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Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Day Without Women: International Women's Day Reflection

I'm not a fan of protesting. Although there have been moments in history when it's been effective, in general it's not proactive, but more reactive and therefore has a more negative connotation than other forms of political activism. 

I prefer to do proactive things like marches and rallies (which I recognize can often turn into protests, but it really is dependent on the crowd at hand) because they are more about gathering FOR something instead of gathering AGAINST something. And of course I prefer positive action (writing letters, signing petitions, calling representatives, joining lobbying groups, etc). Doing positive impact things are typically much more effective than protesting things.



I looked at the Women's March as a Pro-Women Event.  It was not advertised as an Anti-Trump event and I did not participate as a way to go against our president or his administration.  I participated as a way of gathering with my fellow women and speaking FOR the issues that I feel passionate about: Equal Wages, Access to Women's Healthcare, Freedom from Violence, Civil Rights Equality, and Justice Equality.  Those are the very same issues I supported in today's International Women's Day.  They are the reason I wore Red to show support.  The reason I emailed, called, and sent letters to my representatives.  And they are the reason I had a long conversation with my children about Women's Equality.  

Protesting is dangerous.  Not only physically (because it often leads to rioting) but emotionally.  It can lead to a false sense of accomplishment.  It can lead to people feeling like they have completed their part of the "fight" and allow people to become less active.  But we cannot let this happen.  

Just as the Women's March energized the base of our movement into action, the Day Without Women should also energize us and push us into action.  Proactive action.  We need to use this energy to pour ourselves into the issues we care most about.  



Here are 5 ways that we can continue to stay active in Women's Rights issues and help to influence policy:

1. Write, Call and Email your Representatives REGULARLY.   That's right, just calling once and hitting "send" on an email isn't enough.  Our Representatives often "forget" the issues that we are passionate about.  Their duty is to represent their constituency and in order to do that they need our constant communication.

2.  Join a local Activists Group. There are whole teams of people who get together to work for certain causes.  Join one of these!  Go to meetings, help them petition, go with them an physically meet with our Representatives.

3. Talk to people.  It's as easy as that.  Talk to people about the issues you care about.  Find people with common interests.  Witness.  Some people may not want to be a part of the movement with you, but you might be surprised how many people do.  Continue to talk to your children about the issues.

4. Maintain your awareness.  Keep yourself up to date on what legislation is being worked on and voted on.  Follow local Facebook groups and stay aware of what's going on.  

5.  Don't Allow yourself to feel like your job is DONE.  It's not and it wont be for a while.  So stay vigilant. 

Do you have any other suggestions for how people can remain involved? please share your RESPECTFUL thoughts and comments below. 

10 comments:

  1. These are great ideas. Maybe also get your voice heard throughout the community. Try writing a letter to the editor in local papers. Hold meetups in your area. Make friends and help spread the message.

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    1. YES!! Local action and networking is soooo important! I'm blessed to live in a city, so there are many resources and groups already in action here for me to join, but for those in less populated areas it can definitely be harder to find and make networks of like-minded people.

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  2. I'm with you. I'm not a big fan of protests, because I don't like when things hold a negative connotation. (It's why I also usually don't read blog posts with Not or other words that hold negative connotations.) I'm all about marches and the things you can do that still make an impact. I love the ideas you shared in this post on ways to stay involved and advocate for the causes you're passionate about.

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    1. Thanks Crystal! I think that positive impact is a much more worthy cause of our attention. It's so important to bring GOOD to our world, not encourage more BAD.

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  3. I love this post! Local action is so important, especially right now.

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    1. Thanks Motherhood and Merlot! Especially right now :)

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  4. I love the positive impact of this march (and others)! My husband inadvertently ended up in a local march! He was at our state capitol for business, and when he came out, there was the march - so he walked a bit before leaving! I hate hearing all the negativity that surrounds people who are trying to be positive.

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    1. Agreed! It's difficult to stay positive when people are so quick to accuse and constantly acting as though political activism is "whining" or in some way anti-patriotic. But it's our job as citizens to remain active! The hard part is making sure we stay positive in the face of adversity.

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  5. I like that you mentioned maintaining your awareness. The legislation seems like they constantly change but social media is a good way to stay informed. - Breyona Sharpnack

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    1. Yes, social media is a good way to stay updated... BUT you have to be very careful about relying on social media ONLY because many of the articles and blog posts shared on Social Media are merely opinion pieces meant to "rally" a response. I find that PBS News, USA Today, the Associated Press, NPR, and Politico are fairly close to the "middle" on the political spectrum. I can't lie though, I enjoy watching some MSNBC and FoxNews just to gain some media perspective from the far ends of the spectrum. I find those two particularly to be more COMMENTARY than ACTUAL News.

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