America likes to be different. Throughout history, America has made a name for itself by going against the grain. However, most people are blinded to the irregularity of America simply because we live here. As we’ve been raised in this country, we have been molded to believe that what we do here is normal. More importantly, we’ve been conditioned to believe that it is every other nation that is strange by virtue of their differences. America likes to poke fun at Canada for things like socialized healthcare, hockey, and the metric system. But can the majority of American citizens name the two other countries in the world that do not operate based on metric measurements? It seems reasonable to postulate that most Americans do not even know that we are unique in our system of measurement. This is just one example as to how America turns a blind eye to many things that the rest of the world find common.
The metric system is a universal system of measurement. The two other global powerhouses that resist going metric are Myanmar and Liberia. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is roughly the size of Texas. Liberia is comparable in size to Virginia and houses about half the population. Maybe we can form some sort of anti-metric alliance for change. With those two historical regions of clout supporting us, the world will be forced to respect our preferred unit of measurement. In terms of socialized medicine, the U.S. stands virtually alone in the list of developed nations that do not offer universal healthcare. The short list of developed nations still without universal healthcare are the U.S. and the Soviet autocracy of Belarus. Perhaps yet another alliance for change is in order. The point is that whether or not we want to recognize it, America intentionally goes against the grain and forcibly makes its citizens believe the we, not the world, are normal. The hands-down most popular sport in America is professional football. A game enjoyed by exactly no one outside of America. Conversely, sports like rugby, hockey, and cricket are enjoyed the world over yet are only embraced regionally if at all in America.
March 8th is International Women’s Day. A holiday celebrated quite literally by the vast majority of the planet. Yet how many Americans have even heard of it? While I’d wager that a percentage of citizens born in America know of the day, it seems certain that most do not. International Women’s Day is not a hallmark holiday that was contrived for capitalistic purposes sometimes during our lifetime. It is not a gift-giving holiday that parents can use to strike fear in the hearts of their ill-mannered children in an effort to coerce good behavior. It is not an eating or drinking holiday. It is for all these reason that Americans do not choose to celebrate the day. If you can’t get liquored up, laid, or receive gifts, then it may as well not exist.
International Women’s Day has roots deep within the former Soviet Bloc. Which is probably one of the chief reasons America doesn’t want to acknowledge its existence. Instead, America took the primary demographics of woman and categorized them into two separate hallmark holidays. By observing both Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, American capitalists could cash in on two holidays instead of just one. Additionally, by changing the philosophy of International Women’s Day by branding two separate holidays as hallmark holidays, we effectively turned a historical day of appreciation into multiple gift-giving opportunities and thus two occasions to buy crap. Even more astonishing is how we have basically garnered wholesale acceptance of both days nationwide all while keeping the wool pulled over the eyes of everyone with regard to the actual day that most of the world celebrates.
I’m sure clever and crafty politicians will regurgitate some bogus anti-Cold War rhetoric when asked about why America doesn’t celebrate International Women’s Day. The holiday itself has been celebrated since the early 1900s and recognized as an official holiday in America since 1994. However, when March 8th rolls around, don’t be surprised if it goes largely unnoticed. For a nation that so willingly displays its equality in order to justify its inequality, we’ve been pretty stubborn when it comes to acknowledging this holiday. In a country that dedicates each month of the year to some ethnic minority or terminal illness, International Women’s Day has fallen through the cracks of appreciation. But worry not, fellow Americans, for St. Patrick’s Day comes just a fortnight thereafter and we can resume our cycle of unwarranted celebratory feasting and binge drinking. After all, we haven’t truly celebrated like shallow Americans since February 14th.