International Women’s Day began in the early 20th century as an observance of women’s place in the international socialist labor movement. Although rarely celebrated in the US with any force today, it sometimes gets a mention from politicians and companies trying to show their support the issue of equal pay for equal work.
Where do older women fit into a holiday designed for female wage workers? The lucky ones among us don’t work for wages anymore. Perhaps it’s no surprise that most commemorative images leave out the older age demographic altogether.
The older faces in this poster makes it quite unusual. Published by the People’s Press in San Francisco in 1978, the poster by artist Jane Norling shows a white-haired woman in cat eye glasses, a gray haired Asian looking woman, and a Native American with a few gray streaks in her hair. That puts three out of the eleven represented women in the older category.
The older white woman in the back row doesn’t quite fit in with her ferocious looking neighbors, but she still looks glad to be included in the international family of women. Me too.