In the wealthy Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., at least one public school district has announced they will be closed on Wednesday, so that the overwhelmingly liberal, solidly middle-class (average salary: $72,705), and majority white instructional staff can have a day off to wear pink hats and shout obscenities about their lady parts. That’s quite the civics lesson. It also puts mothers who work outside the home in a pinch, especially when they are the sole breadwinners. However, in a way, this sham of a protest only serves to highlight what Pope Francis spoke of when he expressed concern about “feminist machismo.”
For many of the enormous number of single mothers in this country, taking a day off work is simply impossible. Thus, the biggest victim of the pink-hatted brigades will in fact be other women. The well-to-do and progressive mobs inside the beltway will not be demonstrating for women’s rights so much as demonstrating their white privilege and the luxury of liberal virtue-signaling. Single mothers will still have to go to work, arrange for alternate child care, feed, bathe, clothe, and otherwise keep their children safe and alive for the whole 24 hours of the so-called “Day Without A Woman.” For them, this preposterous spectacle only adds insult to injury.
Furthermore, in a deeper sense, without mothers, none of us would be here. Women, and women alone, have the awesome and sacred capacity to participate with God in the miracle of creation of new life, to nurture and to protect it as it grows in the earliest stages, and then, outside the womb, to literally give of themselves to the child through breastfeeding. Whether women are teachers or astronauts, CEOs or plumbers, soldiers or doctors (or both), scientists or chefs, maids or pilots, politicians or homemakers, they, and they alone have the capacity to be mothers.
Whatever their profession or vocation, and whether or not they are able to physically bear children, Pope Francis exhorts all women to be motherly and fruitful in whatever they do, because unlike the machismo of perfect equality, the true dignity of women recognizes their essential difference from men. Anyone who celebrates this decision obviously has the luxury of arranging child care on short notice, which in itself seems a bit hypocritical, unless they plan on giving their nannies the day off as well. Unlike the evidently expendable teachers who are protesting, mothers don’t get to take a day off.