Wednesday, March 08, 2017

A Day Without a Woman

I'm seeing a lot of buzz on social media about today being "A Day Without a Woman." Given that March 8 is International Women's Day, many women have declared this an opportune time to stand in solidarity against...well....myriad items.

From the Women's March web site:

In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women's March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. We recognize that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression and political targeting. We believe in gender justice.

Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor

2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).

3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

Look I'm not naive enough to say that the laundry list of grievances these women listed above are completely eradicated. But to say that they're rampant in today's society has me very skeptical.

However, there is one aspect of this particular day in which I'd like to participate. That is to name a woman I admire and why. While it goes without saying that my wife is the #1 woman in my life and my mom was responsible for raising me (all the while being a single parent), my maternal grandmother's story is downright inspirational.

In the mid-1950s my maternal grandparents, despite working successful days jobs, went about realizing their dream of owning their own business. As such, they built a supper club in rural Wisconsin called The Virginian (named after grandma) in 1957. But within 2-1/2 years (late 1959), my grandfather died suddenly of a heart attack at age 46. As a result, my 48-year old grandmother was left to raise two teen aged daughters (ages 18 & 16) as well as run a business completely on her own. Over the next five years, the supper club flourished under grandma's leadership. In that time, grandma was also able to financially support her daughters thru college. Then in a two-month span in 1964, both daughters got married.

In the early 1970s, grandma sold the business. She would spend a good amount of her newfound free time helping her elder daughter (my mom) raise her two sons, who were ages 3 and 1 when their father left. This went on for two years until mom felt comfortable enough to go back to work in 1974.

Despite everything grandma endured after her husband passed away, she never wallowed in her circumstances. While she had plenty of family and close friends to provide moral support, grandma pressed on with her responsibilities of bread winner, parent and employer, and did so seamlessly.

So when I hear some (not *all*, but *some*) women today raging for their right to kill a child in the womb to an abortion, demanding continued tax payer subsidies for birth control, lament that the government isn't coercing employers into offering more sick time and using skewed statistics to gin up a mythical gender pay gap, I can't help but think that the majority of that group of women wouldn't have been fit to carry my maternal grandmother's errand bag.


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