You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.
People have (rightfully) asked how less economically privileged women fit into A Day Without A Woman, the worldwide collective action organized by The Women’s March On Washington. The Women’s March organizers responded:
We encourage everyone who cannot strike from work to show your support by wearing red in solidarity on March 8th. We recognize that some of the 82% of women who become moms, particularly single mothers, may not have the option of refusing to engage in paid work or unpaid child care on March 8th. We strike for them.
Many women in our most vulnerable communities will not have the ability to join the strike, due to economic insecurity. We strike for them. Many others work jobs that provide essential services, including reproductive health services, and taking off work would come at a great social cost. We recognize the value of their contribution.
With respect for the organizers, and empathy for the difficulty of organizing anything of this scale—particularly in a climate where the organized right would have all of the country believe that protesters are “paid” by shadowy left wing organizations—we believe that if an action is not accessible to the poor, it is neither radical nor revolutionary. We believe that too many women will not be able to participate despite wanting to, or will bear an oversized burden for participating via lost wages or the inability to leave those they care for untended.
So we’ve created a mutual aid fund to stand with women and gender nonconforming workers facing negative employment or childcare ramifications related to their participation in A Day Without a Woman.
Mutual aid, in the way we mean it, describes people giving each other needed material support in an egalitarian person-to-person framework in a time of need. Mutual aid projects are a form of political participation in which people take responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions.
How to participate
Donate in solidarity: send the amount you’d like to pledge in support of striking working-class women to this Venmo account. We chose Venmo because so many already use it, and because most crowdfunding platforms would not be ideal for this--since multiple people will be paid and because most platforms take 5% of donations.
- Request mutual aid in order to participate in #ADWAW: visit our mutual aid application form. We aim to provide each woman whose information we can verify with $60-90 in mutual aid, contingent on donations received. Whatever amount we decide (based on overall donations), it will be the same for every person who applies, and will be first-come-first-served.
Why are women striking on March 8th?
Read more here.
We chose Venmo as our funding mechanism because so many already use it, and because most crowdfunding platforms are not ideal for this purposes (as multiple individuals will be paid, and because many platforms take 5% of donations).
Why only the DMV area?
We've kept the focus of this fund to the DMV area (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia), because we are DMV residents, and thus better able to vet those requesting aid as well as organizations that remaining funds will go to. We encourage similar efforts in other states and cities.
How long will you be accepting donations and requests for aid?
We will accept donations and requests for mutual aid until Monday, March 13th.
How do you know people requesting mutual aid are legit?
We will do our best to verify requests for mutual aid, but recognize that there is needfully an element of good faith at play here. We'll aim to balance that good faith with critical thinking, as most people do when they give.
What are your plans for any remaining funds?
All remaining money from this DMV mutual aid fund will be donated to Casa Ruby, Calvary Women’s Services, and Ayuda, organizations that do a great job serving low-income and vulnerable women, families, and queer people in the DMV. None of the organizers of this fund work for these organizations, and none of them will claim tax benefits from the pooled donation.
Who made and paid for this site?
You can thank Squarespace, our creative feminine genius, and our own dolla bills for domains and hosting and stuff.
Who are y'all, and what is your motivation for creating this?
We are a majority-women-of-color-group of women and queer folks from widely different economic backgrounds who came together over an email thread. We hoped to do something meaningful and concrete in a media climate that problematized #ADWAW as an "elite" endeavor, despite the urgency of its project to all women, particularly vulnerable women workers. Our goal is to stand in solidarity with all women affected by inequitable policies and culture. Like many of you reading, we are ordinary people trying to do what small good we can. We hope you will join us.