March is Women's History Month, which includes International Women's Day today, a date celebrated since 1917, when women gained suffrage in Russia. It's been an important day here in the United States since 1975. Today, it's about recognizing the historical and cultural achievements of women and taking action against gender inequality. You'll find a wealth of women-driven events all month, kicking off with some inspiring events today and tomorrow.
Friday, March 8
Part dance party, part march and part rally, the International Women's Strike Los Angeles is our city's answer to the global movement initiated in Poland and Argentina, addressing issues such as stopping wars on women, children, migrants and the planet. Speakers include Thandiwe Abdullah, the 15-year-old who helped to found the Black Lives Matter youth vanguard; Arlene Inouye, chair of the UTLA bargaining team; Judy Vaughn, founding member of Alexandria House; and Watts native Helen Jones, whose son, John Horton, was murdered by sheriff's deputies at Men's Central Jail in 2009. DJ Daisy O'Dell spins for the event. 300 N. Los Angeles St., downtown; Fri., March 8, 4-7 p.m.; free. parodemujeres.com/march-8th-womens-strike-marzo-8-paro-de-mujeres.
Afterward, head to woman-owned watering hole the Mermaid Bar for a special Wig Party, which invites ladies to “Let your hair down and wear a wig!” for a fun night of oceanic-themed frolic. Special cocktails will be available (from female-owned spirit companies including Michter's, Future Gin, Pomp & Whimsy and Yola Mezcal). Happy hour drink and food specials and rock & roll tunes from DJ Liuba round out the sassy soiree. 428 E. Second St., Little Tokyo; Fri., March 8, 5 p.m.; over 21; free. themermaidla.com.
Or join L.A. Weekly's Culture Editor (disclosure: That's me!) for the panel discussion Rebel Girls: Women in Media, Music and Art. Inspired by our cover story “Roaring & Soaring,” which explored women's struggle for equality in the L.A. music and club scene, this discussion features Save Ferris' Monique Powell, DJs Ana Calderon and Daisy O'Dell, writer-gallerist Lisa Derrick and entrepreneur and YouTube personality Vanessa James Decker, and marks the closing of Burgundy Room Gallery's current exhibition, “Art of Female.” 1621 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., March 8, 9 p.m.-mid.; free. facebook.com/events/782069582159845/.
The fifth installment of We Choose Art: A Feminist Perspective 5.0 — Movement & Motion, curated by Baha H. Danesh, features a “Feminist Portrait Gallery” with dozens of female artists' works for sale (such as the incredible piece above) and live performances that evoke female strength, collaboration and “dialogue of equality for all.” Performers include Karine Fleurima, Less Bells and Miss Barbie-Q. The Montalban Mezz Gallery, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood; Fri., March 8, 7-11 p.m; $10 (includes a cocktail) before 9 p.m., $15 after. facebook.com/events/388526091721948.
Saturday, March 9
Chicanx Unknown's Divine Energy: Creators and Healers seeks to visually represent and reflect how “womyn” of the world heal and create, through art and photography. Vendors and food will be on hand. The exhibit is part of the area's regular NELA Artwalk night. Mi Vida, 5159 York Blvd., Highland Park; Sat., March 9, 5-11 p.m.; free. facebook.com/events/2320256611544292/.
Justice-minded girls and women-identified people of color are encouraged to attend and engage in “Land and Liberation: Decolonizing Feminist Thought and Centering Indigenous & Transnational Women,” the 2019 forum from AF3IRM Los Angeles. Continuing concepts and ideas from almost 30 years of the group's history, the event aims to shine a light on transnational women’s histories and struggles, with an emphasis on indigenous women's visions of freedom and forming strategies for decolonzing feminist thought and building solidarity. United Teachers Los Angeles, 3303 Wilshire Blvd., downtown; Sat., March 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $15, $10 for students, free for youth (includes food). facebook.com/events/2176671609038893/
With a mix of cis-gender women (straight and gay), trans women and a li'l drag, The Womxn Show, presented by Don't Tell Your Mother, offers a stellar lineup featuring “totally true stories of ridiculousness and power” by YouTube star and trans activist Gigi Gorgeous (This Is Everything), Transparent actor Alexandra Billings, RuPaul's Drag Race's Shangela Pierce, Instagram fave Tom Lenk (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Lala Milan (starring in Lena Waithe's new BET show, Boomerang) and Nikki Lev (Don't Tell My Mother). Oh, and there will be a “make your own pasties” station. All proceeds go to HIAS, supporting LGBTQ+ refugees. Café Fais Do Do, 5257 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Sat., March 9, 8 p.m.; $25-$35. dtmm-show.com.