What To Do On A Day Without A Woman


A Day Without A Woman (Logo via Women’s March)

The nation-wide protest on March 8th requires that women make themselves scarce, but what else can we do to be heard?

Editors’ note: This piece was written prior to today, March 8, but we are publishing it today as a meditation on the nature of A Day Without a Woman.

International Women’s Day, which falls on Wednesday, March 8th, is usually a quiet day of celebration. If you even remember the holiday, it’s likely you’ve spent it, in the past, reflecting on womanhood and maybe, if you were REALLY feeling celebratory, posting about it on Instagram. But this year, in light of a political climate that’s slowly but surely working to strip women (and basically any and all minorities) of their resources, their agency, and their rights to free choice, International Women’s Day will not pass quietly. Or rather, if we’re being literal, it will pass a little bit too quietly. This year, on March 8, women are disappearing.

The kick-ass group of women who organized and first began to mobilize the Women’s March are back with a new plan, and this time, it’s as easy as not getting out of bed. To show the economic and social impact of women, and to give the world a taste of what a world without us would look like, women everywhere are being called upon to 1) take off from work, 2) avoid spending any money, and 3) wear red in solidarity. And though this silent but resonant protest will be a big deal in and of itself, there are a few tiny extra steps we can all take to ensure it packs a major punch.

Be Disruptive

Before we can talk about our additional action items, we first have to make sure our initial goal- to not show up- is effectively met. Of course, the point isn’t to target your individual employers nor make any enemies within your workplace, but, if you have the luxury of doing so, make your absence clear, and make it known. Before Wednesday rolls around, meet with the women at your workplace and discuss your plan for the day. Every job is different, but if at all possible, you and your gals should refrain from offering any excuses. Don’t fake sick, don’t pretend you’re having a family emergency, don’t casually and quietly request a personal day. Just plain don’t go.

This is a big ask, I know. But if your employer can prepare for your absence or plan a way around your disappearance, the impact won’t be as resonant, nor will your message be as clear. Be as disruptive as possible, and though it’ll be hard, give no excuses and make no apologies. And if that sounds like too much, or your job is a bit stricter than would allow for this type of protest, the women in charge have drafted a letter that you can send off to explain your absence. Either way, whatever manner in which you execute your silent protest, do it with confidence, know that you are supported, and try to empower yourself with the knowledge that your one day off from work can be so much more than an annoyance to your boss. It can be a tiny revolution.

Promotional press photo via The Women’s March

Buy From Women Only

One of the main facets of the Day Without a Woman is to refrain from spending any money, which will likely cause an economic rift that’s at very least, noticeable, and at best, unsettling. But something we can do (and really should be trying to do as often as possible) is shop at female-owned small businesses. Whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store, there is no shortage of women to support, and International Women’s Day is the perfect day to rethink your shopping habits.

Browsing Etsy, researching local businesses, and even reaching out on your social media accounts for suggestions or recommendations are all super doable and quite impactful- especially on a day where you won’t be too busy with work. Though emotional support, Facebook plugs, and general empowerment are priceless to women with their own businesses, there’s no denying that money speaks. On A Day Without a Woman, let it speak even louder by keeping it circulating within the sisterhood.

Support Non-Protesting Sisters (And Tip Them Well)

I know, I know: one of the rules that I literally just laid out is to refrain from making purchases, so naturally, going out to eat seems like a direct violation of Day Without a Woman. But guess what? Not all women can afford to take off or can get away with not showing up to work. And many of those are women who work in the service industry. Working in restaurants well into adulthood and choosing serving essentially as a career path is a reality that, with student loan debt growing and the job market shrinking, is becoming more prevalent than ever. But an unfortunate drawback to restaurant work is that, in most cases, getting time off is a real struggle. Most likely, women who work serving jobs won’t be able to just not show up on Wednesday without facing serious repercussions, and that’s where we (should) come in. Showing up in support of those who don’t have the luxury of paid (or even unpaid) time off could be a crucial and empowering aspect of the day, for both of you. If at all possible, and if you’re willing to break the “no buying things” rule, pay a visit to a restaurant, cafe, or bar, request a female server, and give her an incredible tip. She might not be able to protest with you, or at least not in the same way as you, but chances are, she’ll feel the power of sisterhood when you show up for her.

Promotional press photo via The Women’s March

A no-show protest, despite how unassuming it may seem, isn’t an easy thing to navigate- especially not in a world wherein women are already made to feel that we have to prove our worth in every concrete way possible. But in doing the opposite, in refusing to participate in a system that’s historically and concretely shown us that we are worth less, we are arguably making a bigger statement than if we’d shout our message from every rooftop in America. We’re showing the world what it’d be like if what seems to be the goal- keeping women silenced- became a reality.

Next: Culturess Goes Dark: A Day Without A Woman

What will you do on A Day Without A Woman to show your silent, strong solidarity? Let us know, keep fighting the power, and remember: even when our fighting tactic is a complete shut-out, we’re more powerful together than any force that might oppose us. Happy International Women’s Day!