So, our office is made up of 100% women. Well, if you count our SL office, then we’re only 71% female, but that is still more than most places of employment! And today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. In many places around the country today, people are calling for a “Day Without Women.” This is, of course, a take-off of the recent “Day Without Immigrants,” where recent immigrants (I say recent, otherwise pretty much all of us would have had to stay home…) were asked to stay home from work, to show the nation the value of immigrants in our society. I thought that was a clever idea. And I supported it. People need to know that immigrants form a pillar of our society, and that might have been one way to demonstrate that. But there are some things that should only be applied once. So, on this “Day Without Women,” we at Women of Hope will be working. And here’s why…
The idea of a “Day Without Women” is frankly absurd – for a couple of reasons. First of all, feminists around the world are fighting for equal pay, and equal employment rights, and all kinds of other equal things. And I support most of that. The same job done by someone with the same qualifications should get the same pay. That is right and just. But I don’t think a good way to demonstrate your worth and value, in this long struggle against the glass ceiling, is to not show up. With regards to messaging, that’s just a head-scratcher.
Secondly, let’s be real. You can’t actually HAVE a “day without women.” I mean, can women actually just NOT show up and do their thing (whatever that is) for a day, en masse, and life actually continue?? I would propose not. Envision the scene in the OB wards across America where (all male) nurses are working to deliver the thousands of babies who will be born today, and the women all crossing their legs and panting fiercely that they are going to wait to do that tomorrow. Yeah… Or what about the homes around the nation where children are being fed, and clothed, and nursed, and educated, and taxied – by women. What if those mothers just stop? The Department of Child Services is going to be very, very busy on Thursday (when all their female social workers get back to work)… Or what about corporate America? Maybe there aren’t as many female CEOs as male CEOs, but let all those male CEOs try to do their job without their Administrative Assistants, Executive Secretaries, and receptionists, and they are going to be dead in the water! I realize that is part of the point of “A Day Without Women,” but I’m not sure its a very effective one. Because women aren’t just a cog in the gears. If a cog breaks, the machine stops working. We’re more like the oxygen in the air. If there’s no oxygen in the air, we all die. We can’t just “not be.”
Thirdly, when women don’t show up – to whatever it is they do – you know who suffers the most? Women. That’s pretty counter-productive. On the day (or so) when the world was truly “without women” – something was definitely not right. God Himself had to make it right by creating women. We’re indispensable, and we know it. So, on this day when we celebrate women everywhere – their value, their contributions to the world, their indomitable spirit, their resilience, their grace, their multi-tasking capacity, their nurturing ways, the glue they are that holds society together, and so many other wonderful things – we are going to continue working in our little office in a little town, impacting the lives of women all around the world – for good. Because that’s what we do. Because we’re women? Yes, but mostly because we are women made in the image of Almighty God. And that is worth a LOT.
Happy Women’s Day!