Amid the Social Media Push for #InternationalWomensDay, Here’s a Facebook Feature Not to Roll Your Eyes At

Did International Women’s Day even exist before social media?
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Kaitlin Menza
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Did International Women’s Day even exist before social media?

Did International Women’s Day even exist before social media? Just kidding — it’s been celebrated for a century and enjoys some seriously socialist roots — but doesn’t the day just seem un-ignorable now, thanks to technology? Friends on Facebook are thanking their moms, celebrities on Instagram are posting stylized photos of Eleanor Roosevelt, and #FelizDiaDeLaMujer is the top trending topic on the planet. Every Snapchat Discover panel celebrates today, too, which I know because I’m one of the six people who watches those videos every morning.

I’ve never been one of those people to hate on social media and its ubiquity, even in regards to activism. Especially in regards to activism, because I think it’s the best example of what something like Twitter is actually good for — connecting and amplifying voices.

I feel warm and fuzzy when friends change their Facebook pics to show unity with causes I care about, like the rainbow filter when same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. I filtered my own with that bright Planned Parenthood pink during one of the thousand attacks on the organization. Yes, I also donate to them. Yes, I also vote. But I liked my pink photo. It’s a tiny thing to do, but I like to think it irritated any close-minded Facebook connections I haven’t unfriended by now.

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Today, the Girl Scouts partnered with Facebook to launch their own special filter for International Women’s Day. SHE’S OUR FUTURE/I STAND WITH GIRLS is the triumphant message along the bottom, with the trademark Girl Scouts trefoil in the upper right corner. It’s lovely and nourishing and necessary to thank and connect with and read about women on #IWD2016, but this little filter is a great reminder to check in with one of the girls in your life, too.

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I have a warm and fuzzy spot for the Girl Scouts, as I think a lot of women do. I am in possession of a stomach, so I like their cookies (Thin Mints or gtfo); they were founded on my birthday, March 12, which I was made to memorize at a young age and which made me feel very special; and I once had an awesome drunk weekend in Savannah that involved touring the homestead of the original JGL, Juliette Gordon Low.

And of course, I was a Girl Scout. My second-best memory is of the time we tried to camp out and realized by 6pm that we were covered in ticks, at which time our mothers hauled the whole troop over to my house for an epic sleepover. My favorite memory is that each mother was forced to prepare some sort of lesson plan for the troop to earn badges, like excellence in crafts or outdoorsiness, and my mom chose the self-esteem badge. We asked the other nine-year-olds to discuss which relationships were strongest in their life, and which areas had the greatest priority (homework, play, chores?). We also distributed a small, neon notebook to each girl with instructions to quiet down and write about our best qualities. I feel #blessed that we earned that badge, that I was a Scout, and that my mom is awesome.

Celebrate International Women’s Day however you want — by calling your own mom, registering to vote, listening to Beyonce on blast and on repeat all the livelong day. But maybe text a niece or little cousin and ask her how she’s doing today, and what she’s accomplishing. Maybe you’ll even understand what she’s saying, beneath the hashtags and Kimojis.