Ringing In 2013

It’s that time of year again…by which I mean, a new year again.  Incredibly, the world didn’t end last month, and here we are, ringing in 2013.

Before you know it, people are going to be talking about the weight they want to lose, the promotions they want to get, the charity work they swear they are actually going to do.  It’s the time of year when we start wondering what we want to be like in 2013, what we want to change, how we want our lives to be different.

There are a lot of individual things that could maybe go on those lists.  Like our activism page says, “sometimes radical protesting isn’t about shouting louder-~-it’s about living louder”.  We need to live louder by taking those principles and living them every day with ourselves and the people around us-~-by loving our bodies even if we aren’t stick figures, and telling other women that they are beautiful too.  (And yeah, maybe we could stand to eat a little healthier too.  But I’m saying be healthy, don’t count calories like it’s your job)  We need to live louder by going after our professional goals even if it’s a long fight, and we need to tell younger girls that it is okay to want that for themselves, that they can be CEOs and rocket scientists, if that’s what they want.  These are all really important things, and they’re a part of how feminism becomes, not just a movement or a cause, but a lifestyle.

Respecting ourselves and demanding respect from others absolutely needs to be a lifestyle.

But it might be time that we started thinking a little bit bigger.  So when you’re making your list of New Years’ Resolutions for 2013, take a second and ask yourself what kind of world you want to live in this year.  Not what size pants do you want to live in, but what kind of world.

Because I have to be honest with you: 2012 just didn’t do it for me.

In 2012, hundreds of pieces of anti-choice legislation were passed in the United States.  Sandra Fluke was called a slut because she defended her right to access birth control.  The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that women are in a constant state of consent unless they explicitly say otherwise.  The United States is not the land of equality that it claims to be.  When our Founding Fathers said that all men were created equal, they really meant all men-~-all straight, white, cismen.  No one else.  That may have been the America they dreamed of back then, but it’s not 1776 anymore.

So when you’re making your list of things you want to shake up in 2013, I want you to ask yourself this: what makes you mad?  What turns your stomach to knots, what gets your pulse up, what makes you want to scream?  Is it rape culture?  Is it workplace inequality?  Is it ongoing discrimination against the trans community?  Is it the fact that states are still trying to ban gay marriage permanently?  Is it anti-choice legislation?  What makes your blood boil?

And more importantly, what are you going to do about it?

I’m not saying you need to drop everything and find a job with the National Organization for Women or something.  But it’s time for all of us to take the spaces we have in our lives and make them feminist, and then try to take it one step further.  You can write to your Congressperson and tell him/her how you FEEL about different pieces of legislation that are being considered-~-both on the federal AND state levels.  You can volunteer with organizations that deal with issues you care about.  You can go to the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Action Page and sign the petitions they have going.  Attend a rally.  Send out and email to your friends about petitions or writing to your governor.  Raise money for an organization that supports the things you care about, or just make a donation (like AU Students for Choice is trying to do for NARAL Pro-Choice America).

But do something!  Take a pen and add it to your list.  Because the women who came before us didn’t fight as hard as they did for us to lose the rights they helped win.  It’s time for us to put our feet down.  2012 was unacceptable.

But it’s not too late for 2013.

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~ by Randi Saunders on January 1, 2013.

One Response to “Ringing In 2013”

  1. Reblogged this on Unladylike Musings and commented:
    It’s time to start thinking bigger. “2012 was unacceptable. But it’s not too late for 2013.”

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