MARCH 8: IDEAS TO CELEBRATE THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
What to do for March 8? To understand how to celebrate March 8 (at the restaurant or not) it is important to know the history of the Women's Day. In 2019, then, the long weekend offers more than just a meal
March 8 is an important date and should be honored especially for what it represents. It is also a day of memory, which has nothing to do with fires and businessmen-monsters. Today, in the light of the prevailing consumerism, March 8, too often translates into a parade of basic incivility, with women dressed up like drag queens, in front of a boy in a thong. And then, women in sequins and vertiginous necklines when they have thirty-year-old children at home; women dancing on the tables and old witches finding sensual body eating.
If you had painted a similar evening to the founders of the movement, they would have answered that yes, these things happen, but in bourgeois brothels, those expertly managed by Steinbeck’s Cathy Ames.
The birth of March 8: the legend of the fire
The legend that wants a fire as a trigger for the International Women’s Day is, in fact, a legend. It is a story created by the US McCarthyite to eliminate the socialist root of the feast day. According to the fake news fo this time, the International Women’s Day would be born in honor of 123 women dead in the pyre of a phantom company ‘Cotton’ (never existed) in 1908. History was credited in the USA during the second post-war period just to fight the “red danger” and was part of the paranoid anti-communist propaganda of the time. The legend, however, originates from a fact that really happened in the Big Apple in 1908, when 146 people (mostly Italian and Jewish emigrants) died in the fire of the Triangle factory. The event promoted the drafting of new regulations on occupational safety, but certainly had nothing to do with the women’s movement that had started in Britain a few years earlier.
The real birth of the International Women’s Day
The International Women’s Day has socialist matrices. Among the first promoters were Rosa Luxemburg and Clara Zetkin, two revolutionary women who far anticipated the feminist movement like Emma Goldman, a Russian-Lithuanian anarchist who moved to the United States in 1884 (she was 15). In the United States, the US Socialist Party decided to show itself in favor of women’s right to vote on the last Sunday of February (in 1909). In Europe, marches, conventions and similar events were scheduled for March 19 because, according to Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontaj (first woman minister of history), the date recalled the German movements of 1848.
As a result, the first days of March became the official dates of the event in Europe, even if the feast was not held every year. Furthermore, on March 8, it became the world reference date only from 1917. On that day, women would change the course of history.
March 8, 1917: women change the world forever
Petrograd, Russia, February 23, 1917 (according to the Julian calendar, which corresponds to March 8 of the Gregorian calendar used in the West)
Women, tired of standing in line for hours in the cold and with the risk of not even being able to take the bread rationing, decided to join the husbands who had crossed arms in the Putilov industries. On the contrary, the husbands joined the women in the protest for bread and peace. From the streets of Petrograd (the city was renamed in the years of the First World War because St. Petersburg was too German), the housewives poured into Nevskij Prospekt and reached the Winter Palace. From the windows of the palace, Tsarina Alessandra saw the scene and noted in her diary: “Little girls who run and scream for not having bread, just to incite others, if the weather had been colder they would have stayed home.” But that March 8 women did not stay home and the Cossacks, called to quell the revolt, had not heard of firing “against their mothers and sisters.” It was the beginning of the “Glorious February” (for us March, always for calendar issues) that led to the collapse of tsarism and the women’s vote. They obtained the right 4 days after the abdication of Nicholas II (the Russia of the Provisional Government was the second European country of history to grant the vote to women after the then Grand Duchy of Finland, the Soviet confirmed it in 1918).
Finally, in 1921, the “Second International Conference of Communist Women” chose March 8 to celebrate the “International Women Workers’ Day.”
March 8 today. Celebrate it properly
So, the story of March 8 is a story of social claims, a story of rights pursued and obtained, a story of victories and defeats. It belongs to all women, of any provenance and political/religious belief. It is a day for gender equality and rights, so it should not be squandered in a strip-tease club. Why? To honor those who, fighting for the pink rights, lost their lives and gave them to us, allowing us to enjoy them today. And because, much more simply, we women are smarter than that.
So, how to spend this day in the company of our friends? Here are some excellent ideas, good to our spirit and our stomach.
What to do on March 8, 2019 (and in future)
Let’s start by saying that this year March 8 is Friday, Italian museums are open, and the entrance is free (from March 5 to 10 ). So, let’s plan a trip or enjoy the culture taking advantage of these extraordinary openings. Besides, we can think of a pink weekend, to be divided between constructive, sympathetic and gastronomic experiences.
On the day of the Women’s Day, focus on yourself and after a museum afternoon, continue the day with a good dinner. Then cinema or, even better, a conference on rights: on the other hand, if some of your friends are in a strip club tonight, many other women still fight for their dignity all over the world. Also, do not forget that the issue of femicide: in Italy, in 2018, 94 women died at the hands of husbands and boyfriends, one every 72 hours. So, yes, have fun but do not forget to dedicate a few hours this weekend – or the 8th – to something constructive. Also, do not underestimate the sport, especially if adrenaline: lately rafting is very popular …
As for the fork problems, however, here are some good ideas to spend the evening of the Women’s Day.
1. A dinner in pink
Compared to men, there are still very few top-level women chefs. So, support them and treat yourself with a dinner with friends in one of these temples of female gastronomy. In Italy, there are not many women cooks of haute cuisine. We’ll tell you about some of them, in case you’d like to try out their creations.
The most famous are certainly Antonia Klugmann and Cristina Bowerman, both starred chefs, the first with an austere look and the second with pink hair. The two chefs have succeeded on the ‘MasterChef’ throne and Klugmann has his gynaeceum in Vencò, in the province of Gorizia (L’Argine), while Bowerman takes care of the kitchen of the Roman Glass Hostaria.
The other top Italian chefs are Nadia Santini, world’s best chef in 2013 and 3 Michelin stars of the restaurant ‘Al Pescatore’; Luisa Marelli Varazza, “Al Sorriso” (Soriso, Novara), 1 Michelin star; Valeria Piccini, “Da Caino” restaurant (Montemarano, Grosseto), 2 Michelin stars; Teresa Galeone Buongiorno of the “Osteria Già Sotto l’Arco” (Carovigno, Brindisi), 1 Michelin star; Bruna Cane, “I Caffi”, Acqui Terme, 1 Michelin star; Marianna Vitale, “Sud”, Quarto (Naples), 1 Michelin star; Caterina Ceraudo, “Dattilo” (Strongoli, KR), 1 Michelin star; Aurora Mazzucchelli, “Marconi”, Sasso Marconi (BO), 1 Michelin star; Martina Caruso, “Signum” (Isola di Salina), 1 Michelin star.
2. Dinner in a home restaurant
The home restaurant suffered a slowdown after the exploit of 2015. It is a new way of catering, regulated from 2017 (not without polemics). The home restaurant, however, remains a good idea. What is it? Simple: someone offers her home and cooks what she wants, hosting you for dinner. There are no menus, but the atmosphere is very stimulating, suitable for those who are sociable, wants to make new acquaintances and live a particular experience. Maybe, inquire about those home restaurants (of course we are talking about those in order) that are run by women.
3. A charity dinner
Take advantage of the Women’s Day to eat and do good. There are many initiatives these days and choose the one that suits you best. A piece of advice may be to support structures such as the one located in the Piceno, the Locanda del Terzo Settore – Centimetro Zero. What is it? It is a business run by children with conditions such as Down Syndrome and disabled, who also managed to be added to the Slow Food 2019 guide. A true masterpiece for these guys, the chef Paolo Fusco and the manager, who are carrying on the business by collecting great satisfactions (Gambero Rosso Tv has dedicated an episode to them) and various prizes. There are other similar structures in Italy, and on March 8 can be an occasion suited to experimenting with them. In addition, there are charity initiatives with dinners whose proceeds will be donated to non-profit organizations and organizations such as Amnesty International
4. Farm-to-table, Cruelty-Free and Shabby Chic
Finally, a dinner suitable for you and your friends may be the one you can enjoy in the businesses serving farm-to-table menus, caring about the quality of the products and the healthiness of the environment. And then, the Cruelty-free businesses, because the Women’s Day may be the right time to discover the veg or vegetarian culture. Finally, for those who want to enjoy a very feminine aesthetic without thinking about ethics, the Shabby Chic style restaurants.
What matters, however, is that you enjoy the International Women’s Day: to do so just stay with friends, perhaps in front of a nice homemade dish made by one of the ladies who, for years, have handed down the great Italian culinary tradition. No frills, no excesses. To be women and revolutionaries, it is enough to be intelligently feminine.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)