Women's March - 10 Actions 100 Days

The overwhelming emotion I felt last weekend watching women (and men) around the world come together in support was incredible.  Still riding that high this week, I listened to an episode of Ontario today, when the host discusses "What's Next?" . How do we take this unity and put it into tangible actions for change.   The Women's March has come up with 10 Actions in 100 days to help ( see link below).  Action Item 1 is to contact political representatives regarding your concerns.  

One of my good friends taught me the art of fighting for what you want, and it almost always begins with an e-mail and involves persistence and work.  She stops at (almost) nothing to get what she wants, or to be heard.  So, to get the ball rolling "we" Contact everyone and anyone about the concerns "we"  may have around women's rights.  E-mail, write, call municipally, provincially, federally, across all political parties.  (The Woman's March website provides you with a draft letter for those who don't feel articulate.)  This is a way that your voice can be heard.  We have hired these people to work for US.  It is our job to ensure they know what we want.  

On a more personal level, listening to the discussion of "What next?" started an internal dialogue of what I  ( a very lucky person who faces little in ways of repression) would like to see happen as a first step from those around me.  I have come up with my own list of actions items. I think these changes are indicators that the people in my life are understanding of equality. 

  • Please stop congratulating me on my education.  Anyone can work hard and achieve their goals.  The surprise in peoples faces when I tell them I'm an Engineer is saddening,  Why is this a surprise?
  • Stop asking me when I'm going to get married/ have children.  It is perfectly acceptable for me to choose to skip these life events, just like it is my choice to change my mind. I do not need a man or child to fulfil my life.  
  • Stop calling me sweetie, hunny or other pet names.  I am your peer/colleague/supervisor, would you do this to everyone?
  • Stop apologizing for your use of curse words.  I've heard them all before. It isn't what you say, its how you use it.
  • Do correct  people who do the above. (politely) 
  • Recognize that friendship across gender is possible and sexuality is possible.  This isn't the movies, friendship can exist without attractions.
  • Encourage the children in your life to explore, to not identify shows, toys, clothes, jobs, etc as male or female.  Provide them with exposure to adults participating in unconventional gender roles etc.
  • and most importantly, accept peoples differences.... be patient with those whose ideals don't align with yours.

-A