Across the world, March 8th marks International Women's Day, an annual holiday that is part celebration and part protest.
A creation of Russian-American suffragette and labor activist Theresa Malkiel and the Socialist Party of America, the first National Women's Day, as the day was then known, was held March 8, 1909, to honor 15,000 garment workers who had marched against poor working conditions in New York the year before. Two years later, it was renamed International Women's Day and celebrations were held around Europe.
From there, the day spread, becoming entangled with various peace, labor, and women's rights movements. And it's a big deal in some places: Last year, hundreds of women reportedly marched in Kabul, Afghanistan, a country where, according to Amnesty International, violence against women is routine and their access to education and other basic human rights are restricted. In Russia, Cuba, and Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and, as of this year, Berlin, International Women's Day is an official government holiday and both men and women get a day off of work.
But while parts of the world are giving women flowers and taking the day off, in the U.S., International Women's Day is largely marked by posting girl powers memes on Instagram, or, in some cities, with a handful of women-centered events. (In Tacoma, you can edit Wikipedia entries about women's history. In Seattle, drink cocktails at the Sheraton.)
I'm not really one for cocktails, so I celebrated it the old fashioned way this morning, by asking strangers for money on Twitter.
Happy International Women’s Day! My Venmo is KittyPurrzog and I accept all currencies.
— Katie Herzog (@kittypurrzog) March 8, 2019
To my utter shock, this actually worked, and I now have $28.61 sitting in a Venmo account with my name on it. So, the question: What do I do with these generous contributions? (Which, by the way, I will be accepting for the remainder of Women's Month as well as my life.) Of course, I could keep the money for myself, but despite what you may have heard, I'm actually a really good person.* Vote below.
*This poll is not legally binding.