Did anyone remember this is Women’s History Month? Understandably, we’re all a little fuzzy. You know, a global pandemic, children still in cages that now have COVID, inmates living in conditions that have always been inhumane and are now astronomically inhumane, people fighting for their very lives with an embarrassment of national leadership in America.
I’ve been thinking, though, how Women’s History Month 2020 says everything we Already Know to be true about the Status of Women in America. In a month that’s normally full of events, social media posts, conversations, and accolades, women have been invisible and forgotten. Again, this is understandable given the above, but I do think understandable to only a certain degree. And I find myself wondering — would the same be true if this were Men’s History Month? Of course, we can’t even answer that question because the patriarchy is such that we don’t need a men’s month as they’ve got 12 already.
Women’s work is always underpaid and invisible and the meeting of Women’s History Month and the US outbreak of COVID19 is exhibit A.
Women in this moment are doing what women have always done: Rising, flexing, innovating, gathering, leading. So today, on this last day of Women’s History Month, as we resolve to champion women every month, let’s lift up some of the unsung heroines in this moment.
-I’m celebrating the retired teacher in Stuytown who organized zoom school for neighborhood kindergartners for the week before remote school launched.
-I’m celebrating my mom who organized a small town mask-making operation overnight I’m celebrating the grandmother who is leading a daily interactive activity for her grandkids all over the world to bring social distancing joy.
-I’m celebrating the domestic working women who are either still working in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, or who are trying to future out how to make ends meet if their employees aren’t paying them in this moment of social distancing (pay your regular employees if you can, people!! Your nannies, your cleaners, your whatever your monthly costs are)
-I’m celebrating the nurses, administrators, and office staff who are essential workers, who are majority women. 91% of nurses, 94% of administration staff, 97% of nannies are women.
-I’m celebrating the mothers, who statistically carry the majority of in the home work who are now juggling teaching, mothering, and outside the home work.
-I’m celebrating the women who, during a global pandemic, are carrying the emotional labor of their homes and of those whom they love (women do 2.6 times as much unpaid work as men).
-I’m celebrating the women of color who – long before COVID, lead efforts for climate justice, bail reform, voting rights, and who understand better than I the intersectional nature of social ills of our society which have been only magnified during COVID.
-I”m celebrating the women and women-led organizations fighting even today for reproductive justice in the midst of a global pandemic that’s threatening to take our rights. I’m celebrating the woman who said none of us are free until all of us are free, which, in this moment might be understood as “None of us are well until all of us are well.”
Let’s celebrate women one more time today. Let us not be invisible. Let us not be undervalued, underpaid, underrepresented. Let’s not let Women’s History Month 2020 be a reminder of why we may always need a Women’s History month….But until then, lift up a woman below.