A common theme in refusing to acknowledge women’s rights in the U.S. is that women in this country are privileged and freer than women who live elsewhere. This theme runs rampant in all oppositions to equality movements led by or led for women, including this year’s A Day Without a Woman (#ADayWithoutAWoman).
The event, happening tomorrow, March 8, is a day of love and liberation. Women of all backgrounds — social, economic, political, and cultural — are participating to show just how important women are to society. Yes, this does include the patriarchal United States.
Despite the common belief that having more privilege is the same has being equal, this is simply not the case. Women in the U.S. have the right to work as much as they want, yet they still receive much lower wages. Women in the U.S. have the right to work wherever they want, yet are still discriminated against and face much more opposition when it comes to advancement and promotion. Women in the U.S. are not always forced into marriages, yet they are still coerced into being sex slaves and are victims of constant sexual harassment, abuse, and rape. Women in this country may have more legal rights, but that does not mean that they have more ethical rights.
Beyond this, women are not confined to the white cis category. Women comes in all skin tones and sexual orientations. Women of color and who are transgender or who don’t conform to the gender binary are way too commonly discriminated against and face intolerable levels of social oppression. Believe it or not, the majority of women are not treated with respect, and that’s why a day without women is not a day of privileged women calling in sick; it is a day of all women uniting as one to show the world just how crucial women’s [ethical, moral, and legal] rights are.
For all those women wishing to take part in this movement, take the day off work, whether its paid or unpaid, don’t shop at places that are not run by women and minorities, and wear red in solidarity with your fellow women.
Women are much more than a pair of legs in a fancy pair of heels giving birth and staying silent. Women are a force to be reckoned with, and their time has come.