As a woman who runs Sobersistas Closed Group in Facebook for women, I am always interested in International Women’s Day. Two years ago I wrote about IWD and sobriety and I felt that it exercised my equality muscles relatively well. I missed it last year in the midst of a super busy time so I was really happy that I remembered that it was coming round this year.
In ripe anticipation I checked the IWD page for this years theme – Each for Equal – and honestly – I just don’t get it. And I am gutted that I don’t because it makes me feel a bit thick. From their website this line particularly stuck out – ‘Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue.’. Yes, if equality in business is tackled and fixed, it would be a brilliant step towards women never having to reference the glass ceiling ever again. Yes, it’s partly a business issue but isn’t women’s equality about so much more than just business?
Inequality is Everywhere
Women are disadvantaged in just about every area of life. Without doing a huge amount of research I know there are lots of areas where gaining our equality has nothing to do with business. When women can lead the congregations of every religion in the world, when girls get an education by automatic right everywhere in the world, when every woman can have the right to drive a car, when any woman can have a night out without being groped, when every sexually abused woman is automatically believed and when every woman can have an opinion and not have it mansplained back to her then we might have scraped the surface of gaining true equality for women. The list is pretty endless and very few of them have anything to do with business.
And then there is alcohol. It’s advertised to women with the frenzied quality of trying to ensure that women drinking is normalised and acceptable 24 x 7. Got toddlers? That’s okay – you’ve got mummy juice to get you through the day. You can buy a bra and a bracelet that you can fill with your favourite poison and there are endless adverts that also sell the utterly toxic diet culture, offering skinny drinks as if being thin and alcohol dependent are the only two things in life to aspire to.
The resulting alcohol consumption and dependence keeps us in our place. It stops us from thinking too hard, or standing up to minor levels of abuse before it turns into something more serious. It keeps us from getting even close to living a happy life, let alone gaining equality with everyone around us.
I have a very clear objective in running Sobersistas. I want every woman in the world to stop drinking. Whilst I know logically I won’t achieve it, I’m pretty certain that all things being equal (ha!) I will spend the rest of my life trying.
Can you imagine that world? I can. The moment we all stop addling our brains with this poison we will realise just how utterly brilliant and magical we all truly are. Every woman will realise a skill or some untapped potential and either blow the world away with her genius or bring up one happy child in her own quiet way. No matter what she does it will be a thoughtful, authentic contribution to a world that desperately needs it. Even if she never does anything that would be considered ‘noteworthy’, the fact that she stopped abusing her mind, body and soul will be a brilliant achievement.
There are massive structures in society that are going to make this bloody difficult for women to gain true equality and dismantling them is an uphill, possibly even futile, task.
I don’t know the answers. I don’t know all the nuances of equality for women. I don’t want women to be better than men or have more power. All I know is that in my tiny sober corner of the world I will be doing everything I can to give wings to every women who lets alcohol go and watch her fly.
Each for Equal wants me to take a picture and post it on social media. I’m meant to hold my arms parallel to each other to make an equals sign. I expect the idea behind this is to ‘raise awareness’ but honestly, it kind of makes me think that I would be in danger of looking like a badly posed Native American with my feathers missing. It feels like a gift to those rabid, toxic social media trolls.
I am sure that IWD do some great work and I saw lots of events around the world that will give women a chance to come together and learn. But ‘Each for Equal’? I’m sorry but it means nothing to me. I am so disappointed by this.
When we have Prime Ministers, Presidents and Hollywood moguls who treat women as a disposable product of their raging ego, Each for Equal feels very lacking. I hope for something much more punchy next year.
If you’re ready to let go of alcohol, find your authentic wings and learn to fly, please come and join me in Sobersistas Closed Group. It’s free and you’ll love it.
Much love, Jules xxx
PS If you’re ready to be free of alcohol for good I have a 31 day e-course that will give you all the support you need to choose a better life: 31 Days to Freedom