Wednesday, you may have heard, is the #DayWithoutAWoman, a day intended to demonstrate how vital women are to the workforce. Thousands of female employees are expected to stay home from work as a means of protesting what they consider a gender pay gap. Some school districts, like those in Alexandria, VA, and Prince George’s County, Maryland, are playing along, canceling classes and pledging to still pay any striking female teacher.
That’s not enough, one online news editor is arguing. Philadelphia Inquirer Daily News Editorial Page Editor Sandra Shea thinks that women won’t fully get their due until we have a “week without men.”
In her editorial, Shea first proposes just a day without men, imagining how much more productive women would be without two-hour meetings and unnecessary PowerPoint presentations. Then, she takes the fantasy further.
In fact, let's expand it to a Week without Men. This would give women a week off from the second shift that has them keeping the house in order, getting meals on the table and taking care of the kids. Because, of course, if men get the week off, they naturally will have to take the kids.
Of course, not all women agree with her assumptions. Conservative-minded feminists like Karin Agness, the president of the Network of Enlightened Women, penned a thoughtful piece in Forbes explaining why she’ll be a woman at work on Wednesday. The organizers, she notes, are the same people behind the anti-President Trump Women’s March and clearly want to push a progressive policy that leaves no room for conservatives.
Social media users who reject the protest say showing up to work is way more empowering.
I'm working on the #daywithoutawoman, because I need to raise $ to keep 25 people employed. This is what real feminism looks like.— Nicki Neily (@nickineily) March 8, 2017
Others, like The Federalist's Kelsey Harkness, brought up the point that Wednesday is normally recognized as the International Women’s Day. It’s unfair that the Women’s March organizers have “hijacked” the holiday for their own anti-Trump agenda, she writes. Their flashy demonstration, she argues, is taking attention away from women suffering from human trafficking, sexual exploitation and worse.