Looking Back On A Day Without Women | Vol. 4 / No. 19.5

Elle takes a brief look back at the major protest this week.

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Wednesday was International Women’s Day, and also the “Day Without A Woman,” the planned mass strike, protest, and solidarity-showing day meant to emphasize the importance of women (and our labor). While there were legitimate criticisms of this action as another instance of privileged feminists directing the conversation,  it also appears to have had an effect. Schools in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina had to close after enough teachers and school workers indicated that they would be striking. Institutions like MTV news showed eerie, apocalypse-like snapshots of lone men at standing desks in otherwise empty rooms.

Brands tried to curry favor with female consumers; woman-hating, walking hairpiece Donald Trump tweeted something super condescending in an attempt to make us think he doesn’t hate women; there were rallies in major cities; and protestors in Chicago got arrested near Trump Tower. And of course, dudes were sexist assholes on the internet in response to the basic concept that a woman’s voice might matter more than theirs for a single day.

Did it change the world forever? Honestly, probably not. “Women’s work” is a lot more diversified than it was the last time large-scale women-only walkouts were arranged, and the buy-in from strikers wasn’t great this time around—for various reasons, many more women stood in solidarity than took part in the strike. (Though if all women did strike, the effects would be… well, striking. If all women left work, you’d be able to call the cops, call a cab, fix your roof, and… not a whole hell of a lot else.) But I’m still encouraged to see this happening, and the simultaneous celebration/protest nature of it all was rather fantastic. I didn’t stay home from work (because the work I do already pisses off the patriarchy more than I could manage by staying home) but I wore red, I donated to feminist causes, and I bought art from my lady-identifying friends because we need more awesomeness in the world.

All in all, it was an encouraging start of the resistance to the next four years of living patriarchal hell. So… yeah.

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Elle Irise is a regular contributor to This Week In Tomorrow. When she’s not doing brief post-mortems on any one of an endless stream of protests these days, she studies gender in popular culture.

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