Yesterday was International Women's Day. It was a time for celebrating the vital role women play in the world, as well as reflecting on the continued struggle for gender equality.
It also coincided with the "Day Without a Woman" protest-- a day wherein women across the world excused themselves from work; refused to spend their hard-earned dollars towards any business not owned by women and/or minorities; and took to the streets to march for immigrants' rights, reproductive rights, and in general, our right to exist as proud, liberated human beings.
To describe the march as powerful would be an understatement. Countless pictures were circulated showing deserted workspaces, and likewise, city streets filled to the brim with impassioned, sign-wielding protestors. The images served as a necessary reminder that the day we can no longer depend on women will be a scary day indeed.
However, as with any act of activism, "A Day Without a Woman" was not received without its fair share of criticism. Many questioned if the march was inclusive of all women-- particularly, women who do not have the luxury of taking a day off work, whether for financial reasons or otherwise. Others worried that this protest, like the previously held "Women's March on Washington", spoke to to a privileged brand of Instagrammable activism, one that is not afforded to other equally important movements like BLM.
That being said, there is no denying that yesterday's show of womanly power was a comforting harbinger of progress. So long as we keep our activism intersectional and grounded, a world in which little girls need not question their potential to do amazing, spectacular things seems well within reach.
by Imaiya Ravichandran