Getting to Work in the Wake of the Presidential Election

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In the days since November 8th, many of us feel an acute sense of fear. For others, that fear was never dormant. Personally, I’m more fired up than ever before. Stay tuned for more information on mobilization, events, and tools you can use to combat bigotry and fight oppression.

In the meantime, the excerpt below is a longtime favorite of mine, and it hits so close to home as the words “President-elect Donald Trump” become more of a reality:

Thus, young women in their small groups found themselves floundering in a morass of left-wing hostility and establishment derision. As both left and right labeled them ‘man-haters’ when they demanded equality, they became acutely sensitized to the way in which it seemed that the whole culture was biased against women. One new recruit described her change in consciousness: ‘I couldn’t walk down the street, read advertisements, watch TV, without being incensed… at the way women are treated.’ Robin Morgan’s anger grew in the year she edited Sisterhood Is Powerful, an anger that came from deep down and way back, something like a five-thousand-year buried anger.’ She continued, ‘It makes you very sensitive-raw, even, this consciousness.

-Sara Evans, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left.

This consciousness may be raw, but it’s better than ignorance.

 

Why One Post Stopped Me From Writing

Offensive Christmas Card

Back in December I uploaded the picture above to the SLC Feminist Facebook page and wrote a few words, “This is a card I came across online. I do not know the family. I know that this picture is disturbing on so many levels though.” I received a lot of interaction from fellow feminists within the first hour or so after posting, but a few hours later it became clear that the post had gone as “viral” as something ever had on the page. My phone started blowing up. I had to turn off notifications.

Over the next few days the post would reach 325,340 people, be shared 1,430 times, liked 579 times, and receive 707 primary comments. 

Unfortunately, the notifications weren’t from fellow feminists anymore, but racist, misogynistic trolls (some memes that stood out are at the end of this article). For the next few days I watched in horror as people sent me violent images, vulgar private messages, and repeatedly called me “what’s wrong with America.” All because I said a few words about a picture that I found distasteful.

I later learned that the photo made international and national news, which helped explain the traction on my page. I admit that I couldn’t help but look at a lot of the comments. As a qualitative researcher, my immediate thought was, “How can I export these comments and code the data for emergent themes?” (Any Facebook wizards out there know if this is possible? Asking for a friend.)

At the end of the day, the post and its accompanying vitriol made for lively conversation with my best friends, and I moved on. Or so I thought for a while.

But the reality is that the entire incident has impacted my writing. It has impacted the way I share things on the internet. The way I was attacked online made me afraid of speaking up, because I know of too many activists who have posted their thoughts online only to have their lives threatened and their personal addresses and phone numbers shared. While the post was still bringing in hate, my phone rang from a blocked number, and I remember looking down and thinking, “Fuck, it finally happened.” I was terrified that someone found my phone number and shared it with the world. It turns out that wasn’t the case, but the fact that it crossed my mind was too much.

The hateful messages and memes had more of an impact than I wanted to admit. They made me afraid, but after a long time processing, and some serious introspection, I’ve decided enough is enough. I’m going to get back to my regular writing schedule, because if there are still people in the world who will threaten a writer with violence over three sentences, then there’s still writing to do.

So thank you to everyone who is still following. Thank you to everyone who is still sharing. Let’s ruffle some feathers together on and offline.

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Stand Against Racism Essay Contest

Stand against racismThe YWCA Young Women’s Council’s 2016 Stand Against Racism Essay Contest

We are seeking 1,000 word essays from young women of color addressing the impacts of institutional and structural racism on their life and how they have addressed these challenges.

Who can Enter?

  • Open to young women of color ages 12-18
  • Winners must be residents of Utah.
  • YWCA Staff, Board, Young Women’s Council members, and their immediate families are ineligible to submit essays for this award.

What’s the prize?

  • Grand Prize award: $500 scholarship
  • Up to two runners-up will be identified with awards of $250 each
  • All winners will receive a complimentary one-year YWCA membership

How do I enter?

Essays are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 22, 2016. All submissions must be typed, double-spaced and submitted with a cover page featuring the author’s name, age, and contact information. Submit essays to aphillips@ywca.com or deliver to YWCA Utah, 322 East 300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.

The YWCA Young Women’s Council will select the winning essays and announce the winners during the YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism, April 28-May 1, 2016.

About the YWCA Young Women’s Council

The YWCA Young Women’s Council is a group of young YWCA members ages 18-35 who work to promote the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Council members represent the YWCA in the community through service and advocacy, participate in leadership development opportunities, and plan the annual YWCA Young Women’s Leadership Summit.

About Stand Against Racism

Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities. Founded by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton in 2007, YWCA Utah took a Stand Against Racism in 2011 and continues to participate annually as part of our mission to eliminate racism.

Planned Parenthood Is Hiring!

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is losing an amazing employee, and person, Emily Andrews. Although I’m sad to see Emily go, that means a wonderful position is opening up with the PPAC team!

Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Position Overview:

The Communication and Marketing Coordinator (CMC) is responsible for the design of, implementation, and monitoring of PPAU’s communication and marketing programs. The CMC works collaboratively within the public affairs team and senior staff to coordinate strategy, themes and messaging for all Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) and Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah (PPAC) online and printed material. The CMC will continue to develop and implement a social media plan to enhance existing marketing and social media programs; increase online followers and heighten awareness for Planned Parenthood’s services, education programs, advocacy and PPAC’s electoral work. Provide support to staff in creating online fundraising tactics.

Qualifications:

Education and/or Experience

  • College degree in related field (communications, marketing, management, etc.) plus 1-2 years work experience in a related field (public relations, social marketing, journalism, etc) or;
  • 2 years college plus 3-4 years relevant work experience or;
  • high school diploma (or GED) plus 5-7 years of relevant experience 

Skills

  • Demonstrated ability to assess needs and evaluate implementation of programs.
  • Familiarity and application of social media a must.
  • Familiarity and knowledge of content management software a must.
  • Familiarity and knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite a must.
  • Proficient in VAN and data management systems.
  • Detail-oriented with excellent project management skills.
  • Demonstrates organizational ability with strong attention to detail.
  • Demonstrates ability to be self-managed and self-directed to initiate, organize, and complete tasks in a timely manner with little supervision.
  • Adheres to, complies with, and demonstrates support for agency mission, policies, and procedures.
  • Ability to represent the agency in a professional manner and to work as a team member to achieve agency goals.

Apply here! 

Weekly Feminist Happenings March 1st-7th

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Wednesday, March 2nd

100 Women Who Care: The 100 Women Who Care group is a quarterly gathering of busy women all armed with checkbooks who meet for just an hour, vet targeted charities or special community needs, vote on the favorite, and write individual $100 checks on the spot. Meet at City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of the building. Visit here for more information.

Women of the World Annual Fashion Show: Women of the World celebrates the traditions of our new neighbors, we take pride in our place in the blend of community and culture, and we raise our voices to advocate on behalf of so many still in the process of escaping war and genocide. So it is our honor to invite you to our Celebration of Stepping Up: Women of the World’s 4th Annual Fashion Show. Details: From 5:30-8:00 p.m. at Publik Coffee Roasters (975 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City).

Saturday, March 5th

Gender Liberation Summit: Because we are more than women. Because the gender binary is an act of colonization and misogyny. Because we need each other. Because there is no pride for some of us without the liberation of all of us. This event occurs in response to trans-exclusive forms of feminism that attach womanhood and femininity to a vagina and manhood, patriarchy, and power to a penis. It is in response to particular forms of feminism which see particular issues as “women’s issues” (i.e. reproductive justice, sexual assault, etc.) when in reality, people of many marginalized genders are dealing with these same issues in as large, if not often larger, of a scale. This event is also in response to particular organizing practices on campus for events as well as just general practices by most departments, offices, classes, and groups that perpetuate cissexism and heterosexism. Details: Conference from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The conference requires registration.  We ask that folks try not wear chemicals for folks with chemical sensitivities, or to at least minimize them, you can learn more about how to do that here: www.brownstargirl.org

or here

everydayfeminism.com

The workshops and other events part of this summit will all be in wheelchair accessible rooms. There are ramps to the main floor of the Union building and an elevator directly around the corner from the rooms that will be used. If folks need access to braille programs or ASL Interpreters, we will be able to provide those. We will have a number of braille programs and a couple ASL Interpreters on hand otherwise to ensure that folks who just show up are able to access the summit. [The rooms are still being checked to see if they have braille and that information will be posted soon.] If you have other questions surrounding accessibility, please message us.

Child care will be provided by Kids Like Me for children potty-trained to age 11. For childcare registration, please fill out the form on this link: tinyurl.com

The Race to Reduce Bullying: Playworks Utah’s 5th annual Race to Reduce Bullying at Wheeler Historic Farm. All runners, walkers, crawlers and strollers are invited to participate in the most playful 5k/Fun Run in the greater Salt Lake area. Last year’s event sold out, so get your registrations in today.

 9:00am – Registration/Check-In begins
10:00am – Timed 5k begins
10:30am – Untimed, 1-mile Fun Run beginsEvery participant will receive a running shirt provided by our Apparel Sponsor, Game Gear. A raffle will follow the event and there will be vendor booths to peruse at your leisure.

Submit your event here!