Turn a mountain upside down, you have a woman. Turn a woman upside down, you have a valley. Turn a valley upside down, you get folk music.”
― Tom Robbins, Wild Ducks Flying Backward
I have some criticisms about today’s strike that I am writing, considering, reconsidering and reflecting upon. I want to really think about it and publish so that we can use it as a basis to discuss how we move forward. I see today as an opportunity in a burgeoning movement to talk about how we are going to move forward with direction and vision.
For one thing, you cannot organize a nationwide strike via social media. I believe a call to come together would have been more effective, in terms of collaborating with institutions (locally York St. Project, Women’s Rising, federally, Planned Parenthood just to name a few) that are most vulnerable and calling for actions to protect and sustain them. Today would have been a great opportunity to call upon all women and people who identify as women and people who love women to write letters to the current administration and publish them as publicly as possible with regards to healthcare, with regards to being safe, with regards to being heard. It would have been a great day to have films in cinemas celebrating women open for free, for poetry houses to convene, a call for women to perform and speak, and to show our force by being present and visible rather than the effect of women being absent. It would have been a tremendous day to have speak ins and teach ins and discussions about how women could align across lines of race and class and ethnicity and gender orientation and faith.
Even when unions were active, when workers were unionized, and inherent in the fabric of worker’s lives, calling for a strike was a debated, discussed, thoroughly planned event. It needs to have more form, more structure, especially in a freelance/gig economy.
So sure, don’t go to work, don’t spend money, but we hide inside our houses? I don’t know about you but I am done, completely and totally, with being invisible and unseen.
I have been saying that I think we need a strategy and not a loose organizations of tactics to sustain us through this administration and the damage it is causing. I have been considering the demise of the Dept of Ed and the EPA as opportunities for us to consider what role a government should play and replace those departments with people’s institutions. Maybe, if we are having the warmest weather ever on the east coast, the EPA wasn’t strong enough, we can build something that will address climate change. Maybe if public education has been wiped out across the country and we have a generation of people who cannot read and write, the Dept of Ed wasn’t that great anyway. So these fascist knuckleheads tear them down. It’s our job to consider what we want to replace them with and what kind of world we want to build.
I am speaking here of the environment and education because I feel very connected to both of them as a woman, although, it’s our whole society we need to think about. So, I am going to use today as the day I commit myself to writing and discussing ideas, to being loud, to insist on being heard, to calling out people on their chauvinist bullshit, to making sure I listen to women with the same intensity as I listen to men and to moving this movement forward. Let’s get out of this together, let’s build something new together.
-Tracey Noelle Luz
March 8, 2017