Women Are Striking From Work on Wednesday and You Can, Too
Did you know that on Wednesday, March 8th there’s going to be a nationwide Women’s Strike in the US?
If you didn’t, it’s not your fault.
For some odd reason, the Women’s Strike isn’t even getting half as much publicity as the Women’s March did.
Luckily, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about what it is, why it’s happening, and how you can participate.
What is the Women’s Strike?
The Women’s Strike is a day-long strike, otherwise known as A Day Without a Woman, with the goal of highlighting all the contributions women make in the US and global economies as well as calling attention to the gender inequality women and all gender nonconforming people face.
It’s also about standing in solidarity with sex workers and recognizing that any exploitation they face on the job is also an abuse of workers rights.
In a Guardian op-ed Angela Davis and several other female academics wrote:
“These actions are aimed at making visible the needs and aspirations of those whom lean-in feminism ignored: women in the formal labor market, women working in the sphere of social reproduction and care, and unemployed and precarious working women.”
Why is it happening?
Because Trump sucks.
Because it’s 2017 and most women aren’t getting equal pay or access to benefits they may desperately need like paid family leave, affordable childcare, sick days, etc.
And because March 8th is International Women’s Day and the timing just seemed super right.
Who’s it for?
Cis women, trans women, trans men and all gender-nonconforming people. And their cisgender male supporters.
How can I participate?
#1: Stay at home on Wednesday!
Refrain from going to work or doing any kind of work (including fake smiles) and just focus on you bb. Or, you know, go to a local march, protest, or meeting. Whatever floats your boat.
#2: Keep your money in your bank account!
Don’t spend money, unless you’re supporting a locally-owned, female-run business which supports the Women’s Strike.
Although TBH, there’s a strong chance those businesses may choose to strike on Wednesday, so to be safe, make sure your fridge and pantry are stocked with anything you might need ahead of time.
#3: Wear red.
Wait, why red? Does this have something to do with periods?
In addition to being the color of revolutionary love and our will to survive (okay, so it is partly because of blood, so sue me), the color red has a history of being associated with the labor movement.
And what’s this strike about?
Women in the work force.
How can I tell my boss I want to strike?
This one can be kind of tricky, so we’ve written a whole separate post about it. Read it here.
What about if I can’t afford to take the day off?
There are plenty of other ways you can participate.
Like have you heard about this ancient Greek play called Lysistrata?
It’s like the OG Women’s Strike.
Basically, what happens is a group of women get together, decide they’ve had enough with war, and so they all decide to stop having sex with their husbands until they get what they want.
Now, I’m not seriously advocating you don’t get it on this Wednesday if having sex is your happy place, but there are a variety of other domestic things women do every day for the men in our lives that you should feel free to take a break from.
As Sady Doyle pointed out for Elle, “In an earlier era of highly segregated career paths, a “women’s strike” had a specific, tangible effect: It made invisible work visible…Forcing men to handle “women’s work” was the only way to get those men to admit that it existed.”
Also, if all else fails, just wear red.
What about if I’m a man? What should I do?
Well, for one, don’t be a dick about the Women’s Strike.
If you happen to be a boss with female employees, don’t fire them or threaten to fire them if they choose to strike! If you genuinely can’t spare them for one day, don’t make them feel like assholes for asking. And, if you really want to lean in, ask them what’s missing from the work environment for them and see what changes you can make for them.
If you’re just a regular dude with a girlfriend, let her have a holiday. Make her dinner – or at least answer the door yourself when the Seamless guy arrives, get her more water whenever she needs it and don’t ask her to get up and change the channel because the couch feels so nice and you don’t wanna move.
Or if you really want to be helpful, you can take this opportunity to bring up the topic of equal pay, paid family leave with whoever makes all the big decisions in your office.
Also, don’t watch porn.
I know this might be hard for you, but part of the Women’s Strike platform is about standing in solidarity with sex workers soooo yeah, if you gotta stroke the baloney pony, just use your imagination or pretend like it’s olden times and use a picture in a magazine for inspiration.
And, like I said before, if all else fails, just wear red.
For more information, check out the A Day Without Women website here.