Leaping from Our Spheres
As UUs, we rightly focused inward last week (and moving forward) on our own associational practices of inequity and grievous lack of parity. At the same time, Trump is – in the words of Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville – steadily plugging away at a major piece of his agenda: undoing Obama and the progressive policies and reforms he put in place during his presidency.
Yesterday was Equal Pay Day – the day that marks how far into 2017 women employed full time, year-round in the U.S. have to work in order to catch up with what men were paid in 2016. At the start of April, sometimes also called the cruelest month, please pay attention to a cruel move Trump made on March 27 when he revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order, which ensured that companies with federal contacts comply with 14 labor and civil rights laws and which also rolled back protections and actions against contractors who were found guilty of wage discrimination and sexual harassment. Continue reading
A few shockingly raw chilly evenings ago, after our false spring, a small group of women in my town gathered after work at a local gastropub to hoist a few and to write postcards. Some of them were pre-made from the Women’s March, others picked out of personal stashes. Official USPS cards are 34 cents. Others require a 47 cent first class stamp.
By all accounts, despite the ill weather and despite their exhaustion, the women who came had a great time, both because of their socialization with others of the same general age and life situations, and because at the end of their time together they had produced an impressive pile of protest: messages to policy makers. A scene of determination and resistance.
According to their Facebook page, organizers of a postcard blitz today (March 15) are urging Americans who oppose the policies of President Donald Trump to make their objections known by flooding the White House with postcards. In an event dubbed the “Ides of Trump,” organizers hope to see delivery of a million or more cards indicating disapproval of Trump and his agenda to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Continue reading
With the 2017 International Women’s Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women and People of Progressive Faiths coming up this weekend (Feb.16-18) in Asilomar, CA, the release of a new study on the Global Gender Gap from the World Economic Forum provides a timely and sobering backdrop.
Near the top of my list of must do errands this past weekend was a stop at the national chain bookstore where I was reasonably certain I could pick up a copy of Time magazine. I was looking forward to owning the issue with a single pink pussy hat on the front cover, and the headline: “The Resistance Rises: How a March Become a Movement.” A movement is what I hoped would happen as a result of both the conscientious organization and overflowing spontaneity that went into the DC gathering (not really a march, it turned out, due to the massive crowd) and the other marches – big and small – all over the country and the world. My perhaps overly optimistic expectation was that we would not just march for a few hours but mobilize for as long as it is going to take to overcome: the 60,000 people, including my husband, who turned out for the one in Atlanta which started at the entrance of the Civil and Human Rights Center; the 150,000 people, including my daughter-in-law and three year old granddaughter, in Boston; the 25,000 people, including my daughter, in San Jose, one of three in the San Francisco Bay area. The small but courageous coterie of ex pats in Singapore, including my oldest son. The several million who showed up. Continue reading
In April 1989, my then-14-year-old daughter, 65-year-old mother, and I flew from California to Washington, DC for the National Organization for Women’s March for Women’s Lives. I remember camping out with my sister-in-law and elderly aunt in my youngest brother’s finished basement in Takoma Park, MD. Only a couple of us had beds. The rest slept in borrowed sleeping bags on the carpeted floor.
I remember it was colder that April than I had expected. It always seemed colder in our nation’s capital than back home. I remember marching in slow motion, looking for restrooms, looking for pay phone booths. It was not, however, my first such large-scale march, coming from a liberal, religious Unitarian, and political family where going on a march (civil rights, anti-nuclear weapons, anti-Vietnam War) was nearly as common an activity as miniature golf or San Francisco Giants games. So I had been on quite a few justice and peace demonstrations before – though none as large, some half a million people – and there would be quite a few after: marches opposing other wars, annual Pride marches and parades.
But I have not chosen to go on other DC women’s pro-choice or other rights marches. Not until this coming Saturday, January 21, 2017. It was only a few days after the presidential election when I decided to attend what is simply called the Women’s March. I could not miss a chance to be in solidarity with – and feel the strength of – other women and their allies who were stunned as I was by the election outcome and scared for the future of reproductive justice and other human rights of women. Continue reading