Tomorrow is the day without women and I wish I was able to take the day off and participate in something, anything that would be meaningful. This is not an option for me however, as sadly, I live in a location where it would simply be seen as a “ditch” day, not a day with a purpose. This attitude guts me. The fact that people have made choices to step away from their normal routines to have their voice heard inspires me. Yet for many they will find the response will be… “oh is that another one of those skip days.”
When the Day without Immigrants happened a few weeks back I heard those very words of disdain. They fell readily from the lips of many as they discussed the day. People who had no real skin in the game (i.e. – white middle class) were commenting on the motives of those who had chosen to act on that day. The people who chose to stay home and to risk their livelihoods felt that it was important to follow that course of action. Something in the world around them, demanded that they had to step up and show that they too are an important part of this country. Immigrants make essential contributions each and every day and when they are not there, they are missed.
As immigrants throughout the country took the day and demonstrated, I found myself deeply moved by their choices. Children did not go to school and adults did not go to work. On that day a woman whom I respect deeply was absent from work. I knew why she was not present that day and I supported her decision. When she returned the following day, I made a point of telling her that I understood and backed her choice. She had been missed. But even as we spoke, she knew that many whom we work with did not support her choices and would not be willing to learn her reasons.
Tomorrow there will be women all over this country who do not arrive at work. They will take the day and they will stand up for their beliefs. I am sure there will be teenagers as well, who do not attend school out of allegiance to the ideas put forward by this movement. The young are vocal in their ideals and despite those who wish to demean their convictions, many of those youth are extremely educated on the issues. My own daughter reads stories from multiple sources and makes a conscious choice to stay informed. Were she to ask tomorrow for the day, I would allow her to stay home as I would know that her choice was an educated one.
Sadly, there will be many who do not understand the actions of tomorrow. They will make assumptions and cast aspersions without learning the why. They will sneer and spit because to learn the reasons would be an inconvenience, a task that is beyond their sphere of comfort. To these people the day will simply be a temper tantrum, a “snowflake” having a meltdown.
What I wonder tonight as I sit her contemplating tomorrow is rather simple. When will it be enough? At what point will these people, the one’s who discount every action as a temper fit, finally start to see. What has to happen in this country for those people to finally realize that these choices are not made easily? There are already people dying, there are already piles of hate festering throughout the country… what will it take for those who sneer to finally open their eyes and ears to the why?