Thursday, August 6, 2009

Women's Day and a letter

Here in South Africa we are very progressive and we have lots of Public Holidays. We like this. Even though we do hear the business analysts muttering about ‘loss of productivity’ and such, we choose to ignore such things and just revel in having days off work. Twelve a year to be exact. They’re not particularly evenly spread out, April and May being a particularly prolific holiday time and then there being a bit of a drought until August. August the 9th is Women’s Day. You see? Like I said, progressive. Only truly progressive countries have a public holiday to celebrate women.

Anyway, this results in August being filled with media-hype about women (nothing wrong with that) and how fabulous we are, and how we should be celebrated (as we should) and we are stormed by a flurry of chick flicks on TV (because, of course, as women, those are the only movies we like… our TV station is, I’m afraid, very obviously run by, well, men). There are also celebrations to be attended, specifically for us. The place I work has organised just such a thing, about which I received an e-mail yesterday…

Dear Shiny,

You are cordially invited by Real Work to a lunchtime lecture to celebrate National Women’s Day. Dr Sadmummy, a renowned expert in her field, will be talking about Myths and misconceptions around postnatal depression. Please RSVP before Tuesday, 4th August. Light refreshments will be served.

Good grief. Are they bloody serious? I am seriously (and really seriously this time) considering sending the following reply:

Dear Real Work,

Thank you so much for thinking of us women who work here and organising lovely luncheon, I mean, snacks, to help us celebrate. You really do do so much for us ladies and we do appreciate it. What will the snacks be, by the way? Just so you know, I’ve stopped eating chicken completely, I have a thing about the battery chicken system but I won’t go into that now. There is something more pressing I need to discuss.

What on earth possessed you to choose postnatal depression as a topic we’d like to hear about to celebrate the fact that we’re women? I mean, come on, seriously think about it. Do you really think we want to celebrate our womanhood discussing such a topic? Even when it's spoken about by the highly reputable Dr Sadmummy (please send my regards, and do express that this in no way reflects on her). While I am fully aware of the fact that it is a real (and scary) thing, it’s hardly something to celebrate. Why don’t we have a talk on period pains or the price of tampons while we’re at it? I do apologise about bringing up such delicate matters in this letter but I feel it’s necessary, to validate my point.

So, basically, thank you very much but, despite the luncheon, I mean, snacks, I will have to decline your invitation. Honestly, I’d rather cut off my right hand with a spoon than celebrate being a woman by discussing depression, be it just normal endogenous type, or postnatal.

Shiny x

P.S. Should you like some help with topics for next time, let me know. Or help with choosing luncheon, I mean, snacks.

Do you think they’re confusing April Fool’s Day and Women’s Day?


Dr Sugarman said...

ROFL, thats very funny!

allie said...

I like it.
"Shiny's Compiled Letters"
Has a nice ring to it.

Are those people for real?

tam said...

Thats a shocker. How about "Endemetriosis and you?",
really, a shocker

tam said...

sorry, published before I could think of some more shockers. how about you all just gather together and read the letters of Sylvia Plath?

Rambler said...


I'd like to hear the talk.

Shiny said...

Dr Sugarman - funny, in an oh-so-sick way!

Allie - that does have a nice ring...

Tam - oo, yes, 'Endometriosis and You' has a good ring too

Clive - I should've RSVPed for you