BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
It's no secret that tomorrow is International Women’s Day. This year, the organizers behind the Women’s March organized a general strike called “A Day Without a Woman.” The strike itself is pretty controversial, considering not all women can take the day off (such as those who work jobs that don't provide leave, can't afford to. And also, mothers can't really ever "take the day off," for instance, nor can childcare workers, considering the only people who suffer are kids). In short, the strike isn't inclusive of people who aren't wealthy or don't have the privilege of being at a job where they can take off or work from home--or just not be around.
Our EIC, Lisa Marie Basile, wrote about why Luna Luna won't be striking in the conventional way, but instead, will participate in a social media dialogue on our Twitter, which I encourage you to participate in. Of course, I do support a general strike in the sense that if we can do something, even on a small scale, it's more helpful than not. Gloria Steinem put it well in an interview with Pop Sugar when she said that women "all have different ways we can be effective," and explained that women have "dollar power, voting power, and ass power."
This means that we can all choose where to spend our money, who we support, and how we can fight for the causes we deem important. That means supporting smaller businesses and women-owned businesses, for instance, could be a way to protest. It's not about the should's, but the can's, which she also said: "Instead of 'should,' start using words like 'I know, I can, and I will.'"
That being said, this is what you can do:
-Participate in dialogues like Luna's on social media.
-By not shopping in stores (with the exception of local small businesses and women-owned businesses).
-By wearing red, which is supposed to symbolize “revolutionary love and sacrifice.”
-If you can, and choose, not to work, don't.
-Attend a rally if you can. NYC has a rally at 12 pm. Check out the International Women’s Strike's list of events going on throughout the day in NYC. If you don't live in NYC, check this list of events in other parts of the country here.
-If you're a teacher, you can incorporate the strike into your lesson plane using this list.
-Write about your POV as someone who identifies as a woman or as non-binary, and how the strike affects you. Send it your piece to us at email@example.com with the subject line INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY. If you write poems about it, the political climate, and/or Trump, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for the #NotTrump series.
-Take photos of what your day looks like and post with the hashtag #WomenStrike2017. We need to normalize the lives of women, caregivers, etc. - essentially, those who are not white dudes.
-Volunteer at a women's shelters and organizations like RAINN. Donate food. Donate clothes.
-Take a break for self-care, even if it's 15. That could mean anything, from a shower, homemade facial, watching Youtube videos, etc. You need to reboot your body mind and soul.
-Hug your friends. Tell them you love them. Listen to them. Let them vent. We need to be each other's keepers.
If you have other suggestions and/or know of other organizations, discussions, and movements, please comment about them below.
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (2016, ELJ Publications) & Xenos (2016, Agape Editions), and the editor of "A Shadow Map: An Anthology By Survivors of Sexual Assault." They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the managing editor for Civil Coping Mechanisms and Luna Luna Magazine. Some of their writing has appeared in Prelude, BUST, The Atlas Review, The Feminist Wire, The Huffington Post, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. Joanna also leads workshops at Brooklyn Poets.