Photo: The best kind of playground is the playground we get all to ourselves. Minor and I got to do whatever we wanted without any interference from other kiddos. Mostly this meant that Minor could be brave and try new things without an audience: so we practiced pumping on the swing, climbing a ladder that curves as you climb up, and taking on the giant rope climb. Look how far he got!
I am a woman who couldn’t go on strike today. I understand the purpose of the strike, but I also understand the direct harm my striking would do to my household, punishing without teaching.
Therefore, I chose to work for a woman-owned company this morning. I took my son to lunch at a woman of color-owned cafe. I purchased knitting needles for a lovely young woman at a woman-owned yarn shop. When I’m done writing this post, I’m going to purchase my sister an awesome Zaria pin at this Black Woman-owned business.
And no, I didn’t wear red. I wore black today. It isn’t because I’m not in solidarity with my sisters of other races, it’s just that I recognize that all of the coverage of the Day Without Women and the major influence of the day were born from the fact that certain women who had the ability to stayed home today or marched today. The rest of us didn’t have the luxury. I wore Black in recognition of our invisibility today, yesterday and tomorrow. You want a revolution? I want a revelation, Sister-Comrades.
I think there is more power in hitting the streets, choosing carefully where to we spend our money and knowing the names of the women who keep our communities running. I’m all about frequently showing up, learning names, and consistently being a patron in places where I know my money is appreciated and does a lot of good. So, when the marching is over and it’s time to go back to work, I wonder: how many of us will go back to lives of not looking each other in the eye, reading name tags, hearing stories, and putting a financial number to our heart’s values? How many women will you see, who you regularly see (like the Dunkin’ lady or the Starbucks barista who pours your coffee every morning) tomorrow and you won’t take the time to a) read their name tag, b) say “good morning” or ask “how are you” to, and c) look them in the eye and even say things like “please” and “thank you” to? Seriously. I can’t tell you how many women I see regularly be rude to other women who are in service positions around my community. I’m just sayin’: if you’re here for the red, if you’re here for the day of withholding, I hope that means you’re here for daily engagement and sincerity tomorrow, too.
I know I’m preaching to the choir and, in someways, lobbing friendly fire. I’m simply frustrated on behalf of friends who couldn’t go to work today because whole school systems shut down because of today’s strike. “My daughter could have used a special kind of lesson today,” a friend told me over Facebook. “What did she miss out on because people decided to think about themselves and deprive the children?”
Please don’t think me as anti-feminist. I’m not even against today’s strike. I’m simply frustrated, because I’m not sure if this is the best way to measure a woman’s worth on the larger economic scale. The Great Women’s March made sense and had impact. For many communities that weekend, there really were a few days without women! Women came back home to men who didn’t know what to do with themselves, couldn’t tell you where the weekend had gone, and were praying every prayer that their wives would never leave them ever again. That, I think, has a lot of power. Those were days that meant something to all involved and still resonate on a daily basis in the lives and circles of many.
Anyway, today is International Women’s Day and I’m a woman who woman’d today. It’s a hard job, thankless and mean, dangerous at times, lonely at others. We are beautiful and complex, we are loved and we are scorned, we are revered, exploited, reviled, loathed and threatened. We are what we were made to be: the counter balance, the rule makers, the creators, the vessels of life. We are walking paradoxes and contradictions. Infinitely beautiful and utterly perfect. Would you really want to be anything else? I don’t. But yes, I’d like to be seen. I’d like to be respected. I’d like to be given my full due for the good work I do. I’m here with you, I just ask for your consistency.
It was a long day being the only woman in house of men. My brain is muddled and my back is sore. But I’m grateful that it’s Wednesday and I’m on pace to meet my goals for the week. How are you doing, Dear Reader? You’ll make it to Friday, right?
See you then for Quiet Thoughts.