Women’s March & Strike

I feel uneducated on this topic. The Women’s March and this strike have gained so much support, and I’m a young woman who many would think support this kind of thing, so the fact that I don’t support it leaves me wondering if I’m missing key information that should leave me outraged.

What is it that this strike aims to achieve? If it is awareness for equality for women and men, then how does a strike help? I still can’t find any actual data that says that women are paid less for the same work as men. I’ve seen information that says that when you line up all men and their pay, and all women and their pay, men make more on average. But I don’t see anything stopping women from being riggers, heavy duty mechanics, physical labourers, etc. I made less money in university than my boyfriend at the time did. That’s because I chose to work at the mall, while he worked construction.It’s not unfair, it’s a choice I made. I would like to know specific industries that pay women less than men, based on the same qualifications/resumes. Not just, “The CEOs of major companies,” because that just tells me that you don’t know either, but you read it in a news report and are mad about it. If anyone has a link to this information, please link me to it in the comments.

If the argument is that women can’t focus on their career AND have a family because they are the ones who have to child-mind, cook, and clean, and then have no time for a career and that is an unfair pressure to put on women, that seems like an issue to be discussed within your marriage/partnership. If you are allowing your partner to do no cooking, cleaning, or child-minding and then complaining about how unfair it is to be a woman in this situation, I don’t totally see the problem. I complain that I don’t have abs and a bubble butt and say how ridiculous society’s standards are for women, but then turn around and consistently eat donuts and cheese and bread and fangirl over Victoria’s Secret Angels. If I actually wanted change, I’d make different choices. If your husband doesn’t cook and you’re mad about it, talk to him about it in a mature, respectful way. If your grandma tells you that you should be doing all the work ’cause that’s what she did, smile, hug her, and tell her times have changed since she had her first kid at 16. I don’t understand this particular point of outrage, and don’t mean to sound sarcastic or uncaring, but I don’t get it.

If the argument is that there is a societal pressure put on women to do it all with a smile on their face, that it’s not equality because women do so much thankless work, then I’d like to talk about the societal pressures put on men. I know men in their late twenties/early thirties who are depressed and have talked about suicide because they feel pressure to provide financially for their wives and families. Society has told them to buy a house, have a good car, and be the primary breadwinner, and when they can’t do it they feel like they’ve failed in life. But they don’t talk about it because society also tells men to be strong, to stop whining, that their mental health issues are less important than women’s. When I worked at Starbucks there were significantly more men coming through for coffee at 5am, blue and white collar, than women. They are tired too, they are expected to do it all too, and they are not given the option of complaining about it. And God forbid you are a middle-class white male right now with all your damn privilege. Best to just keep your thoughts to yourself, ’cause you can’t be depressed, angry, or have an opinion on political topics without being told it’s because your privileged.

I just don’t understand. What are women so enraged about? Trump says some stupid shit. He treats women poorly. Men have said atrocious things to me in the past too. But I don’t feel less than, I don’t feel my partner takes me for granted, and I don’t see evidence of inequality in the workplace in any tangible, widespread capacity. But rather than giving me hard facts about these topics, I’m going to be told I don’t understand because of my privilege. This has happened in the past. I don’t understand these particular political movements. What specifically, backed by data, are people upset about? Remove the emotions, remove the ‘I watched a clip on Facebook that said…” What is backed my research, what is actually happening in North America that is making women feel men are getting more than we are? The only thing I can think of that fits this bill is college rape and sentencing. And I think that’s a cause worth fighting for, but not by going on strike. We change that by raising good men.

If you have information for me that you can deliver in a respectful, informative manner, please post it in the comments.