A previously posted open-sourced photograph of Lana Lokteff was removed because she did not consent to her image being published in association with this article.
By Rosemary Anderson
The American alt-right movement wants to strip women of the right to vote, allow men to use violent tactics to “keep women in line,” and force women back into the home–but alt-right men are not the only ones who support these statements. Women do too.
With the rise of the alt-right, increasingly more women have become involved in the movement.
Racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, antifeminism: all are words that can describe the alt-right. So how do people get involved in the first place? Specifically, how do women get involved?
The election of 2016 was an incredibly trying time for people of all political parties, friendships, and families. Although difficult for me as well, I was very vocal about my opinions especially through social media. Social media is one of the most prominent and available platforms to share information, current events, and even political discourse. During that time though many people avoided social media. The stress of the election was a great one to bear for sure. I did feel, however, that it was important for me to explain why this election was so important and why I feared the possible outcomes for the next four years.
Meanwhile, I had many people tell me that they unfollowed me or stayed off social media or refused to discuss opinions between people. Of course, I understand that some conversations will lead nowhere, but no conversation at all will also lead nowhere. There is a balance there that naturally comes with judgement. Even after the election is long past many people continue to stay silent on issues that are held very close to my heart as well as many others. While I understand wholly the seemingly unnecessary stress talking about politics may have on a relationship of any kind, I still find my heart dropping when people tell me they don’t talk about politics. This is because politics is a lot more than just that. “Politics” entail the livelihood and safety of ourselves and those around us, politics are healthcare and reproductive rights and environmental concerns and politics concern so many different life’s and families. If politics don’t affect you, they will affect someone you know and may care about.
Let’s talk about politics. No, not the name calling, whining, Democrats vs Republicans type of politics, but the nature of all political debates. The issues that we consider “politics” and how we fight over them not based on whether we think they are morally right or wrong but based on whether there is an “R” or a “D” next to the issue.
We treat these things like a game with winners and losers. But politics is more than a game, it is people’s lives. The “losers” in these situations will deal with more than their hurt pride, the laws and decisions made in politics change lives for better and for worse, this is something that should be taken seriously, not played with like a game.
I come from a long line of women who get the job done. No matter if it is making lunch for a haying crew of thirty hungry ranchers, or rallying resources in the last minutes before a Christmas morning gathering to make sure the late additions to our table would have gifts to open after dessert. We accomplish the task. My female friends are equally driven. I’ve been on a crew of five that made all the food for a wedding with over 300 guests. We stayed up all night peeling potatoes for salad and rolling up pieces of lunch meat for the buffet and got up the next morning in time to set it all up, dress the bride, get to the service, and smile in the photographs. My girlfriends and I have cut firewood, branded calves, painted, packed, and proved over and over that no matter the job, we can get it done.
And now many of those same women and I have joined the ranks of our sisters all over the globe to get other jobs done. Together we are marching for change, for peace, for climate, for the environment. I’ve joined sister-friends in democratic calls for action, given a thumbs up on every single photo another friend posts about wild spaces and our need to keep them. And I have sat in a classroom with the wonderful bloggers that I share this space with, and talked about the challenges and the rewards of being female and the best way to showcase those.
I have been struggling to figure out what to say about the election, and what kind of post I wanted to write for this week. There is so much hurt right now. I am one of the lucky ones, whose circumstances have put me in a place of relative privilege that allows me to search for and find love. So mostly I want to listen. For this post, I decided to share three of my poems; the first two are about the most important women in my life, and the last is a love poem. I am hoping that I am lucky enough to have this little bit of light, and to give it. Continue reading “3 Poems”→
Coalition work is never easy. It’s difficult and exhausting. This election season there have been many difficult conversations happening. Sexual assault has come to the forefront because our President-elect was accused of sexual assault by a handful of women. Conversations about race and institutional racism have also come to the forefront after incidents of racism have been circulated on social media. We’ve seen the Black Lives Matter movement publicly protesting police brutality and a recent resurgence of the KKK. LGBTQ rights with North Carolina’s HB2 bathroom law. Reproductive rights, the Supreme Court ruling that the TRAP laws in the south are an “undue burden” on a woman’s access to safe and legal abortions.
As a feminist, I have to talk to people about these issues. I have a moral responsibility to tell people the story of my parents immigrating to the United States and their struggles when someone believes an incorrect stereotype about Hispanic immigrants. I have a responsibility to inform the people around me about how dangerous laws like Texas’ HB2 are; not just for women, but for their families. I have a responsibility to remind people how important access to safe and legal abortions is. I have a responsibility to explain that my experience as a Mexican-American woman will never be the same as a white man’s.
The U.S. has a severe disparity of equal and diverse representation in our government. In 2016, women still only comprise 20% of the United States 114th congress. Women of color are even more underrepresented, making up only 6.2% of congress. We had yet to even have a woman win a major party bid for the presidency until Hillary Clinton did this year. This scarcity of women in our government has lead to an uphill battle for policies and laws that concern women’s issues, such as health care, the wage gap, abortion, and paid maternity leave. Now more than ever, it is important to understand the impact that representation has in our nation and take that knowledge to the polls for the upcoming elections. Continue reading “Underrepresentation Nation”→