To go to the Women’s March, or not to go to the Women’s March? That is the question many Jewish women are grappling with.
Among a laundry list of allegations they’ve been blasted for (homophobia, transphobia, misuse of funds), the leaders of the National Women’s March have been accused of anti-Semitism primarily for refusing to denounce their ties with infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. While a handful of local chapters disaffiliated from the national organization, many Jewish women are still struggling to decide the best course of action. Do you boycott a movement associated with anti-Semitism, or put the differences aside in the pursuit of women’s rights?
For those leaning towards staying home on January 19th (notably, the Women’s March has been scheduled on Shabbat for the third consecutive year, so for many Shabbat-observant Jews, it’s a non-starter): What if I told you that you can boycott the march and help dismantle the patriarchy at the same time?
If you’re skipping the Women’s March for whatever reason, here are other ways you can support women’s rights.
1. Donate to local Women’s March chapters
If you don’t want to show your face at a march on January 19, you can still donate to local chapters that severed ties with Women’s March Inc. The Los Angeles, New York, and Washington State chapters are just a few that disaffiliated from the national organization over anti-Semitism.
2. Donate to local women’s organizations
There are loads of organizations outside the Women’s March that support women’s rights, like Women Have Options Ohio (WHO). Ohio is notorious for attempting to pass extreme anti-abortion laws, and since 1992, WHO has helped women afford their reproductive choices. Not only does your donation aid a woman in need of a safe abortion, it also wins you cool merch like a koozie that says “ask me about the abortion I funded.” Do some digging to find other organizations that are fighting to protect women’s rights in your area.
3. Talk to your legislators
Writing letters and calling your legislators is so important because it can vastly influence their decisions. But, it’s also kinda scary. The American Psychological Association makes it easy with pointers, templates, and resources to find your representatives.
Pro tip: Invite your equally minded friends over to draft emails and call your legislators together. It’s less intimidating to do something new with a team by your side — and hey, you can even turn it into a drinking game! A sip of wine (or hot cocoa?!) for every call you make.
4. Volunteer (or donate) with Planned Parenthood
Just last week, a leading pro-life senator introduced a bill to defund abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. But as Big Mouth taught us, abortion is just one way Planned Parenthood supports women’s sexual and reproductive health. With the Trump administration hellbent on stripping abortion providers of federal funding (with a blatant target on Planned Parenthood), it’s more important than ever to keep the organization afloat with donations.
If your wallet is thinning, you can also volunteer with PP and get trained to help out in their health centers.
5. Close the orgasm gap
I strongly believe that dismantling the patriarchy starts in the bedroom, so if you’re a heterosexual woman, heed my advice: Stop faking your orgasms. Various studies cite different numbers, but all in all, the data suggests that around 30 percent of women have faked an orgasm at some point in their life. Why does that matter? Because when women pretend to climax, they place men’s sexual pleasure above their own which reinforces inequality among the sexes.
Only 65 percent of heterosexual women orgasm every time they have sex, while 95 percent of men always finish. How is that fair!? Ladies: You have to speak up for your sexual pleasure and tell your partner what you like.
6. Shop at women-owned businesses
On Saturday, ditch your problematic favorite stores (re: that time Urban Outfitters and Zara both tried selling Holocaust-esque clothing) and shop at a local woman-owned business. I know how good the Urban sale section is, but investing in women’s economic empowerment is even better.
Despite accounting for 29 percent of all business, only four percent of small business loans go to women business owners, making it all the more important for us to support our badass business babes.
To find a certified women-owned business to give all your money to, check out Women Owned. The site gives a stamp of approval to businesses that are at least 51 percent owned by a woman, so shop away! Bulletin is also a really cool site that exclusively carries merchandise and clothing made by women. The cherry on top? They donate 10 percent of all proceeds to Planned Parenthood!
Header image via Libby VanderPloeg on Giphy