On March 8, International Women's Day, women across the country will go on strike to make a statement about their value in the workplace. Asking for time off can be intimidating even when it's not to protest the fact that you're being treated as a second-class citizen in your place of employment, so here are some simple tips to help you lean in to the Women’s Strike.
No one likes surprises, so start by sending an email to your boss asking if they happen to have a second for you to pop into their office for a super-quick chat whenever it's convenient. To ensure a non-threatening tone, include at least six (6) but no more than eight (8) exclamation points.
Next, prepare a list of ways you've proved your dedication to your job, such as by letting men talk over you in meetings, not complaining when men take credit for your ideas, laughing that time a senior executive shook the hand of your male intern and then asked you to get him a chai latte, bringing the cupcakes for Karen's birthday even though your oven is where you store old jeans you someday plan to turn into a tote bag, and maintaining a sense of decorum at the office in the months since the country elected a 70-year-old crotch-grabbing eighth-grader as leader of the free world.
The day of, dress for success: A smart blazer sends the message that you are a capable employee, while heels remind your superiors that you offer meaningful gender diversity and probably won't beat them to the stairwell if there's a fire. Studies have also shown that women who wear makeup are taken more seriously at work; apply just enough to appear rested and fresh-faced, but not so much that you look shallow and desperate for attention.
When the time comes, avoid coming off as too aggressive by opening with a compliment about the size of your boss's office and/or how grateful you are for the chance to speak with the person who is literally paid to manage you. Further set your boss at ease by assuring them that this is probably a crazy idea and it's totally fine if they say no! But don't be a pushover; assert your confidence by maintaining eye contact no matter what. Consider taping your eyelids open!
Now that your superior is relaxed, it's time to ask for what you want! As with any request, avoid direct statements that could sound abrasive, but also avoid uniquely feminine vocal patterns like uptalk and vocal fry that make you sound less serious. In fact, it is probably best to avoid any inflection at all. Softly blow into a pitch pipe and proceed to speak only in that tone.
Emphasize that your participation in this movement will prove invaluable to your growth as a female employee. Allusions to moontime are encouraged, as these will push male bosses to give you whatever you want in order to avoid an awkward conversation, and will remind female bosses that you are all sestras who at multiple points throughout history could have been accused of witchcraft.
If your boss says yes, congratulations! Thank them for their dedication to the feminist movement and offer to bring them back a souvenir button to show your gratitude. Also consider pulling overtime the next few weeks to make up for the increase in your male colleagues' workload.
If your boss says no, do not get emotional. This will be hard, because you are a woman, but it is very important. Instead, wait until entering a toilet stall before allowing yourself a 13-second silent scream. Consider rummaging through your purse at the same time so others in the bathroom do not think you are pooping. That would be embarrassing.