At first glance it might seem like "A Day Without Women" is another reason for women across America to gather in the streets and cause a ruckus, all in the name of their "liberal agenda." Yes, there will be a women's strike happening on March 8, but it is not the first, and will most likely not be the last.
On Oct. 24, 1975, women in Iceland "took the day off" by refusing to cook, clean, and carry out other household duties, as well as neglecting their jobs and child care. Women were fed up with unequal pay, and wanted society to take a hard look at the role that they play, its importance, and how undermined a woman's role in a community and nation is.
According to the Montreal Gazette, men saw the strike threats as a "huge joke."
Over 40 years later, people are still having the same reaction.
But laugh or scoff as people around the country might, the Iceland Women's Strike in 1975 showed men just how important women were in their society. So yes, it did work.
According to the Montreal Gazette, "Housewives, female teachers, clerks, industrial workers and even nursemaids all over the island said they were taking the day off, bringing Iceland almost to a standstill."
The Montreal Gazette also reports, "...men, who treated all the strike threats as a huge joke, began to get the point."
Women in Iceland "staged their token stoppage to prove just how indispensable they are," which caused stores and factories to close for the day, and forced men to now take on the maternal role of caring for their children, whereas women would traditionally took care of them.
Stores were also selling out of easy-to-cook sausages since women refused to make home-cooked meals for the day. According to BBC, "There were reports of men arming themselves with sweets and colouring pencils to entertain the crowds of overexcited children in their workplaces. Sausages—easy to cook and popular with children—were in such demand the shops sold out."
So will "A Day Without Women" yield the same results in the U.S.? That will come to light afterwards. While many people have traditional views of gender roles in society, a large part of millennials see genders roles in a new, more progressive light. According to the Pew Research Center, "The number of fathers who do not work outside the home has risen markedly in recent years, up to 2 million in 2012. While most stay-at-home parents are mothers, fathers represent a growing share of all at-home parents – 16% in 2012, up from 10% in 1989."
More men are taking on roles of childcare in the home, and there is also a growing number of female breadwinners, according to Saeculum Research. "In a survey of high-net-worth households, 30% of Millennial women were found to be the primary breadwinners, compared to 11% of Gen X women and 15% of Boomer women," reports Saeculum Research.
Saeculum also reports, "At the same time, younger men are taking on more child care and household responsibilities: Millennials are taking a step in the direction of gender equality."
So while Iceland had a huge societal shock in 1975, it's important to note that the U.S. might not see as much of a blow because of the fact that millennials are already moving in the direction of changing, by creating more equal gender roles.
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