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A Day Without Women is “Anarchy,” But Women Shouldn’t Receive Equal Pay

March 8, 2017

I was looking for coverage today about the “Day Without Women” protests, and I was rewarded amply with Fox News coverage about women who need to take care of children not showing up for work being “too busy protesting President Trump.” Note, if you watch that sort of thing, that no men are commenting on the story, because Fox News isn’t suicidal, but blonde women with southern accents, and a minority anchorwoman, discuss how women not working will hurt childcare. You think? Pretty much, that’s the point. Women who work in that industry don’t serve some altruistic means of meeting their own baby needs by caring for other people’s children who make more money than they do–childcare workers and teachers work to get paid. It’s actually called work, not altruism. Apparently that twist of irony is lost on Fox News.

Case in point, some teachers are calling it a massive strike, as pay for teachers is routinely abysmal. Why should women be paid when taking care of other people’s children is supposed to meet their every womanly need?

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers will be picketing schools on Wednesday to protest “five years without raises,” and the Chicago Teacher’s Union told NBC News its members would be rallying that evening.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten told NBC News that Wednesday isn’t an AFT strike “in the traditional sense,” but a teacher who wants to participate would be making an “individual decision.” Weingarten will be speaking at the Women Workers Rising rally in Washington, DC.

Events are also taking place at colleges. Ghazala Hashmi, a faculty engagement coordinator at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, VA, told NBC News the school granted teachers permission to hold a rally on campus.

“We rally for the rights of girls and women throughout the world,” said Hashmi, “To quality education, medical resources, and social and legal protections from sexual violence and gender oppression.”

On one hand, parents complain of being inconvenienced by school closures, and on the other hand, imply that they are deserving of these women serving them without proper pay. Irony appears to be lost on deserving parents, as well.

Even CNN complained about how women are angry that other women working in childcare and education aren’t serving them when they strike:

The national strike movement on Wednesday coincides with International Women’s Day. It aims to draw attention to inequities working women face compared to men, from wage disparity to harassment to job insecurity.
Several school districts across the country are closing to allow staff and teachers the chance to participate. While some people in those communities applauded district leadership for the show of solidarity, others criticized them for leaving working families scrambling to find childcare.
Damn those women for not serving “working families,” as if they don’t have “working families” of their own. Most families work, so this is a specious argument.
The news media seem to miss the point that the whole reason for a strike is to inconvenience someone who depends on low-paid work.
 Politico, with no trace of irony, published a piece saying that women not working could end civil society and cause anarchy.
 Do organizers truly want to encourage a movement that would lead to nothing less than the breakdown of civil society? This isn’t a feminist ploy, it’s one for anarchy.
Umm, aside from the broken argument that a strike is a “feminist ploy,” might as well say “toy,” in equal tones of derision, the whole point is to show people how much society depends on women, and if a society doesn’t value women, then anarchy is a pretty powerful term for devaluing women. What would happen if women didn’t work? Society, according to Politico author, Amanda Carpenter, would collapse. A “breakdown of civil society” is awesome stuff. Yes, when 50% of the population is missing, society would break down, but again, that’s the whole point.
Miss Carpenter’s incoherent rant about how women should babysit because it’s important to other people is pretty typical of the emotional vomit online:
The “Day Without A Women” organizers made a severe misstep by making children and working families, many of whom who can’t easily skip work or get babysitters, into collateral damage for their dead-end, self-soothing political agenda. School may not be in session in Alexandria, in Prince George’s County, in Chapel Hill, or in parts of Brooklyn, but there’s a lesson the nation can learn from these closures. The modern progressive movement doesn’t have any goals. Just feelings, which come before all else.
First of all, children can’t get babysitters. That would be a parent’s job, so including children in that effluvia is an emotional misdirect: “don’t hurt the kids, you womanly beasts.” Then again, aren’t women the ones supposedly enjoying serving as babysitters? Sounds like Miss Carpenter finally learned her lesson about how important childcare is, but she doesn’t realize it. Miss Carpenter accuses there is no “goal” in the progressive movement, so she seems to have misunderstood that point about her arguing about the importance of childcare and schools all while saying that highlighting that only focuses on “feelings.”
Miss Carpenter uses the guilt trop to try to shame women for asking for more, arguing that “feelings coming before all else” is unworthy of women. It’s a common trope today: women aren’t important, but their loss hurts kids. Mirror, here is your reflection.
Getting attention paid to the importance of women is what this movement is all about. Anarchy is appropriate for a world without women. We should be paying attention to this. Women are important, and the stakes are high.
As one commenter stated, gender violence, gender-based healthcare, all have life-threatening consequences for women, so of course we should be paying attention:
A reminder that while the status quo is unacceptable, the longer-term trend is pointed towards gender equality. And this trend is global, not simply confined to the western world. Just look at healthcare. Maternal mortality remains a mass killer in the developing world. It may not be as newsworthy as gender-based violence or as stark and immediate as disease or starvation, but it is the second biggest killer of women of reproductive age in the developing world.
Of course, that quote was taken from the UK, The Guardian, not a US based paper. The US news media really struggles with this concept of women not bowing to pressure from guilt, from shaming.
In Mexico, this movement can’t come too soon. Viral video footage of a teacher telling students in school about how he beats his wife if she won’t have sex and rapes her has garnered nothing more than an administrative reprimand and emphasized how life-threatening domestic violence and gender violence are for women:
This is an international movement, not a self-centered US movement based solely on Trump. Women in the international community have spoken out:

The European Parliament’s Greek vice president, Dimitris Papadimoulis, greeted International Women’s Day with a shocking forecast from the World Economic Forum.

The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186,” Papadimoulis told the parliament in a speech replayed on Greek media. “Yes, you heard well, until 2186. Only in 169 years! It is more than obvious that we have to speed up this process. We have to act now.”

Greek women have suffered the country’s ongoing economic crisis disproportionately. Although seven years of economic meltdown have narrowed a gap in the employment rate between men and women – because of soaring unemployment rates among men, not an increase in the hiring of women – Greece’s employment gender gap remains well above the European Union average. In 2015, the gap was 18 percentage points in Greece, compared with 11 across the rest of the EU.

Women are desperate. Gender disparity ending in 169 years? They can’t afford it, literally.
I like the term anarchy. I like the power of the movement, but I also like the people are talking about how women not accepting abuse is “inconvenient” and “hard on working families,” because it highlights how frequently US society expects to get ahead by taking advantage of women, by shaming them. The shaming, shaming, shaming. Shame women over childbirth, bodies, reproductive choices, daycare or no daycare, babysitters, not babysitting, not serving as nurses, not serving as teachers… Notice that women aren’t supposed to ask for anything? They’re not supposed to have feelings. They aren’t supposed to be safe with medical care. They aren’t supposed to have equality for another 169 years because it’s inconvenient now, and that, Dear Readers, is the point. Anarchy sounds about right.
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