A Day Without a Woman: students hesitant to participate
According to the organizers’ website, on March 8, “women and our allies will act together for equity, justice, and the human rights of women … through a one day demonstration of economic solidarity.” The organizers call for anyone, anywhere to help join the cause by taking the day off from work, avoiding shopping (except for at small businesses owned by minorities or women) and wearing red to stand in solidarity with women.
A Day Without a Woman bases itself on the highly successful “A Day Without Immigrants” held nationwide on February 16 in response to President Trump’s travel ban executive orders.
When asked if she was participating, senior Emma Diller said “Not really. I have never had issues of this nature at my workplace and I don’t consider myself much of a ‘striker.’ Also, large amounts of women missing work could backfire on the movement by creating animosity amongst co-workers.”
Sophomore Savanna Tryon agreed, taking her claim a bit further. “I like the idea, but for me as a student, not showing up to class or to my workplace is not practical. At its worst, large amounts of women not showing up to their jobs could turn outside observers against feminism as well. Getting fired is not on my agenda. However, I will wear red to support the cause.” The Women’s March organization claims the goal of the event is to “highlight the global power that women have in their communities while calling to attention the economic injustices they continue to face.” Its website further states that women as a whole must free themselves and society from the constant disproportionate awarding of “power, money, agency, resources” to masculinity.
Mariah Pardo, a freshman, took the stance that it would be better for others to “see your worth by the work you create and do” than drawing attention to oneself with simply an absence. She also said that the goals of the day are good and the organization is wholesome, but there exists a better way to solve the problems. When asked what she proposed instead, she didn’t know.
“A Day Without a Woman will not be successful without large backing and significant participation,” junior Katie Underwood responded when asked if she thought the day would accomplish its goals. “In a state like Oklahoma, you aren’t going to see large participation in something like this due to the overwhelming majority of conservatives. Other states like this one should be prepared for the same lack of response,” she continued. Add to that the fact that Oklahoma is a right to work state (meaning in many workplaces the state prohibits the formerly widespread practice of requiring a new hire to join a union) and one really sees the understandable fear a woman might have about not showing up to work. As Underwood put it, “I have a presentation next Wednesday. My professor is a woman. And if I skip class for International Women’s Day, she will still give me a zero on the presentation.” Just in case, she said she’d definitely wear red on March 8 to do her part.