A Day Without A Woman in New York City
All Photos by Kristen Blush
Yesterday we celebrated International Women's Day...
...or maybe it would have been more like a celebration had our female candidate Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016. Instead, we continued the resistance in various ways- wearing red, striking from our jobs, attending a local march, or by not spending our money. Not exactly what we had in mind, but hey, this is where we are in March 2017.
Members of Hillary Clinton Brigade met around 12 p.m. at 5th Ave and 59th Street (basically the area at Central Park Southeast that we call "The Apple Store.") Police were visible but outnumbered by women dressed in red. As I approached the area, the organizers were at the podium but hadn't fully kicked things off yet. I took an interview from a woman from a news station and found a good vantage point.
This was the first time I heard Linda Sarsour speak in person. She first made it known that she was speaking for the "Women And Children Party", which I found interesting. She didn't explain what that is, but I wonder if this party will gain traction and challenge the three-party system. In my experience as a Democrat, the Dems are historically very clearly the party for women and children. It was a Democrat, Hillary Clinton, who was just honored this week by Girls Inc. for being the Honorary Champion For Girls in 2017. Despite the struggle for unity blaring me in the face, I did like her message on feminism for all women. Sure, a decades-old battle cry, but the optics of it coming from an empowered, Brooklyn born Muslim women in a red Hijab had a special impact.
The speakers were amazing, but eventually many were arrested with civil disobedience charges- because nothing says, "Happy Women's Day" like a male cop arresting a peaceful, female protestor wearing a hijab. My understanding is the NYPD didn't like all the action around Trump Hotel and Central Park West. This came after-the-fact, by the way. I had only heard about the arrests hours later.
Hillary Clinton Brigade member Suzie McMillan felt compelled to join the Women's Strike on Wednesday as well, "It's important for me to not remain silent about the Trump administration's aggressive anti-woman policies, including defunding Planned Parenthood and the Global Gag Order, which effectively sideline the neediest women socially and economically. This is a form of legalized gender-based sexual discrimination, which harms and disempowers women. We must continue to resist with activism leading to reform of these oppressive regulations."
The festivities continued at Washington Square Park, and then into the streets, and into the night. It was a good day overall...but the real story was Hillary's speech at Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards in Washington, D.C. because she is the ultimate example of female empowerment, and the deeply seated misogyny in America.