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A Day Without A Woman Brings Much Needed Awareness

  • Ben Hayward
  • Feb 17, 2017 3:55PM

On October 24th, 1975, 90% of women in Iceland did not go to work. Nor did they stay home. They left their posts as workers, mothers, homemakers, and wives to gather in the streets, listen to speeches, sing songs and discuss what they wanted to see change in Icelandic society. For a little over 16 hours, Iceland ground to a halt, businesses unable to function, perplexed fathers cooking for their children for the first time, the streets clogged with women who wanted to see a change.

The movement had no specific goal.

Among the women of Iceland’s many grievances were pay discrepancy, lack of representation in government, lack of access to certain job markets, but most of all they were frustrated with the way they were perceived. They were the legal equals of men but were still expected to stay home, to raise children, to perform a role that they had always traditionally performed. If they were to take a job, it was assumed that most work was too complicated for women and that they made good nurses and secretaries.

Five years later they had elected the world’s first-ever female President. Over the next twenty years, they would enact legislation mandating that 40% of any board must be made up of women (or men – the Icelanders do equality really well), see women’s involvement in the labor force climb to 88%, and close the wage gap more than any other western nation.

March 8th, 2017, in addition to being International Women’s Day, is slated to be A Day Without A Woman in the United States, organized by the same women from the Women’s March on Washington.

“In the spirit of women and their allies coming together for love and liberation, we offer A Day Without A Woman. We ask: do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities? Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression? Do they align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children? We saw what happened when millions of us stood together in January, and now we know that our army of love greatly outnumbers the army of fear, greed and hatred. On March 8th, International Women’s Day, let’s unite again in our communities for A Day Without A Woman.” (via CNBC)

Cue the conservative backlash. You can find a lot of these articles, I’ve chosen to link the one published by this website because I think it embodies all that is wrong with the argument against women’s solidarity: These women don’t have a specific political goal. They hate men. There is no room for this divisiveness in the modern world. What exactly is so bad for women right now? This is just liberals who hate Trump finding a reason to protest. The list of inane, rhetorically empty bullshit stretches longer than I have room for here.