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March 9 2017

New York Times Struggles to Explain Why the Women's Strike Really Wasn't Much of a Strike

by Charlotte Hays

First off, it didn't get the massive coverage this morning that might have been hoped for by participants.  

Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post have reports of their homepages this morning, a sure indication that the whole thing was bloopersville--or at least far short of a surely hoped for definitive statement.

The New York Times covered the strike, so called, with a story inside the newspaper.The tease for a story admitted that participation was "modest." The story starts off witha lengthy reminiscence of that halcyon day when liberal women marched against the newly-inaugurated American president.

The story only manages to meander around to yesterday's strike in the fifth paragraph:

It was always unlikely that a general strike labeled "A Day without Women" would produce the same turnout as the post-inauguration marches.

The strike lacked the marches' momentum coming off the election, as well as their virality and visuals, like the photogenic "pussy" hats that many attendees wore.

I protest! Is the Times slyly hinting that we ladies will only turn out if we can wear photogenic (I might have used another word) pussy hats?

The Times admits that it doesn't know how many women participated because "employers" did not provide numbers, and retail figures are not yet available. A quote from former Students for a Democratic Society organizer Todd Gitlin gives it away, however. "In order to work, a general strike actually has to stop something from functioning," Gitlin said. If you were out and about yesterday, you may have noticed that businesses were functioning fine.

Continuing in this apologetic vein, the Times says that organizers of the strike "tried to manage expectations from the start."

Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the strike (and a supporter of Sharia Law (love to know how many Sharia Dads urged mom take the day off to go on strike) told the Times that the strike was not designed to shut anything down but rather "to introduce women to different tactics of activism."

Far down in the story, we learn that as of Tuesday evening only around 30,000 women, mostly in California and New York, had signed up to participate. Takeaway: the strike was a dismal failure but the Times is determined to cover for it.

One group of women who turned out (or maybe turned in?) for the strike were school teachers, a heavily unionized profession, whose ranks are practically fire proof.  The public schools in Alexandria, Va., for example, were closed for the day. This drew, as PBS put it, "mixed reviews:"

“I have absolutely no patience when it comes to interfering with kids’ education.This is a curriculum day, it’s a lost day of instruction,” [Jean] Kennedy, [a single-mother of two] said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “Whatever our kids were supposed to learn today — it will not be made up with a teacher workday.”

It speaks well for women that the strike didn't come off that well--it indicates that women are serious about their jobs and that most of us had something serious to do that militated against going on strike.

And, New York Times, I emphatically reject the notion that women only turn out when we can wear "photogenic" pussy hats on our heads.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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