Feminism 45: It Works Every Time.

I talk. A lot. On Facebook, in real life, at work… and when I’m not talking, I sing. But I digress.

After a particularly creepy staring incident on the J train, immediately after which I learned about the Stanford rape case, I formed a facebook group called Vigilantes with Vaginas (see link below). What started out as a group of friends listening to me rant about roving the subways in bedazzled jumpsuits has blossomed into 383 thoughtful individuals in an ongoing discussion about all kinds of tough topics: rape, street/subway harassment, sex education, consent, bodily autonomy and how gender roles hurt boys and men as well as women and girls. I have been thrilled by the response, and moved by the stories that have been shared.


At the same time, people I know and love object to the group largely because of its name. Do you have to say Vagina? (Yes, I do.) Aren’t you afraid of what people will think? (Nope.) What about potential employers? What if you apply for a job and this comes up in a google search? (If a potential employer is going to reject me because I started a group to empower women using an anatomically correct term, I don’t want to work there.)

And then the Presidential race heated up. I’ve been with Her (Hillary, not that other person I shall not rant about for fear of taking up this entire post) from the beginning, but as the DNC approached, the reaction from my friends (especially men) has been fascinating. I’ve had difficult yet enlightening conversations with an ex-boyfriend, ending with the amazing news that a former Bernie Bro volunteered for HRC’s campaign. But I’ve also been defriended, and had uncomfortable and as of yet unresolved conversations with friends who simply can’t see past their own feelings. To even suggest that institutional sexism plays a part in some of the opposition to Hillary puts some people so much on the defensive that they can’t get beyond what they hear as accusations to see the larger picture.

Which brings me here. A good friend suggested that I spend so much time posting, arguing and writing on facebook — why not publish it all in one place? Here it is.

I’m not sure exactly what this will be, but the working title — Feminist 45: It Works Every Time — refers to a couple of key elements. First, Hillary will (we hope) be our 45th President, and that’s a HUGE thing.

Second, do you remember those Colt 45 commercials from the 80's? They’re pretty rapey. “It Works Every Time…” Wow.

And sadly, not much has changed. Some of us may be more sensitive, but remember that Bloomingdale’s ad from last Christmas?

Finally, I hope that the discussions we have here will work. Maybe not every time, but as Hillary herself said:

“…[w]hen any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”

Thanks for reading. More to come.