Take the responsibility of being an ally seriously.
What a Witch
Great. This is a necessary behavior in the face of the election of the most overtly racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti- gender and sexual minority candidate in the history of the modern United States. You know the rhetoric of his campaign was wrong. It was the very worst thing about America and you want to do what you can to combat the result. Good. Do that.
But don’t do it without a plan. Because the very last thing a tense situation needs is someone full of good intentions but with no knowledge of de-escalation tactics or self-defense. Your intentions are not a tangible shield. If you don’t make a plan, you will get yourself or the person you are trying to defend very killed.
Let’s avoid that.
So make a plan.
Some of you can stop reading now. You have, or know how to make a plan and you don’t need…
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All that I feel, elegantly shared by an immigrant woman of color living in rural America.
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Today marks the 5th anniversary of Feminist Activism’s first blog post! To celebrate I’m counting down my top five favorite posts from throughout the years. They’re not necessarily the posts that have gotten the most views or interactions, but they’re the ones I think have been most poignant. If your top five would be different, tell everyone which posts you’d have preferred in the comments. Thanks for being a part of my life, and for helping make the world a better place for the past half-a-decade, and here’s to 50 more years of Feminist Activism!
5. Five Articles Explaining Abortion in Texas
So, number five is actually a compilation of five of the many articles I’ve written about bodily autonomy and my experiences fighting for Reproductive Justice in Texas. Obviously I have a lot to say about abortion, and my experiences at the Capitol have only amplified and solidified my commitment to making sure everyone who is faced with an unwanted or unsustainable pregnancy has the option, means and opportunity to terminate if they choose to. The articles that outline my experiences at the Capitol will always be close to my heart, especially since they served as a sort of living history journal for the unprecedented civic participation and nonviolent action that took place during the passage of HB2. I and all other Americans dedicated to Reproductive Justice wait with baited breath for the Supreme Court’s decision this spring.
4. Religion and Modest Dress
This post is one that still regularly gets a number of views, and since Islamophobia and hijab are frequent topics of discussion amongst both liberals and conservatives, the reality check that Islam is not the only religion that tries to control women’s bodies is definitely relevant. I only tackled the three Abrahamic faiths in this piece though, so if you have contributions about clothing and head-covering in other religions or faith practices, please feel free to share them in the comments!
3. Ode to Street Harassers
Normally poetry is not my preferred method of expressing myself, but this slam-poetry style post still runs through my head whenever I, or anyone I know, is subjected to a public reminder that we are not safe. Street harassment is a pernicious problem for people who do not identify as masculine, white, able cis-men. If you identify as a masculine, white, able cis-man, please, use your privilege, use your power to speak out against street harassment, and help make the streets safer for the rest of humanity.
Türkiye was my second-home for two years and every time I read about Turks standing up against their current government my heart sings. Their courage in speaking up and resisting the tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons and rubber bullets of a dictatorship terrified of the people banding together is still inspiring, years later. The legacy of the çapullar, the woman in red, duran adam and all the unsung heros of the incredible direniş will live on, whether Erdoğan continues to flout the rule of law and democracy or not.
1. Socially Constructed Gender Roles: The Root of All Evil
Inequality in any area is completely unconscionable. My assertion is that because the majority of people see gender roles (which severely perpetuate inequality) as innate and immutable it is easier for the general public to ignore or excuse away other kinds of inequalities. Only once everyone understands that sex and gender are social constructs which perpetuate patterns of inequality can we as a society band together, despite our differences, to tackle inequalities based on other issues like sexual orientation, ability, age, race, religion and immigration status. Thank you for doing your part, and supporting me while I do mine, to eradicate socially constructed gender roles. Keep up the good fight Feminist Activists!
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for Feminist Activism. Here’s to an even more informative and just 2016! Happy New Year, dear readers!
Here’s an excerpt:
Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 67,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Click here to see the complete report.
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Dear Mr. Lebowski,
As I am sure you are well aware the month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month–or SAAM colloquially–but with stories like the rape of women and girls in ISIS captivity, fraternities attempting to prohibit schools from investigating sexual assaults, and revenge porn victims finally getting some justice in the news lately it would be a difficult feat for anyone to be unaware of just how prevalent sexual assault is in the U. S. of A. While #EverydaySexism is rampant, one in three women and one in six men experience sexual violence in their lifetimes, so it’s no wonder why organizations like the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and support groups like Pandora’s Project unfortunately must exist!
SAAM is organized by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and this year the campaign focuses on sexual assaults occurring on university campuses were an appalling 90% of sexual assault occurrences go unreported. In response to campus sexual violence NSVRC highlights such resources as the government-run Not Alone, SAFER: Students Active For Ending Rape, the bystander-focused It’s On Us, and organizations and information surrounding the Title IX legislation like the Clery Center and Know Your IX. Consent has also been a hot topic of late, with some states and universities enacting “Yes Means Yes” laws to combat rape culture.
I apologize for yammering on, Mr. Lebowski, but I wanted you to understand the climate from which I am coming when making this request of you. Sunday my associates and I are taking to the lanes you are so fond of to raise money for The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity. This organization helps those in Central Texas who otherwise might not be able to afford a safe, legal abortion. The National Network of Abortion Funds hosts Bowl-a-Thons across the country every year, and this year we are determined that Maude’s Zesty Enterprise will meet our goal of raising 1,356 bones, or clams, or whatever you call them.
The dollar amount, one-thousand three-hundred fifty-six, may seem odd but that is the precise cost for two first trimester surgical abortion procedures in Austin, and while it is a lofty goal, any amount you or your generous friends can give would be most appreciated… we are going balls out after all! Hahaha. We will be accepting donations through the end of the month here. I look forward to our next rendezvous Dude, and hope you are well. Thank you in advance!
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Happy Mothering Day to all the people out there doing mothering in one way or another.
Happy Mothering Day to the biological moms in a nuclear family who look just like what Hallmark thinks a mom on Mother’s Day should.
Happy Mothering Day to all the adopted/adoptive moms and step-moms and grandmas-acting-like-moms.
Happy Mothering Day to all the double-mom households.
Happy Mothering Day to all the men out there filling the roles of both dad and mom.
Happy Mothering Day to all the working parents who feel like they don’t spend enough time with their kids.
Happy Mothering Day to the stay-at-home parents who are going crazy spending too much time with their kids.
Happy Mothering Day to the people who are mothering someone else’s children, in whatever way.
Happy Mothering Day to the women whose children are being mothered by someone else, for whatever reason.
Coretta Scott King leading a march of “Welfare Mothers” in 1968
Happy Mothering Day to the parents struggling to get by.
Happy Mothering Day to the teen/young/new moms and pregnant folk.
Happy Mothering Day to the surrogate moms. Both literal and figurative.
Happy Mothering Day to the women who chose not to continue their pregnancies.
Happy Mothering Day to all the people who can’t have children, and all the people who don’t want children.
Happy Mothering Day to those who mother animals, or who part-time mother other humans through volunteering.
Happy Mothering Day to those moms who are missed and those who are missing children.
Take some time today to reflect on what makes you and your mothering awesome; you deserve it.
Today is a day to celebrate all the caretakers in our lives and honor the incredible and priceless work caretakers do for our societies. Raising babies and children and teens to be respectful, loving, contributing members of society is one of the most, if not the most important job in society, and yet the people who are tasked with this enormous responsibility are not seen as “earning a living” because their work is unpaid. The people who raise individuals who love others, who fight against injustice, who work for peace, and who shine positivity into this world ought to be praised and commended and recognized regularly, not just one day a year. And this praise and recognition and commendation ought to come in the form of eternal gratitude displayed with regular acts of kindness and love towards them and everyone else, not by buying into the commercialism of Capitalist Mother’s Day.
Diamonds and many other gems are mined from the poorest countries with slave labor and not only siphon wealth away from that country but deplete its natural resources and fund illegal and terrorist activity. Flowers are raised with pesticides and fertilizers that poison the planet and the farm workers who harvest them. Chocolate too is full of dangerous chemicals and is harvested with child slave labor from some of the poorest countries on earth. Even the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, eventually fought against it because of the commercialization surrounding it.
Motherhood is an option, not an obligation
Truthfully I can’t tell you what your mother or your mother-figure wants, but I can tell you that she and all people who mother would be better off if everyone who wanted to become pregnant or have a child could, and if no one who did not want to become pregnant didn’t. Happy Mothering Day pro-choicers! May every motherhood be a wanted one.
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