New Year’s Revolution (This is not a typo. Let’s resolve to revolt!)
We have survived 2017. This is the year we will overturn the Republican Congress, filling its ranks with Democrats from across the nation. With a Democratic Congress, we can #resist President Trump’s malicious policies.
Let 2018 also be the year we completely revolutionize the way women and non-binary people are treated in the workplace, in school, in the community, in all the institutions, in the home, and in our lives.
In her essay on women at work and the ordeals they face, May-lee Chai writes: “So long as men can harass women without consequences, they will continue to do so. For too long, only women have been punished when men choose to harass us. We get paid less, we get promoted less, our ideas are devalued. Complain and we are punished. We get called names. We take the pay cut. We leave the job to protect our bodies. The men move up the chain. Until then, every piece of advice that every mother passed down to her daughter to survive the workplace will just be labeled another old wives’ tale, balm for wounds, useful for removing stains, but inconsequential, like butter on a burn.”
We have the power to change this. Stop shaming women. Stop ignoring what you see or hear about harassment, stand up for your colleagues. If you are being harassed, find a safe person to tell—and tell. Powerful men are being brought down. It can be done. Do your part.
If you haven’t already joined Jen Hofmann’s email list in order to receive a weekly checklist of what you as an individual can do to #resist, to create change in the world, join now. Her list has arrived every week since the election 2016. Her commitment is fierce and she helps us make choices about what to do. Having this support makes our job easier. Join here.
If you can’t bring yourself to make phone calls or write email messages, can you text? I use Resistbot regularly to contact all my representatives: Senators, Representatives, even the Governor. Get the app for your phone here. If your phone service provider doesn’t hook you up via the short text method, try texting resist to the full number 202-335-4008 or use Messenger, Viber, or Telegram versions instead.
Here is a podcast dedicated to Social justice activism tools to fight back against Donald Trump, fascism, and white supremacy, hosted by @DanielleMuscato and produced by @ERothCo. You can listen on your computer or download the podcast by downloading the app.
Sign up locally to be notified when actions are happening. You can join marches or protests in your own area. Join the movement by joining Indivisible.
Stay informed. The daily news can be overwhelming, but we have to do what we are able to do in order to resist the dangerous and harmful actions that happen in our world. We are here. If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. [The correct (full) quote by Eldridge Cleaver is: “There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.”] How that manifests in daily life is if you don’t speak up when you hear someone say something you know is hurtful, you are part of the problem. If you see police harassment happening and you don’t try to stop it, or at least film it and report it, you are part of the problem. If you condone violence in any form, you are part of the problem. Choose to be part of the solution.
It’s okay to take care of yourself. But living in denial is not healthy. Instead, do whatever physical exercise you are capable of, if you are physically capable. Get enough rest. Consider calming your mind using meditation, or even a simple app, like Apple’s Calm. If you are able to walk, walk. The Mayo Clinic has a free 12-week program for how to get started. Exercise is good for all our organs, including the brain, and the brain takes a beating when faced with bad news on a daily basis.
Let us move into 2018 as mindful, caring, active revolutionaries. Let us support all the causes we believe in, and let us accept all the support available to us so we can continue to #resist.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Sandra de Helen, author of the lesbian thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet, journalist, and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, Chicago, New York City, and in thirteen states. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her books are available online, at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Samples of her work are available on her website.