Forty years ago, on August 26, 1970, the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, Betty Friedan and NOW organized a march of abstention in New York City. Friedan proposed that “the women who are doing menial chores in the offices cover their typewriters and close their notebooks, the telephone operators unplug their switchboards… and everyone who is doing a job for which a man would be paid more—stop. Every woman pegged forever as an assistant, doing jobs for which men get credit—stop.” The police had ordered the thousands of marchers to stay on the sidewalks, but Friedan knew that they couldn’t be contained. "Take to the streets!" she commanded.
At the post-march rally, Friedan told the crowd the following:
In the religion of my ancestors, there was a prayer that Jewish men said every morning. They prayed, “Thank thee, Lord, that I was not born a woman.” Today I feel, feel for the first time, feel absolutely sure, that all women are going to be able to say, as I say tonight, “Thank thee, Lord, that I was born a woman for this day.”
As we gather today in the streets or just around our computers, let’s forget the fear that the past few weeks have instilled in us, and instead thank whatever you believe in that you were born a woman.
“’Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”—
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3])
Every girl seems to have an opinion of Bruce Springsteen. Some girls think he’s okay, some girls say he’s boring (he’s not), and some girls are just drop dead in love with him. They love his lyrics, they love the music, and they especially love the way he moves on stage. Well, this girl is one of…
I love Bruce Springsteen. Growing up in (t)his town, well, you have to work really hard to not at least appreciate him. But I love him.
For the most part, this list is a pretty good lesson in The Boss, but the author makes it seem like it’s really easy to just walk away from someone who is trying to woo with Bruce Springsteen. Let me say from experience that when someone says to you “I’m coming to liberate you, confiscate you, I want to be your man,” it’s really, really hard.
Harder still since you won’t know how to respond properly because you’ve never really been wooed before, least of all with Springsteen lyrics, and because the next line in that song is “Some day we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny,” and even though you’ve never really been wooed before, least of all with Springsteen lyrics, you’ll know that that’s probably not the way to go.
So two years ago I sent a theatre company 50 bucks to reserve a spot in a program that was eventually cancelled. The head of the company called me to explain the situation and tell me he was returning my check to me. Three weeks later he had cashed it. Nearly two years later, after endless correspondence, he still hasn't returned it.
Dear Mr. [Redacted], I really don’t understand the problem here. I sent you a self-addressed stamped envelope three weeks ago. I should have my money back by now. I should have had my money back nearly two years ago. I haven’t brought it up, but I really don’t understand why you deposited my check at all when the program had already been cancelled for three weeks by that time. I have been very polite and understanding about your lack of response to my countless emails and phone calls. But I am afraid that my patience has worn thin. This is nothing but ridiculous. I should not have had to spend my own money on postage to get back money that you effectively stole from me. You have my address, you have my envelope. You also still have my money. I expect them in my mailbox by the end of the week.
I’ve decided, with roughly a year left until my completion of this MFA program, with the daunting but manageable prospect of looming perpetual unemployment on the horizon, with so much pressure to Be A Part of The Conversation!, when really so much of that Conversation is just “Isn’t being a writer great/hard/strange? LET’S TALK ABOUT IT FOREVER!”, which is a conversation that is repulsive to me, I mean, literally, shivers up my spine, can’t do it, won’t do it, please stop making me talk about this, especially in a classroom setting, do you guys think coal miners sit around in coal mines talking about being coal miners? Not that the two professions are in any way comparable, they are not comparable because being a coal miner is actually difficult, anyway, I’ve decided that I am not ever going to call myself a “writer,” ever again. I am never going to say the words, “As a writer,” or “Well, being a writer myself,” etc. Instead I am making up 1,000 business cards which read “Katie Coyle: Professional Make-Believe.”
(Once, my mom’s cousin asked me, “Are you a writer?” and I said, “No. I mean, I write?” And she said, “You’re a writer.” Then she told me that if I was a guy, I would have just said, “Yes, I’m a writer.” She was probably right, but if I was a guy, I would most likely be a real douchebag).
Katie and I, even though our high school peers couldn’t figure this out, are indeed different people. We lead different lives, like different things, and on occasion wear different clothes. But when she talks about being writer, I replace that word with “actor” and then we are the same.
Or, like someone once told us, “It’s like you’re a purple dress with pink ruffles, and you’re a pink dress with purple ruffles.”
INFORM PEOPLE - Write op-eds and letters to the editor to your local newspapers. Blog about it. Use twitter, include #Libya hashtag.
SUPPORT NEWS MEDIA THAT IS DOING COVERAGE OF LIBYA - CLICK CLICK CLICK on news articles! And comment on them! And share them on Facebook, on Twitter, on Tumblr. This is how news media thrives. It’s a sad reality, but clicks and comments encourage editors to cover a stort more. Tweet “Thanks” to Anderson Cooper, AlJazeera, etc. Send them thank you letters.
GO TO LOCAL SOLIDARITY PROTESTS - The Libyan people think no one outside cares about them. Sending them photos and videos of supporters would bring up morale. If there are no protests planned for your city, plan one! Stage one in your University’s free speech zones!
MIRROR VIDEOS - Many videos are being taken down- especially Facebook videos. If you know how to, mirror the video, upload it yourself.
TRANSLATE - If you know Arabic, help translate things like tweets, videos, audio, etc. The more people this information is accessible to, the better.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL STATESMEN AND WOMEN - Tell them you want the U.S. to acknowledge what’s happening in Libya. Tell them you want them to call for the resignation of Gaddafi. Tell them you want them to send aid to Libya. Tell them to support freedom. Tell them to support democracy. Tell them to freaking CONDEMN THIS MASSACRE. Look here and here.
SEND AID - Muslims Without Borders is organizing a medical convoy from Alexandria, Egypt to Libya. Send them money “earmarked” for Libya.
(add to this list)
I admittedly haven’t been paying much attention to what’s going on in Libya so this and PP’s other updates have been really helpful. Thank you.
ALICEEEEEEEEEEEEEE WHAT HAPPENED WHO GRABBED YOUR ASS
Just some rando fratfuck douche who I asked to move so I could sit down. So I yelled at him and when the seven dudes I was with asked me if I wanted them to punch him, I was all “too late, too late” Judi-Dench-Shakespeare-in-Love style.
This is me not winning friends or influencing people, but here are some things I’ve been thinking:
I think the time for agreeing to disagree is over. I think it has come to the point at which we must actively challenge the people in our lives on these issues. Because, like I said yesterday, it’s come down to a question of whether one person’s feelings and opinions are worth more than another person’s body sovereignty. It’s come down to whether tax breaks for corporations are worth more than workers’ rights. It’s come down to whether a NASCAR recruitment vehicle is worth more than cultural production and preservation—and yes, I know that presenting that dichotomy is in some ways a straw man, but uh, they started it. These are things worth fighting for, not just supporting. These are ideas that need to be actively challenged.
So, no. I won’t agree to disagree anymore. I won’t respect your opinion. I won’t listen to your feelings on “morality” and “family values.” I am not interested. The Republican party has shown repeatedly that they do not give a shit. They don’t give a shit whether women get health care. They don’t give a shit whether kids gets to sing in school. They don’t give a shit whether working conditions are safe. They don’t. And if our Democratic representatives continue to sacrifice ground on these issues because of some kind to twisted need for the moral high ground and “compromise” and “bipartisanship” then I think we need to take them down, too.
Mom just called Senator Snowe and Senator Collins’ offices with the following message: “NASCAR is in House’s budget. I want you to tell me you value women’s health more than you value cars. I stand with Planned Parenthood.”