5 International Women’s Day messages that missed the mark

From Halifax Regional Police to the Chronicle-Herald, these organizations tried to get with the times, but came up short.

March 8 is known around the world as International Women’s Day, and across the internet as “When is International Men’s Day!?” Day. (That’s November 19, FYI.)

IWD has taken place since 1911, but new bad takes still seem to crop up each year. We've seen corporations trying too hard to be socially conscious, and out-of-touch Gen Xers who are only feminists because they have daughters. But here are some outstandingly cringey examples from 2022 that truly embody the “gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss” mantra.

1 Representation matters
Who doesn’t want a grey-haired white man’s take on IWD? The writer of a Saltwire (i.e. Chronicle-Herald) opinion article, Sean Strickland, encourages hiring more women in the construction sector. One draw he mentions for the industry, which is made up of 95 percent men, is that the federal apprentice subsidy “doubles if employers hire someone from an equity group,” including women.


2 The butt of the joke
We seriously don’t know how this made it out of the writer’s room. Crave TV is promoting Canadian sitcom Letterkenny with an IWD email that features a close-up of an anonymous woman's rear end. How empowering.


3 HRP’s plea
“Don’t defund the police, we have women!” It's 2022, having women as part of your team is basically doing the bare minimum. Halifax Regional Police's current executive management team is comprised of more than two-thirds men (11 out of 15), according to its website. And according to Stats Canada, in 2019 in Nova Scotia there were 336 female police officers compared to over 1,500 male officers.


4 In defense of women
Maritime Forces Atlantic’s “champion” for the Defense Women’s Advisory Organization is a man. We're not sure how that fits with the theme mentioned in the navy’s IWD tweet: women inspiring women.


5Nominate your colleagues
Because it is International Women's Day, we look across the Atlantic Ocean to the Northern Ireland police force that's celebrating women by…giving awards to men. This Tweet was originally posted in 2020 and still holds the title for worst IWD post to date.


+ Honourable mentions
So how could corporations and government actors participate meaningfully in #IWD2022? It's easy—shut up and listen. Donate to a charity or organization that's actually doing the difficult work, like Adsum for Women and Children, Stepping Stone NS or South House. And if you can't keep quiet, use your voice to amplify people who are using IWD to get rid of real inequalities. Here's one local example:

About The Author

Victoria Walton

Victoria has been a full-time reporter with The Coast since April 2020, covering everything from COVID-19 to small business to politics and social justice. Originally from the Annapolis Valley, she graduated from the University of King’s College School of Journalism in 2017.

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