In the days after the election, I received dozens of messages from friends and members of the Bossladies community that said things like, “I am so heartbroken and feel defeated. I want to get active and do my part to make the world better than it is now, but I’m not sure what to do. Do you have any ideas?”
The truth of the matter is, I didn’t. I too was heartbroken. I too felt defeated. And I didn’t have a single idea about how to actualize change.
But I finally have a few ideas about what we, as women who are deeply concerned about how this new administration will influence our lives, can DO in the weeks and months to come.
Buy a subscription to a reputable news source.
After years of reading just ten articles from The New York Times each month (until I hit my quota), I finally purchased a subscription. In an age where news media is so abundant, it can be hard to remember that it takes a huge team of incredibly intelligent people a lot of time to provide well-researched, well-conceived news and opinion pieces. And, my friends, that takes money. So if I can spend less than 10 dollars a month to help The New York Times continue their investigative reporting, which holds politicians accountable and keeps us informed on the intricacies of changing policies, you bet I’m going to do it. You can sign up for your subscription here.
Create space and structure for important conversations.
How often do you sit down with a group of friends and talk about your experiences with abortion, miscarriage, feeling underpaid at work, feeling underestimated and undervalued, feeling guilty that you spend so much time away from your children when you’re working, feeling unsure you can actually have children because the insurance system seems so precarious, trying to get pregnant, different types of birth control… I could go on and on. And I’m assuming that very few of us actually have these conversations with anyone except our mothers and sisters.
One of my friends recently started a Women’s Group. She carefully selected compassionate, open-hearted people to join her, and each month we’ll gather in her home to talk about politics, learn about amazing women from history, set up times to volunteer together, and share stories about how being a woman sometimes feels mighty tricky. We have our first meeting next week, and I can hardly wait. Could you find a circle of women that you trust to have these kinds of conversations with? Because these conversations are political. And making space for them is powerful.
If Trump’s campaign has taught us anything it’s that money can make things happen. So we need to take our spare dollars, if we have any, and give them to organizations who are going to go to battle for our values.
Instead of swapping Christmas presents this year, my family donated money to organizations in each other’s names. Could you do something similar throughout the year for moments when you usually swap tangible gifts? What organizations uphold your values? And what are ways, monetary or not, that you are able to offer them support?
Read books that allow you to delve into the perspective of others.
This is something that Grace Bonney did right after the election. She got a stack of books and began “educating [herself] on eras, movements, and issues that [she] know[s] far less about than [she] should.” (Quoting from her IG post.) She went on to say: “While I think it’s important to speak up...about a lot of things, I also feel how important it is for a lot of us...to listen more…”
I am with her on this. I’ll admit, my knowledge of history and issues that affect large portions of our country is minute and limited, and if we want to better understand where our neighbors are coming from, we need to learn more about their worlds.
Stay vocal, stay optimistic, stay active.
I’ll be doing the same, right beside you.
(photo by Marisa Vitale of our #bossladiesdesertretreat at Casa Joshua Tree)