While eating disorders are not specific to women, I think it is important to acknowledge International Women’s Day (IWD) as a source of strength and inspiration. If you follow IWD’d website you will find that there are many events offered within Canada.
(Here is a link starting close to today’s date to look for events)
Why is it important to me to celebrate IWD? It begs us to reflect on how far we have come and consider where we are now. Western culture can celebrate the liberated women given that our laws are fair, and judicially we are equal. Where are you in your life? How does you role as a women empower or disempower you today? Now this does not have to be a reflection of men’s influence, but how you perceive yourself because IWD is about equal treatment of both genders.
Here is a video that I found from the IWD 2013 archives:
This video is a bit lenghty, totally worth it, but I’ll summarize Jarrah Hodge’s points:
2 Areas to work on – Representation and Recognition…
- we must work on how we teach young women about the media and unrealistic body ideals.
- focus on the double standards that come with unattainable ideals, outdated values
- cooking cupcakes should not related to feminism, not as an affront or a protest.
- our foremothers fought so that we are not forced into domestic roles.
- with an underrepresentation of women in parliament and the media, the playing field still isn’t level.
- we haven’t done away with sexual harrassment in the workplace
- roles in social work typically held by women are less valued by positions held by men requiring the same level of education
- women who consume less mainstream media placed less importance on appearance
- the other side are more likely to experience eating disorders
- Girls claim that they do not much to be proud of besides their appearance or that they can’t do anything right.
- these health issues make it harder to succeed
- less women we see in government, the less those postions are considered by women to improve
I included video not because it is very specific to the my blog, but because it demonstrates distinct and subtle connections to eating disorders.
If we continue to be delimited by the images and ideas about roles that are less than our full potential, our self-value will also be held back. A woman who is faced with strong mentors will base their worth on ideals and overcoming challenges rather than diet and physical attractiveness.
I love IWD because it reminds us to overcome our fears and reach out to higher goals that breach superficial ideals.
If you’d like to hear more from Jarrah Hodge, follow her blog: Gender Focus.