A Day Without a Woman… or at least this one

The International Women’s Strike on March 8th, 2017 is an international day of action, planned and organized by women in more than 30 different countries.  

In the spirit of solidarity and internationalism, in the United States March 8th will be a day of action organized by and for women who have been marginalized and silenced by decades of neoliberalism directed towards working women, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women.  
March 8th will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement that organizes resistance not just against Trump and his misogynist policies, but also against the conditions that produced Trump, namely the decades long economic inequality, racial and sexual violence, and imperial wars abroad.  (cont.)
Women's Strike for Peace-And Equality, Women's Strike for Equality, Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, August 26, 1970. (Photo by Eugene Gordon/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)

Women’s Strike for Peace-And Equality, 1970.

I decided to strike as soon as the date was announced. It is easy for me to strike. I won’t get fired or lose clients. I will lose some money but my babies won’t go without food. I risk almost nothing. Any discomfort I have in taking one voluntary strike day in my life is a chance to reflect on all those in the past, whose political actions came at huge sacrifices.

Not doing paid work is easy for me. Not spending money that day just means I will make sure and get to the store on Tuesday and that I don’t get to spend the day shopping or at a coffee shop or going out to lunch. Again, given that I will have no income that day, no spending is a good idea. This isn’t a spa day. This is a day to make a statement.

There is no way life can go on smoothly when half the population doesn’t participate. Think of the professions that would be most impacted. More than 80% of teachers, nurses and social workers are female. Without them showing up, our kids are at risk.  

 

When I think about striking, it is resisting emotional labor that makes me uncomfortable. It makes me realize how deeply ingrained my own sense of value is in caretaking others. (Don’t get what emotional labor is and why it’s a big deal? Check out this. http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/08/women-femmes-emotional-labor)

I start my day at 6. Dogs fed and out, kids up, dressed, fed and out by 7:30. While they mostly manage themselves (now that they are big kids) I answer emails, do paperwork and make myself emotionally available to whomever might need me, clients, kids, partner, and a ton of support to strangers via the web. Everything I love, everything I am good at equals 16 hours a day of emotional labor with a smile.

blankettentI think the only way I am going to make it through the whole day without taking care of people is to crawl into my blanket fort with my kindle and limit my contact with people. I want the world to learn to better value the work that women often make invisible. I want “relationship” work, both professional and personal to be seen as labor and calculated into what the future of equity looks like.

You don’t have to strike. If you are home with small children, it is almost impossible to strike. But if you can’t- consider the work that you do. Step back some. Support the strike in your heart, with your checkbook and talk to the people you live with about the work they might not be seeing.

Maureen

Meet me here- Protest and March Wednesday, March 8 5:00 p.m. Rally at Mayday Plaza – 301 Cedar Ave, Mpls 5:45 p.m. March to Republican Party Headquarters on Franklin Ave.

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