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The Women's Strike Will Be Mostly White

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March 8 marks International Women's Day, a day when women are to be celebrated and united.  On this day in 2017, many women worldwide will participate in the "A Day Without Women" strike, put on by Women's March on Washington, in order to have society feel the strain of a world without women.

But once again, white feminists have subjugated women of color and promoted sexist stereotypes, despite their ultimate goal of equality. That being said, women should not partake for the sole purpose of the strike disregarding a large portion of the female population.

According to the movement's website, women are not to partake in paid or unpaid labor (including caregiving, cooking and cleaning), not to shop, and to wear red in solidarity.

Two public school districts on the east coast, a university in New York, and a preschool in Brooklyn have shut down for the entire day, given the amount of female staff members on strike, reported The Huffington Post.

But who are these women participating in the strike?

It would be women with salary-paying jobs, such as teachers and those in corporate positions. Specifically those granted the privilege of expensive higher education. 

So it most certainly won't be women of color.

According to the National Women's Law Center, two-thirds of those in minimum wage positions are women, and the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress concludes that more than half of those are women of color.

These low-paying, entry-level jobs are not known for their willingness to give a "free pass" to those who miss a day of work. And a day of work for these workers can often mean the difference between making rent or -- sometimes -- eating a meal.

The strike, while filled with great intention and honest hopes, has promoted the subconscious whiteness of the feminist movement, and our teachers and educators should be able to recognize that.  

Attempting to follow in the footsteps of the Women's March in January, which protested President Donald Trump, this strike is highly anticipated. But results will be less than surprising, and commentary could likely bring women further down.

The undeniable disregard for the inability of colored women to take a day off can be misinterpreted as white women "talking down" to women of color.

Sure -- the website explains that those who are unable to take off work can wear read to show support. But who will be the true heroes, praised by the media and perhaps having future history books recognize them as the leaders of this movement?

White women.

Not to mention the condescending explanation on the strike's website which states that on behalf of those who can't strike due to economic insecurity, "We strike for them."

The "Us vs. Them" language could quickly get marked down for what sexists will describe as "women being caddy to each other." Another harmful stereotype subjected to women.

The website says that those striking are "using our privilege on behalf of others when it is called for."

What would be better than "striking for them" and "using your privilege?"

Actually hosting a strike that would allow all women to participate, regardless of privilege.

Sources: National Women's Law Center, Joint Economic Committee, The Huffington PostWomen's March on Washington (2) / Photo credit: Jonathan Eyler-Werve/Flickr

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