International Women’s Day

IWD20171Recently I met a man who warned me I had spoken for long enough. “If I went on for that long it would be called mansplaining” he mansplained without a hint of irony.

I’d like to say I persisted, in reality I was just pissed off.

I mused on this today, on International Women’s Day.

Today we celebrate and amplify women’s voices. The hashtags are #BeBoldForChange and #ShePersisted. The latter being, of course, in reference to when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to silence his colleague Elizabeth Warren.

This morning I welcomed another set of lovely Wikipedia novices and returners to an editathon. This time the theme was ‘Bragging Writes‘. I explained why we edit. Why it is important that we edit. How Wikipedia works behind the scenes. How difficult it can be to navigate the behaviours and norms in that community and why it is important to be bold in pushing for change. And to defend the changes you make. And why, even in the face of Wikimedia’s edit-policy labyrinth and hair-trigger deletions, it is important that we persist.   I suggested that editing wikipedia is a political act and this is the day to do it.IWD2017

After lunch we had another meeting of the Playfair Steps working group. Numbers were small but we persisted. We listened as Morna from Girl Geek Scotland explained how we could be bold for change in our workplace.

This evening saw the fabulous Dangerous Women Project celebrate a year of writing dangerously.  Members of my lovely book group were out in force so we celebrated a year of reading dangerously too.

Tonight I am reading tweets and blogposts from the newly established network and giving thanks for the many, dangerous, busy, generous, talented, brave, notable, persistent women I know.

Thank you all.

 

Update:

The outcomes of the International Women’s Day Wikipedia event are detailed here . Including new pages for:
Writer, artist and founder of Maggie’s Centres, Maggie Keswick Jencks. Helen Alexander Archdale – suffragist, journalist and contemporary of Chrystal Macmillan. Mary Susan McIntosh: sociologist, political activist and campaigner for lesbian and gay rights.
And many more.

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Kit Gage says:

    Melissa, I’m so proud to be part of your family. You are clear, strong, brave and funny. An unbeatable combination. Love from us across the pond who are standing up and persisting.

  2. VM says:

    Melissa, I wholeheartedly relate to your encounter with yet another mansplainer. The day after International Women’s Day last week, I was told by a male lecturer that identity politics and discussions of gender had no place in a literary discussion on the war poets. The more I thought about this comment, the more it enraged me. It is no secret that women’s voices have been either silenced or forgotten for too long. More than ever, I feel that we must indeed be bold for change.

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