A life consumed by food. A lifetime consuming food.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day, an occasion which has been observed since the early 20th century. On this day, rights and achievements won by courageous women are commended. If women did not have the courage to fight the right to vote or become a part of the work force, the world would not be what it is today.
The night before, I watched a rerun of No Reservations, and in the episode Anthony Bourdain goes to Saudi Arabia, a country whose views on gender equality has been highly criticized. Danya, Anthony’s guide in Saudi Arabia, has made a great achievement in her own right. Even though she owns the first Saudi company allowed to be owned without a male business partner, she views women’s rights in Saudi Arabia as laws which help protect and emphasize the importance of women and families.
Although the episode only painted part of the picture, it seemed to me that the restrictions imposed upon women are generally accepted and aren’t as controversial as they would be in the western world today. I am sure there are those in Saudi Arabia who oppose prohibitions such as women being able to drive or exposing more than her hands and face, but there may be more important rights to fight for such as independence and guardianship of their children. In 2015, women in Saudi Arabian will be allowed to vote and run in their municipal elections, and that is something to celebrate.
I was looking at women’s magazines from the early 20th century, when the issues that women were concerned about were not entirely different from those of the modern world. Women were concerned about how they looked, what their families ate, and how they should raise their children. During that time however, the home and family were viewed as a woman’s priority. Although the cliché of women in the role of the homemaker is still commonplace, our responsibilities have extended beyond the home and into the workplace.
We in the western world are not perfect, and it is not my intention to condemn the beliefs of other cultures or nations, but we have certainly come a long way in the last 100 years. When I compare my the attitudes and rights women in Canada have today to those in the Middle East or from a century ago, I think I do take most things for granted, and I am grateful for being privileged enough to do so.