Women, A Strike is Not the Time to Be Polite
Today the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington officially announced March 8 as a national women’s strike.
Their action calls for “a day of striking, marching, blocking roads, bridges, and squares, abstaining from domestic, care and sex work, boycotting, calling out misogynistic politicians and companies, striking in educational institutions.”
Already online I’m seeing the following responses:
We should get a permit.
We shouldn’t block traffic.
Let’s not disrupt local businesses.
We can make it like a parade!
In fact . . .
This country elected a man to office who openly degrades women, brags about grabbing women without consent, talks about his own daughter like she’s an object to be used for sex, and less than a week after taking office signed an executive order that issued a global gag rule on abortion.
States across the country are defunding Planned Parenthood.
Oklahoma lawmakers consider women “hosts” and are trying to pass a law requiring signed approval from a man in order to obtain an abortion.
And these are just the issues grabbing national headlines now.
In an op-ed for The Guardian, organizers pointed out the following:
While Trump’s blatant misogyny was the immediate trigger for the huge response on 21 January, the attack on women (and all working people) long predates his administration. Women’s conditions of life, especially those of women of color and of working, unemployed and migrant women, have steadily deteriorated over the last 30 years, thanks to financialization and corporate globalization.
Lean-in feminism and other variants of corporate feminism have failed the overwhelming majority of us, who do not have access to individual self-promotion and advancement and whose conditions of life can be improved only through policies that defend social reproduction, secure reproductive justice and guarantee labor rights. As we see it, the new wave of women’s mobilization must address all these concerns in a frontal way. It must be a feminism for the 99%.
If you are truly committed to getting the nation’s attention, to getting the attention of our nation’s policymakers, then the time for being nice and demure is over.
It’s been over for a long time now.
A house cat trying to get its paw into a man’s soup will merely be swatted off the table.
A lion upending the table and dousing a man with hot soup is going to get his full, unequivocal attention.
We all put on our pussy hats a few weeks ago.
Did you put it on to be a house cat with a soft meow?
Or to be a lion with a deafening roar?
I don’t need a permit to tell me I have a right to be heard. I have a right to make noise.
It’s time to be loud. To own our space.
It’s time to take up space.
If that means blocking traffic and disrupting businesses for a few hours? I’m all in.
Whatever you do, when you show up on March 8, 2017, do not do it their way. Don’t be polite and quiet. This isn’t a quaint get-together.
This is a strike. A protest. A national movement to defend and improve our rights.
Roar like you mean it, women.
Originally published at allisonwrites.wordpress.com on February 15, 2017.