This year, we aren’t shining a spotlight on the brilliant women in our community or suggesting how allies can ‘make room’ to uplift and recognise women. Instead, we’re offering a cathartic scream into the void that is the gender gap. 

The pay gap. The opportunity gap. The messaging gap. The orgasm gap. The equity gap. The gap that widens more with intersectional experiences (queer, disabled and BIPOC women), at the hand of systemic oppression. So, join us for a double-scoop of sarcasm, satire and ‘shrill screeching’ from your favourite pleasure banshees; because protest and puff-pieces will only get you so far.

It’s another IWD in so-called Australia.

The starting gun fires-off the first scheduled PR stunts for the day; our electoral representatives visiting women at-work and ‘in the wild’. Shirts tucked-in, nice and tight, like a well dressed five-year old (freshly pressed by their wives – or more likely, their mothers), the delegates grin big, hands posed for the cameras to show just how immersed they are in ‘women's issues’. “Personally I think all women are beautiful”, one out-of-touch senator professes, to a woman who is clearly regretful about showing up for the day. Simultaneously, in a not too distant Canberra office, their corresponding political party has once again failed to factor-in ‘women’s issues’ in the agenda with any remotely meaningful legislative change in any of our working lives for literal fucking decades. But, don’t worry, they have the largest cohort of women who have ever served in an Australian cabinet, so the girl bosses are girl-bossing. Girl power.

Meanwhile, we pan across to the CBD where atop a corporate ivory tower, this year’s elected IWD team have put on a lunch not to be missed! Their logo reformatted to a sparkly purple, specifically for the occasion. With annual salaries among the all-cisgendered, male board members exceeding digits us ‘ladies’ will never see in our forecasted waged lifetime, they somehow couldn’t find the pocket change to pay for any of the day’s invited speakers.

On this occasion, they will not be offering any actual pay for labour. Instead, they are extending a seat at the table, where a stale selection of cucumber or roast beef finger sandwiches – not actual decision making – awaits. Fear not, if our exhausted advocates choose to say ‘no’ to this gig, there will be at least another ten cues for unpaid labour demanding attention in their emails.

Sensing a certain sarcasm in our words? Or perhaps you’re detecting a notorious, banshee-like shrill in our ‘whining’ about equal opportunity, again?
It’s not just that pesky 19% gender pay gap that all the hens are currently hollering about, it’s the whole damn kitchen sink! In the so-few eloquent words of Matt Canavan, Senator for The Nationals, “this ‘kicking and screaming’ is just a ‘recruitment drive for Andrew Tate’” . Ahh yes, it’s the women who are driving the aggressive, self-identifying GI Joe’s into Tate’s testos-steroid-loaded arms.

It’s so simple. It’s the woeful womens’ fault that, once over the age of 55, they are experiencing homelessness at a terrifyingly increasing rate; still skipping meals to feed, dress, and care for their families. Of course, it’s the womens’ fault that they both perform the most amount of work in the country (a majority of it undervalued and unpaid labour), and are still overrepresented as the primary caregivers, even if they are also the household breadwinners. ( The WGEA Status of Women’s Report Card 2023 .)

What a snore fest, to hear about all of these under-researched and under-diagnosed health concerns experienced by vulva, cervix, vagina or hormonally-dependent body owners! Prolific and chronic pain dismissed, urgent need for accessible and improved sexual and reproductive healthcare and cancer treatment denied; but ‘the broads’ simply won’t shut up and take it with a stiff upper lip. For shame.

It makes so much sense. It’s the entire population of skirts, the indigenous, black, brown, disabled and queer women, who put themselves in harm's way of unrelenting systemic violence; simultaneously being the most incarcerated and most violated, if not murdered, at the very hands of the system – all while probably wearing a questionably provocative outfit.

But, of course. It’s the victims’ fault that the patriarchy is ravenous and foaming at the mouth to keep that thumb pressed down, strangling (sometimes, literally) any chance of dismantling systemic power in this violently misogynistic world. If only women would just quit being such darn bitches in a society made up of such civilised boys and swallow the spoonful of ‘fairness’ they’re being fed. A world, where no matter what women do, is still entirely designed, manufactured, politicised and legislated for us ‘chickybabes’ to bow down to the square-toed Tarocash loafers of the patriarchy for a smooch.

But, you know, it’s exactly this – if they see us as ‘the problem’, then we intend to carry out our jobs with proficiency.

A loud, unrelenting and unapologetic problem. An agonising ovarian-cyst-denied-the-required-legitimate-medical-procedures-and-sent-home-with-sedatives-kind-of-problem. A ‘60+ women killed in the last year alone’ kind of problem. Despite how deeply exhausted, grief-stricken, and at times so bored of talking about the same shit over and over, we won’t stop holding those responsible, accountable; making sure they never get a moment’s rest, knowing that we are their nightmare.

In the workplace, on the streets, in our homes, communities, online and at parliament’s steps, we will be steadfast – goin’ bloody nowhere – making sure that we are a huge problem for them.

So, today’s the day. We groan at another year’s slogan ( ‘Count her in: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress’ , for those playing at home) that makes you go, “who the fuck signed-off on this?”; muting notifications for the day to avoid an ocean of offensively pink ‘slay queen’ marketing comms that come crashing towards us.

Today, we pause for an annual moment of remembrance of loved ones and comrades worldwide who tirelessly fought for a better future for all of us, or were robbed of a full life because of how they identified on the gender spectrum. We put on our gloves, return to the ring and we fight, because we have to.

We first started this blog with a collective exhausted sigh, resentfully typing out the sentence “Is being a woman getting any easier?”. But, we’ve never started from a point of ease in the first place. The gap begins in utero. Talk about a problem, amirite?