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everybody now!

Because Hallmark does not make a card for this.

When I opened the newspaper this Sunday, ads with BIG SALES for International Women’s Day did not tumble out of the newspaper bundle. Well, because there was none.

It was not even an after thought here in the U.S. if it were not for the Interwebz, the Blogosphere and the Twitterverse. And for online magazines to come up with LISTS of Most Influential Women, Most Powerful Women, Women Who Inspired Us, yada yada yada, you know, just so all the frantic google searches by people who are trying to find something that they can blog, tweet and Facebook about today will lead to their websites. Traffic-generating content.

I guess the Google Doodle for the day also helped bring attention to the existence of an International Women’s Day to a lot of people.

But, seriously, if it were not for Daniel Craig, who as you would notice is a man, dressed up in a drag, the Interwebz would not have been buzzing about the 100th Anniversary of IWD as much. So men in drag sell. Got it.*

Women have a half day off in China every year on March 8. Just sayin’

I am still reeling from my vehement agreement with Stephanie Coontz who said in her interview on NPR that though women have undoubtedly made great progress since when Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique (1963), there seems to be, instead of “the Feminine Mystique” (or, as a cynic would argue, in addition to), “the HOT Mystique” nowadays:

Women are told, “Yes, indeed you can be anything you want, but, you also have to be hot while you are doing it!” And there is this tremendous pressure on young women… This can be very destructive to young girls when they are channeled into this sense. That, the way to empowerment is to display your sexuality.

 

What else? … Oh, of course, Texas. Can’t forget Texas. In honor of Internati0nal Women’s Day… Ok. I jest. Texas probably does not know nor care. Texas… sigh. I’ll let CNN tell you:

The state house approved the anti-abortion measure [that requires mothers seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound examination and listen to a description of what it shows] in a 107-42 vote Monday. And state senators backed a similar proposal last month. After a conference committee hashes out the details, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will have the final say.

 

To put everything else in perspective, here are some latest breaking news around the world:

Ivory Coast marches on International Women’s Day end in bloodshed

International Women’s Day Egyptian march met by men

Not a good day to google news with the keywords “International Women’s Day” really.

 

Sorry I have turned on my cynical pump full cylinder today. Turbo-Cynicism FTW! And really it is all my own fault. Nobody else to blame. I kept on seeing since this morning tweets that asked women to share their greatest accomplishments.

I thought long and hard. <– Elly, this one is for you. Who loves ya baby?!

I could only come up with “Gave births twice but only suffered acute birth pain for 15 minutes so probably did not count after all if you want to be all picky about it”. It’s that or “Managed to keep children alive longer than any pets i.e. fish I have had”…

Ok. Enough about me.

So… how’s everybody’s Fat Tuesday coming along?

 

 

* Don’t get me wrong. I love the promotional video for www.weareequals.org with Daniel Craig and Judy Dench narrating the facts and statistics. Here, I’ll prove it by putting the video right here.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkp4t5NYzVM

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I only recently discovered that The Economist online includes a “Daily Chart” section in which a snapshot of an intriguing world phenomenon or a trivial yet fascinating trend is presented daily.

Three things make this moment deserve our special attention:

1. The number of Internet users surpassed one billion for the first time.

2. There are more people online in China than in the USA. This should not be surprising considering the sheer size of the Chinese population (1.3 billion vs. 300 million). However, it is mind-boggling still because of the pronounced gap between economic classes, incomes, regions, education, access to modern technologies, etc. amongst the 1.3 billion Chinese living in Mainland China.

3. The Internet penetration may have reached saturation point in the United States, whereas in China, and other countries that are playing a very impressive game of catchup, there is a lot of room for growth, and grow it will.

(Glad to see that the data used include only unique users above the age of 15 and excludes access in Internet cafes and via mobile devices. Nice – makes this more meaningful even after one takes it with a grain of salt…)

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