I scroll screens by night and have been since November 8, 2016. It is how I first learned of the Nasty Women Project.
Arguably, many believe I am and have been a nasty woman all my life–in every sense of the term–I’m not disputing that. 😉 I am also a citizen in a republic whose duty is to be vigilant but I admit to complacency.
I’m on duty now. That’s all I can do anything about.
I contact members of Congress–someday, maybe I’ll be able to attend a town hall meeting—until then, I read newspapers and books like Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s My Own Words and Ron Chernow’s Hamilton.
#TheResistance is not about going back–that world is gone–it is about working through this moment. Yet, the past is not without its information.
Sometime around last Christmas, editor-in-chief Erin Passons put out a submissions call for a book she wanted to publish March 1–an anthology about the effects of November 8, the night the world changed.
I knew I would submit a piece but I had no idea my essay would begin 18 years ago–1998–on the day of Matthew Shepard’s funeral. Then, I was a middle-aged lesbian living in Wyoming. I was angry and too naïve to be afraid. I believed hate would not win but on that day, it did.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church gained worldwide attention for their protest of Matthew Shepard’s funeral. I joined others in holding up my umbrella to block the signs of Matt in hell and God hates fags.
Our umbrellas sagged under the weight of snowflakes. I looked into the eyes of a young man from Westboro and found the hollowness of hate. He had won.
These 18–now 19 years later–I know winning is not when the heart is hollow.
My essay, “Confessions of a Closet Activist,” appears in the Nasty Women Project: Voices from the Resistance, Volume 1. 80 women, 80 stories of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. 100% of the profits go to Planned Parenthood.
In the first two weeks, we raised over $2500 for Planned Parenthood. Our support continues no matter what Congress decides about healthcare, on any week. The attack on Planned Parenthood is a long and familiar one.
For me, it goes as far back as 1976. It is not impossible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion. Human beings are “walking contradictions.” There is no one way for everyone but for everyone there is a way.
Complacency is easier than activism. I’ve always known that but I’ve not always been aware of the privilege I have. As an old, white lesbian, it is considerable.
We all have privilege. It is not something new but an awareness of who we are, how we intersect with everyone else. We live in a republic whose survival means we must participate–always.
The failure of the healthcare bill shows us we are still able to make a difference. We are not yet staring down the hollowness of hate but we are not far from it, either.
Sometimes we see the danger and it kills us—
and sometimes we see the danger and it sets us free.
(“I Saved the World Every Night,” Erin Passons)
I scroll screens by night.