Monday, March 6, 2017

A Day Without Women

I'm not the best when it comes to protesting. I'm well aware that there are some things going seriously painfully badly in the US, and it's difficult to figure out what to do or how to do it. Things like marches and rallies are a great way to make grievances known, but they're not exactly what you'd call "anxiety friendly." Add to that a problem with large crowds of people, and I'm not marching anytime soon.

It means that I feel like I can't always help out in the fight. There are certainly groups of protesters who believe that if you don't make the effort to show up in person, you're not really dedicated to the cause. While intellectually, I know this is not true, it still stings. There's always the question of "am I doing enough?"

March 8 is International Women's Day, and in conjunction with that, the organizers of the Women's March are planning A Day Without Women. I'm planning to take part in this, but I admit to being a bit afraid. The goal is to be disruptive, make it clear that society can't function without contribution from everyone, and that everyone should be respected for their contributions. These are all ideals I can get behind.

On the other hand...the idea of being purposefully disruptive is anathema. Whether it's what I absorbed as a child, how my anxiety and depression interact, or some form of lessons from the media, I have a deep-seated fear of rocking the boat. Keeping my head down and my mouth shut has been the mantra for most of my adult life, and the idea of doing anything other than that is terrifying. What if my manager decides that I'm not sufficiently dedicated to my job? Worse, what if he decides that he doesn't actually need my work? What if I'm making too big of a deal out of things? After all, I'm privileged in a lot of different ways, not least of which being that I can even contemplate taking a random Wednesday off from work in protest.

As of right now, I've messaged my manager and told him I will be out on Wednesday. I sincerely hope my doubts don't make me change my mind. For those of you who wish to help the fight but aren't in a place to stop working for a day, limiting your spending (if possible) on Wednesday sends a strong message, too. Also, just keep the conversation going. Write letters, make phone calls, tell the people who are supposed to represent you and your interests what they need to do better.

You do what you can, and I'll do what I can. Together, we'll make a difference, no matter what anyone else says.