March 8 is not about gifts, fragility, candor and flowers, but about half of the world’s population struggling to find acceptance in the public space, with equal rights and without discrimination or paternalistic attitudes. It’s about the century-long struggle of women to no longer be perceived as the second gender.
Stop turning March Eight into Eight Mart!
That said, if you’re anything like me, regardless of your gender, you treasure the time you spend with the women in your life. We don’t just need each other, we experience and we celebrate each other, so let’s not hesitate to offer and receive gifts, flowers, and show candor and fragility.
Take what you will from this apparent contradiction but, if you are into reading a bit of prose, dear friend, I have a short story for you. It just might clear some things right up.
A Micro-Story about Selfishness
It was March 8, I was about fourteen, and I wanted this book so badly. I can’t remember the title, but I believe it was one of Neil Gaiman’s early novels. My mother had promised to buy it for me; all I had to do is wait for a couple of weeks, until her next paycheck.
Of course, I couldn’t wait. I had some savings, I went to the store, I bought it, I wrote “Happy birthday, mom, March 8” on its first page and I presented it to her as a gift. She kissed me, and I snatched the book from her hands as soon as I handed it to her and started reading.
I thought I was being clever. With one simple action, I was able to check two boxes: the required gift for Mom Day, and my insatiable thirst for fantasy prose. That’s what many of the men’s gifts and recognitions of March 8 look like.
I know it because I am guilty of it.
Four years later, on my eighteenth birthday, my mom told me that she saw right through my scheme. Of course she did. What she said next, though, stung like hell and, eventually, contributed to the man I am still striving to be. I am approximating, of course:
Buddy, she said, I remember being your age. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, but you don’t have the privilege of saying it back to me. Not because you’re younger, but because you have no clue what lays behind my patience.
I was raised by a single mom and this woman taught me many important lessons, but none have been so eye opening to how women feel (on too many occasions) as that particular one. Needless to say, from that day forward, I gave it a lot more thought when I offered gifts to the women in my life.
A piece of advice for my fellow men? Focus on how it makes her feel, on the actual experience it creates, in the context of your story, and not on the object itself. The object and the price tag behind it won’t guarantee an authentic display of your love.
Stop turning March Eight into Eight Mart! ;)
Big Hug, World, From All of Us at Simplr
We are privileged enough today to contribute to a vision that will undoubtedly lead to a more equal, less wasteful world. Simplr is at the forefront of a paradigm shift that is bound to transform the ways we lead our lives.
We value genuine, authentic experiences over ownership and we don’t give a flying feather about arbitrary hierarchical constructs. We envision a world that is accessible at will, for whomever desires it and when they require it.
So, join our journey, not only in March, but every single day, by celebrating everything that makes us human.
P.S. I missed the opportunity today, but, next year, I am so getting my mom a Neil Gaiman novel. This time for real. I bet she’ll love it.