I do not want flowers.

I do not want specials or discounts on make-up and home appliances.

I do not even need bars to remind me that it’s a good time for cocktails with my girls.

No. You cannot reduce women to that level.

Especially on this day.

A day that commemorates all the women from the past, and present, that fought for one of the most basic and self-evident of human rights: equality.

I love being a woman. But as I grow older, it dawns upon me how hard it is to keep up, even though you work just as hard, even though you are just as capable. I feel I always have to keep up. Fight a little harder. For equal pay. For equal recognition. For equal treatment.

I remember I was 6 when a boy at school grabbed me by my hair and pulled me through the school yard. The boy was simply told off and I was given the impression by the teacher that it was my fault. I was essentially assaulted and yet, I felt guilty. That somehow, I brought this upon myself.

My boss at my first job, a few months into my employment told me with amazement that apart from good looking, I’m actually smart too. And at 18, that felt like a compliment. It took me years to realize that it was a disgrace.

We have been conformed into little tidy boxes of what is “right” for us and what is “wrong” for us. We cannot get angry, because we will be labeled as hysterical or loony, we cannot be strong-minded or confident because we will give the impression that we are way over our heads and we have no right to do so.

I still live in a society that the Church and the Government does not give me the right to choose what is best for me, my well-being, my body and it infuriates me.

It infuriates me that I can get sexually harassed in a work environment and the guy can get away with it and I get black-listed.

I can go on for ever.

So my message today is to all the lovely ladies out there and the society mindset that carved out the “right” path for us: we do not need to celebrate with flowers and chocolate and cosmetics today. We shouldn’t even thank them for it. We can do that any day and on our own. Today actually we do not need to celebrate at all; we need remember. Our worth. Our value. Our dignity.

Christina x