A Day Without A Woman. 34 Weeks

Last week I participated in Day Without A Woman on International Women’s Day by attending a rally at my state capitol, wearing red, and not making any purchases that day.

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I did not strike. I was lucky enough to be able to work from home, hoping that my physical absence may be felt, but my work would still get done. There are two reason I chose not to strike. One, being that I am pregnant, I will need the time off for maternity leave. My company offers FMLA leave, which allows me to be out for up to 480 work hours without risk of losing my job (roughly three months). But any pay I am to receive during that time comes from my accumulated sick and vacation time, so using it now means I don’t get to use it later. Some may say this is exactly why I should strike – to show that this policy is inadequate to meet the needs of new moms and dads. That we should have better paid leave policies for maternity/paternity. These are things that I agree with and would fight for. But my second reason for not striking is a bit more compelling…

I work with all women. My team is all women, and though we work for a larger organization that has these maternity leave policies, the work I am doing right now affects the long term careers of these other women. They were relying on me to meet a deadline with my piece of the project so they could continue with theirs. Our failure on this project would not affect the overall organization we work for very much, but it would affect the careers of these other women. It simply did not make sense to me to hold these other women back in any way. 

Striking was a good choice for many. In a different circumstance I would have participated in the strike. Not because I think that I suffer injustices at work for being a woman (like I said, working with all women eliminates a lot of the discrimination other women suffer). I feel I am adequately and fairly compensated and am encouraged in my career growth. However, it is not for me that I participated in the rally.

It is for all the other women who could not rally

  • women who do suffer injustices at work
  • women who are paid less than a man for the same work
  • women who cannot take personal leave without the risk of being fired or reprimanded
  • women who are sick of a mostly male government deciding what she can and cannot do with her body
  • women who are accused of “bringing it on themselves” when they have been assaulted or abused
  • women who are told they aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, curvy enough, tall enough, short enough, funny enough, smart enough, nice enough or good enough to meet our impossible standards of women
  • women who are sick of being ignored

I rallied because I wish for a better future for my daughter. As women we have all felt at least some of the things I listed above. There are certainly more things that could be added to this list, these are just the ones that come immediately to mind. I know I cannot shelter my daughter from all of these cultural injustices and she will some day experience some of these. My hope is that it gets better as times wears on. I did feel an energy at the rally that was really encouraging. We need to keep the energy alive and not let it wane.

The saddest part of the Day Without A Woman protests were the attacks from other women. The last thing we need is to tear each other down for standing up for what we believe. Even if it isn’t something that you care about or believe in, we should be proud that we are even allowed to have our own opinions that can be expressed publicly! It’s the women who came before us that have allowed us this expression. How you use it is your choice, but isn’t that a beautiful thing too!

In pregnancy news I am 34 weeks today! Only 6 short weeks to go. I cannot believe we are getting this close!

Did any of you participate in any of the Day Without A Woman activities? How did it go?

Anyone with daughters have advice on raising them to be confident and secure? 

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

 

 

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4 thoughts on “A Day Without A Woman. 34 Weeks”

  1. I love so many of the points you made in this post. You know, before having a daughter and a live in partner with whom I share two kids I did not really feel all that bothered by the differences between men and women. I’m not sure why, I think I had my head buried in the sand a bit about how bad it was. It means that I now feel keenly the disparities between the sexes. I do not want to raise my daughter to be some man’s slave. And I want to raise my son to help his partner in the day to day chores that it takes to run a home and family. And hopefully if they believe in equality at home this will filter through to how they see women in other areas of their life – work etc. I really do hope there is a change. I didn’t know about A Day Without a Woman and I don’t really work so it wouldn’t have been a thing for me to strike or anything but I do think it is a wonderful idea. Although I could totally strike at home for a day! Ha! Except it would just mean double the work tomorrow as Eric does squat! Anyway, wonderful thought provoking post. Thx for sharing. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Being pregnant with a little girl has definitely heightened these feelings of wanting to fight for a better future for her. And I love that you want to teach your son equality too! It’s really a partnership between the sexes thing, we need more male advocates who want to empower us too! I am sure your son will be a champion for women as he sees how strong you are! Both your kids are adorable 🙂

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  2. I’m so thrilled you took the time to participate in the rally locally! I also love that you recognize that while you personally do not face these injustices, that does not mean they do not exist for others.

    I participated by wearing red and I only shopped at women-owned businesses that day. I work for myself, so striking from work wasn’t really an option either.

    Liked by 1 person

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