the north face coats Blacksburg and Lady Liberty celebrate ‘A Day Without Women’
According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the gender gap is incredibly persistent and does not exhibit signs of closing for another couple of years 135 years to be exact. On March 8, womanly figures all over the world have taken measures into their own hands, cloaking themselves with red and requesting leave from work to demonstrate “A Day Without Women.”
On the eve of International Women’s Day, New York experienced a power outage that cast the Statue of Liberty in an ominous darkness, and many protesters declared the unlit flame as her commitment to the resistance movement. Although this incident was purely coincidental, women around the world entertained the thought of her participation, and the state of Virginia was highly responsive to the fundamental values of the movement.
” I have girls who are ninth graders who went to the Women’s March (on Washington), and they wore the shirts after they came back, so I was expecting them to wear red. I don’t think they even knew this was happening.”English teacher at Battlefield High School
“A lot of us have been told to be nice girls, to be polite, and it’s time for us to know that we can do more than that,” said event organizer Alyssa Short to WDBJ News. Short attracted over 30 people to engage in a lunchtime strike in Blacksburg.
Short emphasized that this event was for everyone, regardless of their decision to strike and was just thrilled to see women stand in solidarity for one another.
“Part of this movement is trying to get people to look at women and say, ‘Wow, they do contribute,'” Provenzano said. “Most teachers are women, so if we shut down a school system, my thought is that you are looking at it going, ‘We have a lot of women educating our children. That’s important,’ but they are having the opposite reaction.”
Dozens of office workers and teachers at Battlefield High School were courteous to the movement, including Principal Ryan Ferrera, who allowed teachers to wear jeans, paying gratitude to those who chose to come into work despite their strong desires of fully engaging in all three of the movement’s facets: wearing the color red, avoiding daily duties such as professional work or wifely chores and withholding money unless it is investing in minority run or local businesses. Unfortunately,
most students seemed to be less enthusiastic about this month’s movement compared to the March on Washington a few months back.
This little girl mom cried while talking about having to tell her daughter that she worth less than a man. “I have girls who are ninth graders who went to the Women’s March (on Washington), and they wore the shirts after they came back, so I was expecting them to wear red. I don’t think they even knew this was happening.”
Although many retail stores in the Northern Virginia area refused to comment, such as H Victoria’s Secret and Wal Mart, Macy’s administrative support team adviser was transparent with her thoughts of the campaign.
With recent budget cuts, Schafer’s human resource team is comprised of only three women, one of whom was recently pregnant and the other at home caring for her children. Schafer says she was left as the “default,” although she had strongly considered staying home for the cause.
“I have been with the company a long time, and I know that basically women are everything here, so I was thinking about that,” Schafer said. “But we can’t let our company suffer just because of a movement.”
“I have been with the company a long time, and I know that basically women are everything here, so I was thinking about that,” Schafer said. “But we can’t let our company suffer just because of a movement.”Administration Support Team at Macy’s
American Eagle worker Akaeda Mark also believes that this kind of commitment leaves too much at stake for workers with low income families and single mothers who do not have the liberty of taking days off from work. She suggests that there are more achievable goals that can encompass a great majority of women while avoiding fiscal responsibilities that women have on consumerism.
“Maybe silence?” Mark said. “That would be a hard task. We would be fighting it all day, like ‘Don’t say nothing to nobody, just keep it moving.'”
Despite the divisiveness caused in the United States by political controversy, Provenzano commends companies like Fannie Mae for recognizing that their woman workers have just as much value as men, which she believes should set a precedence for companies to follow in its footsteps, if for no other reason than to avoid large scale backlash.
“I wouldn’t want someone to feel like they have to support something, but to say I don’t really support women’s rights kind of puts you in a bad position when you are hiring women,” Provenzano said. “If you are an employer and you’re like, ‘No, I’m not allowing you to take this day’ or ‘I don’t agree with this,’ you are kind of saying, ‘I don’t value you as an employee,
‘ so I think it’s wise for the companies who made it open policy if you took the day off.'”