Today is International Women’s Day, and a new protest happening throughout the United States will see women taking the day off of work in protest in what’s being called “A Day Without a Woman.”
The strike is likely inspired by the recent “A Day Without Immigrants” strike, but some have suggested that it takes influence from the infamous Greek play, “Lysistrata,” in which the women of Greece go on strike to end the Peloponnesian war. Of course, the play was meant to be satire, but a good idea is a good idea.
The strike has been somewhat controversial, as it has lead to school closings and childcare services being canceled without much warning. Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland announced that school would be closed due to the number of female teachers not wanting to work for the day. “This is absolutely infuriating and uncalled for. Who gets punished here? The students. Especially those students who rely on the schools for food during the day. And never mind the fact that you’ve inconvenienced parents who now have to scramble for daycare at the last possible minute,” said one critic of the strike on the district’s Facebook’s page.
The Alexandria City Public Schools’ Facebook page revealed a similar closing, but was also criticized:
“The lack of advance notice puts parents in a tight spot. I’m fortunate enough to have a job that will let me take paid leave to care for my son during an unexpected day off. So personally, I’ll be fine. But many parents are not in that position.”
Of course, there are other ways to protest beyond taking the day off. Women, and men, who want to participate are advised to avoid shopping, “with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses.” Those who can’t afford to miss work — and risk getting fired or black-listed — and can’t risk the urge to go shopping can simply go out and wear red. Even men can show their support for the women today by wearing the color. It can reportedly be any shade, although pink would probably be counter-intuitive.
One has to wonder if the “A Day Without ___” protests stem from the 2004 film A Day Without A Mexican, which “offers a satirical look at the consequences of all the Mexicans in the state of California suddenly disappearing,” while also showing “the apparent statistical impact of Mexicans on California’s economy, law enforcement and education systems and the resulting social unrest.” It’s pretty relevant right now considering, you know, the wall…