March 09, 2017 | Mercedes Schlapp
My husband Matt half-jokingly asked me if I was planning to participate in Wednesday’s #ADayWithoutAWoman. Let’s see:
That would have meant not waking up the children for school, no packing lunches, no running errands, no taking them to afterschool activities, no cooking dinner or putting them to bed. I’d also have to bag my day job.
Sounds like a vacation day for me, but complete disruption for my family and my co-workers.
This week hundreds of teachers from Alexandria Public School and Prince George’s County decided to disrupt the lives of thousands of children and parents by skipping school to participate in #ADayWithoutAWoman. These politically motivated teachers proved willing to shut down the schools and sacrifice their students in order to vent their anger. Some of these children come from low-income families and depend on school for a variety of reasons — including getting a decent meal.
I say, go ahead and protest, but plan it on your own time, not on the child’s time. It’s unfair to the children and their parents, as well as the taxpayers who pay for the teachers’ salaries. It was astonishing that the local school boards simply monitored the situation and did nothing to raise their concerns about the unexcused absences. I spoke with parents who were very upset with how school officials handled this situation, having devised no alternative plan except to cancel school. Last time I checked, #ADayWithoutAWoman is not a federal holiday.
These absent teachers should pay for the day care of the working women, especially low-income women who were forced to find alternative care for their children while these teachers were trying to make a political point. The teachers could have used the opportunity to teach a lesson on International Women’s Day and the history of the women’s suffrage movement; instead, it was a day lost and valuable time wasted for all those students who look to their teachers for guidance.
The strike was planned by the organizers of the Women’s March and supported by liberal groups including Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org and Amnesty International. The idea was that women would dramatize their economic clout by not going to work and not shopping in stores for a day. The message is one of highlighting economic injustice and gender inequality.
But the left should not be allowed to hijack International Women’s Day to push their one-sided agenda. They don’t represent all American women, but we can find common ground on a number of issues affecting women across the globe, whether it’s human trafficking, the lack of women’s rights in many Muslim countries or equal pay for equal work.
I was appalled that January’s Women’s March failed to represent all women, including pro-life, pro-family women, and instead made the march about their body parts and their readiness to attack President Trump as anti-woman.
It’s important to fight back against the left’s attempting to define and dominate the women’s agenda, given the clear divisions among women on issues of family life and economic empowerment.
I stand with the women who showed up and did their jobs on a #ADayWithoutAWoman. Many of these women had to work and take care of their children while some teachers decided to pull a political stunt. I stand with the women who every day contribute to the economy, their families and their country. For my five daughters, I want them to think about #ANationWithWomen and how so many women in the workplace and at home are constantly shaping the lives of others.
They don’t need to skip work to make their point.