Today is national Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. I support this because there are a lot of women that should be recognized for the many great things they have done and/or contributed to the world. Unfortunately, some women have decided to use this day for something known as A Day Without Women. I do not support this at all. It is being described as a demonstration for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. Now, if this were Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, Chad, Syria or Mali, perhaps I would be a little more understanding. However, the truth of the matter is that there are so many things wrong with this that it’s hard to pinpoint where to begin tearing this apart. Honestly, when you look at the numbers, it’s actually going to hurt women more than men. Let me explain.
Let’s start with the idea that “all gender-oppressed people” clearly doesn’t include men – which alludes to the idea that men cannot be gender-oppressed – which is extremely absurd. Did you know that men are actually the minority in the United States at 49.1 percent? Of course, that means that the majority – 50.9 percent of the population – is female. Did you know that in the United States, over half the workforce is female and that women are the breadwinners in the majority of households? In fact, according to Prudential Financial, not only are more women than men under 30 years old graduating from college, but women are beginning to earn MORE than their male counterparts (Brittany, 2013). Let me also share the fact that more females actually get into mid-level management than males do. So a day where women take the day off to protest gendered-oppression is only going to result in less income in many households. But it gets worse.
Gender oppression is defined as oppression associated with the gender norms, relations, and stratification of a given society. Essentially, and as feminists like to point out, gendered oppression is the systemic manner in which certain groups are privileged or disadvantaged because of their gender. So let’s talk about that for a second.
Women have the right to genital integrity where men do not. Many boys are circumcised at birth and are simply not a part of that decision process. As of the time of this entry, Selective Service law, as it is written, now refers specifically to “male persons” in regard to who must register and who would be drafted. This means that women have the right to vote without agreeing to go to war and possibly dying. Women also have the right to choose parenthood with zero input from a male counterpart. Have you ever heard of a man’s right to choose? Furthermore, if you look at many state laws, you will notice that women have the right to be the assumed caregivers for the children regardless of how bad of a mother the woman might be. Finally, women have the right to call unwanted or coerced sex, rape. As we have seen repeatedly (courtesy of the media) men at this point are usually guilty until proven innocent. On a similar note, men are often ridiculed and laughed at when a rape claim is made against a women. And yes… this actually happens a lot more than you might think.
These are just a few examples of many and if these don’t define a systemic manner in which women are privileged and how men are disadvantaged because of their gender, I don’t know what will. Yes, I am well aware that this works both ways and try to understand that I am writing this from a male’s perspective, because it’s all I really have. The point I am trying to make is that this Day Without Women is quite silly when you REALLY think about it. Nobody needs to be reminded. In fact, a day with out (put any label here) is quite silly.
America… we really need to get a grip and start coming together. This whole “divide and conquer ourselves” thing we have going on is extremely counterproductive. Perhaps we should get back to celebrating our collective victories and differences instead of forcing ourselves to create further division. United We Stand or Divided We Fall.
Brittany, M. (2013, June 03). Are women destined to overtake men in the workforce? Retrieved from http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/morganbrittany/2013/06/03/are-women-destined-to-overtake-men-in-the-workforce-n1611532/page/full