
On International Women’s Day however, it is important for women in the US to acknowledge the larger impact this chauvinism has on the lives of women around the world: on the thousands of women who are murdered in Juarez every year who’s deaths don’t even merit investigation; on girls suffering from malnutrition because they eat last at the family table; on abandoned girls sitting in Chinese orphanages because when you can only have one kid you keep the boy; on girls held in domestic and sexual servitude under the guise of marriage.
Women in the US have not completed the journey to equality. But it’s important to remember that it’s not simply the occasional jerk on the phone who stands in our way.