After the huge turnouts of the international Women’s Marches in January, activists everywhere have been encouraging sustained action beyond a day of protest. Last week, eight prominent feminist scholars and activists announced they are organizing a women’s strike on March 8, and on Tuesday, the organizers of the national Women’s Marches signed on as well, making March 8 the official “Day Without a Woman.”
In an op-ed for the Guardian, Linda Martín Alcoff, Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, Nancy Fraser, Barbara Ransby, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, and Angela Davis, wrote of the problems with “lean-in” feminism and how a strike on March 8 aims to push back on the “ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights.” They write:
While Trump’s blatant misogyny was the immediate trigger for the huge response on 21 January, the attack on women (and all working people) long predates his administration. Women’s conditions of life, especially those of women of color and of working, unemployed and migrant women, have steadily deteriorated over the last 30 years, thanks to financialization and corporate globalization.
Lean-in feminism and other variants of corporate feminism have failed the overwhelming majority of us, who do not have access to individual self-promotion and advancement and whose conditions of life can be improved only through policies that defend social reproduction, secure reproductive justice and guarantee labor rights. As we see it, the new wave of women’s mobilization must address all these concerns in a frontal way. It must be a feminism for the 99%.
Their action calls for “a day of striking, marching, blocking roads, bridges, and squares, abstaining from domestic, care and sex work, boycotting, calling out misogynistic politicians and companies, striking in educational institutions.”According to the piece, it will be held in conjunction with 30 other feminist organizations around the world. One of the prime motivating principles of the strike will be to raise up “a grassroots, anti-capitalist feminism — a feminism in solidarity with working women, their families and their allies throughout the world.”
Yesterday, organizers of the Women’s March shared their call for a Day Without a Woman on Instagram, adding, “We saw what happened when millions of us stood together in January, and now we know that our army of love greatly outnumbers the army of fear, greed and hatred.”
There is also a general strike being called for on February 17, after Francine Prose wrote an op-ed in the same vein, also in the Guardian, and another called Not My Presidents’ Day on February 20, which is Presidents’ Day.