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Feminists Fight On

Women Worldwide Get Involved in Politics

Taylor Rohleen

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On January 21st, the Women’s March on Washington paved way for a future in which women unite on all seven continents, including Antarctica, to grab politics by the–well, you know. Over 5 million attended, and this level of support is only expected to go up: The founders have planned 10 “actions” to ensue, with one action happening every 10 days. Thus far, activists have written postcards to Senators, created huddles of like-minded people, and hosted Hear Our Voice events.

 

These small droplets of action, combined with the upcoming International Women’s Strike, are anticipated to generate a disquieting hurricane. Falling on International Women’s Day, the strike, along with the concurrent holiday, is focused on establishing “a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity among “women and [their] allies.”

 

The creators of the Women’s March partnered with the strike’s founders to promote the event as “A Day Without A Woman,” encouraging participation in particular forms: retreating from both paid and unpaid labor, evading certain businesses, and dressing in red to represent solidarity.

 

Unanimity is indispensable for the success of the strike, which is why the strike is aimed at marketing the majority of women. But, in reality, is it inclusive?

 

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, one of the pioneers of the Women’s Strike, admitted herself that “the problems experienced by women in our societies today are rooted in an economic system that privileges the 1 percent over the 99 percent.” Since Taylor understands the foundation upon which feminism’s problems reside, what efforts have been made to reduce privilege? Perhaps the strike is their way of deploying privilege to best use; however, a general strike is after all, general. It is imperative to have as much of the public participating as possible.

 

This brings up how the strike—likely Taylor’s main contribution against the aforementioned dilemma— in and of itself is unrealistic for the bulk of women, since for many, keeping their jobs are more important than the world’s many inadequacies regarding feminism. Whether these women live hand to mouth or are the CEO of a corporation, any contribution to a general strike has the opportunity of carrying weighty repercussions—namely job loss. Taking place not even a month ago, over 60 workers were fired after participating in the similar event, “A Day Without Immigrants.” In an effort to combat potential unemployment, the Women’s March wrote a letter for women to give their employers as an explanation of why they’re partaking in the strike. With any luck, women will be able to stand up while still retaining their jobs.

 

In order to establish change, sacrifices are necessary, but the question remains: Is this too much, or not enough? Only time will tell.

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