Once upon a time, in a land far away called Brookline, I was a feminist. I lived a block off Beacon Street, which included three pregnancy clinics within a mile of each other. I held signs and helped make human fences so other girls and women could gain entrance when individuals who called themselves 'Pro-Life' tried to block their way. I was an active member of my town's Board of Selectmen's Women's Committee (doesn't sound right, does it?). I was a card-carrying member of Boston NOW and an advocate for the RU-486 campaign. I boarded buses to Washington, DC on a regular basis to protest the erosion of women's rights and to affirm the passage of such.
Time passed. Abortion and birth control remained a right. Membership in women's groups dwindled because there seemed no need. Women rocked the world--we went to Harvard and Yale, became professors and CEOs and Senators. We raised our daughters and sons. We lived almost happily ever after.
Yesterday, I dusted off my old peace and diversity and abortion rights buttons and boarded another bus to Washington, DC. This was my 7th such DC march and once I joined the stream of humanity making its way to Independence Avenue, I knew it was bigger than any other event I'd attended. Women and men of all ages and colors and religions stood and sat with signs at the rally, And then, we marched. Rather, we slouched our way to the White House--there were too many people to march. A most glorious traffic jam.
What I heard over and over again--we've become complacent. After 8 years of social, economic, and political progress, we have gotten lazy. For myself, more than two decades of complacency have passed. Certainly I have been ardent about many things--my children, mental health, substance use, education--but my ardor has been a quiet one. Time to amp up my commitment to a better world.
Call your elected officials and tell them what YOU want and need from them. Go to your town and county meetings. Join the PTSA. Write letters to the editors. Run for office, any office that affects policy. And I will see you at the next march.