#Thanksfortheflowers but I want respect! An online campaign by feminists in Romania - March 1-8, 2018.

#Thanksfortheflowers but I want respect! An online campaign by feminists in Romania, March 1-8, 2018. 

Support the campaign! Use the "Multumesc pentru flori"/ « Thanks for the flowers » frame for your Facebook profile photo.

In the month of March women are celebrated with flowers and gifts. Simple or overly festive gestures galore, devoid of the redemptive resonance of the 8th of March celebration.

Moreover, flowers are sometimes offered by men who, otherwise, disregard, harass or bully women. Or by men who are accomplices with the ill-doers, by their own distrust and lack of support toward the women affected by insults, humiliation, harassment and violence. Men who do not hold accountable other men who mock women with their sexist jokes, who now mime respect.

Thanks for the flowers, but we denounce this hypocrisy!

Thanks for the flowers, but the 8th of March is the international day for claiming women’s rights and commemorate women’s struggle for equality.

In Romania, a case of rape of a woman in the family is reported every week. The case of an underage girl raped or sexually harassed by an adult in the family is registered every 2 days. Yet, many cases of violence against women and girls go unreported and unpunished. 

A European survey shows that 55% of Romanians believe rape can be justified; people do not intervene in cases of domestic violence even to call the emergency number 112; 30% of Romanians believe it’s women’s own fault that they are beaten up.

The flowers given to women on the 8th of March cannot alleviate this harsh reality. They cannot dispel the grin-riddled sick jokes about rape. They cannot lessen catcalls such as „whore”, „slut”, „hustler”, „tramp”, „hooker”, „doll”, „hussy”. Flowers cannot wipe out the hand on one’s bottom while riding the bus. They cannot delete the disgusting sexual innuendos at the office or at school. They cannot relieve the fear of walking out at night. They cannot diminish the pain felt with every single slap, every kind of abuse, every time one is sentenced to humiliation.

The flowers given to women on the 8th of March do not make us forgive governmental bodies for their criminal incompetence that has led to the killing of Alexandra Marin and Nicoleta Botan, as well as other women like them. The complaints lodged with the police and the protection order did not save their lives. How many more women must die because of the impotence of the system to protect us? How much more humiliation and scorn can we still stand from authorities, politicians, policemen, judges?

The flowers given to women on the 8th of March do not talk about the atrocious marginalization and stigma of invisible women in our society. About the vulnerability of trafficked women, homeless women, about the suffering of girls abused in institutions, about the violence sexual workers are confronted with. About the hatred Roma women are treated with. About the trauma of women who left to work abroad, who oftentimes end up their employers' sexual slaves.

The 8th of March is about solidarity among women and solidarity with women. The 8th of March is about the common struggle to create a society that should no longer tolerate abuse towards women. The 8th of March is about mobilization and redemption.

For several months, the #metoo phenomenon has been unearthing instances of abuse women have been subjected to. The enormous number of testimonials and their impactful emotion have shed long-awaited light on the darkness and loneliness in which women live and feel the violence cast upon them, in every shape or form. For the women who have had the courage to denounce the violence and their aggressors, the #metoo moment is a historic one. On the 8th of March, we celebrate the women who inspire us with their force to break the silence about violence.

On the 8th of March we state loud and clear that we no longer have patience and understanding for the men who choose to be stuck in a toxic, violent, oppressive and coercive masculinity toward women.

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