Complicated mix of feelings about the use of International Women’s Day as a day to remove herself from society for a day; no work, no purchases, and wear red for solidarity. I understand their mission statement and goals for A Day Without A Woman when I read it on a laptop screen, but I just couldn’t get completely behind it. I hate to tell you, ladies, but the world is gonna go on without us. You know, tides, time clocks, hungry tummies, calves, earth’s rotation, traffic, the stock market, and the sun will still set all without us, red shirts, pink hats, outrage and all. What did we earn, what did we gain on this day?
I spent the day focused on women’s writing, on women who came before us who made so many things possible for us, things I take for granted. I focused on what being a whole woman looks like and feels like, where my deficiencies are, and what can I do to help the sun go down in kind, tangible ways for others. Twasn’t easy, especially since I began the day in an irritated state, but the reading helped it abate.
This morning’s news held no surprises for me. I wasn’t expecting a wall-to-wall woman blackout, massive protests in the streets or even across the world. International Women’s Day was celebrated yesterday, as it has since its inception in 1909, but in a muted kind of way. I do so hope that women across the globe took a moment to learn about its history. Fascinating it’s a national holiday in Russia. One only has to look at the reason why.
We are very lucky, perhaps the privileged few, who can step out on a job for a day. One wonders if the bodegas that closed in the cities on A Day Without Immigrants had a lot more to lose. A helluva lot more. I hope this intersectional movement will stand for being much more than hard feelings towards a president.
I took to the internet to keep up with the news, then the usual social media outlets to keep up with the noise. This morning I came across something that rocked me back a little. An acquaintance posted her approval of a conservative news article that painted A Day Without A Woman in a bad light. The comments were a fascinating snapshot of conservatism. I read these articles and comments to keep myself grounded: I will lose if I stay in a silo. So more than 3,000 comments on this article, and they all basically said the same thing: They object to the disgusting, pink pussycat hats; the protesters are liberals, college age, still living with parents, no responsibilities; they are clueless snowflakes, delicate ornaments that can’t handle losing the election. More importantly, the commenters said, “I love and respect my wife. My husband loves and respects me. I’m raising my daughters/grandchildren better than these protesters. I’ve always worked hard for everything I have, I’ve always stood up for myself. I am a strong, happy woman, these protesters don’t speak for me. They need to get jobs and stop whining. Me and my husband work at the same hospital and we make the same, good wage. My boss is a man and he respects me, how do I know, because he tells me so. I work on a ranch, I don’t get to take random days off, I am respected by my coworkers, I work hard, I am proud to be a woman, and I don’t know what these privileged girls are whining about.” Three thousand people replied to this article, 9,000 shared it, and I spent more time than I probably should have reading them, but I needed to.
Three thousand people said they were never sexually harassed on the job, are getting equal pay, they are happy and proud to be women, and have very narrow, disgusted feelings towards protesters. Hmm. I wonder if I’m on the wrong side of the fence, here. Did my little feelings get hurt when he said, “I moved on her like a bitch?” Should I just get over it, let it go for the locker room talk that it was, take the high road and be the best person I can be? Did my little feelings get hurt when my boss, a woman, didn’t promote me to lead person because I didn’t suck up to her, buy her lunch, and worship Sara Palin? Do I believe women are victims of their gender that are seeking a place to lay the blame? What could we have done differently to get the job, the promotion, the next pay grade if gender wasn’t the issue–what did we do to hold ourselves back? Are we spending too much time reading comments on alt-right web pages wringing our hands in fear that that’s us they’re talking about? We let our daddies down and we only have ourselves to blame? Three thousand people seem to think so. Maybe that’s what they mean when they say, “Fuck your feelings.”
One of the commenting multitudes suggested that the real protesters should be white men because they’re getting the short end of the stick on everything. They’re the ones suffering. I sharpen my pencil and get ready to write my sad, snowflake feelings on what will probably come to be known as White History Month.
Meanwhile… the new and improved healthcare act will cut funding for Planned Parenthood.