This Mom Is On STRIKE: Don't Ask Me For Sh*t

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2016 was a crazy fucking year. 2017 is shaping up to be a crazier fucking year. We have literally been in an abusive relationship with a woman-loathing, manipulative, controlling, gaslighting, all-people-that-aren't-white-men-or-Christian hating, egoist, freak of motherfucking nature. I feel like I've been trying to escape him and his garbage human supporters by staying the hell away from them physically in my real life, and figuratively in my virtual life. Unfriending, blocking, ignoring, deleting, not engaging, and in some cases trying to leave these relationships entirely... over, and over, and over ...until I break free.

At the same time, I've been planning, organizing, and supporting every single woman's cause I possibly can. I call my representatives and text them when they yet again, threaten my human rights. I give money to Planned Parenthood, ACLU, anyone that defends the rights of my fellow women to exist. I marched like a motherfucker. I went to Washington, D.C. on a bus with my 5-year old daughter and marched until I couldn't feel my feet (and she couldn't either), and then we marched some more.

And now I strike. And I will wear RED. Because red is the color of revolution.



This woman is striking for International Women's Day and #ADayWithoutAWoman because I motherfucking can. Seriously, people don't ask me for shit.

I am in a state of resist (like my rhyme?;)

I get that I'm a privileged white woman who has the luxury of protesting in D.C. (my 2 bus tickets were not exactly cheap, nor were the fleece-lined leggings I bought myself from REI so I wouldn't literally freeze my booty off out there). My boss also gave me the weekend off when I told her that I was going to D.C. (it was not a problem). Not many people get to tell their boss they're going to a protest and need two days off from work. Some can't afford to take two days off from work.

I get that I'm privileged to strike because I work for two companies that honor striking. In full disclosure - I have March 8th off anyway. It's my one day off a week (seriously, I work six days a week, just like many of you). Besides not doing any paid work (freelance and otherwise), I've informed my two daughters (5 and 7-years old) to fend for themselves. I won't be driving them to school (nor obviously, picking them up). I won't be getting their cereal, lunch, or dinner - all food in this house is at eye and arm level for them. I won't be cleaning, doing laundry (unless it's my own), nothing. Nada. I will be enjoying the company of my girls, dressed in red, and may even go out for lunch with them at a woman-owned restaurant or cafe.

Why do I march? Why do I strike?

For starters, I gotta give throwback love. I protest to honor those that were in the marching lines and strikes before me and make sure they know – the walking, the fighting, the movement goes on. We’re still here, we’re not giving up.

All the greats – Angela Davis, Gloria Steinum, Sylvia Rivera, too many to name here in fact. And another important "great" -  my great aunt. My great aunt was in her twenties in the 1960’s and she was a fighter of women’s rights and social justice. She protested in the streets, she sent her white kids to inner city schools that were more diverse, she volunteered at a women’s domestic violence shelter in upstate New York and she’s gone door to door for Hillary Clinton. She’s in her 70’s now and suffering from the early hell that is dementia. As a woman who is normally "ra-ra women power," and "women can do this and women can do that"  - this last election broke her heart and it broke her spirit. She doesn't have many happy or uplifting days as it is with this illness, but it seemed a new hopelessness had fallen over when she heard the results. In her admittedly singular mental state, she kept saying "a man that grabs women without their consent and brags about it, how could this happen?" I protest to give her hope in whatever time she has left on this earth. I've looked up to her my whole life.

I protest for my two daughters. Their identities as girls and eventually women, and as little girls with Middle Eastern blood. As much as it pains me to reckon in my brain, the union between me and their dad has made them a target of discrimination, sexism, bigotry and hate on a level that I've never experienced. I can't help, but to blame myself. I should've never fallen in love with their dad. I should've never gotten pregnant and brought them into this world. Their oppression will likely be worse and more brutal just because of who their family is. And I cry for that. A lot. Their descendants, ethnic names, and body parts could make them targets of harassment and physical abuse.

And sadly, at ages five and seven, in their short lives, their identities as girls, and Middle Eastern girls has already proven to be gashes against them.

Boys IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL have made inappropriate comments about their bodies. Comments that I don't even think these boys understand, they just heard them somewhere. Which is precisely the problem. While the meanings aren’t understood by neither the young boys or girls, their unwarranted sexual undertones… are. And it’s troubling and heartbreaking to witness. My daughter's claims of unfair treatment have been ignored and dismissed by some of the people that they trust most in this world.

My daughters should be able to walk down their small neighborhood street without someone yelling xenophobic sentiments from their windows at their dad.

I protest for them to be heard. I march for them to know I fought for them. I strike to let them know I did better for them.

I march and strike for my friends and people I don't even know, who are in more marginalized groups than myself. I listen to them. I will amplify their voice, and never silence them. I support them. I stand with them.

I know that women who caretake for their elderly or ailing family members can't strike. I know that women who will get fired from their jobs for striking, can't strike. I know women who can't afford to strike, won't be striking. I strike for them too.

I strike for my motherfucking self. For all previous patriarchal fucked up gashes made against me – the subtle snubs that seemed unprovable and made me feel like I was crazy – to the overt, and violent – all that I put up with – only because I thought my very survival depended on it. My professional and financial survival depended on me "shutting the fuck up." Not complaining. Not whining. My very own blood-pumping life depended on me not making a peep, not making waves, not reporting, and not leaving.

I won’t anymore and I refuse to go back. I march and strike to be changed, and create change for future generations.

If you are fortunate to work for a company that is cool with you striking, don't waste your day. Support women in any way you can, call representatives, volunteer or donate your time to organizations that support women, donate money to these organizations, and simply be there for girls and women in whatever way, shape, or form that looks like for you.

PS- my nails are ready. I am seeing RED.




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