The founder of retro lingerie brand What Katie Did decided to celebrate International Women’s Day by blowing off both of her feet with a shotgun on social media.
“#inspiringwomen – yes!” she began. “But do we really need #InternationalWomensDay? At What Katie Did we’re to (sic) busy #WomenJustGettingOnWithItDay”
The tweet received a flurry of reactions, including a response from cabaret heavyweight and vintage fashion lover Lili La Scala, who said, “I’m so disappointed in you. Not all women have the chance to be ‘just getting on with it’.”
The poster, presumably What Katie Did founder Katie Thomas, responded with a tweet explaining that her factory workers in India are paid the same regardless of gender, as are her warehouse workers in England. Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival co-founder Lady Wildflower retorted, “NEWSFLASH! We can stop campaigning for equal rights now coz @whatkatiediduk pay THEIR workers equally! Phew! Glad we fixed that problem!”
Thomas shot back: “Personally I’m far more concerned about the treatment of human beings in general than just 50% of them. modernslavery.co.uk” Yeah, why should a gender that have been marginalised, oppressed, assaulted, demeaned, dismissed, demoted and denied since the human race began be granted a day to acknowledge their achievements and ongoing campaign for respect and equality? Silly us!
Thomas eventually ‘apologised’, explaining that her “focus has been on the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East and the recent human suffering of all sexes.” She added that “when I saw that International Women’s Day was trending my initial thoughts were for equal pay etc in the Western world, which although is important is not a case of life or death.” No mention of domestic abuse, sexual assault, rape culture, casual sexism, access to healthcare, honour killings, the right to choose, workplace harassment… But wait – there’s more:
“I wasn’t thinking about the more serious consequences of being a women (sic) in certain countries.” Because gender inequality and abuse is confined to “certain countries”, obvs.
Why are we posting about this? Why are we making this social media car crash global? Because this is EXACTLY why we need International Women’s Day. Because even the leader of a brand exclusively FOR women can get it so, so wrong and fail to see the big picture. Because it’s ‘International Men’s Day’ EVERY GOD DAMN DAY.
Burlesque Hall of Fame / Miss Exotic World Judge, 2011 Holli Mae Johnson is the founder and editor of 21st Century Burlesque Magazine, a pioneering publication created twelve years ago to unite, document and celebrate the global burlesque community. Holli is actively involved in the burlesque community on a day to day basis and is privately consulted by performers and producers at every level for promotion, critique, recommendations and encouragement. As a documenter and critic, she has seen countless burlesque and variety performances from across the world and provides an intimate perspective and insight into the lives and careers of burlesque’s greatest pioneers, performers and personalities.