On Privilege, Gender Justice And #ADayWithoutAWoman

So here’s the tweet I posted yesterday morning:

Yesterday was International Women’s Day — a day being marked by demonstrations of economic solidarity. From the Women’s March “A Day Without A Woman” webpage:

“In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women’s March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system–while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. We recognize that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression and political targeting. We believe in gender justice.”

In response to this call for solidarity, my boss (the Reverend Mike Kinman, rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena) wrote this to me and my staff colleagues:

As we live in a society that undervalues women in nearly every respect, this action deserves our full support and participation. So I am inviting all women who work at All Saints Church to participate in this action by not coming to work on Wednesday, March 8 – without loss of pay or personal day. This will be a disruption in our routine and will require some significant adjustment on behalf of the men who work at All Saints Church … but that is appropriate since the point of the action is for us to get a sense of how crucial women are to our everyday lives. This will not be a day of business as usual. For me, I am happy to preside at the noonday Eucharist, work the reception desk during the day and take a Building & Grounds shift for that night. It will be good for me to get a sense of how much work those jobs are.

Yes, I’m grateful to work where I work.

And I’m grateful that yesterday, the sign in my tweet was the sign that was hanging on the doors and in the cubicles of our women staff members at All Saints. And the work and witness of the church goes on with our male colleagues taking on more than their share for this one day in solidarity with women around our nation and our world who labor under the yoke of inequality 24/7.

Will we change the world with one day of demonstrations, wearing red and not shopping — or by having the guys do our jobs for 24 hours? Of course not. As one commenter sincerely asked: “In all seriousness, how does the women at All Saints Church taking a day off help the overworked, underpaid maid at the hotel next door?”

And I sincerely answered: “In all seriousness ― it is about recognizing that turning this moment into a movement is going to require all of us to stand in solidarity with each other ― in actions great and small ― for a very long haul. If we fail to do that we will fail. And we cannot fail. The stakes are too high.”

And so we put our Sacred Resistance to systemic sexism in action in ways large and small — continuing to build the movement that will one day make liberty and justice for all not just a pledge we make but a reality we live. For everyone.

Happy International Women’s Day! La lucha continua!

This Women’s History Month, remember that we have the power to make history every day. And in 2017, that feels more urgent than ever. Follow along with HuffPost on FacebookTwitter and Instagram in March using #WeMakeHerstory.

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