.I am striking today, And by striking I mean I am taking a paid vacation day from work along with the female members of my department. I cleared it with HR and made sure that the one male colleague stayed back to run the department in our absence. I contacted a labor attorney to make sure none of us could lose our jobs. (We can, actually be fired for anything, I learned.) And made sure that all of our work deadlines were met in advance so that we wouldn’t get in trouble. We are not making a collective statement demanding paid maternity leave or even any noise as to why we won't be in today. We are each individually taking a paid vacation day. But we are "striking."
.I went to American Apparel’s going-out-of-business sale and bought a red hoodie since I don’t own anything red—BUT IT WAS ON SALE, and it will be COLD—and am wearing one of the 39 hot pink #pussyhats I knit and will continue to knit after my carpal tunnel flareup dies down. Beneath it, I will wear one of the several feminist t-shirts I have purchased in the past few months (from woman-owned businesses with at least 10% of the profits going to Planned Parenthood) and my sterling silver NASTY WOMAN necklace (@kanareknyc). I will wear my matching fuchsia MAC VIVA GLAM lipstick (all proceeds go to helping people with AIDS).
.I have made my daughter breakfast and dressed her IN RED and will be taking her to her public school (they are spending the day discussing the important women in their lives) and my babysitter who chose not to strike will pick her up. Tonight I will see my boyfriend as it is the one night a week we both have free.
.I have read many posts from my righteous (and I mean this in a good way) Feminist Facebook friends on why they are not striking: their kids won't get fed, they are not oppressed at their jobs, they feel this strike doesn't have traction so what's the point. I have read all the ways you can sort-of strike if you are not going to STRIKE strike (post a selfie in your hat, wear red, don't spend money etc.) But I am striking-ish.
.Our country is not Iceland. New York City is not Iceland. Would I have loved public transportation to stop, public schools to be closed, the media to be filled with a sea of red-wearing women marching in the streets today? Do I expect much of a kerfuffle to be made about today? Sadly no.
.So I am striking-ish because I can. I am going to bring my protest sign from the Women's March (made with foam core and Sharpies I confess I bought on Amazon) and attending the gathering in Central Park at noon (not to be confused with the gathering at 4 in Washington Square Park which I am also attending though I honestly am not sure which group is organizing it). I will post post a picture to #pussyhatglobal. I will not spend money (except on a metrocard).
.I am striking as a woman, a feminist, as a rape survivor, as a Single Mother by Choice, as a public school parent, as a woman who experiences sexism in the workplace, as a citizen horrified by the hourly CNN updates that bling up my iPhone. And I have to say, I am a little embarrassed about it.
.But if my red wearing and pink hatted body adds to a photo-op of hopefully substantial group of women I will be there. Because I can. And today March 8, 2017, it's all I can do. And if its asked of me I will do it again, and again, and again. Because I feel powerless, and sad and frightened and angry. And if more is asked of me, real sacrifice is asked of me at some future date, I hope I have the courage to live up to my convictions and respond accordingly.
.But today I am taking a day off work at not much personal risk, to go to the park with a bunch of friends, because I can. I hope it helps.