- An end to racist and sexist assaults,
and all forms of bigotry
Donald Trump’s campaign encouraged insults, bullying, and assaults, creating an even more dangerous situation for women, Blacks, Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, the disabled, homeless, prisoners, and anyone who stands up or stands out. Trump’s view of women is that we are either servants, mothers, or sexual playthings, and his administration shows all signs of attempting to limit us to these roles. Trump’s appointment of open racists and bigots to positions of power means that we must be each other’s safety—our strength comes when we unite in one deafening voice against anti-Muslim policies, murders of Black people, deportations of immigrants, and assaults that serve to control and punish.
- Reproductive freedom: Full access and no coercion
The Democrats didn’t do much to expand access to birth control and abortion, but Trump has promised to appoint a Supreme Court justice to outlaw abortion. We want full control over the decision to have children. We want free and full access to all forms of birth control, including contraception and abortion. We want to make these decisions without pressure to have children, to get IUDs, to take hormones, or to get sterilized. We want men to do their share of pregnancy and disease prevention by wearing a condom without being asked, paying for birth control until it’s free, or getting a vasectomy. We want doctors to ask men, not just us, what they are using for birth control.
- National Health Care for all—everybody in, nobody out
All major countries except the United States provide health care to all their people. Only in the U.S. do we support an expensive private insurance industry that tells us whether we can get care or not. Obamacare kept that system in place, but dedicated a lot of public money towards the private insurance system—paying them to insure some of us, which some of us but left us with increasing deductibles and co-pays. Meanwhile, Medicare works fine for everyone over 65, although House Republican leader Paul Ryan wants to dismantle it. For the amount of money the government and employers are now spending on healthcare, we could all be covered under Medicare, if we unite in numbers large enough and demand it.
- $15/hr. minimum wage, all workers, no exceptions
If the federal minimum wage of 1968 had kept up with productivity growth, it would be between $16 and $22 an hour now, but it is still $7.25. Trump says the current minimum wage is too high. Forty-two percent of U.S. workers make less than $15 an hour. America needs a raise. Why can’t we get one? They could pay us more, but corporate owners and the very rich would prefer to use our unpaid wages to buy gold-plated baby carriages, $120,000 watches, and $18 million yachts. They spend some money on Congress, too, to make sure the minimum wage doesn’t rise. Fast food workers—mostly women—have led the charge all over the country, demanding $15 and a union, and they have changed the debate and some local and state laws. Women also need equal pay, but equal pay is not enough when everyone’s wages are going down.
- Protect and expand Social Security
Social Security is one of the most successful and popular (or, from the corporate viewpoint, the most intractable and expensive) parts of the 1930s New Deal. It is also widely misunderstood because there is a campaign of lies about it aimed at weakening public support. Catering to the 1%, every administration, Republican and Democratic, has tried to take whacks at Social Security, but they have been pushed back by the popularity of the program. The attackers usually claim that the system is running out of money, but this is a blatant lie, designed to weaken support for Social Security and make working people feel hopeless that they’ll ever be able to retire. In fact, unlike private pensions, the system is basically healthy, but it could be even stronger if so much of our national income weren’t going to the top 1% and not taxed for Social Security. Raising the minimum wage would help, and so would taxing income over $118,000, which is currently exempt from Social Security taxes. See Social Security Works for more.
- Childcare, free like the public schools, and paid family leave
We want time for work, family, and community. In order for women to move closer to this feminist dream, the whole society—including employers and individual men—must contribute their fair share to raising children. The generations coming up keep our society running. While we once again are debating whether paid family leave is really possible in the U.S., national paid leave laws are in force in 185 of the 193 countries of the United Nations. The suggestion of a national law allowing all workers 12 weeks of paid family leave has brought howls of indignation from employers. But fifty other nations provide paid leave of six months or more. We should demand no less. We want high quality education from birth on, a shorter work week, paid parental leave (for women and men) and vacation and sick time guaranteed by law for all. During the campaign, Trump said something about six weeks of paid maternity leave—that would be blatant discrimination and push even more of the parenting work onto women only.
The president-elect graded, judged, taunted, insulted and dismissed women throughout the campaign. Men and the media disbelieved and attacked women when they said Trump or other men sexually harassed and assaulted them. Michelle Obama called out Trump’s “shameful comments about our bodies; the disrespect of our ambitions and intellect; the belief that you can do anything you want to a woman.” Hillary Clinton was attacked for things that would be unnoticed or even praiseworthy in a man. Some Trump supporters suggested that women should not be allowed to vote. Let’s show the men in our families, workplaces, and communities who support these anti-woman candidates that we are uniting, and we will no longer be pushed around. Sign the pledge to strike January 20-21, 2017.