Skip to main content

Day Without A Woman’ Draws Attention From California Lawmakers

Angela Henderson, front, shows her photos to Joseph Banco as they stand in fr...

Photo by Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Above: Angela Henderson, front, shows her photos to Joseph Banco as they stand in front of a wall decorated with artificial flowers during the Day Without a Woman protest in Los Angeles, March 8, 2017.

A rally at the California state Capitol on International Women’s Day and the “Day Without A Woman” drew a couple hundred people — and more than a dozen Democratic elected officials.

Of all the stump speeches and chants during the hour-long rally, it was the personal anecdotes that stood out.

“I went to the (high school) counselor and said I would like to go to college,“ recalled Democratic Assemblymember Blanca Rubio, a Mexican immigrant who attended high school in Los Angeles. “And my college counselor said, ‘Honey, you’re just gonna get married and have children. Go into Home Ec,'" short for Home Economics.

The crowd booed.

"So my goal," Rubio went on, turning the boos to cheers, “is that I will return to that high school and do the commencement speech and tell them that my office is in this big white building!”

RELATED: Seeing Red: ‘Day Without A Woman’ Celebrates Female Power

Carol Miranda, a public employee who works in downtown Sacramento, came by on her lunch break.

“We all need to be out here every day,“ Miranda said, “because we’re being attacked in the White House, every single day. Trump doesn’t care about us.”

The crowd appeared to be as one-sided as the speakers — all of whom were Democrats.

“I think it should be called, ‘Day Without a Privileged Woman,’” said Republican Assemblymember Melissa Melendez, who did not attend the rally even though she is part of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, which organized the event.

Melendez said only women who can afford child care and to take time off work could show up. Besides, she said, there are more productive ways for women to address inequality.

“Nobody’s going to pay attention to that,“ Melendez said, referring to what she described as “marching and shouting.“

“That’s one news cycle, and it’s gone. If you really want to do something effective and long-lasting, women have got to stop this kind of behavior and start acting a little more professional about it,” she added.

Instead of walking away from a perceived inequality, Melendez said, women should sit down at the table and get what they are worth.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.