Motivation From International Women’s Day 2017

An ongoing chronicle of the world without women, and what’s inspiring and frustrating about it.

March 08, 2017
Motivation From International Women’s Day 2017 Vintage poster by the radical feminist art collective See Red Women’s Workshop, who operated in London from 1974-1990.   See Red Women’s Workshop / seeredwomensworkshop.wordpress.com

The morning of January 21, before I left my house for the Women's March, was probably the most politically hopeful I've been in years. Sitting on my couch, I scrolled on Twitter through photo after photo, video after video, of city after city, in what would turn out to be millions of people in the streets in the largest political demonstration in American history. It pumped me the fuck up.

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Today, women around the world are striking from work of all kinds — their jobs, domestic tasks, emotional labor. I'll be marching with them later. Until then, I'll be on the lookout for stories to give me a boost. So here, throughout the day, I'll be updating this post with motivation. Not all of it will be shows of strength, or videos of people dancing in the street — some of it is going to be stories of disgusting, enraging shit that needs to be fought back against.

Because of course anti-oppression doesn't end today. But it's days like today that can prove the fight is worthwhile.

In Ireland, protests centered on anti-abortion laws.
In Australia, where the gender pay gap is 16.2%, these childcare workers all left work 16.2% early.
The New Inquiry published this Women’s Strike Syllabus.
The Nation published this fucked-up story about Harvard trying to stop housekeepers from unionizing.
People celebrated role models from the past.
They called attention to women from the 20th century …
and the late 15th.
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Smart writers argued against becoming paralyzed with guilt because you’re more privileged.

I can’t see much use in becoming emotionally or ethically paralyzed by the difference between my situation and that of, say, an undocumented housekeeper and mother of two. I’d rather strike, and look for structures that can fill the gap between us.

The Women’s Strike isn’t undermined by the fact of difference. The aim is not to present women as already equal in standing or opportunity, despite our right to be. By withdrawing my work, I show my place in the larger economy; when we all do (or don’t), we invite one another to see how our work is interdependent, see the ways we are compelled to exploit one another. And when we see it, we may be able to say with confidence—as the beneficiaries and the exploited speaking together—that this is not the system we want.

Manila’s protests were packed.
People got together to work against Wikipedia’s bias.
Shout out to Blaine.
Linda Sarsour said “Don’t spend ya money.”
And then she got arrested alongside other leaders of the march.
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These vintage posters are incredible.
There can certainly be good reasons for not striking today.

This post will be updated throughout March 8, 2017.

Motivation From International Women’s Day 2017