• Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.


Math Geek Mom: What Did You (Not) Do?

Day Without Women.

March 23, 2017

I was thrilled when I taught out of a recent edition of a Principles of Economics textbook last semester and discovered that the definition of “productivity” had been changed to “output per person hour.” This is in contrast to the definition I learned as an undergraduate (and even beyond) which read “output per man hour.” Many years later, I mentioned it to a male member of my former department, who said that he had never noticed that definition. I found myself thinking of this recently as the world participated in “International Women’s Day,” a day designated by the United Nations to work for women’s equality, especially equality in the workplace.

I was amused to learn that there were some businesses in Cleveland offering women a 20% discount on purchases this past Wednesday, the day designated “International Women’s Day”. It was explained that this differential was approximately equal to the difference in wages earned by men and women.. On that day, some organizers in the United States called it a “Day Without a Woman” and asked women to refrain from working in any way. Thanks to the fact that we were on Spring Break this past week, doing that was not difficult. However, I must also admit that I was not able to avoid going shopping, as doing so would have meant that my daughter would not have been given dinner that evening. So much for planning ahead!

The general idea of the day was to alert people to the economic muscle of women, who do much of the spending in our economy, and a growing part of the income earning. One news station in our area did a segment on it, posting responses phoned and “Twittered” in (how DID the world survive before Twitter?) I was most amused by one that said (more or less), “Women need to stop complaining. Men have done everything for years, and we don’t get a day off. Keep working, and eventually you will be recognized.”


This past week also included a day of “unplugging,” in which people were asked to give up their electronic devices for a day (http://www.sabbathmanifesto.org/unplug/). As I use an old flip phone (hey, it does everything I really need it to do, and it costs me $2.50/month!), this was not difficult for me, although I am sure that most younger people, who grew up with electronics, would find this impossible.

I do know of some women whom I am sure did not take any time off this past week. They are the Ursuline Arrows women’s basketball team. Despite losing in the conference playoff finals last weekend, they earned a bracket in the NCAA Division II basketball playoffs. This is their second trip to those playoffs, and their first game this year is this Friday, at 7:30 PM. I suspect that the game will be live streamed on our website, where I will be watching it with my family. 

And so, readers, I would love to find out; Did you give up electronics for any length of time last weekend? And how did you (or did you?) participate in Wednesday’s “Day Without a Woman”? And do you think that anyone noticed?


                Once again wishing Ursuline’s basketball team the Best of Luck! Go Arrows!


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