Since 2017 is here, the inevitable has happened and a new president took office yesterday. In protest, millions of women took to the streets of cities all across America (and honestly the globe) to voice their opinions and let their presence be known to the new residents of the White House. Now, anyone who knows me well knows that I consider myself a feminist. I am not known to be shy with my opinions, always standing up for the things I care about. I am also lucky enough to be located in the San Francisco Bay Area, where there were 3 marches (that I know of) in the 3 biggest cities of the Bay (San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose). And yet, I still opted to stay home.
It’s not work, or an illness, or insane amounts of homework keeping me at home. To a lot of people, I probably didn’t have a “good reason” for not going. But I don’t care. Crowds make me anxious, the weather is horrendous, and the San Francisco march (by far the most convenient/one I had the most friends going to) was planned to start later on in the afternoon and go well into the very cold evening (unlike other marches around the country that started much earlier in the day). All of those things combined would probably make the march a living nightmare for me, and I would much rather protest from my warm couch at home, regardless of how invested I am in the cause.
And I don’t feel bad about it, even though I know a lot of people will try to make me feel that way. I have been dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement ever since I was really old enough to understand how terrible the inequality is in this country. There are a lot of ways to make your voice known without subjecting yourself to something that may make you uncomfortable. Here’s what you can do to support the causes you care about even if you were unable to march today (and even if you did!)
- Donations, donations, donations. It’s pretty obvious, but it takes the least effort and will still make a difference. Some ideas include Planned Parenthood, RAINN, and Global Fund for Women, although there are so many nonprofits out there to support women/minorities/disabled people/the LGBT+ community that you can do a quick google search and find a cause that really speaks to you.
- Volunteer. Unlike donating, volunteering is free, but it will also take up some of your free time. You can look for a local women’s shelter in need of volunteers, volunteer for a political party or campaign that speaks to you, or do a quick google search to find a variety of opportunities to help out your community (I really like using Volunteer Match to find opportunities in my area!).
- Keep voting. In this past presidential election, about half of all registered voters did not show up to the polls. The numbers are typically smaller in the off year elections. But to keep the revolution going, voting every time you have the chance is really important. Vote for senators who’s views align with yours in 2018. Vote in the smallest local government election so that you know that someone in your local community is looking out for your needs. We can change the world by starting at the lowest level and working our way up.
- Be there for others. All of the changes that the new administration have already started to make have been pretty scary. One of the things we can really do is be there for one another. This could be as simple as just listening to a friend’s point of view or concerns about something that is going on in the government. You could also start a discussion group with your friends to talk about how everything is making you feel, or attend a similar group session in your community or on your local college campus.
- Stay educated, and educate others. The news media has become a bit of a mess between the fake news being shared all over facebook and the current president’s impulsive tweeting. Educate yourself about the issues through reputable news sources, and help to stop the spread of fake news.
These are just a few things that I am planning on doing, but if you have any others please leave them in the comments! Let’s build an even bigger list of all of the things us nasty women and bad hombres can do over the next for years to help the country continue to move forward, and ensure that 2017 doesn’t revert back to 1957. 🙂