Towards the World We Dream
LOVBOD  ·  2021-03-31

Women who fight changes the world

Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day. It marks the 113th anniversary this year, which began from the struggle for labor rights and suffrage of American female workers. In the 19th century, when the capitalist system began to take root with the development of technology, women who were only in charge of housework and childcare at home came out of the house and began working. However, they were forced to work long hours in poor conditions (mostly textile factories) at an unreasonably low wage than men.

In 1857, thousands of women in the clothing industry took to the streets to protest unfair wages, 12 working hours (~18 hours) a day, and sexual harassment at workplaces, but unfortunately, the working environment of women did not change much.

Over time, in 1908, many female workers were killed in a fire due to poor working conditions. In the wake of the incidents, 15,000 angry female workers rushed out to New York’s Rutgers Square and shouted, “Bread (labor/survival rights) for all, and the roses (suffrage) too!” The protest was recorded as the first large-scale demonstration by women in history, and the day was designated as National Women’s Day in the U.S. The bread they shouted represented the elimination of hunger due to the gender wage gap, and the rose represented the right to organize unions and participate in politics like men, and they are still used as symbolic terms today.

German revolutionary, Clara Zetkin proposed International Women’s Day at the International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1910, and it began to be celebrated in 1911. As a result, on March 19, 1911, the first “International Women’s Day” event was held in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, but it waned briefly in the wake of WWI in 1914.

However, Russian female workers didn’t stop the resistance. During the February 1917 Revolution (February 24th in Russia, March 8th internationally), they led protests and general strikes for “bread and peace” and succeeded in gaining suffrage. Russia declared “International Women’s Day” as a national holiday in 1965, and it still celebrates women’s fights with various events.

Ten years later, the UN designated 1975 as the “International Women’s Year,” and in 1977, it officially marked March 8th as “International Women’s Day” to commemorate the fight of Russian female workers, which has led to the Women’s Day we celebrate today.

We are still hungry

Could we say that the present created by women all over the world is a completely equal world? How is South Korea? What kind of world should we pass on to the next generation of women? The world and technology are changing rapidly, but South Korea has been reported as having the largest wage gap among the 29 OECD member countries for nine consecutive years (as of 2019), and incidents like crimes against women (illegal filming, sexual violence, domestic violence, assault), such as the Telegram sexual exploitation incident (Nth Room case that has ignited Korea in 2020 and still continuing; Korean men were found to have been sexually and mentally exploiting Korean underage girls by threatening them on Telegram) and employment discrimination are endless. Not only that, the School MeToo and Arts MeToo, and the gender-based concepts that are seeped in our shows and contents have been continuing for years, enough to eventually exhaust us.

However, women may feel exhausted, but they aren’t sitting down. In India, “Green Gang,” a women’s organization that directly punishes men who assault, sexually harass, and rape women, appeared, and in Korea, which is number one in uploading sex crime content on Deepfake, female university students developing technology to catch Deepfake sex crime content appeared. Women are making meaningful changes in their respective places and ways, in order to live a better world together.

The cry of “Bread for all, and the roses too” is not just something of the past from a hundred years ago. Women need more bread and roses. We are still hungry, and our fight is not over yet.

We will never end

Lastly, I would like to recommend a song called “0308” by Bosudong Cooler. The introduction that feels like the artist is reading a book may feel somewhat unfamiliar, but it’s a song that hits your heart and makes you look around for no reason with its wonderful funk/disco rhythmic sound and its repeated hook, “We shine on each other. We will never end.”

When listening to this song, I want to thank the women who made me who I am today and the women who will make the future together. I hope this Women’s Day will be a day when we share gratitude and courage to women all around us so that we can walk together towards a better world. I hope we won’t forget each other when we look back and we can be each other’s role models, courage, and hope.

Breaking something will give you the novelty of expanding boundaries. We shine on each other. We will never end.

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