portraits of new york city strikers on international women’s day

On one of the sunniest days New York City has seen all year, thousands of people celebrated International Women’s Day and A Day Without a Woman by flooding the streets to rally for reproductive justice, labor equality, and health care for all.

by Hannah Ongley
|
Mar 9 2017, 8:20pm

Lady Liberty herself kicked off International Women's Day and the Day Without a Woman strike by going dark on Tuesday night. (The National Park service blamed a power failure, but the symbolism wasn't lost on America.) The following morning, thousands of women across the United States — and in 30 other countries all over the world — had closed up shop, shut their laptops, and called out of work. The mass strike was conceived of by the Women's March on Washington organizers in partnership with the National Women's Liberation. It served to spur the momentum that has been building since Donald Trump took office in January — and woke up on his first day of work to find half a million people protesting on his doorstep.

But just because women didn't show up for work yesterday didn't mean they failed to show up anywhere. A few hours after the sun rose over the United States's colossal symbol of freedom and enlightenment, thousands of people trekked to Central Park to march in solidarity with women directly affected by the Trump administration's misogynistic and discriminatory policies. (It was not the first time the weather gods have endorsed a mass anti-Trump assembly.) Many of the marchers held signs of support for the women unable to strike or forgo a day's wages. Most of them wore red as a symbol of revolutionary love and sacrifice. i-D caught up with a few of the them to find out more about why they were striking, what they would say to their sisters around the world, and who their preferred president would be.

Name: Elena Childers
Age: 24
What do you do? Music journalist
Why are you striking today? I wanted to support women. I also wanted to not come into work so they could appreciate my presence as being the only female music writer there.
I'm a feminist because: I want equality and there isn't. I'm grew up with so many strong women who fought so hard for equality and it's ridiculous that we still don't have it.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Don't quit fighting! We're going to achieve this equality.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? I would love if Michelle Obama would run. She's brilliant.
@elunachilders

Name: Usha Houeix
Age: 19
What do you do? Student at City College
Why are you striking today? It's important as a woman of color today to be a voice. Every voice counts. I skipped class and I'm here to fight for all women, not just cisgender women, and to end sexism.
I'm a feminist because: Being in a world where as a woman I'm constantly having to look after my body and protect my body. I'm tired of that.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Your voice counts. It doesn't matter your age and your background. Your voice and your story counts. We're a really powerful generation that can have a really big influence. We can change things. And we have to!
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? I want to say Michelle Obama, but I love her so much and I don't want to wear her out. I would love a young woman of color who's maybe studying politics. You go girl — I don't know who you are but you're out there. We're ready for you!

Name: Piper Scheifele
Age: 20
What do you do? Parsons New School of Design student
Why are you striking today? In the United States, we're so privileged as women compared to other countries. Going to Parsons, I have so many friends from outside of the United States who don't have the rights that I do.
I'm a feminist because: Since age 10 I've realized that I'm not talked about and looked at the same as men are. I want to be one of the people to change the way men look at women.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Lift each other up.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? I love Obama, bring him back!
@piperxpiper

Name: Susannah Scherzer
Age: 64
What do you do? Designer
Why are you striking today? This administration has got to go. I have been an active, participating Democrat all my life and I have never seen or felt anything like this. It's really horrible.
I'm a feminist because: Because I'm a woman. Feminist and woman should be the same word.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Do something, and be informed.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Obama.
@susannahscherzer

Name: Shauna Neely
Age: 46
What do you do? Jewelry designer
Why are you striking today? I'm a woman. I'm a mother. I'm a minority woman. I'm a business owner. I believe in women's rights. I believe that women should be celebrated every day. We all came through the hips of a woman and I'm here to celebrate that and stand for that power.
I'm a feminist because: Hello, I have tits and a vagina. I work just as hard as any other man and I should be treated the same. Women are far superior to men and we always have been.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Stand your power every single day.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Michelle Obama. 
@sneelyjewelry

Name: Sarah Jones
Age: Timeless
What do you do? Playwright and performer
Why are you striking today? I just premiered a show called Sell/Buy/Date about women who are empowering themselves through their sexuality. It's right on time that Donald Trump swept into office, forcing all of us to stand in our power because he is so disempowering to women in the United States and around the world.
I'm a feminist because: I believe I have the same abilities and rights as anyone else. Anyone who's not a feminist is crazy.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? You're valuable. Don't let anyone devalue you or make you believe you're less than. Don't let them pay you less than a man gets for the same work. Don't let them tell you that just because you work inside of your home instead of outside of your home that you're not as talented.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? I might say we need a couple of co-presidents. I'm thinking Rihanna and Lorde. Let's get somebody from outside of the country.
@jonesarah

Name: Latham Thomas
Age: 36
What do you do? Lifestyle maven and doula
Why are you striking today? Women are the crux of the community and we give birth to everyone. Everybody is here today because they came from a woman's hips. We have to raise the next generation of males and females that embrace women as superheroes.
I'm a feminist because: For me it's about embracing the things we're taught about ourselves that we're not supposed to embrace, the things that tell us we're dirty or not capable. Whatever that thing is for you that makes you feel less than, is a thing you should actually pull from the recesses and embrace.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Love yourself. Chill. Be at home. Embrace self-care. Nobody else is going to give us that opportunity.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Oprah!
@glowmaven

Name: Sydney Reising
Age: 29
What do you do? Founder of a PR agency
Why are you striking today? It's really important for all of us to unify and fight for social justice. This is a historic breach of human rights right now and it's important for us all to stand together.
I'm a feminist because: Women's rights are fundamental to me. I'm a young female entrepreneur and it's important for me to function as a strong feminist within the current social environment.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Get up and get out there.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Michelle Obama.
@sydneyreising

Name: Sierra Zamarripa
Age: 26
What do you do? Designer
Why are you striking today? I just want to be in support of women. With my job I'm not really striking against it because I work for myself and I have a good set-up. But I want to stand in solidarity. We brought snacks to hand out because at the last march I got really hungry.
I'm a feminist because: Women's rights are human rights.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Stand up for what you believe in.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Bernie. I love him. Or Gore, he was good too.
@lovewilddesign

Name: Michael Chernus
Age: 39
What do you do? Actor
Why are you striking today? I'm here in support of all the women that I love, all the women on this planet, and the prime #1 woman Mother Earth. I stand here in solidarity with my sisters everywhere, I stand here for women who can't strike today, I stand here for my wife Emily who is a beautiful strong, powerful, amazing woman.
I'm a feminist because: The patriarchy has done nothing but serve us poorly and enforces this idea that we are all separate. I believe that the feminine energy is about unity and we could use a lot more unity right now.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? There are a lot of brothers who stand in solidarity with you. Change is going to happen.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Elizabeth Warren.
@michaelchernus

Name: Katerina Siira
Age: 29
What do you do? Humanitarian
Why are you striking today? I have the privilege to take the day off today. I'm not going to face any consequences from my employer. I'm striking on behalf of those who can't, including my mom, who would definitely be reprimanded for taking the day off.
I'm a feminist because: Everything. I work in humanitarian assistance. I see the whole spectrum of how women are treated and I think there should be equality for women all over the world.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? We're all in solidarity together.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris. 

Name: Leah Santos
Age: 24
What do you do? Student
Why are you striking today? I'm here to support all the females and all of my sisters. I'm trying to get equality for us. Our rights are human rights.
I'm a feminist because: Because women are the future and I think we need more respect. We birth the future.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Keep true to yourself and everything else should follow.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? I want Obama back, if it was possible. 

Name: Alisa Kuzmina
Age: 19
What do you do? Exchange student
Why are you striking today? It's a big event for me. I was just visiting New York and it was my dream to participate in the women's march.
I'm a feminist because: I believe in art and language as a source of fighting inequality. And I'm a woman, of course. A bisexual woman.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Love instead of hate.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Bernie Sanders. 

Name: Andrea Lausevic
Age: 25
What do you do? Graphic designer
Why are you striking today? Now that I'm a mother to a five-month-old I have more of a need to be out fighting for social justice.
I'm a feminist because: Everyone should have equal rights, whether they identify as women, men, transgender, gender-fluid. Everyone alive deserves equal rights.
What message do you want to send to other women around the world today? Educate! Growing up I wasn't really sure what rights I did and didn't have. Education opened up a lot to me.
If you could choose the US president, who would it be? Bernie Sanders. I strongly support his views. Coming from a socialist country, I think a dose of socialism to America would be great.
@andrea_lausevic

Credits


Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Kathy Lo

Tagged:
strike
international women's day
straight ups
day without a woman