Women refuse to miss out on a day of work in order to prove a point over the importance of their roles in society.
By Adriana Rubio, staff writer
The controversial yet minimally publicized “A Day Without Women”, was supposed to make a loud statement towards the women’s rights movement today but was quickly clouded by a substantial amount of negativity from working women everywhere.
There is an estimated 123 million women who are part of the U.S. workforce, according to the Women’s Bureau, and if all those women participated the country would go into a state of crisis. Not a good thing for men or women. Fortunately, the reality is that most women will not be participating in “A Day Without Women.” The movement was organized by Women’s March Global, the same group that started the Women’s March of January 21, 2017.
The strike has received an unusual amount of backlash; the opposite of their monumentally supportive turnout for the Women’s March. There has also been a lack of advertising and publicizing leading up to the women’s strike. Valley College freshman, Jahida Velasquez, was a reflection of the lack of broadcasting over today’s event.
“I didn’t know it was International Women’s Day,” said Velasquez. “Until I heard it on the radio today, this morning.”
Back in January, it was as if the march was the only thing that was being talked about on social media, at workspaces, events, and schools. Today, many women did not even realize it was “International Women’s Day”, “A Day Without Women”, or that they were supposed to wear red in support of it. Velasquez, who was wearing a deep maroon red cardigan, had no idea she was correlating with today’s movement.
Velasquez admitted, “I had no clue it signified anything.”
Velasquez, being 19 years old, is a prime audience for social media. If Velasquez did not receive the news until the day of the event, then where does that leave the rest of men and women who are not nearly as active on social media? Over 3 million women were said to have marched in protest of President Trump’s opposition on the rights women have over their own bodies, according to New York based online news site, Heavy.
The truth is as much as women support women, the majority who did know about today’s strike were not willing to financially lose a day of work and productivity to prove their importance. Many felt that skipping out on work did the opposite for the cause they have diligently been fighting for. Opinion contributor to The Hill, Diana Stancy, holds nothing back in her piece expressing her strong views against the participation in “A Day Without Women”.
“The strike is not empowering to women. It will not advance women in the workforce.” Stancy writes, “It does not prove to these women’s bosses they deserve a raise.”
Regardless of the opposition to today’s strike, to disagree does not symbolize a setback or the divisiveness of women. It should only serve to empower women who do hold opinions,. They are not joining every movement because that is what the masses or the women from Women’s March Global are telling them to do. Women everywhere are voicing themselves, whether they agree with something or not. Emma Watson, a largely recognized public figure and favored feminist, speaks out on the misunderstandings behind feminism and feminist movements.
“Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with.” Watson said. “It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. Feminism is about giving women choice.”
The choice is whether women would like to participate or not to participate. If there is anything society needs to take away from today’s lack of participation it’s that women are not followers. Whether they decide to show up to work or not, they are still making a point. Valley College Psychology Department Chair, Ron Mossler, had no professors in his department call out in support of today’s strike which he felt was sending out a positive message to students.
“College is a place to have those discussions (speaking about women’s rights),” Mossler said. “Rather than stay home.”
Yes, “A Day Without Women” was poorly advertised which was a huge factor in the small crowds of participation. However, it was also a highly controversial and not everyone agrees with the silent treatment but that’s okay. Silent or not, women are still united, fighting for the same cause, and being heard all around the world.