How do you take a photo of something invisible? What does it look like when 3.5 billion people are asked to just stop — to not show up, to not step up, to strike from — doing the things they’ve always had to do. In some places, it looks like a lot of empty chairs, as women stayed home from their jobs. In more places than that though, it looks like business as usual, as most women around the world do not have the privilege, ability, or support to take a day off. “You think I could not work?” a female cashier at Starbucks told me this morning. “I need the money.”
But just one block north by Central Park, A Day Without A Woman took on another form as hundreds of women and their allies convened to show their support or the importance of women’s labor. Wearing red and carrying signs, these women gathered to listen to activists like Linda Sarsour and radio DJ Angie Martinez speak out about healthcare, equal pay, intersectionality, and violence against women. Later that day, many of the activists were arrested for blocking traffic in Columbus Circle outside the Trump hotel.
As with the Women's March, the audience was largely white, and the participants we spoke to were mostly from creative fields or self-employed. But, most of the women we spoke to acknowledged those who weren’t able to show up. “I came to support the people who couldn’t be here,” Rachel Brosnahan, a 26-year-old actress you might recognize from House Of Cards, told us. "Minorities, trans men and women, and gender non-conforming folk — the most vulnerable under [Trump's] administration."
We spoke to a handful of the women who attended the noon rally to see their personal reasons about why they chose to not go into work today, and what they wore to stand together as one massive bloc.