In the picture above, Susan B. Anthony is knocked to the ground and beaten by police officers. Her heinous crime? Trying to vote. Women have fortunately come far since then, yet there is still a lot of inequality, especially in underdeveloped nations. Sadly, a new movement makes me wonder what modern feminists are thinking.
March 8 is supposed to be the #DayWithoutAWoman. I get the impetus behind it, showing the world how much women contribute to the world by withholding their participation in it for a day, and then measuring after how much impact just one day had. The idea being how much women contribute should impress policy makers enough to affect change. The whole thing just seems pointless to me.
I have written several articles in support of women's causes. Being raised by a single mother in the early 70s, I had a first hand view of how hard it can be, especially with my father largely absent. I also saw my mother rise up and become a very successful computer programmer, retiring quite nicely with no man's help. Even when she remarried, her earnings far outstripped my stepfather. He was a hard worker, but my mother was simply more qualified.
My mother did not achieve all this by filing lawsuits or in any other way forcing herself in to the profession she chose. She just worked her butt off every single day. To get good grades, to get high scores, to get a good job and be awesome at it. Once recently she told me she knew she would never make as much as men, but if she worked really hard and did well, she would make things better for the next generation.
So, you will have to pardon me if I don't see the value in a bunch of people NOT SHOWING UP. My mother almost never took a sick day. The only I can remember is when she gave birth to my sister and when she had carpal tunnel surgery. In this post, the author's "protest" is going to take this form: "I will spend Wednesday pampering my body a little, feeding my mind quite a bit, and hoping that by the time my daughter is old as I am now 'woman's work' will just be 'work', and a woman's place will be defined only by her own goals, talents, and preferences."
Seriously, this author is going to right the wrongs of the world by giving herself a home spa day and thinking deep thoughts? I feel this is a slap in the face to women everywhere who actually make a difference. And this woman is not even going to hold a sign and show actual protest. She can't even muster the effort for that. How is a person supposed to take this seriously? While women in some countries are being forced to marry at 9 or ten, or are being told they have had enough schooling to manage the house, this woman thinks she is making a difference by taking a "me" day.
I have the utmost respect for women, being raised by one of the hardest working women and being married to another, and knowing or admiring many others who have made a real impact in this planet. And I will tell you right now, sitting at home will get NOTHING done. Going out into the world, challenging the mindsets by proving them wrong, THAT will change the world. This woman, and so many like her who will probably do the same, are fooling themselves and insulting REAL movers and shakers like my mother.
Well, enjoy your day off, those that can. While you are thinking your deep thoughts, many other women who have no choice will be out actually getting things done. Just as they always have.
Shane Dean is a professional author and editor as well as an advocate for many worthy causes.
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