Leaping from Our Spheres
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
By Claire Sexton
UUWF Vice President/Funding Programs
I awoke on November 9 as if from a bad dream, my young son had made a mess that I wasn’t ready to deal with, and I’d stayed up late the night before trying to comprehend what was going on.
The nightmare has deepened as time goes by. Things that have helped me include SNL that week; I’m a big fan of Dave Chappelle and was so happy to see him back in the public eye. I played the cold open — Kate McKinnon dressed as Hilary and playing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah on loop — for a few days, trying to get “Sister Suffragette” from Mary Poppins out of my head. Continue reading
The night of the 2016 presidential election the results came in slowly, and for so many of us, shockingly. I excused myself from a small gathering and went home to bed, leaving it to my husband to keep watching—letting me know when the results were horribly clear. After that, and for days after, I slept very little; some nights not much at all.
The next morning I drove 50 miles to the monthly meeting of UU religious professionals, where I had been previously scheduled to lead a conversation of our post-election opportunities to bring our purposes and principles, our faith values, into intersectional public witness work. Values like inherent worth and dignity, justice and compassion, the right of conscience, the democratic process. Not unexpectedly, it was a somber gathering with more than a few tears and flashes of righteous anger. Continue reading