Women’s Strike 2022: How to participate in Black Friday on 1 July

Bruno Cooke June 29, 2022
Women’s Strike 2022: How to participate in Black Friday on 1 July
Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

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People protesting the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade have begun circulating information about what they’ve dubbed a Black Friday Strike on 1 July – calling on women to take action.

Uptake has so far been relatively understated, but that doesn’t mean the idea won’t take root by this coming Friday. Things happen quickly on the Internet.

And as people contemplate a country-wide Black Friday Strike for Women, others are sharing what they know about comparable walk-outs that took place in Iceland in 1975.

What is the so-called Black Friday Strike for Women, how do you participate, and what happened in Iceland in October 1975?

Source: YouTube [Wiki4All]

What is the Black Friday Women’s Strike due to take place on Friday, 1 July 2022?

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade last week, people have been circulating calls for women to take part in a Black Friday Strike on 1 July 2022.

“Women mourn”, reads the poster. It contains three hashtags, which relate to how to participate in the action: “#BuyNothing”, “#DoNothing” and “#ShutItDown”.

This Friday is indeed 1 July; what people know of as Black Friday usually takes place in late November, just after Thanksgiving.

But the organisers of this week’s action aren’t calling on people to go bargain-hunting. They’re asking people to deliberately not do anything – especially shopping.

How do strikes like this work?

Public policy analyst Keely Jordan is among those sharing calls for women to strike on 1 July. Per their Twitter bio, they’re “mad crazy about destroying the chains of oppression”.

She’s a doctoral researcher at New York University,  with a focus on public health policy.

Some protest actions, such as marches and events, involve people actively doing things in order to raise awareness about a particular issue. Others, like strikes, involve refraining from doing things.

Photo by Bob Aylott/Keystone/Getty Images

When workers go on strike, for example, with a view to secure higher wages, they put a strain on the system by disrupting the means of production. Doing so demonstrates their importance to society.

The idea behind the Black Friday Strike for Women is similar – if every woman took part, and decided to do nothing and buy nothing on 1 July 2022, the impact on the system at large would be significant. It would reveal the extent to which women’s choices shape culture and society.

What has it got to do with Iceland?

Some of those discussing the possibility of a women’s strike have been sharing what happened in Iceland on 24 October 1975.

Source: YouTube [Wiki4All]

According to the Global Nonviolent Action Database, 90% of Icelandic women participated in a nationwide strike, whether they had paid work or did the unpaid work of caring for children. It lasted just one day but proved impactful.

It involved women “at every level of society”. 10 years later, Iceland’s president even participated in a similar strike, inspired by the 1975 action.

The idea was to demonstrate the “indispensable work of women for Iceland’s economy and society”. And it worked. The strike “essentially shut down most of the nation for the day”, and led to the passage of an equal rights bill.

How to participate in the Black Friday Women’s Strike

If you would like to participate in the Black Friday Women’s Strike on 1 July 2022 – this Friday – the three hashtags previously mentioned explains what to do.

It’s worth noting that the posters circulating don’t explicitly say “don’t go to work”, but this is implied by the hashtag “#DoNothing”.

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Some Twitter users have responded positively to the idea, saying “I’m in” or similar. Others say it won’t go far enough: “Do this until ROE is codified or SCOTUS rescinds their previous decision overturning Roe”. 

Meanwhile, there are those who are sceptical of the mechanics. One user says, “so everyone goes out and buys double on July 2. Really effective”; another countered this by arguing people could buy whatever they need on Thursday and chill it – “spend no money!”

From at least one angle, however, these options look much the same. The reason the Icelandic women’s strike was so successful was less to do with what they bought or didn’t buy, and more to do with the work they weren’t doing.

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.