This Week in Women: A Day Without a Woman
This Wednesday, feminists took the opportunity presented by International Women’s Day to stage A Day Without a Woman protest, wearing red, abstaining from work, and only shopping at women-owned businesses, in order to demonstrate just how vital women are to the work force, at home and abroad. It was a powerful sequel to January’s Women’s March on Washington, and with a remarkable outpouring of support and eloquence around the movement from citizens, artists, designers, politicians, and world leaders alike, we’re celebrating another step toward equality. It’s time for This Week in Women!
International Women’s Day & A Day Without a Woman
Women’s March organizers cleverly coincided A Day Without A Woman with International Women’s Day, doubling down on their feminist emphasis. Those who chose to participate boycotted paid and non-paid work, rocked red apparel, and abstained from shopping (with the exception of buying locally at women-owned businesses).
“A Day Without a Woman gives us another concrete way to make our strength visible,” said the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in an official statement. “This demonstration of strength is critical because the Trump administration poses an unprecedented threat to women’s equality and well-being. Defeating it is going to take all of our strength and persistence.”
Poignant symbolism appeared at home in New York, beginning with the light outage at the Statue of Liberty the night before A Day Without A Woman. While the official statement cited technical errors, it was hard to ignore the obvious protest of Lady Liberty’s lights out. The world also woke up to the now ubiquitous defiant girl statue that appeared standing in front of the Wall Street bull (installed by State Street Global Advisors). The girl statue will be on display for the next month, and drew thousands of spectators in its first day on Wall Street.
International Women’s Day was noted by many brands and influencers in the fashion industry, who took the opportunity to launch or announce new programs to benefit women’s advancement in gender equality, pay, and protection against violence. Grace Coddington and Marc Jacobs rolled out the new “Take a Stand” collection to benefit Planned Parenthood NYC; Theory x Lola created kits ($50 a pop) with beauty, fashion, and lifestyle items with direct proceeds going to Girls Who Code organization; and Nike announced its new Pro Hijab for Muslim women athletes (to name just a few).
“All over the world, women are on the front lines fighting for our future. Yet millions of girls and women are still denied basic equal rights. And recent policies and appointments in the United States jeopardize its position as a global leader and positive role model on human rights,” said Gucci in an open letter from its Chime for Change organization. “We stand together to say, in a voice louder than ever, that fighting for gender equality is the emergency and the opportunity of our time.”
Even Trump couldn’t resist the opportunity to put in his two cents (though they were hardly welcome), tweeting: “I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy.”
He continued, tweeting, “On International Women’s Day, join me in honoring the critical role of women here in America & around the world.”
Unsurprisingly, the Internet had a field day with the irony of Trump’s tweets. Here are a few of our favorites:
— mae whitman (@maebirdwing) March 8, 2017
@realDonaldTrump Here's a thought: honor them with policy, not meaningless tweets
— Maria (@MariaMelee) March 8, 2017
.@realDonaldTrump fuck this tweet and honestly how dare you. You and your swamp pals don't honor women any of the other 364 days of the year
— Chris Klemens (@ChrisKlemens) March 8, 2017
And of course, many resorted to simply tweeting Trump’s now infamous quotes about women, right back at him, for full in-your-face effect.
So, what’s next for Women’s March organizers and Nasty Women around the world? They’re setting their sights on Action 5 of the 10 Actions / 100 Days campaign, and we’re prepared to follow suit. Meanwhile, we recommend checking in with your local ACLU chapter for how to address hot button issues that are directly impacting your community, or reaching out to organizations that are helping at-risk or underserved women and families.
Featured image via The Verge
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.