Don’t Just March for Women, Strike
Countless women and allies plan to march on Washington D.C., across the country and even around the world on January 21, the day after President-elect Trump’s inauguration. These women will march to express their dissent and stand for the rights of women and all marginalized groups. Some women, though, want to take their protest a step further and plan not just to march, but to strike.
On January 20 and 21, women across the United States will strike from all work, paid or unpaid. The strike’s idea of work is broad, but encompasses so much of the extra work women are expected to do on a daily basis, like smiling, wearing make up, shaving and emotional labor.
Every day, women sacrifice their time and energy to make sure things run smoothly and people feel comfortable. For two days, National Women’s Liberation is asking women to go on strike to show everyone how valuable the work we do really is, whether that work includes running errands or stroking men’s fragile egos.
For anyone who wants to participate but cannot take a day off from paid work, the organizers suggest choosing one or more other things to strike from.
“Some women talk about housework and cleaning, but the span of work is vast,” strike organizer Erin Mahoney told Mic. “It goes from women striking fake smiles, to emotional work in their relationships and communities—making everything flow invisibly, making sure everyone’s feeling OK and boosting male egos.”
Enough is enough.
The organizers have a concrete set of demands, including a $15 minimum wage, reproductive freedom, free childcare and paid family leave and national healthcare for everyone. They lament that Democrats did not achieve these goals when they had the opportunity and now the incoming administration is threatening these causes.
National Women’s Liberation is a women’s rights group founded by activists in the 1960s. According to Candi Churchhill, NWL organizer in Florida, they know it’s going to take more than one march to accomplish their goals.
“We have to reignite a serious, militant women’s liberation movement again, with positive demands,” she said. “I don’t want to be defensive for the next four years…we have to recognize our collective power.”
The strike arrives in the wake of several hugely successful strikes from women’s rights around the world. In Argentina, women across the country left work to protest the murders of women. In Poland, women successfully protested against stricter abortion bans and in France, women left work early to protest the gender pay gap.
Americans need to do everything they can to fight a Trump presidency and protect and further the rights of all marginalized groups. The Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches are definitely one way to do that, but striking takes the sentiment one step further. We need to take all the steps we can.
“This strike is a warning,” they say on their site. “Our work can no longer be taken for granted.”
Photo Credit: Women's eNews