I changed the avatar on my social media sites to this image of a Chinese red silk jacket I bought at a yard sale for a dollar. I will be wearing it today in honor of the International Women’s Day and because I am not able to strike in honor of women’s rights. This is not a major statement is it? Wear a jacket even if it isn’t my best color?
Many women who might believe in the Day without Women walkout will make the same choice, to go to work. So I am trying to make it a less than ordinary work day. I will tell people (as in this post) why I am wearing red and why I am still working.
I am a physician. If I walked out of work today after being gone in Italy for the past 5 weeks, I would be letting down people who really need me, some of them women and children. This does not seem to be responsible, even for a good cause. I considered working but not charging for my services. Selfish reasons aside, all I would be doing is donating my services to the insurance companies. Why would I want to do that? At best, I consider them part of the problem.
This highlights one of the problems with striking in general. People with major responsibilities including doctors find it hard to strike. People who do not have similar obligations often need the money far more or worry about losing their jobs. This mutes the statement of the strike and may lead to an underestimation of the number of people who are invested in the cause. As for me, I’ll attend mostly the marches and protests that happen on weekends or evenings or, rarely, take a well-planned day off.
This morning before work I will try to find a phone call to make, a letter to write or an e-mail to send. I will donate to a cause that is women-friendly. I will continue to look for ways to protest, resist and advocate. Then I will go to work and help some women!