Let me begin by saying I think “A Day Without A Woman” is a great idea. As the title photo says, I support it.
“A day without immigrants” definitely opened some people’s eyes. Uncounted thousands of brave workers took a chance and took a stand and some were even fired, but by their absence they made themselves visible. Some employers and customers were supportive, others were taken by surprise, but they will definitely not take immigrant workers for granted again. And compared to the total strength of the immigrant workforce, only a relatively small number of people were able to participate. A real “day without immigrants” would bring huge sections of the country to a standstill and really shake things up. We are playing the long game here, and maybe that bigger event will come.
It is an encouraging sign that some deep red industries that depend on migrant labor and immigrant labor are finally putting two and two together and have finally purchased a clue. They have been forced to stop denying that their entire business model depends on a steady supply of cheap expendable exploitable labor from the undocumented. They talked a good game for years at CPAC and on hateradio and behind closed doors at Rcon fundraisers, but now that it might actually happen, they are coming to the uncomfortable realization that if DJT sends everyone back, and prevents new people from coming in, their businesses will collapse. Too bad they didn’t figure that out before they voted for him and donated money to help elect him…but this is where we are.
In the same vein, we could throw sand in the gears of everything if we actually did manage to have a women’s general strike. I hope a lot of women participate tomorrow, and it serves as preparation for a larger action at some point in the future when we need to make an unmistakable point about the worth of women in a way that would be impossible to ignore.
But for so many women it is literally impossible to go a day without paid or unpaid work.
I can understand not going to a job, or a volunteer organization, but so many women are responsible for the work of life that can’t be postponed or given to anybody else.
I know many men who have women in their lives to care for them. This means have times when they are working and times when they are not. When they are not working someone else is responsible for providing them with meals, clean clothes, a clean house, etc., and they are actually able to relax. Put their feet up. Read the paper, read a book. Have a weekend.
I have never personally known a woman in my personal life for whom that was true. I guess there are some ladies who lunch who have household help who are able to choose not working. I have never known any, but I assume they exist.
So my pink knitted hat is off to the women who will practice the subtraction protest of not showing up for work tomorrow, and not doing work around the house. The rest will just have to show solidarity in other ways.
Man’s work is from sun to sun
but “women’s work” is never done
Man's work is from sun to sun, and can even declare that they will skip a day out of every seven, but women's work is never done.
The greatest difference I see in the lives of men and women is that many more women than men are engaged in the kind of caretaking work that literally must be done every day. Various human and animal mouths must be fed. The diapers of the babies and the elders must be changed. There is no such thing as a “day without work” for women if unpaid work is included.
As some of you know, I was the sole caretaker for the last few years of my mom’s life. She lived with me, I was her only child, and our nearest relatives lived more than two hours away. After her amputation, she was bedbound and completely dependent on my care.
In some ways it was like being on 24-hour call every single day. No such thing as a weekend, or a sabbath. Every day the bed pads still needed to be changed, usually more than once. Food could be prepared in advance but sometimes she needed to be spoon fed. If she spilled a glass of water on her bandages that must be kept dry, then the dressings need to be changed right away. Instead of the 2am feeding, I wake up to administer the 3am pain medicine. In some ways it was harder than having a child because babysitters are easier to find than eldersitters (there's a growth industry for you!).
If we were rich, I could have hired a private nurse to get a break, but of course we couldn’t afford that. For various reasons she could not be put in short-term respite care. People kept saying it was too much work for me and I should put her in a nursing home, but the only long-term nursing facilities we could afford are the kind of places you wouldn't want to board your dog, much less trust with the care of a cherished parent. So I was on 24 hour call every single day for years. Instead of sleep when the baby sleeps, it was “sleep when mom is at dialysis”.
And I think of all the years I worked temp when, if I didn’t go to work I didn't get paid. no sick days.
So I feel for the women who won’t be able to participate tomorrow. They have to go to that job or there will be no food on the table. They have to change the diapers because, well, it needs to be done. Some of them have the reasonable fear that if they do not show up they will be fired. Some of them will be fired because the boss won’t want uppity progressive women around.
On Wednesday I will wear red in their honor.
I won’t go to the office, and I won’t spend any money. I will do some work around the house, but I will not give anyone but myself the benefit of my work, so with respect to the way the world interacts with me, it will be a day without a woman. I will not answer any work emails or messages. I will think of my blogging and computer time as fun instead of work. If someone has a serious emergency, I will use good judgment, and I will try to get away as soon as I am able. I will do my best to do everything I can to have a day without working.
And I will feel grateful that my schedule now gives me enough flexibility to take it to the streets and experience a day without work without repercussions.
Previous TRUE BLUE REPORT diaries
Mar 6: Can DJT really be stumbling into the exact investigation we want?
Mar 5: How is it even possible that deplorables see a man of faith when they look at DJT?
Mar 4: Blue Ribbon Winners—Chris Hayes, Malcolm Nance, Cierra Fields
Mar 3: I’m glad Bannon, Conway, Carson, Sessions, Miller, et al. are in the DJT Administration
Mar 2: “In every major fire it always starts with smoke. And smoke is what kills you.”
Mar 1: Am I the only one whose skin crawled at the Carryn Owens BIRGing moment?
Feb 28: Spinspotting 101: Special Prosecutor for what? It’s so easy to answer that question
Feb 27: Spinspotting 101: I’ve seen no evidence because I haven’t looked for any evidence!
Feb 26: If Neil Gorsuch were a man of integrity, he would decline the S.Ct. appointment
Feb 25: True Blue Ribbons: Russia Flag trolling, Dixie Swastika grabbing, District Days demonstrating
Feb 24: There is no such thing as a compassionate conservative
Feb 23: Chief of Staff, Nat’l Security Advisor, GOP Head, President Bannon—too many hats!
Feb 22: DJT has a few questions for you—SMURF THIS POLL!
Feb 21: The end of “access journalism” means it’s time to #sendtheinterns
Feb 20: KAC lying low for now… can we banish her (and all her ilk) from the airwaves completely?
Feb 19: DeVos cartoon, Ruby Bridges, unearned unhappiness and childlike faith
Feb 18: Blue Ribbon Winners—Vice Adm. Harward, Melissa McCarthy, and intel whistleblowers
Feb 17: And Ain’t I an American?
Feb 16: Please tell your family and friends—If you regret your DJT vote, speak up NOW
Feb 15: R-supported forced childbirth laws deny the autonomy of women
Feb 14: What did the president know? Everything. When did he know it? From the beginning.
Feb 13: Coping with The Madness of King Donald by hoping political comedy will save us
Feb 12: The Poverty and Justice Bible
Feb 11: Blue Ribbon Winners: Swastika removers, Ninth Circuit Panel, and the Persisterhood!
Feb 10: The first three words of the Constitution are “We, the People” not “I, the President”
Feb 9: Who first inspired your political activism? Who inspires you now?
Feb 8: We cannot and will not be silenced—Here’s what to do if they try to silence you
Feb 7: Plain Talk Tuesday: Tell people the Affordable Care Act is the same as OBAMACARE
Feb 6: Interview Skills 101—Internalized oppression and what Ryan Lizza did right. BRAVO!
Feb 5: These protest signs with Bible cites will confuse and befuddle RWNJs
Feb 4: Blue Ribbon Winners: Temple B’Nai Israel, Judge Robart, CNN, Senate Phone Callers
Feb 3: Not rich, not smart, not a good businessman, not a winner—DJT is NOTHING he claims to be
Feb 2: Thursday action—Encouragement, thanks, and apologies (pick one or more)
Feb 1: July 7, 2009 to August 25, 2009 and September 25, 2009 to February 4, 2010
Jan 31: If you’re on overload that’s part of their plan—there’s more than one way to #resist
Jan 30: Interview Skills 101 for reporters attempting to interview KAC and other Rcons
Jan 29: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness
Jan 28: Blue Ribbon Winners: Women's March participants and #NoMuslimBan demonstrators and...
Jan 27: I wish Steve Bannon would tell me to keep my mouth shut
Jan 26: Thursday Action—Have you ever written a letter to the editor? Here’s how to start
Jan 25: The Asch Conformity Study, inauguration crowds, and the importance of speaking out
Jan 24: #ResistTrumpTuesday—good news day or another paying dues day?
Jan 23: Spy the Lie 101: How to enjoy watching Rcon spokesbot interviews, even KAC!
Jan 22: Why I prayed for the President* today
Jan 21: The only silver lining in the midst of these clouds
Inaugural (!) diary: Stop expecting Republicons to make sense