Fight For Your Right
It’s Women’s Equality Day, and at Rally, this is clear call to action. Fighting the good fight is hard — it requires effort beyond sharing a news post or yelling about politics at the dinner table — but there are ways to make real change. We’ve outlined a few methods for direct action that have very real impacts on the status of women’s equality in America.
Start small, but show up
Community meetings are breeding grounds for local initiatives. School boards, city councils, and county commissions are passing ordinances that are directly impacting your community, and they’re overwhelmingly run by men. Breaking the glass ceiling on a state and federal level won’t get easier until women are sitting in at least half of the local representative seats. Go to the next meeting, get to know your neighbors, and make your voice heard. If running for office isn’t your thing, get to know and support the women who are trying to get on the ballot. A permit hearing for a womens shelter, a proposal for free feminine hygiene products at schools, or a grant for girls in STEM could be on the table. You need to fight for those small changes if we’re going to make big changes. #StrongerTogether
Check out the National Organization for Women for active campaigns.
Hold your reps accountable
Think about all of the time you spend on social media, writing posts, tweeting, g-chatting with friends about issues that matter to you. Now think about putting just a fraction of that time into contacting your representatives. You’d be communicating your concerns directly with people who vote on your behalf. @periodsforpence did a great job of putting social media energy into action, rallying thousands of women to call Governor Pence and protest Indiana’s medieval (and often cruel) anti-choice laws. Their action, combined with a 5–3 Supreme Court ruling on Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, effectively dismantled some of the most restrictive portions of the Indiana law. Here’s a handy tool for quickly identifying and communicating with your reps.
Protesting is an American tradition. Without protest, our greatest political and civil revolutions may not have happened. We’d probably still be living in colonies, eating prairie chicken burgers, wearing Laura Ingalls Wilder dresses and watching Netflix in a separate bed from our husbands. No thanks. Protest is supposed to offend you. It’s provocative because it needs to provoke conversation and change. It’s tense and charged and tumultuous because the issues at hand are dark and hard and painful. If you’re watching a protest and complaining because it’s inconvenient and something about it offends you, well, good. Oppression is more than offensive and inconvenient, and voices need to be loud for change to happen.
So, join a protest. Organizations across the country are rallying for racial equality, gender equality, paid family leave, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and more. These issues have an impact on all women — women of color and LGBT women are disproportionately the victims of sexual violence and poverty. All women need to take up those issues, because we are only as strong as our most vulnerable fellows. If women’s equality matters to you, jump in and strengthen the march.
Vote for choice
If you don’t personally believe that abortion is the right choice, you should still support the freedom to make that choice. Women across the US have seen their reproductive rights restricted by male legislators for decades, based on junk science and religious agendas. These restrictions have not reduced the number of abortions, they’ve just made access to safe abortion more difficult and expensive. There’s also been a dangerous uptick in attempted self-induced abortions, harkening back to the era of back alley, illegal procedures for women desperate to end pregnancy.
Whether a woman was the victim of rape or incest, or has an abusive partner, or is too young or old or poor or sick to carry a pregnancy to term — or just does’t want to have a baby — is no one else’s business. Abortion is a decision that needs to remain between a woman and her doctor. Vote for candidates who support choice. Without the freedom to govern our own body, we cannot be fully equal. And if you don’t believe in abortion, you can choose to never have an abortion. We’ll support you in that choice.
I know we deviated from periods a bit today, but that’s because we’re more than a monthly blog and bleed. Women’s health and women’s equality are not mutually exclusive. Without women in leadership roles in business and politics, we aren’t fully represented. Without full control of our reproductive systems, we’re not guaranteed equal opportunity. These issues matter. We want to hear your voices, and we want everyone’s voice to have a place. Rally is for all people, bleeders and non-bleeders. Reach out, tell us your story, let us rally for you.
Rally: Blogging & bleeding monthly.
Written by: Jamie Redmond