We Should Stop Celebrating 8M

The truth is, I’m not ashamed to admit it: I was that person at the office giving away chocolates to all my female colleagues because it was “THEIR DAY.”

Why did I do that? Simply because I’ve always had a series of strange filters imposed by society. A very macho filters, of course, that didn’t allow me to see anything more than Tweety images with cheesy phrases about women’s beauty instead of seeing the whole story behind it. 

If you want to know the why of it all, you’ve come to the right place. 

Let’s go back in time…

Not so long ago we were not allowed to decide on our education, our economy, our voting rights, even our bodies, and motherhood. Even after knowing that women’s life expectancy was lower than men’s because of childbirth procedures back then.

At least in Mexico (my country), it was not until 1953 that women had a voice as citizens (most recently in 2011 for Saudi Arabia). That means my grandmothers were among the first women to vote… I know!!! MIND-BLOWING.

International Women’s Day has been commemorated every 8º of March since 1975, and NOT conceived as a date to praise us just for being women but to make visible our lack of freedoms, equity, and rights that we still suffer in society.

Commemoration or celebration?

Just to be clear, it is vital to separate these two concepts. To commemorate is used for any event, sad or happy, festive or mournful. On the other hand, celebration applies to cheerful situations of joy. 

8M is not a joyful day because we are still experiencing injustice towards women. The very high numbers of femicides, harassment, missing women, inconsistencies in salaries, and job opportunities make it not a day to celebrate. In fact, 8M origins come from a series of protests and highlights that happened throughout history in March.  

So before giving us flowers & chocolates, dedicate phrases and poems to our beauty (because we don’t exist to be pretty), or simply congratulating us for being a woman, remember that there are better ways to show solidarity to the cause.

Commemorating 8M

Around the world, there are marches, work stoppages, and protests of different kinds organized by women and collectives on the 8º of March.

No matter what gender you identify with, whether you are a woman who commemorates 8M or not, here are some ways to show respect for the cause:

  • Give us that day off, so we can take the streets to manifest.
  • Help to create safe spaces to share our needs: Many of us continue to suffer from different social ills, so on that day (and every day of the year, actually), you can be open to listen and offer assistance if they need to get out of a difficult situation.
  • Make a change: If you are in a position of power at work or within your family where you can create change, DO IT. 
  • Let conversations flow: If any of the topics discussed that day are not in line with your beliefs or values, it is better not to censor and try to listen more. Everyone’s voices are valuable and relevant, and it is a date where free expression should reign over oppression.
  • We don’t look prettier when we keep our mouths shut: If there’s something that bothers or hurts you, think of this day as that liberating moment you needed to talk about what causes you to suffer. Offer your shoulder to those women who need to be heard.

All the actions and first steps our female ancestors took have repercussions today, even in the fact that now, as a woman, I am writing this statement for a global community to read. Thanks to them, my voice is being heard. And I know that by doing that today, future generations will have better opportunities than I have now. 

This blog post is not only for the opposite gender; it is for everyone who wants to be more informed about how to act and to amplify our voice on this discourse that we have dragged for years.


Alejandra Torres

Alejandra Torres

Fuckup Nights Mexico City

A Fuckup Nights fanatic before becoming the Fuckup Nights Mexico City Organizer. Ale organizes events and creates cool collaborations to spread Fuckup Nights’ message around the world.A professional communicator. She was born and raised in Monterrey N.L (North Mexico) and so she loves to enjoy a cold beer and “carnita asada” in the company of great people. She loves old school reggaetton.