The women's strike, wherein women were supposed to refrain from smiling (oppressive), going to work, and being mean to the poor, didn't work out that well, despite the media's whole-hearted support of the exercise.
Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist points out some of the main misfires of the "socialist inspired holiday."
Under the heading "Math Is Hard," Mollie notes a tweet from the strike's official website:
Women birth half the population and we are half the population.
I have so many questions. Mostly I wonder who is birthing the other half of the population. Also, a stated goal of yesterday’s activism was to highlight the sexism of the pay gap. This is about how women are paid less than men.
Of course, nearly all of this gap is explained by the choices women and men make, not just in terms of what general careers they choose, but about how much risk they’re willing to accept, how much time they spend in their jobs, time they take off, and other factors. When it comes to career choices, one way to close the gap is to pick STEM careers — science, technology, engineering, and math. Not knowing how babies are birthed or how percentages work is not a great sign that the gap will be closed any time soon.
The strike stood foursquare against "hurting the poor" and yet:
While very few women skipped out of work yesterday, among those who did were unionized teachers. My local school district shuttered for the day after deciding to grant everyone who requested the day off the day off. This was great for the teachers who wanted a no-risk, no-cost way to demonstrate their political feelings or go to the beach.
It was not such a great moment for single working mothers of young children, who scrambled on local email lists for childcare options or had to lose out on a day’s wages so wealthier women could protest for something or the other — it was never made quite clear what the goals of the protest action were.
Yesterday, National Review‘s Jim Geraghty wrote, “Protests that block traffic on the morning commute don’t win over those being inconvenienced, either.” This angered the Washington Post‘s Wesley Lowery, who said, “For the millionth time, protests aren’t about winning you over.” Well, at least that explains the failures of the modern protest movement, which seems to think very little about achieving goals as opposed to signaling feelings about things.
But even taking Lowery’s critique of the notion that effective protest movements seek to persuade those who encounter them, traffic blockades and other aggressive actions that limit movement disproportionately affect poor people. A CEO who has to conduct business in his car while he waits for the road to be cleared is going to be fine. The waitress who is going to be fired if she’s late to work again is not. Perhaps all this can be justified as necessary for the cause, but at the very least it should be for a cause that people understand. Few understood the specific goals or complaints of the protesters yesterday, apart from skipping out of work.
Mollie tackled several other misfires of this very important strike that stopped absolutely nothing (but school and poor people struggling to get to work), including that refraining from smiling (there was a big Washington Post story on this newly-devised form of protest) enforces a dour feminist stereotype.
Guess there are a lot of frownie faces among the organizers this morning.