Happy International Women's Day/UNhappy Daylight Savings Time!
Today is International Women's Day! It is a day when we are supposed to celebrate women and how super great we are, but usually it just turns into a day of brand pandering. Which, you know, sucks.
It is also Daylight Savings Time, the only benefit of which is that, on the other Daylight Savings Time, you get to stay at the bar later. Or, if you are going by Pete & Pete rules, you have one hour to "go back in time" and fix something you screwed up in the past year, which I have always found very romantic.
But on the whole, it is bad! And stupid! And guess what? We think it's for "the farmers," that we're all doing this annoying thing because "the farmers" need it to harvest our food correctly, but as it turns out, "the farmers" do not want it and have been one of the biggest lobbies against Daylight Savings Time. I have never felt so betrayed as I was five minutes ago when I learned this brand new information.
As it turns out, the biggest lobbyists for DST are convenience stores, which should be open 24/7 anyway, and also regular retail stores and golf courses — according to the Farmer's Almanac:
- For example, today, we drive our cars everywhere. The lobbying groups for convenience stores know this—and pushed hard for daylight saving time to last as long as possible.
- Extra daylight means more people shop in retail environments. Outdoor businesses such as golf courses and gardening supply stores report more profit with more daylight hours.
Look. I love convenience stores. In fact, I would like a red Slurpee right now to balance out the avocado toast I had for breakfast. No one has spent longer staring blankly at the "As Seen On TV" section of Walgreen's and then not buying anything than I have. I find it very peaceful. But it is rude for all of us to have to rearrange our lives and sleeping patterns for this purpose and this purpose alone, when it's already light out for longer anyway. Rude!
The other argument in favor of DSL is that it conserves energy, which the Farmer's Almanac also says is not true:
- A Department of Energy report from 2008 found that the extended DST put in place in 2005 saved about 0.5 percent in total electricity use per day. However, the closer you live to the equator, where the amount of daylight varies little, the amount of electricity actually increased after the clocks were switched.
- In Indiana, where I live, the change to DST in 2006 actually cost us. Matthew Kotchen, a Yale economist, found a 1 percent increase in electricity use in Indiana. Due to higher electricity bills and more pollution, Indiana's change ended up costing consumers $9 million per year.
- Further studies in 2008 showed that Americans use more domestic electricity when they practice daylight saving.
If there is anything I hate, it is doing a stupid thing just because it's always been done that way (which is actually not even true for Daylight Savings Time, as that has only been a thing since 1966). No one likes Daylight Savings Time, many states are not even doing it anymore (or staying permanently on DST) and eventually we're just going to have some weird ass patchwork time situation and it will be confusing for everyone. Boo, Daylight Savings Tim, Boooooo!!!!
But back to our other holiday! Ironically, despite the fact that International Women's Day has largely become a day for large corporate entities to make pandering commercials and turn their M's upside-down and what have you...
It actually all started out as a socialist thing. Specifically by women who were tired of being paid shitty wages.
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs - and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament - greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.
Good times! And hey! We got the voting rights (well ... some of us, in some areas of the country), and shorter hours (sort of ... for some of us), and someday we'll get that better pay! I believe in us!
Anyway! Whichever of these days your are celebrating (or if you are celebrating neither of them), have a super day and enjoy your open thread! And also, as I mentioned yesterday in the comments of the open thread, I will be in Naples, Florida until the 25th, and if there are like, five or more of you around here and you would like me to do a drinky thing, let me know! You can email me at Robyn@Wonkette.com or reply to the stickied comment in yesterday's open thread!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse