Diary of a Feminist: Unite Against the War on Women DC Rally
It’s incredible. It’s 2012, and I just spent yesterday at a rally in defense of women’s rights. The Unite Against the War on Women Rallies, hosted by Unite Women, occurred across the country yesterday, in 37 states (and in multiple locations in some states) as well as the District of Columbia. Along with a friend of mine (Abbe), I attended this rally in solidarity with other women who are sick of seeing their rights violated and their health compromised by political agendas and uncompromising partisanship. We the women of Washington DC were proud to stand outside the capitol building yesterday to make clear that enough is enough.
The keynote speaker at the DC rally was former governor Jennifer Granholm. She was the first female governor of Michigan, elected in 2003. Her speech focused on the need for women to speak up and to take action, to take back their rights. She urged women to consider running for office, to become more involved in the political process. As I previously discussed, there is a MAJOR shortage of women in politics.
“Your weapons are your words, and your passion, and your powers of persuasion. You are called”
If you can’t run for office for whatever reason, you can volunteer with EMILY’S list, an organization that works to help get democratic pro-choice women elected to office.
Erin Matson is the Action Vice President for the National Organization for Women. She has been extraordinarily active in the organization and has a degree in women’s studies from Georgetown University. Yesterday, when she spoke at the Unite Women rally in DC, she gave a message that I could not agree with more: our battle is not going to be won with signs or chanting. It must be won at the ballot box.
This November, we MUST vote out the lawmakers who are pushing for policies that take away our rights. If you are reading this and you currently reside in the United States of America, make sure you are registered to vote. And make sure you vote. We CAN remove from power the people who violate our rights and threaten our ability to access our health. And we must.
Stop Supporting ALEC
ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) is an organization you have probably never heard of, and probably want to know about. Before the rally, I had never heard of ALEC; I had no idea this institution existed. ALEC is not a lobby or a front group; it is so much more powerful. It is funded largely by corporations and controlled by legislators, almost all of whom belong to the GOP. ALEC functions much the way we imagine normal lobbies do-~-but it is far more effective. You can read more about ALEC and the way the organization operates here.
The point I need to make clear is that ALEC is helping to push through the legislation that is threatening our rights and our personal welfare. And ALEC is funded almost entirely by corporations. Let me make something plain to you: corporations are not easy to fight. They are bigger than we are, they are more powerful than we are, and they are prioritized over us in the United States.
But they can’t exist without money. And neither can ALEC.
The boycott list changes all the time but you can check the updated list here, at SourceWatch.org. Here are a few of the companies still bankrolling ALEC:
- Koch Industries Brands-~-which produces products like Brawny, Quilted Northern, and Dixie
- Johnson and Johnson
- Walmart (shocking, Walmart is bankrolling something evil?)
- State Farm
- Olive Garden
One of the ways that we can help fight this so-called War on Women is to stop supporting ALEC corporations. Companies like Coca-Cola are already severing ties with ALEC; we can pressure more organizations to do the same.
Oh, and if you DO choose to boycott the ALEC corporations, shoot them an email and tell them you didn’t buy their stupid Bandaids or order their ravioli because they support ALEC.
Don’t worry, I’m going to give you some of the alternatives to make life easier here:
- Mars Products (like Dove chocolate and Snickers, as an alternative to Nestle)
- Target (seriously, stop going to Walmart. Go to Target)
- All State