International Women's Day is commemorated every year around the world. Although every day is our day, March 8 is a focal point the movement for women's rights. It's beautiful and it's empowering.
Someone at the University of Oxford in England paid a simple tribute to women by writing the words "Happy International Women's Day" in chalk on the steps outside of the Clarendon building. Everything was fine and dandy until, apparently, the facility's security guards asked a female custodian to remove it.
Associate Professor of Political Theory, Sophie Smith, captured the ironic moment a woman was cleaning the message while a group of men stood nearby.
Oxford security makes a woman cleaner scrub out “Happy International Women’s Day” on the Clarendon steps. What an image for #IWD, @UniofOxford. #strikeforUSS #UCUstrike pic.twitter.com/E9u5S37hWW— Sophie Smith (@DrSophieSmith) March 8, 2018
"Oxford security makes a woman cleaner scrub out 'Happy International Women’s Day' on the Clarendon steps. What an image for #IWD, @UniofOxford. #strikeforUSS #UCUstrike," she expressed.
Shortly after, the degrading photo sparked the Twitterverse to explode.
Once again, @UniofOxford suppressing freedom of expression, on today of all days. Someone in the management should explain to those blokes.— Ancient Sounds (@sounds_ancient) March 8, 2018
Whilst four men stand above her! #IWD— Michele Rumsey (@Michele_Rumsey) March 8, 2018
It's an ironic and iconic image of a female having to clean away what should be a recognition and celebration on #IWD!— Michele Rumsey (@Michele_Rumsey) March 9, 2018
it is the structure of the image, the context - and the stance of the security guards. it is cold too. Not a great look to send a woman out to 'clear' an IWD message #tsk— Christine Murray (@CelizMurray) March 8, 2018
I’m sure the rain ☔️ would have washed it away as it does the chalking at rowing 🚣♀️ events😉Not really necessary to remove on #IWD18 was it @UniofOxford— Lady Leontia (@leontiahogan) March 9, 2018
Certainly ironic and a damning picture. What I'm seeing is 4 blokes being paid to stand around with their hands in their pockets while this lady does the work ( and they are prob better paid than the lady doing the cleaning ).— Papa-K (@just_papa_k) March 9, 2018
The official Twitter account for Oxford University later responded to the viral tweet, stating: "We are deeply sorry for this and for offence caused. International Women's Day is hugely important to Oxford. This should not have happened."
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