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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Day Without Women

In case you haven't heard, International Women's Day is tomorrow, March 8th.  But this March 8th will be different than previous ones.  This March 8th Women across the country (and presumably the world) will participate in A Day Without Women, a spin off of A Day Without Immigrants (see my Reaction to this here) and a continuation of the record breaking Women's March that occurred on January 21st, 2017.   


In theory it's a great idea, if we could ALL participate, but in practice there are a number of issues with this Day Without Women:

1. Not ALL Women can participate. Again, the same women are being excluded.  This is a good portion of women and without them our impact is greatly diminished.

2. It's just NOT POSSIBLE.  That's right, I said it.  It's just not possible to have a Day Without Women.  76% of public school teachers are women.  If they protested what would happen at school?  Would their classrooms just go unwatched?  No, probably not.  Chances are female substitute teachers would be called or female administrators (almost 50% of school administrations are female) would take control of classrooms.  93% of nurses are women.  Would our hospitals and doctors offices just be closed for the day with no nurses?  No, probably not.

3. It's a CONTRADICTION.  Yes, its 100% a contradiction.  The protest is meant to highlight women's impact on economics, but yet the protest is asking women to put their economic vitality at risk by refusing to go to work.  I live in South Carolina, a state with At Will employment regulations.  That means that you can be hired and fired AT WILL and you don't necessarily need a reason.  Many employers also have rules about "no shows" and simply wont approve time off on March 8th.  Are these women supposed to allow themselves to get fired in order to participate?  Are they being asked to sacrifice their jobs (and their own economic vitality) for the greater good?  This is ridiculous.

4.  Who is this REALLY going to hurt?  The organizers suggest that we protest all women's work the day of the protest and take the day off of work.  But who is this really going to hurt?  If nurses don't show up it will hurt the patients.  If teachers don't show up it's going to hurt the students.  But what if I don't show up at work and what if I don't do any "women's work"?  I'm a stay-at-home mom of 3 kids.  I drive them to school, I play with my preschooler, I make their lunches, feed them breakfast, drive them to soccer practice, and take care of any other needs they have.  I also clean up the house, get the groceries, and do all those random little things that a household needs to run.  If I refuse to do any of those things the only person I am going to impact is my husband.  No, it wont impact my kids because they'll still get taken care of.  My husband will take care of them, and I'm sure he would be happy to do it if I wanted to participate in the protest.  But what would the point of that really be?  It would only put more pressure on my husband, a man who already supports Women's Rights and who recognizes our struggle.  Why would I want to put more pressure and undue pain on a supporter?! It just doesn't make since for me to protest.  My husband knows what I do everyday and he supports me, respects me, and does everything in his power to empower me.  He doesn't need the protest to feel my "economic power".


So, this leaves me with this: WHAT CAN I DO TO PARTICIPATE?!  I support Women's Rights.  I want to participate in some way!  So I've made this list of 10 things I am going to do to participate and a few things you all might consider too:

1. Don't go to the grocery store.  It's easy as that.  I will do my shopping on another day.  Easy.
2. Don't shop.  Female consumerism is pretty high.  I think I can avoid Target for the day.
3. Support Women Owned Places.  If I do have to go out and spend money, I will choose a place that is owned by a woman.  I'm sure a simple google search will give me loads of options if need be.
4. Talk to my Children.  I'm going to use the day to discuss women's issues with my children.  I'm going to tell them what the day is about and I'm going to makes sure they recognize it's importance.
5. Share stories of important women throughout history with my children.  It IS International Women's Day, so this makes perfect since.
6. Thank my husband and other male Women's Rights supporters.  We need to maintain the connections we have with our allies and make sure that they know their impact on our movement.
7. Email, Call, and Send letters to my representatives.  I've got a long list of all my representatives and they will each get a letter, email, and phone call highlighting my opinions about the importance of women's rights. 
8. I will get together with my girl friends.  That's right, I'm going to celebrate being a woman by getting together with other women I respect and admire.  
9. I'm going to tell other women in my life how much they mean to me.  The teacher who runs the pick-up-line at school: she'll hear how much I appreciate her.  The lady who monitors the gas station I visit: she'll hear how much I appreciate her.  My children's female teachers: they will hear how much we appreciate them.
10. I will read the articles, watch the news reports, and keep myself informed about the protest elsewhere.  Knowledge is power and I want to be part of the larger picture.  Staying informed is the best way to do that. 

BONUS: Wear Red to show your participating (although, if your not going anywhere to buy anything and your not going to work, then who is really going to see the red??)

How do you plan to participate in the Day Without Women?  What will you do to involve your children?  Please share your RESPECTFUL comments below. 

4 comments:

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    1. Thank you! We all need to work together on this!

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  2. Omg I love this post! I totally agree with the reason NOT to protest. I think there are better uses of our time than to risk losing my job. But I can definitely spread the love and solidarity in other ways. Thanks so kuch for sharing this!

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    1. Agreed! I don't want to make someone else work harder (especially a supporter or fellow woman) just so I can protest. I love what you said we "can definitely spread the love and solidarity in other ways."

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