March is pretty popular as a “recognition” month. It’s National Colon Cancer Awareness Month (colonoscopy, anyone?), National Endometriosis Month, National Nutrition Month and National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, to name just a few. The focus that matters most to me: March is also Women’s History Month.
Designated as a national celebration of women’s history by Congress in 1981, the month includes International Women’s Day on March 8. Now, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join each year in “paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.”
After presenting a guest post from a writer in the UK about March 8, 2014 events, I hopped onto Twitter and Facebook to acknowledge the day, too. In response to the question, “How are you celebrating International Women’s Day?”, a Twitter follower (hugs to you, @JensWall!) answered, “By trying not to get annoyed at people constantly asking ‘What about International Men’s Day?'”
My response to her complaint: “LGBT Pride Day must really frost their cones. Get ‘em a copy of Seth Godin’s Tribes.”
I read Tribes long before I launched TheNotMom.com, and now I’m re-reading it with new eyes. Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin figured out that it’s tribes — groups of people who share a common trait who choose to bond together — that humans have sought throughout time, and the Internet has made the task easier than ever before. Mr. Godin explains:
“For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature.” These “silos of interest”, as he calls them, “can change our world,..[and] align large numbers of people not because you forced them to do something against their will, but because they wanted to connect.”
We are people who always knew there were others like us, but had no idea how to find them. Yay Internet.
I’ve often thought that people who slam women’s holidays, or Black History Month, or Hispanic Heritage Month, or anything of that ilk are lashing out from jealousy. Their complaints basically demand, “Where’s MY tribe?”, because we all want one. All of us. Each of us.
Replying to my follow-up tweet noting that apparently the men against International Women’s Day need to band together to start an International Men’s Day, @JensWall informed me that it already exists. International Men’s Day is November 19th, and it’s celebrated in more than 60 countries worldwide.
Women bond. Men bond. Moms bond. NotMoms bond. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that…unless for some reason you feel left out. And if that’s the case, get to work to find your tribe. They’re out there, I promise.