Purple ribbons and red clothes for International Women’s Day

international women's dayIt is International Women’s Day, comrade! By universal proclamation we honor women and dedicate ourselves to helping them overcome the many obstacles they still face in this man’s world. Indeed, some people intend to observe the day with A Day Without a Woman strike in a new twist for our more activist times.

Begun as a socialist observance, perhaps in New York City circa 1909, International Women’s Day later caught on in the Soviet Union and its allied bloc of nations. The United Nations got involved in 1977, declaring March 8 the U.N. day for women’s rights, though considering what women face in many parts of the world, the U.N. should declare at least a U.N. fortnight for women’s rights, if not a U.N. solar cycle.

The University of Illinois Press publishes one of the premier lists of books on women and women’s issues not just in the United States, but in the world. Just our recent books on women’s topics—a handful of brilliant suns in our galaxy of visionary scholarship—include a study of women baseball pioneers, the many-faceted portrayals of African American girls in literature, a timely look at why women marched into the current millennium, and a journey back into the forgotten world of elocutionists.

And, sister, we’re not going for the Lean In crapola, with its advice steeped in infantilization, buzzwords, and dubious corporate-friendly faux feminism, to say nothing of the author promoting her ideas as a movement, that’s a red flag. Why do we not go for those money dollars, that delicious hype?

Because we know you have a brain. You demand The Valid, as in valid information. You want eyes-wide-open feminism. You want someone who understands that women face a lot more obstacles than not trying hard enough. You want writing meant to provoke change.

You came to the right place. Happy International Women’s Day.