Our Bodies, Our Labors, Our Streets: International Women’s Day in NYC

March 8, 2020

The International Women’s Strike, also known as Paró Internacional de Mujeres, is a global movement of coalitions in more than 50 countries, organizing around International Women’s Day each year. The movement began in 2017 to honor the work of women across the world, organizing against the criminalization of abortion, femicide, and gender-based violence. This year’s New York festival was co-hosted by the Street Vendor Project and many others, underscoring the importance of feminist labor empowerment and the anti-colonialist values of the movement.

DSW participated in the New York City Women’s Strike Street Fest in honor of International Women’s Day. Entitled “Our Bodies, Our Labors, Our Streets,” the event highlighted the intersection of labor and gender justice. Music, performance, exhibitions, and workshops centered on four main workstations: reproductive justice, the battle over labor, systematic violence over women and feminized bodies, and reclaiming the commons.

At the festival, DSW hosted a table to educate attendees on sex work as a labor issue, and how criminalization creates systemic violence within the sex industry. Dominatrix Ashley Paige and DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly ran a workshop on consent, negotiation, and power in relation to work, sexuality, familial relationships, and gender. Kaytlin Bailey also gave a short speech on DSW’s work, her podcast “The Oldest Profession,” and her new one-woman show, “Whore’s Eye View.” The show is running a reading series at Zinc Bar in the West Village every third Wednesday of the month this summer. Bailey was joined onstage by TS Candii from Decrim NY, who educated the crowd on the importance of passing S2253/A654, to repeal Walking While Trans, this legislative session.

This powerful alliance is an illustration of the interconnected nature of our movements. Reproductive justice, labor, migration, citizenship, race, and state surveillance, to name a few, all function to monitor and criminalize particular identities. Thank you to the Women’s Strike and the Street Vendor Project for such an inspiring event and the chance to highlight our message!

DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey appears onstage with TS Candii from Decrim NY shortly after she spoke.

The festival spectators hear from a representative of Women First.

L to R: J. Samantha Johnson, Zoe West, Ximena Garcia Bustamante, and DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly, organizers of the NY Women’s Strike Coalition, are pictured with Dominatrix Ashley Paige after a public workshop on negotiating power and consent taught by Paige and Brantly.

Kaytlin Bailey and Frances Steele are pictured at DSW’s booth.