Tuesday, January 24, 2017

As We Go Marching, Marching

This past Saturday I, along with 50,000 other people, were part of the Philadelphia Women's March.  I thought I would share my experience with you all. All photos shared here are from the Philly March and were either taken by me are by my cousin Patti. 
I headed down to my cousin's house late Friday night after work. We are lucky that Patti lives a train ride away from Philly and were able to sleep until about 630am to head to the march. As we arrived at that train station, we began to watch other groups of women show up and just standing there I felt a strong sense of pride that lasted me throughout the day. The women I saw were both young and old and as we boarded the train, there were smiles all around. There were a great many stops in between us and Philly and at each stop more and more protesters joined the train carrying posters, decked out in hats, pins and shirts all showing their solidarity. Some people even got cheers for their shirts. It was a happy, peaceful hum on the train. 

The march start point was a sight to see. All of the creative signs and everyone was seriously polite. My coworker/friend was somewhere in the crowd and we said we would try to meetup but both of us seriously doubted it with such a massive crowd. And P.S. Patti and I are TNW (Tiny Nasty Women) making this task even more difficult. The signs became more useful than street signs to find on another. What was so amazing though was the crowd let people pass. Simple "excuse me" or "pardon me" was all that was needed to get through. People would part for you. And as anyone who has been in a Philly crowd before that was truly shocking. Because of this we were able to find each other fairly quickly.  
There were without a doubt far more people in attendance than they were prepared for, which was the theme around the country. From what I read from the predictions, they were prepared for 20-30k but 50k+ that showed. Because of this the march took a bit for everyone to actually get moving. We were stationed at what looked to be towards the front and we didn't move for a good 20 or so minutes after the march was supposed to start. Once we were moving there were people on the sidelines and in the middle partitions cheering us on which  was wonderful. The march route was shorter than we had imaged and when we got to the end we were unable to hear the speakers. As previously said, they clearly were not ready for the vast number of us and most of the speakers did not seem like they had been to a rally before. The only speaker I heard throughout their speech was the CEO of Planned Parenthood. She clearly was used to outdoor public speaking and this greatly helped. When making our way out of the crowd at the end, the Women's March was joined by a Pride March and a Black Lives Matter March. And we were pumped! I quickly got out of the way(we were walking towards them) and starting cheering them on. I will say that those two marches had their chants DOWN. They were smaller groups and were able to keep their chants going throughout and holy hell did they have energy! 

After the March, what surprised me the most was the amount of "thank you"s I got on social media, through text and in person. I was slightly overwhelmed but in a good way. What I also received was a small backlash from one person. I was honestly surprised that only one person said something negative towards me about the march.
What I was happily surprised at was some of my coworkers responses. There were a couple people who voted for Trump who were very positive about the March and asked me how it went and were specifically interested in the signs. I had initially been worried that I would have a very comfortable interaction with someone at work but everyone was very positive. That, to me, is part of what makes America great. We don't have to see eye to eye on everything but the ability to have calm discussions, that do not lead to name calling, is something that this country at it's best has fostered. 

 Not a single arrest was made at any of the Women's Marches. I never doubted for a moment that the marchers would be non-violent. Women's marches and rallies have a history of the protesters being nonviolent in the US, even when attacked by the people on the sidewalks or police. That was my main concern for the protesters across the country. But my experience in Philly was that everyone was helpful, supportive and polite. We were met with smiles from everyone, police included. **Note: I believe that the majority of the police in this country are honest, decent people and that there are bad apples that do more than give police a bad name, they get the ones who do their jobs without prejudice, killed. I recognize that may be my privilege talking** 

Why I Marched

This is why Unicorns are my favorite animal of all time!


I marched to protesting the defunding of women's organizations, ones that cover both our health and those that work to protect women and children from abuse. I marched to stop the defunding of public schools. I marched to stand in solidarity with people of color, those with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, and those who choose or do not choose to practice a religion. I stand against fear mongering and hateful language.  My hope is that these marches have woken our representatives and senators up to the fact that we will not sit ideally by as they try to take away all that we have fought for. (We want our fully covered mammograms, birth control, and annual checkups back!) We are their employers and they work for us. And if this many people showed up to rally, imagine how many will show up to vote them out of office. And they do not have the luxury of an electoral college to save them.

Moving Forward  and What We All Can Do

Since the March I have taken my friend Lauren's suggestion and joined NOW and am in the stages of starting a chapter in NEPA. I have emailed my government officials and I will be attending a letter writing party held by a fellow member of my feminist group. Writing a letter/email or calling your government representatives may seem like a small act but they do make a difference and it's something that even the busiest of people can do. For those that have more time, look into your local area and find non-profits that you believe in and volunteer your time. Look for local candidates and political campaigns that you identify with and support them in whatever way(s) you can. If you have the monetary resources look into non-profits at the local, state and federal level and donate to them, even if it's just $10. And most of all keep yourself aware of what is going on. Read factual information, even if you have to go out of your way to find it. We are all in this together. 


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Book Review: Top 10

Anyone who has been with me from the beginning of this blog knows that I am co-founder of a competitive book club. We've been going strong for 3 years now and this year I may actually win *ques evil laugh*. For those of you who have zero idea what I am talking about and do not want to dig through the archives, Competitive Book Club is where we read whatever we want to in a calendar year, meet monthly to discuss the books and whomever reads the most in the year wins and gets to assign a book to be read the next year.

This year, with the holidays looming, I feel safe calling it at 61 books for the year. I wanted to write about my favorite books that I read this year because obviously I haven't been able to talk enough about them. Some of these are series so I will only highlight the first of the series. But here are my favorite books I read in 2016 in no particular order:

1) Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This was the first series I read this year and I devoured these books. What is so fascinating is that the writer was in his teens and these were his first books he ever wrote. You can't quite understand how mind blowing this is until you read them. The story itself is captivating and is well written. I love Harry Potter, but the first couple of books, while the story is wonderful, the writing is not so much.
This series is about a boy, his dragon and a revolution. And unlike most other books on this list it is appropriate for younger kids, maybe 10 and up and still hella interesting if you're an adult. Eragon creates a full world that, at the end of the fourth book, you're not ready to let go of.

2) The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

I LOVE The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series and I was seriously upset when author Stieg Larsson died. No one can write like that man could and I was extremely nervous about someone else picking up the story. I read this book holding my breath the whole time. I liked the story, it definitely scratched that itch and stayed true to the characters. But the writing in some parts was predictable which was one thing Larsson's writing never was. Lagercrantz at one point hits you over the head with foreshadowing which pissed me off so much I remember it bitterly almost 6 months later. Other than that the book is a fantastic read and I will definitely be picking up the next book.

3+4)  Soulless and the Spin off Series Prudence by Gail Carriger 

Soulless I read as recommendation from a coworker and holy hell am I glad I listened. Basically the books are supernatural steampunk. It takes place in England and the first series follows around a woman, Alexia, who was born without a soul. Being soulless doesn't make her a bad person, just very frank. She also had the ability to neutralize any supernatural abilities and the books follow her and her circle of friends on their adventures. The second series follows Alexia's daughter, Rue. Rue has a special ability as well but what she does is when she touches someone who is supernatural she gains their ability until there is physical distance between them. This series is only on their second book which was released this year. Both series are fantastic and they show the different characters from two different perspectives Alexia's and then Rue's. If you're looking for some light fun reading, this is for you.

5) Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
When I originally heard of this book I thought it would be completely stupid and I was surprisingly wrong. The writing is engaging and at many points laugh-out-loud funny. And what surprised me the most is that the book was extremely well researched and because of it some things made A LOT of sense to the point where you're like "So this stuff about vampires makes more sense than what the history books say happened. Say what!" Let me be clear, I do not actually believe in vampires. But this is an extremely enjoyable read for anyone who likes a little humor with their supernatural stories.

6) The Best in the World At What I Have No Idea by Chris Jericho
That's right Jericho made MY list! Actually all of Jericho's books he has written up until this point, I read this year. But I am lumping them all in together with this one book. Jericho is a modern day renaissance man. For those who do not know, his books are autobiographical and follow his journey to becoming a wrestler/musician. He is someone who refuses to be put in a box or be told what he can and cannot do. His writing made me cry and it really resonated with me when he talks about losing his mom. Most of his writing though is extremely funny. The man is as funny in his writing as he is on the mic. If you enjoy reading wrestling books and you haven't read his books you are doing yourself a disservice. I think Jericho also is the only Canadian author to grace my list this year.

7) The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

This was perhaps my favorite book of the year and it was actually assigned by the guy who read the most last year from my book club so big thumbs up to Mike! If you like stories about old New York, you will LOVE this book. Not only is this about old New York but it focuses on two different groups of people and shows how people from different cultures and life experiences can come together and that sometimes you find help in the least likely of places. I don't want to give anything away but if you love a good story that has a little bit of everything in it, this is your book. I feel like if I say anything else I won't be able to stop myself from giving away the plot. The writing is beautiful. +++
8) Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

This is another instance where I have read a couple different titles by this author and I love her work. Sarah Vowell writes what are essentially history books that are hilarious. If you are interested in history but can't get through a slow boring text, Sarah Vowell is the author for you. This particular book goes through all of the US Presidents who have been assassinated. Ms. Vowell goes to all of the historical sites and her experiences there too so if you're looking to check out some of these places you know where they are and if they're worth the effort.
**The only book of her by her that I did not enjoy was Unfamiliar Fishes. I like the subject matter and her but they just didn't connect for me.

9) She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
This was Wally Lamb's first book and I fell in love with the main character. I felt like she was my friend by the end of the book and I wasn't ready to let her go. The book follows the main character from the time she is a little girl to adulthood. We go through life with her and at some points when you know she's making the wrong choices you want to grab and shake the her. And when she is a shitty teenager you kind of want to strangle her. Her triumphs become yours and it's wonderful. Such a great book! Warning: there is some sexual violence so if you're triggered by that I do NOT suggest this book.

10) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I think one of the weirdest things while reading this book was the realization that The Help was supposed to be taking place during my mother's lifetime. Alabama may be 18 hours away from PA but it was operating like an entirely different world. The book is not autobiographical but it does reflect the world at that time. I was disgusted at many points, in tears at others and some things were funny. The book changed perspective from character to character and I truly enjoyed that. The book was so much better than the movie and if you enjoyed the movie pick this book up and you will not be sorry.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I Found Feminists!

Post election day I was invited to a Facebook group by a coworker of mine who was surprised that I wasn't in it already. The group is for feminists in my area to talk to other feminists in the coal mining region about anything, politics, something someone said to you, the news or whatever. It is a space to come together, talk, listen and be respected. This is something I have been looking for since I moved back from graduate school. Upon joining the group I noticed several coworkers were in it as well whom I had no idea were rockin the feminist way of life. That alone was something wonderful especially since being an adult, it's a lot easier to make friends with coworkers because you see them 5 days a week. Perfect! Immediate reward for joining the group and since I am a millennial, I enjoy my instant gratification too. The group was very supportive of everyone's feelings and we helped each other from feeling complete despair at Trump's "win".

I was also luck enough to join before the holiday party! This, this is what I had so desperately wanted. A gathering of feminists where we could share ideas and meet new wonderful people. Not wanting to go alone I asked my new-found-feminist-coworker if she was going and if so if we could go together (I hate showing up places where I know no one by my lonesome). Luckily she has the same dislike and happily agreed. So after work we drove off to get to know each other and fellow feminists better. Settling down into the backroom of a restaurant, the wooden interior quickly reminded me of the restaurant my women's studies peeps and I would lurk in. After a few minutes of being there and doing an oh so fun ice breaker (which wasn't bad surprisingly) I started to feel like a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer was being wrapped loving around me. Both cozy and warm. What was even better was seeing all of these women from different walks of life coming together, presenting their ideas and being met with thoughtful questions, respectful discussions and those moments of "OMG I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT THINKS THAT!?!?!?" That is what I wanted. Real live feminists in the flesh to help me stay sane. Oh and we got to stuff our faces which is a major plus to any social gathering. And we had a gift exchange. Yay presents!

I met so many AMAZING women that night that I never would have if not for this Facebook community. I feel so weird saying that. Like this must be how couples who meet on Tinder feel when they're asked "So how did you meet?" Only it's asking how you made this kickass friend instead of significant other. "We met through a facebook group". Even my eyes roll. There seems to be some sort of shame left over from AIM days where "geeks" could only make virtual friends. But this got me thinking: isn't this what social media is supposed to do? Allow us to see different sides of people we sorta, kinda know and meet new people who have similar interests as us? Am I in my late 20s now for the first time just using social media the way it was meant to be used? Mayhaps. But hey, it's never too late to learn something new.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Adventures in Home Ownership: Animal Edition

Years ago my Uncle took off the garage door with the intention of fixing it and putting it back up. My mom got sick and the fixing didn't end up happening. So this spring, I decided that I would assess the damage and see if it was savable. But first I had to FIND the garage door which was harder than you might think. Turned out to be propped against the side of the garage, folded up. When I tried to pull back the door to lay it out I saw something behind it come toddling at me. My first thought was "Oh bunny!!!!" followed very quickly by "Oh shit! POSSUM!!!!!!!!!" I then jumped backwards about 10-15 feet while screaming in a dignified manner. According to google possums do not like moth balls and I, luckily, happen to horde them. (I'm not a little old lady, I just don't like snakes). I then went back up my backyard armed with two boxes of moth balls and tried to do my best impersonation of  a person with good aim.

Several times this summer snakes decided to slither on by me and whenever this happened I screamed and ran away doing high knees. Why? Three reasons. 1) Harder to bite someone who is basically attempting to fly. 2) I cling to the delusion that my neighbors will not think I am some scaredy-cat but rather am enjoying a new, if not annoying, exercise trend.   3) As I found out the last time a snake slithered my way, my screams, scare them and they *sometimes* slither away like "oh hell no lady!" Side note: that snake is the only snake I have ever thought of fondly. I hope the snake is doing well, far, far away from me.

This summer squirrels managed to get into my attic. This is obviously bad news. Now you may be thinking "Hey don't you have three cats that you prattle on about all the time? Why not just release them into the attic and let them get their murder on? *DUN DUN DUN*" Well you my psychotic blood thirsty reader must understand that I have a great fear of my cats getting stuck in the walls, calling out to me with their sad little meows, as I struggle to find them and they die a sad, terrible death. Yes, I am that pet mom. Back off. After again googling I found that there were some things I could do fairly easily to get these suckers to leave. The most interesting idea was to spread predator urine around but seeing as it was July and I as a general rule of thumb don't want urine anywhere but it a toilet or a litter box, I tossed that idea straight away.  Fun fact though, you can buy predator urine on the internet. Makes it easier than going to your local coyote with a jar and saying "fill er up!" The option I did go with was taking apple cider vinegar and soaking rags in it and leaving them around the room. Google, in all of its wisdom, said to allow 48 hours for the squirrels to vacate and check. Now let me tell you, carrying that bucket of apple cider vinegar soaked rags up the stairs to the attic almost made me pass out and vomit at the same time so I can see why the squirrels decided on finding a new summer home. But heads up it worked and was super cheap!

And last but not least this annoying gem. As you should have surmised by now, I live in the woods. Deer wonder through my yard all the time, which I love. They are especially clingy this time of year since it is hunting season and it's Pennsylvania. This proves to me that they are intelligent creatures since they have figured out they can't be shot at around houses. But deer aren't the only large animals that like to peruse my yard and driveway. One morning, as I was about to walk out and go to work, I found my garbage can (which is on wheels due to its size) tipped over and garbage dragged halfway down my yard. Damn bears! Scurrying out to pick up the filth which I had hoped to never see again, I was glad to see the bears were smart enough to stop at the cat litter and left that bag and everything under it alone and in the trash. Since then, I always put the litter trash on top of the rest of it. No more bear mess since that.

That is all for now folks, I hope you have gleamed some slightly useful information and if not hopefully my terror at least gave you a chuckle.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cairo's Story

 I apologize in advance for the obscene amount of photos. But in my defense Cairo is so adorable I didn't know which to use so I went a little bonkers. 

This is my dog, Cairo. He is about 10 years old now and obviously he is hella adorable. When I first found my furbaby it was the summer prior to me starting college. My mother and I were volunteering at the local humane society and at that particular time they were so over run that a few pups who were not ready for adoption had to be put out onto the adoption floor with signs explaining they were not yet ready for adoption. Okay. No problem. So as we are going around walking the dogs, my mom says "Sabrina come here. Look at this guy." I meander over to one of the small cages meant for puppies or small breeds. inside at the back of the cage is this pathetic looking little dog who won't even make eye contact. My mom points to a sign on his cage that says he had been rescued from an animal testing facility and was not yet available for adoption due to a lung infection. When we look a little closer at the pup we notice that he has lesions all over his body but specifically ontop of his head. His eyes are also red where they should be white and he is cross-eyed. My mom immediately says that if she had the money she would adopt him. My response is "I do." and we run off to track down someone to find out how we get on a list to adopt this mutt named Cairo. 

Cairo and his Kermit while Jasper gives them the stink eye (pictured above) 

We're then told that we cannot get on a list to adopt him because they are not so sure he is going to make it. Upon hearing this my mom and I hatch a plan that we will come up to see Cairo everyday. This we hoped would accomplish three things. 1) Having someone come and see him every day would lift his spirits and we hoped would help him fight off the lung infection. 2) If the staff saw us there everyday, then we would be more likely to be chosen as his family. 3) When he did come up for adoption we probably be the first there to put our names in. Over the weeks (maybe a week and a half) we watched this scared little pup start to make eye contact and we would find him waiting for us, tail wagging upon visual confirmation. Pure love. 

On one of our many walks. 

Sure enough when the day he came up for adoption came we were first on that list. We were told within a week that he was officially ours and we just had to wait until his kennel cough went away. That same week is the week that my dad died suddenly due to a heart attack caused by a car accident. The only normal remaining route that week was going to see this dog. The day after my dad's funeral Cairo came home. I still remember I got home after my mom had picked him up and he was running around I his yard, enjoying life. Cairo has had some special needs over the years, mainly he has food allergies so you have to be careful what you give him. Also he has separation anxiety, which caused him to eat a chunk of my old apartment door while my roommate and I were at work. The next day I took him to the vet and Cairo went on doggie prozac. Thankfully I have been able to wean him off of them, which was the goal. Cairo's skin lesions did eventually heal up, although it took years, specifically the ones on his head. Through research, I found that what he was subjected to primarily was eye drop tests. Basically they would take this puppy, fasten his head to hold him still (creating the lesions) and then hold his eyes open and drop liquid in them. This caused the redness and perhaps the cross-eyed look of his. Still thinking about that happening to my Cairo makes me want to cry. My mom told me from day one we were not to pity him, it wouldn't help him. Over the years the redness has almost entirely left his eyes.

For experiencing such cruelty in the beginning of his life, Cairo is such a ball of love. He loves people. All he wants is love and attention (okay and your food). He still shows signs of the abuse. When you call him over to you sometimes he cowers. It is the most pathetic thing and it is heart wrenching. Whenever this happens I try and use my sweet voice and sure enough his little piggy tail (the thing is basically a whip) starts wagging and tentatively his head comes up. But most of the time he is the BOUNCIEST love of all. He loves snuggling right up against you under the covers but he will not put his head by you. Cairo rules dictate you must deal with his dog butt. A small price to pay if you are constantly cold like I am and love puppy snuggles. I've always been a big fan of adopting animals from shelters. Most haven't experienced the trauma Cairo has but what I hope his story illustrates is, even dogs who have been abused still have so much love to give and should not be feared. Their hearts have be broken and they just need your love to help heal them.

Monday, November 14, 2016

What Else Can Be Said: Election 2016

After a week almost now of digesting that our new President is someone who enjoys "grabbing [women] by the pussy" I feel as though there is little left to be said on the matter. I considered not writing about this matter at all because I am not sure there is anything I uniquely contribute to this conversation, but I decided it would be slight to what my original purpose for this blog was for, a place for my feminist roar. And perhaps, you my dear reader, are a big Trump supporter and I am the only voice you know that reflects what so many are feeling in our country now. In not writing about the election results I may be doing a disservice, but most likely, I am just tooting my own horn. But either way, here it is.

I was, and am, with Her. I've loved and looked up to Hillary Clinton since I was a little girl. She put up a good fight and indeed, at the time of this writing, won the popular vote with ever growing numbers. However, the electoral college, which we have to thank for George W. Bush, has seemingly delivered us Donald Trump. Since learning of the electoral college in high school I have been deeply against it. Much like my teachers I believe that it has long out lived its purpose. Most of the United States population who were eligible to vote when it was originally created were illiterate and news was not an easy thing to come by in a timely manner. So having electorates made sense. Now also mind you these people, being  that they were educated most likely were of higher classes as well. Fast forward to modern times, we now have a population that is the most well educated the world has ever seen. And these educated people, having taken civics or US history know of the electoral college and I deeply believe that is why only about half the eligible voters in this country vote, because the other half thinks their votes do not matter. Also this whole "well the electoral college was made because if we didn't have it then cities like New York and L.A. would basically pick our next president" is a bunch of hoo ha. One, I have NEVER heard this theory mentioned until Trump won the electoral college. What I believe it stems from is the fear from small states that their votes wouldn't matter as much as compared to larger ones when our government was forming. At the time, small states were ones like Delaware and the large states were ones like PA and New York. However, in the electoral college small states still have a lesser number of votes. Any nation that fails to grow and change with the times does eventually fall. Our founding fathers knew that which is why they allowed for amendments to the constitution. I love America. I do not wish to see her dismantled.

Onto the protests....

Protesting is a right that is guaranteed to us and is something that sets us apart from many other nations. I am referring to PROTESTS not riots. Rioting and violence is no way to get a point across. The message is actually completely lost in rioting. Also I am not a fan of desecrating the flag or setting stuff on fire. Once fire is in the equation some people tend to get crazy. And desecrating the flag is not only in poor taste, but the flag represents everyone who has died for your freedom, for those who never receive their loved one home but merely that piece of cloth. Their is no need to dishonor them. Whatever point you are trying to make can be made better by some banner, t-shirt or catchy phrase.

Those protesting are not crybabies. They are here to show solidarity with those who have been targeted in this election; mainly, people of color, women, LGBTQ persons, disabled persons and prisoners of war. The protests are also a strong warning to president elect Trump and Mike Pense that we will be watching you. We are not afraid. And we will fight you ever step of the way and we are prepared to fight. We are a generation that had to sit through eight years of George W. Bush, unable to do anything due to our age(and God how do I miss him now). Millennials voted Hillary pretty straight across the board. For once, I am proud to say I am part of that generation. 

Trump supporters are not all racist, sexist, homophobic dumb dumbs. Some are lifelong republicans that refuse to break party lines, some hated Hillary and decided not to vote third party (oh how I wish you had), maybe you were worried they were coming for your guns or maybe you were slammed with false news articles. As for anyone reading the news please, please fact check. Mainly the only way you could get something straight this election was if you watched the full interviews or debates of anyone talking. NOT CLIPS. Clips on both sides were spliced together. This was the year of misinformation if nothing else. The big thing that upsets all the people who fall into the categories of people of color, women, LGBTQ persons, disabled persons ect thar are out protesting, or in need of emotional support, is not so much that someone they don't like will be president. It's not even that we think you are racist, sexist, homophobic jerks. It's that for our friends, family members and neighbors Trump and Pence's stances on those issues wasn't a breaking point for you. Someone who brags about sexually assaulting women didn't make you stand up and say "No. You do not get my vote." Someone who is okay with conversion therapy and discriminating against LGBTQ persons in general you did not stand up and say "No. You do not have my vote."  Someone who thinks it is okay to discriminate based on race and religion you didn't say "No. You do not have my vote." Someone who openly mocks the disabled you did not say "No. You do not have my vote." What  you said was "Well I don't agree with all of his views." No one agrees with all of anyone's views so thank you for stating the obvious. What the issue we have is, the above mentioned things and then some, did not cross a line for you. Perhaps because it wasn't directed at someone you know, yet. But the reason there is now a spike in hate crime in this country is because of you not standing up and saying "No! You do not have my vote." Instead you said, none of this crosses a line for me and is therefore, in some way, acceptable. And in the process sent a clear message to those that harbor those racist, sexist, homophobic beliefs: This behavior and these beliefs are acceptable. I know you didn't mean for that to be the message. I know you are probably furious with me as you read this (if you have made it this far). And I know you probably are denying all of this. But it is what it is. This is my opinion. I do not love you any less. My heart just hurts. It hurts as I think of all those who are being attacked, of those who are now living in fear and for America. And while I believe we as a nation will "survive" a Trump presidency, I worry about those Americans who won't.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My Favorite Suffragette and Hero, Alice Paul

On this election day many people have gone to the grave of Susan B. Anthony. History attributes women's right to vote to her. Anthony died well before women won the right to vote, and while she paved the way and the suffragette's who followed after her looked up to her, it was not she who pressured Woodrow Wilson into signing the 19th amendment.

Alice Paul was born and raised a Quaker and as such she did not seek out credit for the work she had done. Her religious values are perhaps what allows history to forget her. And while she may not have cared if her name was remembered, I sure do.

One thing also that Alice Paul stood for that her predecessors did not was ALL women having the right to vote, no matter the color of their skin. Many of the suffragettes that came before her, as well as her contemporaries, were not concerned with the rights of anyone whose skin did not match the color of the snow. Alice Paul, quite frankly is my hero. When I worked at the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, of which Ms. Paul is a member, her portrait hung over my desk and every time I gazed up with her my heart would swell with pride.  Not all white suffragists cared only about their race and it is an extremely important message that people get and understand that it wasn't until the movement was headed by women who saw all women as people, no matter what the color of their skin was or what religion they followed, that women FINALLY won the right to vote. Feminists who do not subscribe to that notion can not win any battles because they are hypocrites and held everyone back.

When you read of suffragettes being imprisoned, beaten and going on hunger strikes, that was Alice Paul and her suffragettes. They endured force feedings and the opposition to their movement even tried to have Alice Paul committed to a mental institution. The doctor that examined her when asked if she was insane said the historic quote, which you probably never knew had anything to do with Ms. Paul was a product of their attempt:

“Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.”

It wasn't long after that quote went, what could be considered now as "viral", that the 19th amendment was signed.

Alice Paul also didn't stop fighting for women  and our rights once the 19th amendment was passed. She worked on the Equal Rights Amendment as well. The amendment reads “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." We all owe her so much and while she died back in the 1970s, I think the least we can do is honor her by voting in every election. If you would like to learn more about Alice Paul and the suffragist movement I highly recommend watching Iron Jawed Angels.  And checking out Alice Paul's section of the Connecticut Women's Hall Of Fame.