Last Wednesday, in honor of International Women’s Day and inspired by the recent “Day Without Immigrants” demonstration, women across the nation participated in “A Day Without a Women.”
The plan for “A Day Without a Woman” was for women to take the day off from paid and unpaid labor, avoid shopping for one day and to wear red in solidarity. The goal, according to the organizers’ website was for women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.”
The goal of this demonstration was well-intended, unfortunately the outcome was divisive rather than unifying. Instead of uniting women, it separated them into categories of the privileged and those who could not afford to take a day off.
There are women who work minimum wage jobs to support themselves and their families and there are organizations, the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County located in New York, who simply can’t afford to close down for a day. The Advocacy Center is the only center in the area that provides domestic and sexual violence services to women.
“Our 20 staff will not strike,” the center’s executive director Heather Campbell told the Ithaca Voice. “Not because we don’t collectively support the issues that the strike represents, but because we know all too well what it means for a survivor of domestic or sexual violence to not receive the support and care that they deserve.”
The strike was not well thought out, but that’s not to say the problems facing women aren’t protest-worthy. On the contrary, in this new age of continual attacks on Planned Parenthood and very few women in the Trump administration, women and minorities should continue to stand up and protect their rights.
However, we are stronger when we stand in unity.