History indicates Martin Luther King Doesn’t Want Women to Wait

 

History repeats. In honor of Martin Luther King, I tell this highly controversial story that has been stuck inside of me for about 8 years and is inspired by this quote:

 

“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”

~Martin Luther King

 

Are you aware that history repeats itself?

 

It sure does. History is a course of study so that we can either replicate or avoid certain events in the future.

 

Here is an example:

 

The women’s suffrage movement was delayed by 53 years because the suffragettes were successfully divided by a separate movement to win the right to vote for black men. Unfortunately, women were not in a position to win both rights and their decision to support black men adversely impacted their own chances at freedom because black men never bothered to reciprocate or use their new found freedom to turn around and help women earn the right to vote.

 

White men were in a better position to hold onto their power by completely controlling the system of government that allowed only men to vote. Women were not a part of this system and had no ability to thwart Jim Crow laws or to call out any of the racism that was used to slow down the impact of the 15th amendment. Once black men “won” the right to vote, momentum for women’s right to vote stopped.

 

Essentially, women had to start over and win the right to vote all on their own. There was no significant group of white men or black men who joined the effort to win women the right to vote, there was never reciprocity or gratitude for the altruistic efforts of women to win black men the right to vote, and that is why it took 53 more years for women to be allowed to vote via the 19th amendment.

 

History repeated in 2008.

 

The Democrats had 2 choices to consider backing for President. There was one white woman who had more experience than anyone. There was one black man who had less experience than anyone. There was a lot of posturing about how the Democrats needed to win this time and about how Republicans would be more upset about a first-time woman president than a first-time black man president.

 

Yes—that is how successful the white male movement of 1776 has been. It took until 1865 for black men to win the right to vote and until 1920 for women to join in on the freedom. So yes, by 2008 we are all still walking on eggshells about which one of us non-white-men will piss off the Republicans the least, as a political strategy. Should women support women this time? Is that even safe?

 

Needless to say, women were more than happy to step aside and let the less-experienced black man take her place in line. So happy for you! Because we are democrats and we are a team, right? It’s not about experience, skill or merit when it comes to man versus woman, we women totally get that. We know how disgusting you think it is for us to vote for someone “just because” they are a woman, as though being represented in government is not something to strive for.

 

I know how disgusting it is for me to begrudge America the experience of a black first family. It’s like being mad at the new hire for getting promoted before you; you can see he’s doing a great job, but it is still unfair that he didn’t put in his dues. And that unfair promotion has a ripple effect.

 

Because who cares that history tells us it will now take 53 more years for America to experience their first woman President. “No taxation without representation” is a sassy phrase that only applies to white men; it’s not a real call to action that has aaaaaaaaanything to do with a REVOLUTION.

 

Revolution? For What? Because Planned Parenthood is being defunded? Because our President Elect brags about abusing his power to sexually assault women? Because sexual assault is not something white men are criminalized for perpetrating? Because white men remain in charge of women’s healthcare? Because of the pay gap?

 

“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, ‘Wait on time.’”

~Dr. Martin Luther King

 

Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, I needed a man to tell me what I already knew to be true: telling me to wait is a subversive form of discrimination. In the 8 years I’ve been waiting to be represented in government by a black man, I’ve decided that it does actually need to be a woman president in order for valid representation.

 

I wish history didn’t repeat itself in this case. I wish that I could tell you after 8 years of Obama that all the black men turned around and supported the most experienced female candidate in the history of America. After all, that same woman, and all the women who supported her, set their needs aside to support the black man because it was the right thing to do. Would it not now be the right thing to do to reciprocate?

 

No. That’s not even close to what happened. Name a time when men voted against their own interests. Name a time when women voted in their own interests. Men know what it’s like to be represented by their own gender. Women don’t. History repeats.

 

After 8 years of waiting, I’m done. I’m breaking the cycle. I support you men and I’ve proven that. Watch me support me now. I don’t want white men deciding what to do with organs they don’t even have in their own body. I release you men of that burden forever. The war on women has to stop now. There has to be a point where I grow up and am adult enough to admit I know more about my body than a dude.

 

I don’t want to pretend men know better than me about me anymore.

 

All that ended in November 2016.

 

2017 is all about direct action.

 

“You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.”

Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can’t Wait

Nonviolent direct action.

History repeats

For me right now, that means produce, direct and star in a play. Maya Angelou and Eve Ensler are my idols because they use theatre for social change. I want violence against women to end and I’m not afraid to put on a charitable play to demonstrate that.

 

If you’re in the Las Vegas area on Saturday February 4, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., check out the V-Day 2017 production of The Vagina Monologues at the Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center; all proceeds benefit Refuge for Women Las Vegas, an aftercare program for the trafficked and sexually exploited.

 

History repeats

Martin Luther King, Jr

 

I’m done making things more comfortable for you guys. This is a time for growth and growth is necessarily painful. Growing pains begin with discomfort. Get uncomfortable. Decide to have a conversation with the man in the mirror and ask him to change his ways.

 

Altruism is the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

 

If you do not have an altruistic bone in your body, you’re not a leadership candidate; you can’t be trusted to put the needs of the group ahead of your own. Stop talking about “the way it should be” and start looking deep within yourself for a shred of altruism. The reason women historically keep putting others above their own needs is because it’s the right thing to do–even if the efforts are never reciprocated–because we are the models demonstrating with our lives how to treat each other. That’s right, children, women are the mothers and we are asking you all to grow up now. Pay it forward.

XO,

Rachel

How To Beat the Holiday Blues

 

Happy Holidays! Yes, I had the holiday blues and yes I still have a reason to smile. HUGE.

 

First of all, I made it. It has now been one full year since my last PTSD-related Emergency Room visit for dehydration due to cyclical vomiting. Let’s take a look at how I did it:

HOW I BEAT THE HOLIDAY BLUES:

(1) I cried a lot. This is not a new thing. I usually want to cry the whole time and do cry most of the time. The difference this year? When I felt like I wanted to cry, I didn’t judge that feeling or conclude that I was an asshole for wanting to cry. Instead, I would get up and go find a quiet space to cry into until I was done and then I would simply rejoin my family.

 

(2) I went out of town just days before the holiday. We took our son to LegoLand to make this Christmas extra magical and it totally worked. The two days we spent in the car was WAY better than spending two days anticipating my annual holiday blues.

 

(3) Activism. I am wearing a dress every day in December as part of the #Dressember movement to raise awareness and funds for survivors of human trafficking. As part of the campaign, I post a photo of me in my dress online and this has forced me to get dressed up every day of a month that I normally spend exclusively in my pajamas. (To check out my campaign, click here).

 

(4) Activism. I am the official organizer for the V-Day Las Vegas 2017 campaign to benefit Refuge for Women Las Vegas, an aftercare program for the trafficked and sexually exploited. This campaign will produce a benefit production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues on February 4 and I am the Director of the show. This means I have to talk to people and participate in life.

 

There are times when I have thought about quitting. For sure. I didn’t particularly enjoy Christmas shopping this year and often experienced feelings of “what’s the point?” Also, I miss wearing my overalls and thought about blowing off my Dressember obligation like every other day. Furthermore, I ran into an incomprehensible amount of difficulty securing a beneficiary for my V-Day campaign and wondered if I was supposed to just give up.

 

Then I think about how I’m glad I don’t live in a box under some sicko’s bed right now. I’m glad I didn’t get stolen from my family and forced into prostitution. As much as PTSD, anxiety, and grief can feel like a prison in your own mind, at least I’m not really in some prison unable to get out. I value my freedom. I express gratitude for my freedom through activism and this heals me.

 

activism or volunteerism is a great way to beat the holiday blues

Activism Heals

 

XO,

Rachel

V-Day & the Versatile Blogger Award

V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls, is hands down my favorite charity.

 

V-Day

 

I have been a volunteer activist for V-Day since 2002 when I co-organized my first college campaign for SUNY Cortland. What does that mean? For us, that meant putting on a benefit production of Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues, and using the proceeds from ticket sales to benefit the local YWCA Aid to Victims of Violence Unit.

 

V-Day

 

I love theatre. I love activism. V-Day enables me to put those two passions together into one explosive social change rainbow firework.

 

V-Day

 

In 2003, 2004 & 2005, I co-organized Community Campaigns for Buffalo by co-directing and producing The Vagina Monologues and using the proceeds to benefit Crisis Services Advocate Program.

 

V-Day

V-Day

 

In 2006, my third year of law school, I organized the first ever University at Buffalo Law School campaign to benefit Crisis Services Advocate Program.

 

In 2007 I actually relocated to Las Vegas for a job opportunity one week before my V-Day Community Campaign for Buffalo was to open and flew back and forth to make sure that the campaign was a success.

 

V-Day

 

Between 2008 and 2012, I financially supported existing V-Day campaigns in my area. I missed the high pressure and stress that producing a benefit show can conjure.  I began to feel like I didn’t know who I was anymore. Working for Judges during this time period left me feeling stiff like plastic. I longed to show my rebel side. I am radical.

 

The past 2 years, 2013 and 2014, I have joined V-Day’s One Billion Rising campaign and have participated (with my husband and son!) in flash mobs to break the chain and stop violence against women through DANCE!

 

How does that work? Well, I went to the One Billion Rising website (click here), I clicked Events and then Find an Event, and then I was brought to a page where I could find a flash mob in my area to join. There is a link to a YouTube video tutorial teaching you how to complete the dance steps so you can practice at home and then just show up at the proper time to dance in a flash mob–super fun!!!

 

V-Day

V-Day

 

In 2015 I am trying something radically different, an online fundraiser. Please check out my official One Billion Rising campaign page by clicking here.

 

Between today and February 14, 2015 my campaign to benefit www.vday.org will be available to support.

 

V-Day

 

Please join in the FaceBook party by clicking here. Basically, you can purchase your favorite Chloe + Isabel jewelry and Jamberry Nails and pat yourself on the back knowing that 15% of the total sale proceeds will be used to benefit www.vday.org.

 

Thank you in advance for your support!

 

Speaking of support, have you head that I won a major award?!

 

lamplegaward

 

I am so GRATEFUL to Ally of My Little Piece of Quiet for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! I think YOUR blog is amazing and that everyone should follow it (click here to follow Ally).

 

versatilebloggeraward

 

Official Rules:

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Select 15 blogs that are truly excellent and nominate them for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  4. List 7 things about yourself.

 

Once again, big THANK YOU to Ally of My Little Piece of Quiet for the Versatile Blogger Award!

 

I would like to officially nominate the following blogs for the Versatile Blog Award:

  1. My Little Piece of Quiet
  2. Midnight Blues
  3. Uncomfortably Honest & Honestly Uncomfortable
  4. INFJ Ramblings
  5. Things of Joy
  6. Of Means and Ends
  7. A Small Act of Kindness
  8. Taking the Mask Off
  9. Basically Beyond Basic
  10. Creating Your Life Journey
  11. Robin, Rach & Joe
  12. Kindness Blog
  13. Sensitive New World
  14. Art of Receiving
  15. Allowing Myself

 

V-Day

  1. I am a lawyer
  2. I am a survivor of PTSD
  3. I am in the middle of an online Screenwriting Course
  4. I am in the middle of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred
  5. I eat chocolate every single day
  6. Dirty Dancing is my all time favorite movie
  7. I hug myself every day.

 

XO

~Rachel

My hero, Maya Angelou

Will you join me in a moment of silence in honor of my hero, Maya Angelou?

 

My initial reaction to being told she had died today was screaming followed by scream crying. My husband did not see that coming.

 

Neither did I.

 

It’s just…I thought…I don’t know. I made this website and blog because I was inspired. My dear friend, Sarah, sent me this Meme today:

 

Maya Angelou

 

I love Sarah so much and felt it was a real gift to hear from her in this way so I invited her to look at my new website, as it is rife with Maya Angelou quotes. I then launched into a desperate plea for her strength, explaining to Sarah that I was too afraid to put myself out there (as in, too afraid to shoot my excellent YouTube video scripts or tell anyone that I started a blog).

 

Sarah told me: I think the Internet is a great resource in having your voice heard and you should 100% go for this.

 

When I began to tell my husband about my conversation with Sarah, he informed me of the great Maya Angelou’s passing. During my scream crying it occurred to me that Sarah reached out to me today so that exact conversation could take place; so that I would 100% go for this. I think it’s what Angel Maya Angelou wants.

 

It makes sense that she would use Sarah, as my connection to Maya Angelou is linked to my friendship with Sarah. In the Spring of 2002 Maya Angelou spoke at our college in New York thanks to the painstaking efforts of the students involved in the Women of Color Club. Her message of activism inspired the rest of my life. When she sang, the huge packed auditorium went dead silent, you could hear a pin drop. It sounded a bit like this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtdffxj7pNE

 

At the time, Sarah and I had just finished Co-Directing The Vagina Monologues for our school’s first ever V-Day college campaign to benefit the local YWCA Aid to Victims of Violence Unit. Maya Angelou blew our minds. I bought her autobiography afterwards called, “The Heart of a Woman” and was just astounded to learn that, like Eve Ensler, Maya Angelou wrote a play in an effort to create positive social change.

 

THIS was my calling.

 

My heart wanted to right all the wrongs that my GIANT brain could readily see, but I knew that I still needed to learn HOW to be heard. So, I went to law school and excelled. I got to stand up for victims of violence. I got to represent children in the middle of nasty custody disputes. I got to work for Family Court Judges as their Law Clerk. I even got a very nice thank you letter from a Family Law client, which is almost unheard of among attorneys.

 

However, this was not my calling.

 

I don’t want to argue. I don’t want to be lied to. I don’t want to be in a position where I witness children being used as pawns or bait.

 

I want to be heard. I have a lot of important things to say.

 

I don’t have Maya Angelou’s height or booming voice, but her spirit is within me.

 

I will shoot my YouTube videos; that is a promise.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

XO

 

~Rachel