#WhyIMarch: 5 Reasons I’m Marching on Washington This Weekend

Mackie
01/15/2017

Greetings, Good Millennials!

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? A lot has changed since I last posted – the site got a facelift, there’s new Gilmore Girls and a new Star Wars, a fascist demagogue is now the President-Elect. You know, the usual.

I’m back because I wanted to share with you my excitement about the upcoming Women’s March on Washington on January 21st. I am outraged and deeply concerned about the future of our country under President Trump. The precedents his administration has already set (or, more accurately, broken) are scary, unsettling, and truly dangerous for us as citizens and the future of our country.

Plus, as many of you probably know, I was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton. This election and her loss (ahem 3 million more votes ahem) hit me very hard. I was emotionally wiped after election day, falling into anxiety rabbit holes and having a hard time controlling my anger and feelings of deep loss and betrayal.

It took me a while to recover (still haven’t listened to Fight Song since election day tbh), but I and my community soon rallied. Throwing myself head first into helping and reaching out to others, particularly other women, really helped. Then I discovered the Women’s March.

CREDIT: ELIZABETH AZEN THISISDYNASTY.COM @THISISDYNASTY

The mission of the march is to “join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore”. Led by a diverse and intersectional committee of women, the march is on track to draw some 200,000 people to DC the day after Trump’s inauguration. For more info on the organizers, you can check out this great article from Vogue or interviews on Pod Save America and Call Your Girlfriend, among many other podcasts.

There are about 55 million reasons to join the march (or a sister march in town near you) but because the internet waits for no woman, I’ve narrowed it down to 5. Feel free to share your own below or on the socials with the hashtags #WhyIMarch and #WomensMarch. And take a look at the march’s Unity Principles, an explanation of why we’re marching and who we’re marching for. (PS. The following artwork is brought to you for free by females and nonbinary people from all over the world via the amazing Amplifier Foundation.)

#WhyIMarch

1. I believe women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.

Women are STILL not equal to men under the law and in our society. While we’ve made great strides, women still face discrimination in almost every facet of our government, our healthcare and education systems, our economic structure, and in our culture. I march because this daily, violent struggle is unacceptable.

2. I want to protect reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy.

Of the many progressive issues I care about, reproductive health and abortion access are perhaps what I am most passionate about. I believe in the right to choose my own medical care, the right to have that care be safe and affordable, the right to honest and clear information about my health (particularly my sexual and reproductive health), and the right to a legal and safe abortion — these beliefs are held somewhere deep inside of me, and when they are challenged, I feel a tidal wave of rage and fear takeover. I march because it’s my body, my choice. (If you’d like to know more about this fight, I recommend reading Pro by Katha Politt.)

3. I need to be involved. 

I have always considered myself a politically engaged person, but like many progressives during and after this election season, I felt that I could have done more. So after the election, I doubled down on any and all of my activism efforts. For Christmas this year, I donated to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and other local charities in my friends’ names. I became involved with a few women’s health volunteer organizations here in the city. I make calls to my representatives in Congress and keep up to date with daily action alerts. I recommitted myself to female friendships and building bonds within (and outside) my community. I march because it is just the beginning of what I can do.

4. I want to be connected with other feminists and progressives. 

I only remember a few specific moments when I have felt totally and exceptionally alone. One was the evening of November 8, 2016, as I watched in horror as Chuck Todd explained how the math just wasn’t adding up. A deep and hollow hole began to grow in the pit of my stomach and the grotesquely cool and prickly ripple of anxiety raced up the back of my neck, down my shoulders, and made a home in my chest: it was over. I looked around the room at my friends, they too in disbelief, and I realized tears were streaming down my face. It didn’t seem real. I woke up the next morning, yearning to isolate myself from the whole world, wishing I could hole up at my friend’s apartment and never come out. “No one will ever understand this,” I thought (rather dramatically). I reached for my phone and saw texts, tweets, missed phone calls, messages from former classmates, roommates, family, friends, teachers — all asking if I was ok, sending me strength, sending me love. It was incredible. They lifted me up that day, and since then I have committed to paying that forward in action and activism. I march to connect with my community, the deep well from which I draw my strength, my commitment to action and my hope for a better world.


5. As a white cis woman of privilege, it is my duty to be an ally to my sisters and brothers of color, those in the LGBT community, immigrants, refugees, those living near or under the poverty line, elders, the differently abled, the imprisoned, and the many other people who continue to face discrimination and abuse from their government and communities.

The incoming administration and their policies systematically attack marginalized people. The rhetoric during the campaign is now becoming law, and that is due in part to the 53% of white women voters who voted for Trump. While in theory this number may be surprising to someone like me, it is not for the generations of people who have watched only white feminism become mainstream. As Gloria Steinem says, it’s not feminism unless it’s intersectional. I believe it’s my duty to stand beside all those who are yet to be truly free in America; their fight is my fight.

 

If you’d like to know more, including how to get to the march, how to attend a sister march, and more, please visit the Women’s March website. If you’re attending the DC march, please RSVP so they can have enough amenities and space for those attending and please reach out to me! I would love to march with you. The rise of the woman = the rise of a nation. Let’s rise.

 

International Women’s Day 2016

To honor International Women’s Day, Good Millennial has compiled a list of ways to celebrate and get involved. All information is via International Women’s Day campaign – check their website for much more here. Start a conversation that matters today!

Find an event

You can find an event held today or this week anywhere in the world through this link! Get out and meet other incredible women in your area. Or you can hold your own event in your school or community!

Watch International Women’s Day videos

Groups around the world have made International Women’s Day videos to explain their support in helping to accelerate gender parity. You can also YouTube other important speeches by women, like Hillary Clinton’s famous “Women’s rights are human rights” speech at the fourth Women’s Conference in China in 1995.

Donate to a female-focused charity

If you are in the green giving mood this week, consider donating to a charity that directly supports women in your town or throughout the world. The International Women’s Day’s official charity is the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. We also love ZanaAfrica, a foundation that provides period supplies for girls who otherwise couldn’t do work or attend school while on their periods. A $40 donation provides four girls with supplies for A WHOLE YEAR.

Share your support on social media and with others

Use hashtags #InternationalWomensDay and #PledgeforParity to bring friends and loved ones to the celebration! Encourage them to continue to act and learn all year long.

Make the #PledgeforParity

Via this website, you can pledge to combat gender differences in your everyday life. Make sure you share the pledge with friends and start a conversation!

Read pledges from other global leaders

Read how CEOs, heads of state, and other leaders around the world are pledging to fight for female causes. Get inspired!

How are you honoring International Women’s Day? Share with us on the socials or in a comment below!

Listen Up! Good Millennial’s Podcast Picks 2016

Mackie
03/07/2016

Hello, Good Millennials! How are you? Doing okay? Drinking enough water? Did you watch the Downton Abbey finale? Good. I’m happy you’re here.

Over the past year, I have really gotten into the podcast life. Interviews with famous people, comedians telling jokes, friends telling stories – I am all about a good, engaging podcast. Now that I live in NYC and take the subway everywhere (and when I’m on tour and spending endless hours in the van), I rely on podcasts even more. What is a podcast, you ask? It’s an on demand radio in your pocket or on your computer! I use them to keep up with pop culture, listen to the news, and just relax with hosts who now feel like old friends. With the help of some trusty pals, I’ve listed some favorite podcasts below. All are available on the podcast app or on their respective websites. Happy Listening!

1. Call Your Girlfriend

         Style: Discussion/Interview – Females in creative/tech industries

In the “podcast for long distance besties everywhere”, BFFs Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow call each other from their respective closets to discuss anything and everything related to womanhood. Election coverage with a feminist lens? They’ve got you. Need advice on diva cups in their segment This Week In Menstruation? Look no further. Call Your Girlfriend is the podcast for millennial feminists who want to be a part of a global discussion on pop culture and current events. Plus these very intelligent and extremely fun ladies also talk with fascinating guests from various fields (tech, journalism, arts, and MORE!) with their Phone-A-Friend episodes. This is my favorite podcast. Ann and Amina plz be my BFFs thank u!!!! Plus sign up for their newsletter!

 

2. Another Round

Style: Discussion/Interview – Academic/Creative/Celeb/Issues-based

Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton host this booze-enhanced podcast that covers everything from race to gender to pop culture (and squirrels… always squirrels). They lead listeners through a fascinating and funny listening experience, utilizing clever segments and meaningful conversation. They also talk candidly and lovingly about mental health and self care, and I feel like I’m listening to wise mentors when Another Round comes on. This podcast has a cocktail party vibe without any of the schmoozing or inevitable mansplaining. I always look forward to this podcast each week and I learn a lot, too. Plus, they interviewed Hillary Clinton! Legit! For more, read this great piece by the Guardian. 

 

3. Women of the Hour

Style: NPR-esque radio program, interview/discussion component

Lena Dunham hosts this podcast miniseries highlighting various aspects of female life. Each one of the 5 full episodes (there are some mini-episodes thrown in, too) focuses on a different part of what it means to be female in 2016 – love, sex, work, friends, body, and the big picture. Lena and her team interview incredible women of all ages and types, allowing them to tell their stories in a way that is honest, funny, and often very moving. This podcast specifically highlights women of color and women in the LGBT community, and the production quality is spectacular and totally engaging. I cannot recommend this enough. Even if you “don’t like Lena Dunham”, you WILL like this podcast!!! Seriously!!!!

 

4. With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus

Style: Comedy/Improv

Comedian and actor Lauren Lapkus hosts this totally improvised podcast that makes me laugh outloud on my train rides home. The premise is each week Lauren brings on a special guest who plays the host of a fictional radio show. That host then introduces Lauren who is playing the guest on the fictional show. The best part is the show is 100% made up and sometimes Lauren doesn’t even know who she’ll be playing when the show starts. Cue the shenanigans. It’s also on the Earwolf Podcast Network, and they host A LOT of really great podcasts for your listening pleasure. My favorite episodes are with Paul F. Thompkins as Santa Claus. Let that sink in.

 

5. Womp It Up

Style: Comedy/Improv – Weird and Goofy

Actors, improvisers, and all around hilarious creative people Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham host this improvised podcast as their character alter egos: Marissa Wompler and Charlotte Lissler. The premise is Marissa is a senior at Marina Del Ray Public High School and this podcast is her senior project. She is lead by her teacher and mentor Charlotte Listler (who also happens to be a former sniper) and they have guests from the school come on the show (i.e. Jessica and Lennon’s improv pals from UCB, your fave tv shows and more!). Make sure you start this podcast back at the beginning, because there are so many callbacks and relationships established each episode that I am always amazed this show is improvised. My favorite improvised podcast. Also love Comedy Bang Bang!

 

6. Girl On Guy with Aisha Tyler

Style: Interview – Artists, Comedians, Authors, Celebs

Maybe you know Aisha Tyler from… well, everything. She’s a host of the daytime tv series The Talk, guest stars on Criminal Minds, does standup, writes, hosts panels, and also finds time for this podcast. She’s one of the hardest working people in show business and uses this podcast to connect and unwind. She has a breadth of knowledge and seems to be able to connect with literally anyone. Her interview style is conversational and personal, and she truly cares about her podcast community and loves connecting with her fans. Because she’s so busy she has scaled back her podcast production, but with her app you can listen to the over 200 podcasts in the Girl on Guy vault. I always feel smarter and calmer after listening to Aisha and her guests. My fave episodes are with author Kelly Carlin, George Carlin’s daughter, and Amber Tamblyn.

 

7. Dear Sugar Radio

Style: Advice

Created by authors Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed (yes, THAT Cheryl Strayed), Dear Sugar takes the advice column to the airwaves and answers your most burning questions about life and love. According to their website, Sugar “fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return.” Strayed is an active feminist, and she and Almond make a great pair. Together they create the engaging advice persona Sugar, and they tell the stories of their listeners with heart. Plus you can read Strayed’s essays as Sugar in her book “Tiny Beautiful Things”.

 

8. She Does Podcast

Style: Interview/Conversation – Media/culture

I am a new fan of the She Does Podcast, so I will let their their website do the talking for me. It’s a super accurate statement.

She Does podcast features creative minds working in media. Each episode centers around an intimate conversation yet digs deeper into each woman’s background, philosophy and process through artful audio documentaries soundtracked by music made by women. The show is hosted and created by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg, documentary makers who are interested in how their guests got to where they are today. Whether up and coming or well-established, She Does features notable women of all generations, working at the intersection of media, film, journalism, art and technology. We bring you stories of what makes these women tick, their beginnings, their roadblocks, and the delightful bits in between.

 

Special Mention: FiveThirtyEight Elections Podcast

Style: Interview/Discussion – Politics/Polling

I wanted to highlight podcasts specifically created and/or hosted by females, but I gotta give a shoutout to Nate Silver and the team at FiveThirtyEight. This election season is giving me an ulcer, but the pollsters at FiveThirtyEight keep me sane. Their blog uses statistical analysis to tell stories about sports, politics, and news, but their big thing is compiling historical numbers and all legitimate polling data to create some pretty accurate polling about almost anything related to politics. I mostly listen to their Elections podcast because they utilize lots of math/science and lots of smart/talented people to explain polling data, delegate counts, and everything in between. If you are a political junkie or want accurate data and interesting discussion, listen up!

 

Do you have a favorite podcast left off the list? Let us know on the socials or in a comment below!

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week *GUEST POST*

It’s a special day here at Good Millennial because we have a GUEST POST! This week’s guest post is from the lovely, formidable butterfly that is Abigail Oldham.

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Eating disorders affect over 20 million women in the United States, and many of these cases go unreported and untreated.

I knew I wanted to highlight #NEDAwareness Week on the blog, and I immediately thought of Abigail. She has been sharing her recovery experience for over two years and her effort, strength, forgiveness, and compassion never cease to amaze me. I’m so honored she shared her story with us.


12733449_10208629298473205_5266293663989719391_nOver the past two years in recovery, I’ve surely been known to use my social media platform to promote openness, honesty, and self-discovery through the recovery of my eating disorder. When NEDA’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week rolls around, I take the opportunity to share even more posts to celebrate my recovery and the gift awareness brings.

I come from a world where calorie and nutrition facts quantitatively measured my worth, and now I live in a world where faith trumps fear and a number can’t define the many intangible parts of who I am. How that did that happen? It started with me knowing I was bulimic. Though I had exemplified every behavior trait of someone suffering from bulimia for the past 7 years, I sat at the group table during my first day of therapy with tears streaming down my face explaining, “I’m just not one of you.”

It’s never us, until it is. It’s never real until the reality is our own staring us back in the mirror. I really was one of them, and I was in a battle that I was refusing to know. One night while in treatment but denying my diagnosis, I innocently walked to the kitchen on the phone to get a drink of water. Impulsively, I dropped the phone, opened the freezer door, and dug into 2 gallons of ice cream, a pizza, and then the porcelain god for the following 3 hours. I laid on the couch until the sun rose with one thought, “I cannot live like this another day.”

12744152_10208631865537380_1146735826687877813_nI often refer to this as my “Come to Jesus” moment. The next day, I brought my beloved scale to treatment to smash and vowed it would no longer ruin another night of my life as it did the night before. That is the day I decided to go on the long and treacherous road to recovery from my eating disorder.

To celebrate this week, I originally thought about just telling you facts you might not know about an eating disorder, like an eating disorder is not just physical but very mental, it looks different on everyone, and how you talking bad about your body and “diet talk” triggers everyone around you struggling with an eating disorder.

However, what I want you to know is that recovery is hard. It is the most unpredictable process: one minute you’re doing well and the next you’re back in treatment for a relapse in behaviors. It is learning to love what you’ve defined as unlovable because you only know conditional love. It’s learning to silence the “Who do you think you are?” and “I am not enough.” For I really am just enough.

I hope this week you will commit to being aware, because I promise you we’re all in recovery from something. Of course, I am passionate about eating disorder recovery because it is my battle to fight, but we are all fighting a battle every day. I beg you to be kind, loving, and full of grace to those around you.

Awareness is our greatest agent of change. Share some love this week on someone else’s recovery journey.

 


 

If you or someone you know is struggling with food or exercise issues, please visit nedawareness.org. NEDA can help you get screened, find recovery centers near you, and help you begin or continue your recovery process. Get Screened. Get Help. Get Healthy.

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Abigail is a St. Louis native currently studying Acting at Ball State University. A BodyPeace activist, she is a contributing writer to the Faith column and a video blogger for recovery in mental health for Libero Network.

HBD, Good Millennial: Reflections On Year One

Mackie
02/21/2016

Hello, GM team! Can you believe it’s been a year since we started this crazy adventure? I have been out on the road with a traveling show since January, so please excuse my tardiness in celebrating Good Millennial’s first year of existence. I’m hoping to have more original posts up soon, but please check the FB and Twitter for reposts of great articles, photos, and more from other awesome lady-driven blogs and papers.

After renewing my website hosting and domain for another year, I began to notice the changes in my life since I started keeping a blog. I decided to start a blog in the first place, I think, because I was bored. I was living with my boyfriend in a brand new city and I was stalled. I hadn’t given my career a chance to take off. I was supposed to be saving all my money, but even working three jobs wasn’t enough. I was away from friends and family, and I was bored. Bored with my life.

And just when I thought this was how my life was going to be forever, my boyfriend got laid off from his dream job, and in three week’s time, he was getting on a bus to start a new job in New York City. I still had a few responsibilities that kept me in New England, so he left and I stayed.

It’s never a good sign when the person you love most in the world gets some crushing news and the first thing you think is “We can move!” I was sort of appalled at myself – Kody loses his job and the first thing I feel is a weight being lifted off my shoulders?

As bad as I felt for him, I kept having this creeping feeling that I could be free. Free from what? Nothing was actually keeping me in New England. Kody loved me and supported me (emotionally and monetarily at that point), and he never once forced me to stay there. I found some work that worked for me, but really, why was I there? What was there for me?

So when Kody told me he was taking a job in New York, I got scared. I had to finish out a teaching position and an acting job on the coast, but then what?

I guess we were moving to New York.

For years, New York City had been the end game. Or at least, that’s what I told people. When you grow up in Iowa, New York City is the exception, but when you want to do musical theater, New York City is the rule. My parents always supported me, but I had never seen what being an adult artist looked like outside of my hometown. Life to me was family, job, grocery store runs, singing, summer swimming pools, volunteering, school plays, visits with Grandma. Even in college I lived in a little neighborhood with all my friends in a two-block radius. What did I know about making a life for myself in New York City? I thought it was selfish and expensive and almost impossible. But actually, I was afraid.

So instead of giving it a go in New York, I moved to Rhode Island. Kody had a job there, and he had a goal, an end game. I had no goals, a messed up family situation back in Iowa, and a non-paid education internship at a well-regarded theater in Boston. So, off we went to New England: Kody running toward the first step in a long and successful career, and me, running away from any chance at mine.

I spent that year after college asking myself a million questions. If I moved to New York, what will I do for money? Will anyone want to hire me? Am I really any good? What if it’s too hard? Will I get lost? Will Kody and I break up? Will I have any friends? What if I can’t find anywhere to live? Do they have Target there? Oh my god, what will I do without Target?

Basically I kept wondering: What’s more important, my life or my work? At the time, I thought they were exclusive. And apparently I also thought I had a life. While I met some wonderful people and did have some wonderful opportunities, I was unhappy in Rhode Island. I was dealing with crippling self-doubt stemming from anxiety and depression that I tried to ignore, which of course only made it worse. Not only was this holding me back from my work, but it was affecting my relationship, too. (Kody calls it my Poptart Depression: the days when I stayed in bed with the lights off eating Poptarts instead of, you know, being a part of the human race.)

I was convinced I would never make it in New York. I was too fat, too broke, not good enough, not smart enough, not funny or savvy enough. I used every excuse in the book, including convincing myself that this was really what I wanted, that I was being practical and rational. To me, not trying was better than failing at something I was supposed to be good at.

So when Kody got laid off, my whole world turned upside down. My biggest fear had been realized: I had no money, no power, and no pursuits of my own, and almost worst of all, I had moved across the country for a guy who was leaving to start a new job, and I was making minimum wage and relying on him for everything.

Who am I? I thought. What have I done?

The night before Kody left for New York, we went to our favorite pizza place. (If I miss one thing about living in Rhode Island – besides the people – it is the food.) We smiled and talked and tried to have fun. I called in sick the next day and took him out to run some errands before dropping him off at the bus station. He left February 12th, and by February 13th, I had created a blog.

I had been ruminating on it for some time, experimenting with names and styles, but once Kody left, I knew it was time. When I walked back into our quiet apartment, I was faced with a reality I hadn’t felt in a long time: I was alone.

I sat on the couch and tried to watch TV. I ordered some pizza, called my mom, reorganized the coffee table. But I kept being bombarded by the silence, the thoughts in my head I had to face now that it was just them and me.

So I started writing.

Once I started down the blogosphere rabbit hole, I didn’t look back. I found my niche, and I also found my voice. I started reading more, listening to the ideas of others, and I found myself getting excited to work. I hadn’t felt that in a long time. I would head home from my babysitting job or my teaching job, and instead of dreading an empty house, I was excited to get home and write. The more women and issues I read about, the more empowered I became. The more I discovered, the more conversations I started with women near and far.

I wanted people to read my articles, to learn something, and to be inspired. But sometimes I found myself not caring if anyone read my stuff or not. I was just happy to be working, to be sharing a part of myself and being unafraid to do so.

In the time since I started Good Millennial, my life has changed exponentially. Kody and I left Rhode Island and moved to New York City. I got an agent, got a few part-time jobs, met a million people from a million places, took classes, and started working with a therapist who has changed my life. I’m currently in a van driving all over the country getting paid to sing and dance and Kody is busy getting promoted and taking on more responsibilities at a job he loves. We both found a place to be ourselves and be together. Life still isn’t easy, but it’s better. We are better. I am better.

Good Millennial gave me a place of my own, a place I could work on myself. It gave me courage and knowledge and few enemies on the Internet. Before I started blogging, I just didn’t care about anything. But writing, along with a strong support system and some good therapy, has given me a reason to care, a reason to be interested in the world around me. It reminded me that what we say and do matters, and learning and being engaged and starting a conversation that matters helps make the world a better place.

The first page I created for the blog was my About section. I listed all the things a Good Millennial should be. That list was less of a proclamation and more of a promise – to others and to myself. At the time, I didn’t have an opinion or a belief that our generation could change the world. I couldn’t even change my own life. But I listed those attributes because I thought if I created a small space for growth in my life, I could become those things. (Click here if you want a refresher.)

Thanks for sticking by me, Good Millennials. I hope you have enjoyed the journey. I know I have loved learning from you, and I will continue trying to make you proud.

Here’s to another year of education, action, compassion, and forging our own paths. We cannot be defined. We cannot be stifled. We are complex, driven, beautiful, passionate, fascinating, wonderful vessels for greatness. There’s a lot to be done, but we can do it together.

The world is at our feet. Let’s go.

xo,

Mackie

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Gloria Steinem’s Christmas List

For over half a century, women the world over have looked to Gloria Steinem for guidance, wisdom, and truth. She is outspoken, extremely intelligent, and, even now at age 81, still extremely dedicated to the cause that shaped her life. As a feminist, I owe Gloria Steinem a lot. But as a woman and a citizen of our country, I owe her even more. I am eagerly awaiting her book, which is currently on my Christmas list. This is her Christmas list, as told to an audience at The Betty Effect holiday show and posted on her Facebook page.

 

Ms. Steinem writes:

Thanks to my dear friends, BETTY, for giving me the opportunity to share my Top Ten Things I Want For Christmas at their holiday show (to support their wonderful organization The BETTY Effect. Donate here:http://www.thebettyeffect.org/). Thought you might like to see them as well.

10. An abject apology from Donald Trump for being a Birther; anti-immigrant; a builder of buildings that look like big Dunhill cigarette lighters; the world’s most punishing source of Green Cards for women who marry him to get one; daring to rate women as no longer Tens when he himself has never been a One, going bankrupt multiple times in order to stick other people with his bad-judgment debt; pretending he ever hit a home run when actually, he was born on Third Base – and oh, yes, setting the hair weave industry all the way back to Rogaine.

9). If Trump doesn’t apologize, I wish us all the gift of remembering that Hitler was democratically elected — in a low voter turnout. (Hard to explain short, but Hitler wasn’t elected personally, he headed the party that won a plurality of seats and a power-sharing deal.)

8) I would like state legislatures to stop building prisons with money that once went to universities, thus keeping way too many people in prison and way too many people in lifetime debt. This would not happen if Americans gave ourselves the gift of knowing and caring who our state legislators are.

7) I’m glad we’ve begun to raise our daughters more like our sons – but it will never work until we raise our sons more like our daughters.

6) I want people to know that the great gift of Black Lives Matter was created by 3 young black women: Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors – and that has led to 3 great organizing guidelines:

1) Lead with love
2) Low ego, high impact
3) Move at the speed of trust

Gives you faith in the future, doesn’t it?

5) I want Uber to stop charging for the weather – nobody, not even airlines, charge for the weather! – and I want Uber to stop refusing people with disabilities, and now, with 30,000 unregulated Uber cars in New York City, driving wheelchair accessible taxis out of business. Don’t let Uber become uber alles.

4) I would like us all to send a nice Christmas thank you to President Obama – for surviving ultra-right-wingers who, if they had cancer, and Obama had the cure, wouldn’t accept it.

3) I want any young men who buy a gun to be treated like young women who seek an abortion. Think about it: a mandatory 48-hours waiting period, written permission from a parent or a judge, a note from a doctor proving that he understands what he is about to do, time spent watching a video on individual and mass murders, traveling hundreds of miles at his own expense to the nearest gun shop, and walking through protestors holding photos of loved ones killed by guns, protestor who call him a murderer.

After all, it makes more sense to do this for young men seeking guns than for young women seeking an abortion. No young woman needing reproductive freedom has ever murdered a roomful of strangers. (This riff is not mine, it’s on the Internet – I thank whoever gave us all this present.)

2) I want the three magical women of BETTY to have everything they need to spread the BETTY EFFECT around the world. They are such a gift. They organize with music and by their own irresistible examples.

1) Finally, I want to make it to 100 — because I don’t want to leave, I love it here. You in this room are the biggest gift of all.

xxx

Merry Christmas from Gloria Steinem and Good Millennial! May we see her wishes come true as soon as damn well possible.


Featured image credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-U9-15739, frame 18]

Be cool! Give a book!

Mackie
12/12/2015

This holiday season, would you like to give your loved one a gift that connects them with people all over the world? What about a gift that transcends space and time? A gift they can return to again and again and never get tired of? And, what if I said you could give all that for under $20?

That’s right. I’m talking about BOOKS!

Books move us, expand our imaginations, and allow us to learn and grow as a community. Plus they’re a great way to support feminist and equal rights causes in your holiday shopping!

According to the VIDA Women in Literature Count, women are continuing to make strides in the literary world, but female authors, and especially female authors of color, are still published, reviewed, taught, and read less than male authors. This limits earning and job potential, as well as the amount of female stories and perspectives reaching students and general audiences.

So what can we do about that? VIDA suggests counting the number of female-written books you own. Need a few more books by badass ladies on your shelves? Think your friends might need some, too?

Good Millennial has compiled a list of some of the best books by female authors to give this holiday season. With everything from classics to brand new works, you’re sure to find a book for everyone on your list – and maybe a few for yourself!

 

EPIC TALES OF FICTION

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Via the author’s website:

“Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.”

 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“Superb . . . A work to stand beside literature of any time and place.” — San Francisco Chronicle

Currently running on Broadway, The Color Purple is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of family and what we will do for those we love. Once you and your friends read this seminal story, make sure you rent the film version to see Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah (yes, Oprah) in the performances of their lives. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this is for lovers of literature and newbies alike.

 

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

Via Amazon:

“In this debut novel, the García sisters and their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after their father’s role in an attempt to overthrow a tyrannical dictator is discovered. They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Caribbean. …For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating to be caught between the old world and the new. This novel sets the sisters free to tell their most intimate stories about how they came to be at home—and not at home—in America.”

 

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Via the author’s website:

“Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it.”

 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Reviewer Emilie Coulter describes this classic text:

“Like the Tree of Heaven that grows out of cement or through cellar gratings, resourceful Francie struggles against all odds to survive and thrive. Betty Smith’s poignant, honest novel created a big stir when it was first published over 50 years ago. Her frank writing about life’s squalor was alarming to some of the more genteel society, but the book’s humor and pathos ensured its place in the realm of classics–and in the hearts of readers, young and old.”

 

WHEN YOU WANT TO ESCAPE

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

“Bridget Jones is channeling something so universal and (horrifyingly) familiar that readers will giggle and sigh with collective delight.” —Elle

I’ve read this modern classic probably 700 times. If you have a friend who loves the glamour of Sex and the City but the realness of Tina Belcher, she needs to meet neurotic, hilarious, and incredibly relatable Bridget Jones.

 

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

“Exhilarating. . .powerful. . .By humanizing these formidable women, The Invention of Wings furthers our essential understanding of what has happened among us as Americans – and why it still matters.” – The Washington Post

If you know someone who loves historical fiction, this is a perfect choice. It’s based on the true story of Sarah Grimke’s journey from young Confederate socialite to pioneering feminist abolitionist. This book took me in and held me close. Get into it.

 

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

Via the AV Club:

“A boisterous novel about two warring families pitched on either side of the liberal-conservative divide, On Beauty works best as a chronicle of the families’ respective unravelings.”

PS. Listen to this author’s interview on the Women of the Hour podcast with Lena Dunham.

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This book is insane, and any thriller-lovers in your life will eat this book up (if they haven’t already). It keeps you guessing till the very end, and it’s infinitely better than the film version.

FUNNY AND POIGNANT PERSONAL ESSAYS

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Everyone seems to have something to say about Lena Dunham, which to me means two things: 1. She must be saying some pretty good things, and 2. Maybe I should hear her out in her own words. Every twenty-something female in your life will find something about this book to connect to. It’s funny, honest, self-aware, and moving. I gave it to like 4 friends last year, and I am still friends with every single one of them.

 

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

You don’t have to be an avid Mindy Project watcher to absolutely love Mindy Kaling’s essays. Her second book has all the cleverness of her first book with a dash of maturity and a little more wisdom. She writes with such a wonderfully specific voice that feels like you’re talking with an old (and hilarious) friend. Literally give this book to any woman (or man, honestly) you know. They will love it.

 

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran

From the author’s website:

“Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?

Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman – following her from her terrible 13th birthday (‘I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me’) through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, TopShop, motherhood and beyond.”

 

MEMOIRS THAT WILL BREAK YOUR HEART IN A GOOD WAY

Just Kids by Patti Smith

This book wrecked me. And therefore I must share its glory with the world. Historic punk musician and all around creative visionary Patti Smith chronicles her relationship with the late photographer Robert Maplethorpe with beautiful prose, stark frankness, and truly stirring intimacy. For anyone who loves memoirs, music, art, or simply a well-told story, this book is definitely a winner.

 

Negroland by Margo Jefferson

Review by Isabel Wilkerson:

“Ever provocative and insightful, the cultural critic Margo Jefferson bravely directs the focus inward to her own life and times as a child of the rigid and nearly invisible world of black elites in pre-Civil Rights, mid-century America. By turns, melancholic and hopeful, raw and disarming, she weighs the psychic toll of constructed divisions at the intersection of race, gender, caste and privilege. A moving memoir that is an act of courage in its vulnerability.”

PPS. I heard a great interview with the author on Fresh Air – can’t wait to read this one.

 

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Subtitled “a family tragicomic,” Fun Home is the story of Alison Bechdel, a lesbian cartoonist whose closeted father stepped in front of a truck when she was 19. With dark humor and warm richness, Bechdel shares her family’s story and the trajectory of her life, relationships, sexuality, and work through an inspiring medium. So inspiring, in fact, that the book was the basis for a Tony-winning Broadway musical. For anyone in your life who likes graphic novels, memoirs, or for anyone with a family as weird or even weirder than your own.

 

INSPIRATIONAL MEMOIRS

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

Feminist demi-god Gloria Steinem explores how her travels influenced her life and work in this new road book. At the age of 81, Steinem is still as revolutionary as ever. The dedication alone still brings me to tears. For any badass lady, history buff, or Jack Kerouac-lover in your life.

 

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Via Amazon:

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey, and at sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.”

 

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

We all know it, but lest we forget: Amy Poehler is life. Amy Poehler is love. And her book of essays is equal parts hilarious, informative, and truly lovely. Sharing gratitude and praise for everyone from her idols to her babysitters, she gives us a little sliver of what it means to be a golden goddess of comedy. For anyone who laughs and has a heart, which is hopefully everyone you know.

ADDITIONS TO THE FEMINIST LIBRARY

If you need a short feminist primer that packs a punch:

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

““Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.”

 

For the meme-loving feminist in your life:

Notorious RBG by Irin Cameron and Shana Knizhnik

The iconic website spawned this informative and enriching chronicle of one of the most important women of our time. This is on my real Christmas list I gave to my mom. Fingers crossed!

“[W]hen I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the supreme court]? And I say ‘When there are nine.’ People are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

 

For those passionate about reproductive rights:

Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt

I have always considered myself a feminist, but this book propelled me into action. Through impeccable investigation, active and sometimes darkly funny narrative, Katha Politt will inform and inspire you to do something. Her writing encapsulates the no-nonsense honesty the movement needs to succeed. I can’t recommend it enough.

“Why must the woman apologize for not having a baby just because she happened to get pregnant? It’s as if we think motherhood is the default setting for a woman’s life from first period to menopause, and she needs a note from God not to say yes to every zygote that knocks on her door.”

 

A more in-depth feminist primer:

Feminism Is For Everybody by bell hooks

“Feminist thinking teaches us all, especially, how to love justice and freedom in ways that foster and affirm life.”

 

Now all you have to do is head to your local bookstore and pick up something for everyone on your list! After asking for suggestions for this post, I have about 1000 books I need to pick up. Or if you’re looking for yourself, don’t forget about your local library.

Happy Holidays, Good Millennials!

Be cool! Give a book!

 

Did we miss your favorite female author? Have more ideas to share? Hit us up on the socials!

 


Good Millennial does not claim to own any images used in this post. All images are linked to original sources. Contact GM directly if you wish your image to be removed.

 

Tired of Giving In: Rosa Parks’ Refusal 60 Years Later

60 years ago today, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. We honor her courage, her commitment, and her strength. We thank Ms. Parks for helping put women on the front lines in the fight of civil rights and for sparking one of the most broad and effective acts of civil disobedience in the entire civil rights movement. Rochelle Riley, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, captures our gratitude well:

“There are lessons that came with bloodshed and tears that we must never lose. And many of those lessons can be found in the lives of the leaders who did what they had to do so we can do what we want to do.”

When researching for this piece, I became equally inspired and disheartened. Inspired, because the stories of Rosa Parks and many other African American women working for civil rights touched me and encouraged me, seeing how far we have come and how much these women did to make my world better than their own. But I quickly became disheartened, seeing the stark similarities between the fights going on today in Ferguson, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, and all over our country, and the ones that went on in Montgomery or Little Rock exactly 60 years ago. How could we see so much time pass, see so many people die, and still have so much work left to do?

But I was also struck by Ms. Park’s determination. When she was asked to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus, she probably felt a great deal more than disheartened. But she continued on. She was “tired, tired of giving in.” And her potentially small act of rebellion, her small act of not giving in, sparked something much bigger.

While Rosa Parks is probably one of the most recognized women in the civil rights movement, her story is often simplified for history books and social studies lessons. Plus the impact of not giving up a seat on a bus doesn’t hit as hard today as it did many years ago. In my research, I found a great post from a blog called Feminist Activism, which detailed some great information on Ms. Parks you probably didn’t learn in class. I will leave you with their call to action, which sums up my feelings exactly:

“It is your duty now, today, to honor Parks and other activists like her who have dedicated, and in some cases given, their lives in the fight for equality. Analyze, strategize and act to create equality. And do it with love.”

 

Happy Birthday, Louisa May Alcott!

I remember picking up a well-worn copy of Little Women when I was nine years old. I remember being enchanted with Jo’s story, running up to my room to write and play, eventually reading the book so veraciously the cover came off in my hands.

Many years and countless readings later, I consider myself an extreme fan of everything March. This extreme fandom includes an annual holiday viewing of the 1994 film adaptation (Susan Sarandon as Marmee, Winona Ryder as Jo, CHRISTIAN BALE AS LAURIE COME ON PEOPLE) during which I quote every line through tears of joy/sadness.

[“THEY’RE NOT EMPTY NOW” – Jo, and also me, quietly sobbing on the couch.]

 

Being a Little Women connoisseur also means I fangirl over the novel’s author, the fascinating Louisa May Alcott. A lovely writer, a fierce and ferocious feminist, and an inspiring historical figure, LMA was a force to be reckoned with.

Today we celebrate Louisa’s 273rd birthday, so here are 273 facts you may not know about the acclaimed author.

[Just kidding.]

I’m obviously not doing that.

BUT here are just twelve facts about this amazing woman who wrote one of our most beloved books of all time, as well as a link to buy a wonderful biography to get the final 261.

  1. Louisa May Alcott was born Nov 29, 1832 in Pennsylvania on her father’s 33rd birthday.
  2. Louisa’s dad Bronson Alcott was a famous transcendentalist in his own right, known for big ideas that didn’t always pan out. Her mother was Abigail May, a social worker.
  3. Louisa grew up among her father’s contemporaries, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. (All of these guys are buried together on Author’s Ridge in the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, along with Louisa herself.)
  4. Other family friends included Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller, also some of Louisa’s first teachers.
  5. Louisa was always involved in political and social causes. She was even the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Mass!
  6. Both Louisa and her sister loved acting and theater, and at one point her youth, Louisa wanted to be a professional actor.
  7. She and her family once served as station masters on the Underground Railroad and were staunch abolitionists and feminists.
  8. Like the characters in Little Women, Louisa and her family knew poverty. Bronson’s goals for his transcendentalist school and other philosophic endeavors didn’t always succeed as he hoped, leaving the family to fend for themselves. The family was constantly moving, and they often received help and housing from Thoreau and Emerson.
  9. Louisa worked as a teacher, seamstress, and governess before earning a living as a writer.
  10. Louisa loosely based the characters in Little Women off her own family, the character of Jo serving as a representation of Louisa herself. Plus you can visit Orchard House in real life!
  11. Little Women was originally published as two books, Little Women and Good Wives. The end of Little Women left the world wondering if Laurie and Jo would end up together. (Still my biggest beef with the story, as Laurie was my first fictional love.) When the followup was published, readers were crushed. But Louisa stood by her beliefs, stating in her journal: “Girls write to ask who the little women marry, as if that was the only aim and end of a woman’s life. I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please anyone.” BOOM.
  12. While she is best known for Little Women, Louisa wrote over 30 books and short story collections, as well as essays and poetry.

There are many biographies out there with way more than just 12 facts about this revolutionary woman. If you want to read a GREAT one, I recommend Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen. It reads like an engaging fiction novel, giving you historical insight as well as personal history. One of the only biographies I’ve ever read that I just couldn’t put down, the book also digs into Louisa’s relationship with her mother Abigail, proving strong, creative women ran her family.

I also recommend visiting Orchard House if you’re ever around the Boston/Concord area!

164928_10151950883616978_1421828126_n<—Here’s a photo of yours truly sitting on the steps of Orchard House.

Did I cry when I saw the desk at which she penned Little Women? Yes. Yes, I did. Did I cry the whole time kind of?

Yes. Yes, I did.

 

Point is, literature and young women the world over owe a lot to LMA. Happy Birthday, Louisa May Alcott! We love you!

 

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship.”

Happy Birthday, Sarah Grimke!

I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright on that ground which God designed us to occupy.”

 

BAM.

Sarah Grimke knew what was up! And today we celebrate what would have been her 223rd birthday.

[Girl is looking good for being in her second century.]

Sarah and her sister Angelina were two early activists for abolition and women’s rights. Born into a wealthy slave-owning family on a plantation South Carolina, the women quickly grew to despise the institution of slavery. Sarah was self taught, often secretly studying her father’s law books. She wanted to be a lawyer, but due to familial and societal limitations against educating women, she was forbidden. When her sister Angelina was born in 1805, Sarah vowed to “guide and direct [this] precious child.” This cemented her commitment to creating a better world, one she and her sister could succeed in and be proud of.

[Angelina also looking fly at the cool age of 210.]

After accompanying her father to Philadelphia for his medical treatment, Sarah was helped by a Quaker family and later moved north to officially joined the Quaker faith. Her sister (pictured above) joined her soon after, and the sisters began fighting to abolish slavery, eventually becoming outcasts in their home state. However, the sisters also faced criticism in the North, as women were not often on the forefront of social movements (or so people thought…). While Angelina was known for being a dynamic and outspoken public figure, Sarah was shyer and relied on her powerful writing skills to express her feminist beliefs. After facing much criticism over their place as females in the movement against slavery, Sarah Grimke wrote her famous Letters on the Equality of the Sexes. The sisters soon cemented their legacy as leaders in the fight for women’s rights as well as abolition.

 

[Basically.]

If you want to read more about the Grimke sisters, check out the links below. I also recommend reading the lovely historical fiction book The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. The story chronicles the lives of Sarah Grimke and a fictional female slave who is given to Sarah on her 11th birthday. It’s a breathtaking story of friendship and family that I honestly couldn’t put down. Plus it opened me up to a part of history I (almost shamefully) never knew existed! Reading is the best!

Happy Birthday, Sarah Grimke! You and your sister were two badass Quakers. (And how often do we get to say that?)

 

 

Sources for this article can be found here and here.