#DayWithoutWomen Seems Vapid and Counterproductive

Participants rally Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in downtown Fargo for a local version of the Women's March on Washington. Dave Wallis / The Forum

I realize that, as a conservative male, my point of view on feminist protest stunts is unwelcome.

The only men feminists want to hear from are men who agree with them, it seems.

But I’m going to weigh in anyway because I’m a father and a husband, a brother and a son, and I spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about the happiness and prosperity of the women in my life.

I like the idea of International Women’s Day. It seems right and proper that we have a day set aside to acknowledge the progress we’ve made toward treating women equally in our society and the progress we’ve yet to make.

I do not, however, like this #DayWithoutWomen strike. It doesn’t come off as instructive or illuminating. It seems petty and angry. Yet another manifestation of the political left’s rage.

It is a hallmark of politics to herd people into groups and then set those groups against one another. The #DayWithoutWomen strike has, at its core, exactly that sort of divisiveness.

CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter called the strike “a protest without a point.”

“[W]hat political remedy are they seeking?” she asks. “No specific requests are apparent. All the organizing material is bathed in vague blather about raising awareness without asking for any specific reforms.”

The strike’s organizers encourage women not to engage in any work today, whether it’s for compensation or not, but is that really how women want to prove their value in our society? By not showing up? By bailing on their responsibilities for a day, both in their careers and personal lives, in a fit of political pique?

How about, instead of playing hooky, women do something productive? How about they work extra hard? Or find a new opportunity for education or training? How about they use this day to find ways to advance their careers and improve their lives?

The strike’s organizers want women not to spend any money, but how about instead women use this day to find ways to leverage their economic power to better themselves and their families? Why not find a good investment? Or start a new savings account?

And, heck, how about we stop talking about women as monolithic group and start talking about them as the diverse individuals they are?

It is a hallmark of politics to herd people into groups and then set those groups against one another. The #DayWithoutWomen strike has, at its core, exactly that sort of divisiveness. Its organizers would have us believe that the only way to support equality and prosperity for women is to adhere to their political agenda.

What nonsense.

The best way for women – and anyone, really – to advance their interests is to act individually. Get educated. Work hard.

We are all more than the racial or gender categories we fall into. We should start acting like it.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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