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

Mackie
January 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.

 

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Bella Abzug

Mackie
March 10, 2015

With a campaign slogan like “A woman’s place is in the house — the House of Representatives,” who wouldn’t elect Bella Abzug? Abzug was “born yelling” in New York City in 1920, and went on to become an influential player in the civil rights and women’s movements, a social activist, and a congressperson for the 20th district of New York in the US House of Representatives. She helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus, and was an avid advocate for peace and protest. She was a driven, exceptionally charismatic and passionate woman who stood her ground even when it signaled defeat.

Hear her speak here. The Jewish Women’s Archive also has a wonderful resource where you can hear longer speeches on the gender gap, feminism, and being a female lawyer during the McCarthy era, as well as read a more in depth history.

There is little video of Abzug in her prime, but watch her below as she recounts how she helped propose and pass legislation so women could apply and sign for their own credit cards. This was in 1974. Let me repeat, women were barred from applying for credit cards without their husbands’ permission up until 1974. While this seems a little infomercial-ish, her commitment to women’s liberties is clear. Plus, she just seems like a lady who gets shit done. And I love that.

 

Bella Abzug was an inspirational woman who founded countless organizations and conferences. She gave her final speech at the UN in 1999 and died shortly after. After listening to her speak, I wish we had about 10,000 of her in Congress today.

 

 

 

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Celebrating Women’s History Month: Dorothea Dix

Mackie
March 5, 2015

Dorothea Dix was a social reformer and lobbyist during the Civil War and Antebellum periods who fought for the rights of the poor and mentally ill. She began her teaching career at age 14 in Massachusetts, where she founded Dix Mansion, a school for girls, and a school where poor girls could attend free of charge. After teaching Sunday School in a local prison, Dix was exposed to the horrific conditions experienced by those in the criminal justice system, especially women with mental illness. She spent her life traveling and lobbying for state-funded hospitals, and her work had a direct effect on the creation of 32 United States institutions. She also served as the national Superintendent of Nurses during the Civil War.

Below is an excerpt from her Memorial to the Legislation of Massachusetts, in which she passionately lobbies for better care for female inmates, especially those who were found to be insane or otherwise affected. You can read more here, where she details the notes from her journals about the horrible conditions. This is a powerful and intellectual plea for human rights, so read the whole thing!

Gentlemen,

… About two years since leisure afforded opportunity, and duty prompted me to visit several prisons and alms-houses in the vicinity of this metropolis. I found, near Boston, in the Jails and Asylums for the poor, a numerous class brought into unsuitable connexion with criminals and the general mass of Paupers. I refer to Idiots and Insane persons, dwelling in circumstances not only adverse to their own physical and moral improvement, but productive of extreme disadvantages to all other persons brought into association with them. I applied myself diligently to trace the causes of these evils, and sought to supply remedies. As one obstacle was surmounted, fresh difficulties appeared. Every new investigation has been depth to the conviction that it is only by decided, prompt, and vigorous legislation the evils to which I refer, and which I shall proceed more fully to illustrate, can be remedied. I shall be obliged to speak with great plainness, and to reveal many things revolting to the taste, and from which my woman’s nature shrinks with peculiar sensitiveness. But truth is the highest consideration. I tell what I have seen—painful and as shocking as the details often are—that from them you may feel more deeply the imperative obligation which lies upon you to prevent the possibility of a repetition or continuance of such outrages upon humanity. If I inflict pain upon you, and move you to horror, it is to acquaint you with suffering which you have the power to alleviate, and make you hasten to the relief of the victims of legalized barbarity.

I come to present the strong claims of suffering humanity. I come to place before the Legislature of Massachusetts the condition of the miserable, the desolate, the outcast. I come as the advocate of helpless, forgotten, insane and idiotic men and women; of beings, sunk to a condition from which the most unconcerned would start with real horror; of beings wretched in our Prisons, and more wretched in our Alms-Houses. And I cannot suppose it needful to employ earnest persuasion, or stubborn argument, in order to arrest and fix attention upon a subject, only the more strongly pressing in its claims, because it is revolting and disgusting in its details.

I must confine myself to few examples, but am ready to furnish other and more complete details, if required. If my pictures are displeasing, coarse, and severe, my subjects, it must be recollected, offer no tranquil, refined, or composing features. The condition of human beings, reduced to the extremest states of degradation and misery, cannot be exhibited in softened language, or adorn a polished page.

I proceed, Gentlemen, briefly to call your attention to the present state of Insane Persons confined within this Commonwealth, in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, pens! Chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obedience!

As I state cold, severe facts, I feel obliged to refer to persons, and definitely to indicate localities. But it is upon my subject, not upon localities or individuals, I desire to fix attention; and I would speak as kindly as possible of all Wardens, Keepers, and other responsible officers, believing thatmost of these have erred not through hardness of heart and willful cruelty, so much as want of skill and knowledge, and want of consideration. Familiarity with suffering, it is said, blunts the sensibilities, and where neglect once finds a footing other injuries are multiplied. This is not all, for it may be justly and strongly be added that, from the deficiency of adequate means to meet the wants of these cases, it has been an absolute impossibility to do justice in this matter. Prisons are not constructed in view of being converted into County Hospitals, and AlmsHouses are not founded as receptacles for the Insane. And yet, in the face of justice and common sense, Wardens are by law compelled to receive, and Masters of Alms-House not to refuse, Insane and Idiotic subjects in all stages of mental disease and privation.

It is the Commonwealth, not its integral parts, that is accountable for most of the abuses which have lately, and do still exist. I repeat it, it is defective legislation which perpetuates and multiplies these abuses.

I have been asked if I have investigated the causes of insanity? I have not; but I have been told that this most calamitous overthrow of reason, often is the result of a life of sin; it is sometimes, but rarely, added, they must take the consequences; they deserve no better care! . . .

Could we in fancy place ourselves in the situation of some of these poor wretches, bereft of reason, deserted of friends, hopeless; troubles without, and more dreary troubles within, overwhelming the wreck of the mind as ‘a wide breaking in of the waters,’—how should we, as the terrible illusion was cast off, not only offer the thank-offering of prayer, that so mighty a destruction had not overwhelmed our mental nature, but as an offering more acceptable devote ourselves to alleviate that state from which we are so mercifully spared. . . .

Men of Massachusetts, I beg, I implore, I demand, pity and protection, for these of my suffering, outraged sex!—Fathers, Husbands, Brothers, I would supplicate you for this boon—but what do I say? I dishonor you, divest you at once of Christianity and humanity—does this appeal imply distrust. If it comes burthened with a doubt of your righteousness in this Legislation, then blot it out; while I declare confidence in your honor, not less than your humanity. Here you will put away the cold, calculating spirit of selfishness and self-seeking; lay off the armor of local strife and political opposition; here and now, for once, forgetful of the earthly and perishable, come up to these halls and consecrate them with one heart and one mind to works of righteousness and just guardians of the solemn rights you hold in trust. Raise up the fallen; succor the desolate; restore the outcast; defend the helpless; and for your eternal and great reward, receive the benediction . . . “Well done, good and faithful servants, become rulers over many things!”

Excerpted from Dix, Dorothea, Memorial to the Legislature of Massachusetts. Boston: Munroe & Francis, 1843.

 

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QUIZ: Which Crazy Republican Politician Are You?

Mackie
March 4, 2015

We all know the importance of personality quizzes on the Internet.

They tell us who we are and also what type of 90s boy band haircut we are.

But haven’t you been feeling like something is missing from your ascension to complete self-actualization?

THAT’S BECAUSE SOMETHING IS MISSING.

And that something is this:

Take our very legit and not at all fake personality quiz and find out which ding dong elected to run our government is most similar to you! WARNING: Results may scare you.

For some more horror, click here.