A Day Without A Woman
Wednesday March 8 was A Day Without A Woman, and women across the country were asked to participate by abstaining from paid and unpaid work, by spending no money (with the exception of women-owned businesses), and to wear red in solidarity. My wallet and workload would not allow for a day off, but I did not spend any money and planned ahead so that only in an extreme case would I need to. I also don’t like the color red, but wore a fire engine-hued scarf and had some nail polish from a Halloween costume from years ago.
Did I do it right? Was the strike a day for privileged women? Or is there no such thing as a privileged strike? Bitch Media, my daily lunchtime reading, provided a whole host of takes. In my own resistance group, the feelings were mixed.
Asked one friend: “Can I take my daughter to the library? I obviously can't take time off being a Mom but that is my job and we go to Toddler Time on Wednesdays. Can I work on my own small business? It's obviously woman owned but it requires me to buy things from non women owned places and use platforms, owned by men, to advertise. I mean, just asking this question on this site is contributing to the business of Facebook.”
“I am wearing red because I cannot take the day off of work. However, I am leaving most of the household things for my husband to take care of today. If he can see and appreciate all that I do in a day, it will be a successful strike,” submitted another.
We discussed sending donations to women’s organizations, making phone calls to our representatives about specifically female issues, and using our social media solely for sharing info on social justice. We also commiserate over the pressure to be everything and do it all that we feel every day, and how it was magnified on a day that was supposed to be about liberation.
On Wednesday afternoon, Women’s March national organizers Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Bob Bland (among others) were arrested in New York City during a Day Without a Woman demonstration in which a large group formed a human chain around Trump Tower. Thirteen women in all were taken to the NYPD’s 7th precinct and reportedly sang protest songs and planned the next move during their time in lock-up. It was this movement’s first high-profile civil disobedience.
I thought back to the way I felt after my trip to DC, where I didn’t sleep for two days and ended up on the entire wrong route, when I realized there is no wrong way to revolt and resist. The point is that you do SOMETHING and that you do it consistently and wholeheartedly. In yet another take on the day, filmmaker and activist Sarah Sophie Flicker is quoted as saying of this movement, “resistance is not a sprint or a marathon, but a relay race, and the strike continues the momentum of those that have fought the patriarchy before us.” We owe it to the pioneers and current leaders to not get caught up in semantics and disagreements, but keep boots to the ground and do what we can.
Christi Griffis is a writer and bonne vivante in Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region's café society. Her twitter handle is @christig .