Interviews & articles
Article by Floor in Kerrang
7 Mar 2019
Nightwish’s Floor Jansen: “We cannot better the world with one special day, but we can leave the planet in a better shape than we found it”
Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen writes about the meaning of International Women’s Day and how the Secret Sari Project is making the world a better place
Words: Floor Jansen
Photo: Hannes van Dahl
Shall I start with the clichés that every day is International Women’s Day? That all women matter? We are your mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends and daughters. That women are equal to men.
For me, a western girl, raised by a loving family in a secure and safe environment, that is an easy truth to embrace. I can scream to the world about injustice. I can write on my social media about it; share my opinions as I feel entitled to. Hell, I can even write these words to you for Kerrang!.
I can also be irritated that women in the country that I am from (The Netherlands) make less money for the same job compared to a man. I’m outraged about stories that make it to the news about rape, about slavery, human trafficking… I’m saddened to the core when I read about women in societies where equality doesn’t exist and women are treated so poorly they’d rather die. I’m sick to my stomach when I read that the mutilation of the female genitals is an ongoing fact. How many International Women’s Days do you think these women have celebrated?
So what do we want to emphasise on International Women’s Day? The ongoing nightmares for many women on a daily basis? Or the fact that things are getting better? Maybe both, because both are true. The world is a safer place than ever. Women are getting heard more in this male-driven society and equality is getting there, more and more. More women dare to stand up and say no; unite and fight. Religion is losing ground, often a cause for much inequality and hypocritical superstitions.
So what do we do on March 8? I want this day to give off a good vibe with an acknowledgement of the weight of all that is yet to be bettered. I want to be part of the fight. There is always more one can do but recently I joined a project called the She Rocks Secret Sari Dress Campaign that helps women in India to stay out of the hands of human traffickers. I did this together with many women in the rock scene, who embody strength and independence. The beautiful, and to us exotic, dresses are made by these Indian powerhouses and can be ordered on a special ‘secret’ website (www.secretprojects.org). My fellow rockers and I did a special photo session where we show off the dresses. You can read more about it via the links at the bottom of this article, as well on my social media.
International Women’s Day is for women but I’d like to think it’s not only celebrated by women. That many men share the philosophy that their mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends and daughters are their equals. To be loved and respected. We cannot better the world with one special day, but we can make it our daily job to leave the planet in better shape than what we found it in, for the next generation. As a mother I hope that my daughter will never need to hear about genital mutilation, rape, or human trafficking. That she grows up to be a strong and independent and loving woman with respect for all that lives – with the same ideal that we can make things better. One step at a time. With ongoing hope and focus on what’s right rather than what’s wrong.
We have come a long way and have a long way ahead. One step at a time! United! Worldwide! All penises and boobs alike!
The She Rocks Secret Sari Dress Campaign will drive sales of Secret Sari Dresses made by a group of dressmakers from West Bengal India. The dressmakers have been involved in, or are vulnerable to, human trafficking. Through production they can earn enough money each month to reduce their risks of being trafficked. For everyone 100 Secret Sari Dresses sold, five more makers are welcomed to join the Prevention Through Production Programme. Buy a Secret Sari Dress at www.secretprojects.org | Pledge your support paypal.me/secretsaridress | Follow the campaign @secretsaridress on Instagram