Yesterday, women across the globe went on strike in the name of equality, women's health, and to change systematic and structural issues of gender-based injustice. While many women took off work, those who couldn't--whether for financial reasons, or working in a field like healthcare, when female doctors and nurses felt it was better to go in than risk someone losing their life--stood in solidarity with the cause by wearing red. Some people even stood in solidarity by simply talking about the issues and engaging in dialogue about the strike and where women and marginalized folks are coming from.
Sadly, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, no staffers in the White House participated in the strike. Of course, this comes with a necessary provision: He said none of the female White House staffers he’s “aware of” participated in the strike. It's entirely possible staffers participated and he didn't notice.
But still: Given the fact that even female members of Congress walked out in order to strike, many feminists are feeling disappointed that there wasn't a show of participation in the White House. After all, especially for young men and women, the staffers and those working behind the scenes in the White House stand as pillars of inspiration for where our country's values are.
As Bryan Menegus at Jezebel points out, Spicer did address the Women's Strike -- sort of. In the press briefing, he explained, "I think that we should on a daily basis not just one day a year but 365 days a year appreciate the contributions that women make in all of those categories so it’s not, it shouldn’t be a daily thing and it’s, hopefully we can help fix that all bit more."
President Trump acknowledged International Women's Day, as well. Surprising no one, this happened on Twitter:
On International Women's Day, join me in honoring the critical role of women here in America & around the world.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2017
Admittedly, we don't know the specific numbers on how many women are staffers in the White House, and we certainly don't know that Spicer knows all of them and would notice their absence right away. That said, many feminists are feeling burned to not see a bigger showing of strike support and solidarity from the White House. What do you think? Make your voice heard in the comments!