Why the Cut Is on Strike Today


You may have noticed that the Cut is not publishing anything today. That’s because, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re on strike. Yes, STRIKE. No news. No fashion. No life-changing, ugly-cry-inducing advice from Ask Polly. Polly knows that is hard, but Polly wants you to know this is more important and YOU WILL BE OKAY. (Also, her column will be published tomorrow.)

The International Women’s Strike, building on the success of similar strikes in Poland, Korea, and Argentina last year, aims to call attention to the contributions women make to the global economy and to protest attempts to roll back women’s rights all over the world. The organizers of the Women’s March on Washington are asking American women to join in, calling today “A Day Without a Woman.”

In January, the Cut covered the Women’s March with enthusiasm. Despite criticisms (that the march was too narrow, too white, too pink), we felt it was a big first step in organizing women to collectively voice their opposition to policies and attitudes that hurt them. This is another step in harnessing that momentum. As the Women’s March organizers wrote about the strike: “Let’s raise our voices together again, to say that women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age, or disability.”

The Cut staff had many conversations before deciding to strike: Was this the right moment? Would it distract from other injustices currently being pushed by the administration (travel ban, take two)? Would it be inclusive? Would it be effective? What about all the women who can’t strike because their jobs and incomes and child-care situations are too tenuous? We didn’t want it to be, as Sady Doyle put it in Elle, “a particularly righteous personal day.” The Cut can’t possibly speak to or for every single American woman, but we decided to strike today to show solidarity with the women around the world who are standing up for equal pay and equal opportunity, reproductive freedom, an end to sexual assaults, an end to bigotry of all kinds, and policies that support our families like parental leave, health care, and child care.

So today we will not be publishing new stories on the Cut. We will also not be doing the so-called “second shift”: the cooking, cleaning, organizing, diapering, feeding, groceries, errands, and emotional labor that awaits many women when they finish their paid jobs. WomenStrike.org also suggests we take the day off from makeup, flirting, fake smiles, and shaving. Basically, the idea is to abstain from anything that feels like “work” to you — whether you get a paycheck for it or not.

We’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. In the meantime, if any news happens regarding the strike, you can read about it over on Daily Intelligencer. Strike if you can. If you can’t, we encourage you to wear red (the symbol of International Women’s Day) and abstain from shopping. And don’t give anybody a fake smile. That’s just a good policy for every day of the year.

If you’re near New York City, attend the rally and march at 4 p.m., starting in Washington Square Park. More information on activities throughout the day is available here.

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