08 March 2008

Giorno delle Donne

It’s “Women’s Day” here. Bright yellow mimosa blossoms have popped up everywhere and on everything – even the wrappers of chocolate eggs. City fathers (and, I imagine, mothers) have scheduled all sorts of events to commemorate, promote, and draw attention to the glories of, concerns for, and issues confronted by the fairer sex. Today, just because I’m female, I can attend many interesting lectures and programs and visit a wide range of museums and archives and Goddess-knows-what-else, all for fun and for free. And it’s all about me: “W-O-MAN.”

I hate to spoil the fun here, but I have a couple teeny quibbles with this celebration.

One: Why does 51% of the population merit only a single day of recognition? I really shouldn’t whine – we don’t even have a “Women’s Day” in the U.S. where “women’s lib” first reared its lovely head (and burned its bra!).

Two: In this post-liberation world, why do I so rarely feel any hint of the spirit of sisterhood from le donne Veneziane? Most of the women here seem to belong to the “every gal for herself” school. All too often I have felt the chill they exude to me, to other foreign women, and even to one another. Their snubs are usually so obvious, so high-schoolish that they’re laughable. Let’s just say I won’t hold my breath waiting for any of them to become my friend.

But no hard feelings, ragazze! I wish the same for you as I wish for myself today – freedom, health, comfort, fulfillment, and satisfaction, whatever your life choices may be. I wish all of you a very Happy Women’s Day.