On Asking Only That They Take Their Feet Off Our Necks

One of the day's many protesters. Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty. On front, a weightlifter in Iraq. Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty

This year's International Women's Day boasted much stirring good news: Protests around the world, Spain's feminist strike, FreeformTV's #NotSorry campaign bleeping out women's all-too-frequent apologies to "spread the "Not Sorry" wisdom, the revival of last year's #FreedomForGirls video, the rise of Iceland's new left-Green, feminist-environmentalist literary critic and Prime Minister practising the art of "the doable," the celebration of girls worldwide doing what they have to do to get an education. Above all, amidst the fervor of the current "#MeToo" moment, is the seismic, galvanizing affirmation that "something long tolerated is finally recognized as intolerable, which means that the people for whom it was not a problem finally recognize the suffering of those for whom it was."

Of course, there are limits to that awareness: To wit, the tacky bit of McFeminism that had McDonald's,  greasy home of unliving wages, racism and sexual harassment, bravely flip their iconic arches - "Look, it's a 'w'! - because, noted many unfans, it's way cheaper to change their signs than pay women (and men) employees more than their current paltry average of $380 a week. Ever the class act, though, they did give employees “special hats and shirts.” We suspect the great Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have something tasty to say about that, judging from the day's final treat: The trailer dropped for the new, Sundance-lauded documentary "RBG." Directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, it portrays the life, legal legacy and work-out routine of the 84-year-old Supreme Court Justice Gloria Steinem calls "the closest thing to a super hero I know." True to fiery form, Ginsburg starts off the trailer with a take-no-prisoners quote from 19th-century feminist and abolitionist Sarah Grimké. "I ask no favor for my sex," she gravely intones. "All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”

Photo by Vincent West/Reuters

 

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