Public Displays of Resistance

Involvement in politics in general may not initially seem to be a ‘feminist’ issue, yet I assure you it is. As women are human, and human rights are currently under attack, this is our issue. I believe in what is posted here:

https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide

And this portion of it is what inspired this post:

“Goodness has a First Amendment right, too. We urge you to denounce hate groups and hate crimes and to spread the truth about hate’s threat to a pluralistic society. An informed and unified community is the best defense against hate.

You can spread tolerance through social media and websites, church bulletins, door-to-door fliers, letters to the editor, and print advertisements. Hate shrivels under strong light. Beneath their neo-Nazi exteriors, hatemongers are cowards and are surprisingly subject to public pressure and ostracism.”

So here are some ideas on one method of resistance: T-Shirts.

Social Justice (using recent slogans such as ‘black lives matter’)

Respect Existence or Expect Resistance

Stop Calling them Alt-Right

Silence is Violence

Love thy Neighbor (no exceptions)

Love thy Neighbor (with list)

There is no ‘They’

And no matter what, focus on the positive! Focus on what we Can do. I’m feeling good about wearing my views on my sleeve.

PLEASE POST POSITIVE ACTIVIST T-SHIRT LINKS HERE. Also, buy and wear them! Or even better, make them!! It’s national thrift store day, so buy some blank t-shirts and t-shirt paint or plain black ink or bleach and write something good! Then share your photos!!

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Identity

Before beginning, I’ll mention that this is not JUST ‘feminist’. It’s humanist. It’s personal. I read this article and I had to join the conversation: https://medium.com/@jen.margulies/white-supremacy-is-bad-for-the-jews-lets-be-bad-for-white-supremacy-f8abf374353d

 

I am a cis-woman. My heritage is Norwegian, French, German, Scots-Irish, and some other nationalities in smaller amounts. I am an immigrant. I am married and childless. I have a chronic illness that has made life difficult in many ways over the years, including depriving me of consistent employment. I consider myself a proud American, from a beautiful land where there are many amazingly-cool people and a wealth of cultural experiences. This is a land that I want to protect. I advocate for the environment, eat organic when I can, and reduce consumption of goods in my own corner of it all.

I grew up surrounded by Jews whom I love, as well as wonderful people of many other backgrounds. Many of my friends over the years have been gay, trans, adopted, or had a mental or emotional illness. I am a freedom fighter in that I stand up for the marginalized, for goodness, for what is right. I was also the target of bullying for many years, not by my Jewish friends nor Thai nor Jamaican, but by the kids who attended a mostly-“white” “Catholic” school. I put Catholic in quotes there for a reason, because their behavior was anything-but Christian, and actually many of them did not even identify as Catholic nor attend church. I don’t demonize “white” people either, because I’ve known so many good ones, especially my grandparents and my parents. My grandfathers were both loving, progressive-minded men who fought for the Allies in World War 2, one of whom lived with PTSD for the rest of his life. My grandmothers were both strong, loving women who lived with chronic physical illness while raising children and doing other amazing things.

Accepting people as they are is the essence of Love, and Love, as I was taught, is the essence of God. That brings me to another important identity; I’m a Christian. But there’s no faith that is based on Love that I reject. In other words, all faiths that are based on Love, I consider myself part of. In that sense, I am also Jewish, Buddhist, Wiccan, Taoist, Yogic, Muslim, and more. If you ask me what I know about each of these, the answer would vary. But I have faith that they are good. Yet as with any faith, there are those who misuse it to ill-purpose and unfortunately prejudice some people in the process. Sadly, some people choose to set a bad example of what it means to be Christian, or otherwise.

Hate is the primary evil in the world. I was taught growing up that our mission as Christians is to rout out hate and spread love, sewing the Kingdom of God (which is to treat others with love and goodness) in the hearts of everyone we meet.

I’m not trying to lead a movement. I’m sharing who I am, what I believe, and Love as I understand it. I hope that Love takes root in your heart.

One Voice in a Million: You Ain’t Takin’ That From Me!

Love this song: Natasha Bedingfield ‘Strip Me’. About finding a voice and nourishing it.

Today I’m sharing with you that I struggle with this feeling sometimes; I’m just one small voice and what can I change?

But I stand up for my one voice, and look to inspiring examples of people whose one voice, whose insistence, whose decisions change things for others. This video from ‘Clevver News’ mentions that Emma Watson in the live action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ film coming out March 17 of this year is interpreting her ‘Belle’as being an active princess. Belle is that way in the cartoon version as well; active. She’s shown running through fields, riding her horse, exploring a castle, evading wolves in the forest, and saving her father. She inspired me growing up. I can’t tell you how many fields I’ve run through, sometimes with the song from the movie in my mind! “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell!”

The video states that she didn’t want to wear a corset, and that her Belle will be wearing boots rather than the ballet flats worn by the cartoon version. I love that. I’ve always been a boot-wearing girl, ever since I was little. They are just more comfortable for me. While I didn’t perceive the cartoon Belle as wearing a corset, I think it’s an important decision in the live-action film to encourage women and girls to be healthy, not just to cave to expectations. A lot of fantasy films show women in corsets, which influences our culture toward ‘beauty over comfort’ rather than the healthy reverse, comfort over beauty. As well, people who participate in cosplay (or, dressing in costumes worn by particular characters from media) will have a healthier model to emulate.

Natasha Bedingfield’s song likewise asks ‘who am I if you strip away all the outside stuff’ (referencing fashion and makeup through the visuals of the video), and it’s an important question to ask ourselves. It’s crucial to our happiness (as well as to women’s rights) to seek our inner selves and know who we are without all the ‘dressing up.’ It’s vital to be ‘ok,’ as the songwriter asserts she is, without all the trappings.

I think everyone’s ability to choose who they are and how to express themselves is a treasure. Value your own treasure, make the choices that validate you as a person and support your own values.

If I’m too afraid to make a different choice than the popular choice, then I’m not changing anything. However if I make my own choice regardless of what other people are doing or saying is ‘the thing’, then I have power to be me today.

You ain’t takin’ that from me! (and neither am I.)

10 Months

It’s been 10 months since I last published a post on this blog. I’d considered closing it down, removing it from the internet. Not for any particular reason other than that maybe my fire had gone out. Understand, I was really quite happy (and am still, in other areas of my life). I’ve been really busy in a good way. And I felt less need to make change. But I kept this blog, live and on the internet.

There are so many things that I’ve written for it that I value. And of course I continue to believe in the worth of women. Yet I had stopped believing for awhile that continuing to strive for change was necessary. Things seemed so good!

With the recent election came a wake up call. Are some people so desperate that a woman wouldn’t run the US that they elected someone with no political experience and plenty of major flaws? Or maybe that has nothing to do with it. I’ve been busy doing other things important to me but some of those will take a temporary sideline so I can do some work for change. Writing doesn’t always feel* like the most practical work, however if it gives good people hope then it finds its value there.

I’ll write again.

 

*feelings are not facts!

Start Doing Things the Way You Want Them Done

This is a bold statement, I realize that, and you have excuses why you “can’t” but I assure you, anything you want to do, you Can do.

Are you one of the people in your organization at work who deals with who is paid what amount? Go in and look at whether there are male and female employees there who are doing the same work. Even-out the pay between them.

Do you want to read books where the default pronoun is ‘she’? As in, “when any human feels they are capable of a task, she will complete that task with confidence” or myriad other examples. So write those books. Write those blog posts.

Do you want to fight rape on a real and personal level? Take reasonable precautions; Don’t invite people over until you know them really well, avoid getting completely intoxicated, and when your friends mention ideas of theirs that you think might put them or you in a dangerous situation, speak up and tell them so! Respect your instincts. Practice speaking up for yourself on all kinds of things, so that you make it a practice of making your needs and intentions clear.

And then my favorite: Do you want to see media that *respects* women? Create it. Create movies that don’t question female power and agency; they exhibit it. Create advertisements (even unofficial ones!) that show healthy women whose features aren’t obscured by makeup and don’t bother to call attention to the fact. Calling attention to something makes it increase, as it is the focus. So create the world as you’d like it. Show these strong and beautiful ideas of yours with confidence and abandon!

And keep it positive.

How to block numbers from calling your phone….

So this post is not exactly what it advertises, because in order to block the numbers, you have to have done this First. So read carefully.

Go to:  https://www.google.com/voice

If you have a gmail account and are signed in, this will be much easier. Follow the prompts to sign up for Google Voice and ask for a New number. When it asks for “area, zip code, or city…” type in a real area-code. It took me a while to understand what it was asking. For example: “920”

If you have any reason to be giving out your phone number to strangers (for example, you own a business and receive calls from clients) this is a great way to be able to block numbers if necessary, but also have texts and calls forwarded to your phone.

BE SAFE, women! Just because we’re awesome doesn’t mean we’re invincible!!

Emma Watson Introduces He For She Solidarity Movement

UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson speaks eloquently and powerfully on unifying the gender equality movement.

Not only so that women have equal rights Everywhere in the world, yet also so that men can be free to be sensitive and all can respect ourselves for who we are. She says it beautifully. Please do watch and leave a comment here or on her twitter: @EmWatson

Support the movement by your actions. Be one of the ‘inadvertent feminists’ she speaks of. Take action here via the #HeForShe website, as well.