The Women's Strike: March 8th
Have you heard about the women's strike? In the weeks since the women's marches on January 21st after the inauguration (I still can't say his name + President out loud), there have been rumors about whether or not it would happen. Today I saw this:
We have a plan. We have a date. Women will strike March 8th.
This strike has been modeled after many other women's strikes—in particular the revolutionary "Women's Day Off" strike in Iceland in 1975, as well as the more recent strike in Poland in October, 2016, when women went on strike to protest the law that effectively banned abortion in Poland. The strike in Iceland paralyzed the country, and the Polish strike caused legislators to reject the abortion ban.
Both strikes were highly effective, but will it work as effectively here? There have been critiques of the strike, all incredibly valid. Some people can't strike because it would mean losing their jobs or leaving their kids entirely unattended. And many people who felt that the women's marches didn't include them have the same fears about the strike.
Strikes, by definition, ask for sacrifice. There is risk in a strike, but the risk is much higher for some women than for others. So how do we address it? I'm not entirely sure because ultimately, striking is still an impossibility for some. But here's my hope: I hope that men will stand with us. I hope they will offer, of their own accord, to give time off or cover shifts women would otherwise have to work. I hope they'll willingly donate money to help cover lost wages. I hope they offer to be in charge of all the children. I hope they offer to give and do and help how they can to show that, yes, they do believe that women matter. That a day without women makes a huge impact.
How do you feel about the women's strike? Will you go? Can you? Do you want to? I, for one, will be there, but I will also understand when other women can't. For me, though, I can think of no greater way fight OTPBS (old-timey patriarchal bullshit, for our newer readers) than to say, "Here. DO IT YOURSELF." Whatever "it" may be.