I’ve been quiet. Hibernating. Even self-care can be revolutionary. Perpetually existing on the frontlines is not sustainable – no matter where your own frontlines are.
Self-care is political – both personal and collective. We could do better as activists to hold each other to account, to support each other to build spaces that are safe that allow us to rejuvenate. Sounds easy – it’s not.
That’s for another time.
My 2018 “resolution” was the same as my 2017 resolution and my resolutions for every single years before that.
I resolve to continue to dedicate my time, energy, anger to ending male violence against women.
There is nothing I hate more than the entitlement that breeds male violence against women, the rights some men feel they have to women’s own bodies. Women’s bodies have always been sites of transgressions of power. Bodily integrity is fundamental to our rights and freedom – and is no longer negotiable. Look at #MeToo #SheDecides #TimesUp if you need more evidence.
All of these movements amplify our voices, building on each other to be more inclusive, more politically effective. MeToo brought us together as we. This intentional, collective shift in orientation brings us closer to solving the problem in 2018. And MeToo empowers us to say IT.ENDS.HERE!
The thing is, everywoman everywhere has intimate knowledge of some manifestation of violation, discrimination, oppression. And so everywoman everywhere has the power to create the right kind of future that puts oppression and discrimination in the rearview mirror.
As women, we know this because we have to live this shit! We don’t need a lesson in patriarchy, in male entitlement, in violence against women. Even the FEAR of sexual violence is enough. We carry that cargo around every day. No wonder more women than men have osteoporosis. I’d love to offload that crap, like, forever.
We get it.
Last year, we saw gender inequality increase in many countries due to reversal of rights by discriminatory leadership. And last year, we saw the global gender gap increase (!) in 60 countries – the US being one of them. At the current pace, it will take 217 years to close inequality between the sexes. Ummm, that’s not the direction we’re supposed to be going.
[As I too often say, please dig me from the grave and let me know when we’ve reached equality. Problematic, considering I want to be cremated, but we can address those logistical challenges later!]
Anyway, women’s rights are being stripped away in many places around the world – and I can’t help but get kinda mad.
So, yes, time IS up. The time has come to destroy all that is old and construct a new normal, using our collective power as women. There’s solidarity there – not from shared victimization but from shared strength.
How to advance gender equality in 2018?
Claim space – lots of it. ALL of it. Take whatever space you’ve got and make it feminist. Yup, men, you can do this too.
Work at the macro level. Work at the micro level. And the whateverlevel in between. We gotta start from within our own spaces, our own circles, our own communities. After all, we are the best representative of the experiences of that community, and best placed to make positive change from the inside that is meaningful and sustainable.
Make use of the media to amplify our voices, reshape our realities, and document what goes UNdocumented. It’s a mean machine – but it works. Last year’s #MeToo momentum is a clear victory. So let’s keep breaking silence – because it’s working!
It is a political act for feminists to say WE ARE HERE. Visibility is powerful. Let’s commit to amplifying that visibility this year.
Listen up, 2018. Yes, MeToo. Yes, TimesUp.
Bottom line: I refuse to be part of any future that is not feminist. This year and every year.