Commercializing International Women's Day

You may have noticed I've never been particularly good at observing "Days".  Coming Out Day, Blogging Against Disablism Day, I'm just terrible at getting posts up to coincide with observed Days.  International Women's Day would have been the same*, except for a thing I saw today which I couldn't let pass unremarked.

I'm a cosmetics-and-beauty-products junkie.  I have probably over 100 colors of eyeshadow, primers, liners, all kinds of makeup.  Lately, I've taken a renewed interest in painting my nails, enticed by Zoya brand nail polishes.  I love Zoya's polishes so much (I got my first bottle in January, and by now I have 11 bottles; admittedly, 6 of those were free thanks to their kickass Facebook promo, but still, for someone on a budget 5 bottles of polish in 3 months is kind of an investment) that I follow them on Facebook so I can jump on promos and sales when they're announced.  This morning, they announced an IWD promotion, so I clicked over to read about it on their blog.  The promo itself didn't really interest me, as it was offering their six-color spring 2011 collection at a special price that I still can't justify spending, and I didn't really like the spring collection anyway.  But in the copy for the promo, this jumped out at me:

Celebrate the great women in your life on March 8th International Women’s Day! This 100 year old holiday is traditionally celebrated by giving small gift to the women that are important in your life.

IWD: Now non-procreative women can enjoy the tokenism and meaningless capitalism of Mother's Day, too!  

I suppose I shouldn't be so shocked, that a business catering to women is trying to capitalize on IWD to drive sales.  After all, Mother's Day began as an anti-war movement, and look what it's become.  But it struck me as ridiculous.  So I checked the official IWD website, and found a thorough explanation of the history of IWD, explaining the origins and goals of the movement, focusing largely on modern observance of IWD as a day to remind a complacent world that Feminism Ain't Dead Yet, with one little throwaway line...

In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

...in three pages worth of text, describing how IWD is observed in some countries.  And this is what Zoya - a US company with a largely US customer base - boils it down to?  

Dear Zoya:  I love your nail polish, but please to not tokenize IWD as "another day to give small gifts to X woman".  IWD is not Mother's Day, nor is it Valentines Day.  It is a day to remember and celebrate how far we have come on the grindingly exhausting journey toward a truly equal and egalitarian society, while still being aware of how far we have yet to go and how many women have not even benefited from what advances we have made.  I get that you're a business and you're thinking of sales and your bottom line here, but could you at least have a blurb that reflects accurate reality, instead of turning IWD into a glorified Secretary's Day?

I would think the global struggle for complete social, political, and economic equality of half the world's population might deserve that much, at least.

*As it is, I'm high-fiving myself for squeaking in with 2 hours to spare on March 8th.


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