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International Women's Day 2017: The day is so much more than the color pink

A little munchies for your brains on this day.

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So, yesterday, we were gearing up our website with a women’s day article, so I was asked to write a quick piece on five tech gifts that could be given to a woman on the occasion. To be honest, I compiled a list of things I would love the most, an instant camera, a power bank, headphones, a fitness tracker, among other things. (Basically things any twenty-something individual would like!)

Then today, my day started with a text from a friend, which came with a nice ‘Happy Women’s Day’ GIF, following a note that, given the occasion we should all wear pink to work. I love the color pink, and I immediately decided what to wear.

However, at that moment I realised while the entire point of celebrating International Women’s Day is to appreciate the women in our lives, support the feminist movement, and applaud the constant efforts of women around the world who managed to break some societal stereotypes, in the back of our head we are swirling around some or the other generalised idea.

Now just to take the smallest example of the pink dress code that my friend suggested, while the color pink is one my favourite, it is difficult to explain to some people that my choice of color has nothing at all to do with my anatomy. I happen to know a bunch of boys who appreciate the color as much do, and I have so many girl friends who stay everything pink and mush.

Similarly, if we talk about the list of gifts I prepared in my article yesterday, if you actually think about it, how can you even think of a tech gift which could be gender specific? Honestly, there is no difference that makes a tech gift more for a man or a woman. If you buy a fitness band for instance, it’s the same for a guy as for a woman. It has the same function, ditto design, and the same color option. As long as it reads my heart rate right, how do I even care what color it is. In fact, I own a black Apple Watch.

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But I know where the problem comes, so just to prove a point, I shared my yesterday’s article with one of my friends (who was later ashamed of the entire scenario and made me promise that I won’t disclose his name) and I asked him what he though about the list and if you would actually give something out of it to his mom. So, he was very convinced that he wants to go for the Fitbit band, because he said his mom was growing old now and wanted her to be a little more health conscious. It all made sense, and I was so happy he decided to gift her something off my list. However, right there he popped my little bubble, when he said, “listen, does this band come in some girly colors or there is just this black color option?” ALSO READ: International Women’s Day 2017: 5 last-minute gifting ideas that anybody would love

Essentially, the point behind my anecdote is, despite having reached a point where we are able to celebrate the women’s movement, do not kill the entire idea behind it by putting these women back in pink color boxes. Forget about men and women here, it’s time we treat each person as a different individual, with different, choices, different opinion, and their own different preferences, and we’ve got to respect that. Liking the color pink does not make you any more of a girl, or less of a man, and similarly liking any other color does not define your gender, or for that matter, any thing about you!

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In fact, the International Women’s Day is far beyond our sub-conscious stereotypes. Here are somethings you must know about this day – Originally called International Working Women’s Day, it was first celebrated on February 28, 1909, in New York in remembrance of a 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union when 15,000 workers, including many immigrants, marched through the city’s lower east side to demand social and political rights.

The first modern International Women’s Day was held in 1914, five years after its inception, on March 8. The day was chosen because it was a Sunday, which the majority of women would have off work allowing them to participate in marches and other events, and has been celebrated on that date ever since.

While India still remains to recognise the day in the same manner, the day is now an official holiday in several countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Vietnam and Zambia and for women only in countries including China, Madagascar and Nepal.

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  • Published Date: March 8, 2017 11:19 AM IST