I, like many women in America I assume, received several private Facebook messages yesterday with this copied and pasted text:
I realize I’m probably breaking some unspoken woman pact by sharing this, but there are too many things I find problematic to let it go without remark.
I respect what whoever started this movement was trying to do. Solidarity and unified action is a powerful tool.
But telling women to disappear is exactly the wrong message to send in this moment.
Women who have been abused too often live in a dark void where they are not seen and not heard. Maybe that’s the point this image is supposed to portray, but that’s not its stated intent. It’s to show what the world would be like without women.
I don’t understand why that should be a goal at all.
Men who abuse women don’t give two shakes if women disappear. In fact, they’re going to see the absence of women as a good thing—”Oh thank God, no more nagging. No more whining about inequality. No more attempts to hold men accountable.” Men who need whatever pro-woman message this is supposed to be sending will not get it.
Women make up half the world. We aren’t going anywhere, and I don’t want that possibility to even be a split second thought in someone’s mind. There is no “world without women” and there never will be. We don’t need to play this kind of “what if” game.
We need to be seen. We need to be heard. We need to make it impossible to have our voices ignored or brushed off.
So while I appreciate the invitation and the idea of making a unified statement, no thank you with this one. I will not be blacking out on Facebook or anywhere else. I will not cover my face, my identity, my womanhood with darkness. I have zero desire to show men what the world would be like without women. I want to show them the world as it should be—one where women are seen, heard, listened to, believed, respected, and recognized as equals.