The list of women who paved the way for us today seems to be never ending. Women have seen the stars beyond our planet from the insides of rocket ships. Women have survived the cruelties of slavery and assembled the courage needed to free themselves and others. Women have held the highest position in government in over 50 different countries. They’ve blessed the world with creativity that the patriarchy could never imagine – with words that make us feel and music that makes us move. They’ve fought; the women before us most certainly have fought.
As a woman today, it’s easy to feel lost in all these historical accomplishments. You want to change the world, too, but life’s got other demands. Bills gotta be paid, families gotta be fed, homework’s gotta be finished. COVID-19 has you feeling like there’s not much you can do. But, you should NEVER discount the smaller ways that change happens, too.
There’s so much you can do to make a difference, incremental or large scale, from inside your house and in planning for as soon as this crisis is over. Touching the life of even one woman is remarkable, and should never be overlooked.
So, here are 6 feminist actions YOU can take right now (even from your couch).
Register to Vote (and then VOTE)
In Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and West Virginia, it’s not too late to register to vote in the primaries. 🙂 A comprehensive list of registration deadlines can be found on Business Insider.
As far as general elections, you’ve got to be registered anywhere from 0-30 days before voting day depending on your state. You’ve got plenty of time before November, but why not get it out of the way right now?
The social-distancing friendly aspect of voter registration is you can do it ONLINE (and if that doesn’t appeal to you, register in-person at a voter registration office or through the mail once all this chaos is over).
Volunteer to be an Abortion Clinic Escort
The role of an escort is to counter the effects of the people nuts enough to stand outside of abortion clinics with disturbing, shameful posters. This is done by walking patients into the clinic from their transportation, speaking the whole time to distract from yelling protesters, and ensuring the patient’s safety.
The first step is something you can do from home: find your local abortion clinic and reach out to them through their website, email or phone to see if they need escorts. Your local Planned Parenthood will often have information about this on their website as well if you sign up to volunteer. Use this time to research and sign-up with your local abortion clinic so you can get started once it’s safer to leave home.
Make Menstrual Product Care Packages for the Homeless
“Period Poverty” has become a buzzword these last few years. It acknowledges the many women who lack access to menstrual products and facilities that should in all honesty be free, and an American right. Homeless women are extra affected by the costliness of these products, and are often limited to one set of clothes making a lack of products suck even worse.
Care packages are a way you can help on an individual level. Either by yourself, or by organizing a period packing party (once social distancing is over, of course), get some ziplock baggies and get to packing. These small packs should hold anywhere from 5-7 pads and 5-7 tampons, and can be handed out to women on the street or given to your local shelter. Something we’ve learned through this crisis is just how important cleanliness is, so it might be cool to throw some travel size hand sanitizers.
Become a Member of NOW
Another ~online~ step you can take: The National Organization of Women is both a PAC (political action committee) which props up many cool female politicians, and a foundation pushing for the legal rights of women and fighting for equality in education. They have different projects ranging from a body-positive poster-making contest for upcoming artists, to protecting women in family court, to mobilizing female voters across the country. Like other organizations such as the NAACP, you can become a member.
Donate Clothes to Dress for Success
Bored at home? You can start bagging up your extra clothes to donate! (Make sure clothes remain untouched for 3 days so any Coronavirus bacteria will have died off.)
An international organization dedicated to providing those in need with professional clothing and tools to find work, Dress for Success makes it easy for you to send in any extra, gently used clothing you may have (and to get involved with their non-profit in a number of other ways). You just have to find the Dress for Success affiliate closest to you, make sure your garments fit the guidelines, and bring em in! You can even hold a clothing drive at your office once WFH is over.
Raise Awareness on Trans Day of Visibility
The best way to close out this month, International Transgender Day of Visability, is March 31st. Feminism, as it should be, means placing the most marginalized women at the forefront of our actions — supporting our sisters and not just our cis-ters. This means that today is a good day to type “Trans Businesses” into Google. I know y’all’s quarantined asses have engaged in more than a little online shopping, so why not use your money to make an impact? More than that, respecting people’s preferred pronouns (via Zoom meetings and beyond) and listing your own pronouns in social media bios and email signatures, are ways you can influence those around you on the daily.
If there’s one thing the past few years should’ve taught us, it’s that change can’t wait (even when you’re stuck at home). Whatever’s been holding you back, push it aside if you can – these words right here are your call to take action – feminist action – right now.
Let us know below if we missed any accessible steps towards progress. And tag us on social if you end up taking our advice!
About the Author
A sophomore at New York University currently studying Gender and Sexuality Studies, Tara Jones (@tara.michaela on Instagram) hopes to get her Masters in Human Sexuality and go into either sex therapy or sex education. She wants to bring attention to how injustice manifests in sexual interactions and the orgasm gap. In Tara’s free time, she runs a small business designing and creating swimwear (@bytaraj on Instagram).