Tomorrow I will be striking with thousands of other women (including one Trista King) as part of the International Women's Strike.
I've never been on strike in my life, and it feels a bit strange to strike right now. I have so many of the things women have fought for in the past:
I am paid well and respected for my expertise, even in a male-dominated profession with a serious diversity problem.
I have a partner who is a badass feminist in his own right, who (to be honest) does more of the domestic labor than I do.
I have healthcare.
I have the right to vote.
I hold a college degree.
I have choice over when and how and if I will have children.
I feel free to dress however I want to. I feel free to wear bold lipstick and to not shave my legs.
I have the right to own property, hold public office, become a millionaire, and so much more.
Wow! I say this not to brag but to acknowledge how much has been done for gender equality in the past one hundred years alone.
But the truth is I'm an outlier. I'm on the front edge, the example of what can happen when everything goes very, very well. For all the progress I represent, there are countless people of all ages, sexes, races, nationalities, religions, sexual identities, sexual preferences, and abilities for whom this is NOT true. So many people who may technically be allowed to do all those things but have the deck stacked against them. So many women who do not get paid well for their work. So many men who do not feel free to dress however they want to. And so many people who are living in fear right now.
I'm not one for non-participation, generally. I prefer action, movement. I like to go towards rather than against. But tomorrow I'm not participating. I'm not participating in a system that treats humans unfairly because of who they were born as. I'm not participating in a system that is deporting, detaining, arresting, murdering, poisoning and mistreating human beings and the world that we live in. I'm not participating in a system that wants to destroy public education and the national parks. I'm not participating in a system that wants to detain immigrants in camps.. I'm not participating in a system that wants to take away my reproductive rights. I'm not participating in a system that pays lip service to rural white people but gives tax cuts to billionaires. I'm not participating in a system that says Muslim people don't belong in this country. I'm not participating in a system that tortures people.
I don't know what I'll do tomorrow. Even with my pro-Labor, pro-Women's education, I have absolutely no idea what one does when one strikes--and even if I did, I think this strike may turn out to be a different beast altogether. Let's all find out together, shall we? I don't think it will be the last strike I do.
Things I might do:
- Push ups
- Write with a friend
- Read a Spanish-language feminist romance novel
- Learn more about feminist history
- Call my representatives
- Go to a rally in downtown LA
- Watch television
- Go to the library and get a library card
- Wear so much glitter
- Listen to a podcast about the history of fascism
- Subscribe to a newspaper or a magazine
(No wonder we feel worn out all the time; I have about a week of stuff to do and only one strike day to do it)
Things I'm not going to do:
- Work for money
- Work for my household
- Work for Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media giants
- Spend money
I would love to hear from all of you what you are and are not doing for the strike tomorrow, even if you can't take the day off work. I don't have any idea if I'm doing this right, but let's do it anyhow.