Vacation Is A Feminist Issue

Vacation is a feminist issue. A report from Project Time Off showed that women are less likely to use vacation time provided to them by an employer. The numbers are notable for millennials: Just over half of millennial men (51 percent) are using their vacation time, versus less than half of millennial women (44 percent).

In the study, women were more likely to say cite guilt about taking vacation and the mountain of work they return to as factors that influenced their decision whether or not to take vacation. Further, women were slightly more likely to say they were nervous taking vacation would make them appear less committed to their jobs.

Okay, let’s stop talking about the study and start talking in plain English:

Vacation is a feminist issue. If your employer is providing you with paid time off, you should be taking it. You are literally not getting paid in full when you are not taking your vacation days. Add this to systemic pay inequity experienced by women, most profoundly experienced by women of color, and it’s grosser still.

Whether you “vacation” in the travel sense of the word or simply take the time to rest (or take care of your home-life obligations, which has been, real talk, much of the vacation time I’ve been using at the end of this year), you are more free to be happy, healthy, and productive in your life, including in your workplace.

Within feminist and/or non-profit professions specifically, can we just cut it out with the martyrdom complex? You are not more committed when you are working yourself to the bone. You are, however, more likely to be unhealthy and stressed out.

I sincerely doubt that at the end of your life you will wish you had spent more hours on the clock. TAKE YOUR VACATION TIME, LADIES!

Rosie the Riveter image over a desert island

One thought on “Vacation Is A Feminist Issue

  1. Erin–

    I adore you, and watched you today on “To the Contrary,” discussing sexual harassment and the “Me, too” movement.

    Language matters. Words, pronunciations, meanings–they matter. They speak to us.

    To remind you: Since the 1990s in American English (and since the late 1970s in British English), the preferred pronunciation of “harassment” as in “sexual harassment” is NOT the term that sounds like “her ass.” Instead, we say “harassment” as in “hare-is-ment.” Why? “Her ass” (as in the old/er pronunciation of “harass”) sounds exactly like the kind of language that a harasser (pronounced “hare-is-sir”) might use.

    You educate me; I return the favor.

    I offer workshop presentations to adult professionals from my series, “The Legacy of USA Jane Crow Laws: Separate but Equal in Language, Legislation, Life.” I invite you to attend my next (San Diego, California) presentation; please e-mail me at this address for more information –>

    Many thanks.

    ~Roxana Dapper
    American English writing activist-educator, feminist, non-sexist language advocate

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