Wednesday, March 11, 2009

International Women's Day

Sunday was the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, and I asked my friends to do a few simple things to commemorate this special day.

First, I have some good news. Although KPFA management was not willing to put Women's Magazine back on the air before the end of April, they did offer us the opportunity to produce a special which aired Sunday evening from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. My friend Rivian Berlin and I produced a program on the history of International Women's Day. It includes great interviews with feminist historian Eileen Boris and long-time local activists Aileen Hernandez and Judith Mirkinson. It also presents an excerpt from an incredible documentary by our friend Malihe Razazan on the International Women's Day protests following the Iranian Revolution in 1979 - the first resistance to the imposition of Islamic law in that country, led by left-wing women who had supported the overthrow of the Shah and U.S. imperialism, but were deeply disappointed by the turn toward theocracy.

Please, wherever you are, show KPFA that you appreciate women's programming by listening to the show at And if you like it, ask your friends to listen as well.

The second thing is this: In my writing class last week, a woman told us she was reading The Feminine Mystique. The teacher asked who the author was, and she said she couldn't remember. I said, "Betty Friedan," and it turned out that only two of us in the class had ever heard of her. Then I mentioned that I was doing a show for International Women's Day and the woman who was reading Friedan asked, "When is that?" So I told them and I asked who had ever heard of International Women's Day and only one person had!

So, I asked my friend Lisa, who's a wonderful designer, to make a sticker that says "Today is International Women's Day" with a website for more info, and I'm attaching it. I asked people to wear them on Sunday so people would ask them about IWD, and I printed out a bunch of them to give to people I saw over the weekend. People loved them. I've uploaded it here, so bookmark it for next year. They're formatted for Avery 5196 labels, if you happen to have any lying around, but if not, you can print it on a piece of paper and cut it out and pin it to your jacket.

For those of you who would like to learn more about the history of IWD, go to Happy IWD!