Here’s what my day would look like without women:
At work, no program director. No one to intake new students, no one to process their application paperwork, no one to register them for classes or post their grades. For my program, all these functions are handled by women.
Around town, no one to serve at my favorite coffee shop – baristas are all women. My public library would be staffed at about 10%. Our historical museum would be closed – all women staff, mostly women volunteers. My favorite grocery would be at about half staff, with no manager on duty.
My home wouldn’t be mine – my loan officer, a woman, and the title processor, a woman.
My finances would be a mess. My financial planner and her assistant, women.
No primary care – provided by a woman ARNP. No dental care – my dentist and her staff, women.
Let me also note: many of these women are immigrants, daughters of immigrants, granddaughters of immigrants.
These women are from many different backgrounds, claim diverse ethnicities, orientations, perspectives as their own.
I can’t begin to list all the women who have mentored, supported, challenged, and taught me over my fifty-two plus years. And I cannot begin to quantify the unpaid work done by women that supports me every day. Cleaning, cooking, childcare done by women so that their partners can go to work or school.
If you look at the call for a women’s strike today and blanch, if you find yourself feeling outrage at the potential disruption it would cause your business, your workplace, your life – that’s the point. Women are woven into our economy in such an essential way, we would all face hardship on a day without women.
For me, today, I will work only to serve students. I will not spend money, except at local small businesses. And, I will wear red.
To honor all the women whose work, paid and unpaid, makes my life so rewarding – and just plain possible.