UK

International Women's Day Criticised By Sarah Vine And Telegraph Journalist Allison Pearson

09/03/2016 12:03 GMT | Updated 09/03/2016 12:59 GMT

Daily Mail columnist, Sarah Vine, has attacked the "smug" International Women's Day saying it drives her "insane".

"All in all, it was inescapable," she said of the coverage. "The main reason I hate IWD is because I am not stupid enough to think that such a shallow outpouring of faux solidarity will, for one single second, improve the lives of women genuinely suffering around the world."

international womens day

An activist attends a demonstration to mark International Women's Day, in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Some women tweeted in support, with one saying she thought "I was the only one".

While the day attracts a fair amount of derision from men who decry it as unfair given the fact there is no International Men's Day, (despite the fact there is one), a Daily Telegraph columnist offered a more restrained feminist critique of the day.

Allison Pearson said she "wishes International Women's Day didn't exist" in a thought-provoking column on how women are celebrated and perceived.

She wrote: "All in all, it was inescapable that the day amounted to an "attempt to say we are all the same the more we risk being patronised and treated as some kind of sad, special-interest group."

"Women are half the human race, not some minority that requires patting on the head like a pigtailed infant coming second in the egg and sperm race," she wrote.

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"More than half of the world’s women are effectively still living in Jane Austen’s time. Men jealously guard their virginity and a girl reading books is regarded as bad for her eyes and even worse for her marriage prospects."

She says IWD is "not the answer" to these issues, saying giving women "special status" was "insisting on victimhood" and perpetuating "the very attitudes it’s battling against".

"Women are not necessarily better than men, and certainly no worse. In that, and that alone, lies the hope of true equality," she said.