Persist to Resist – 3Jun24


The term “feminism” often evokes strong, polarized reactions. But bell hooks’ seminal work “Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics” stands as a beacon of clarity, inclusivity, and hope. Published in 2000, this slim yet powerful volume serves as an accessible manifesto that demystifies feminism.

hooks is a renowned African American scholar, cultural critic, and one of the most influential feminist thinkers of our time. She consistently challenged the notion that feminism is a movement primarily for and by privileged white women. She presents feminism as a universal call for justice and equality rather than an exclusive club.

Central to hooks’ argument is her definition of feminism: “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” This succinct description shifts the focus from “women versus men” to a broader struggle against systemic issues that harm everyone. Sexism, hooks argues, doesn’t just limit women; it also traps men in rigid, often toxic, definitions of masculinity.

hooks doesn’t shy away from internal critiques. She takes on “lifestyle feminism,” where empowerment is reduced to individual choices without challenging broader systems. hooks also laments how some factions have become hostile to men. She argues that this approach alienates potential allies and contradicts feminism’s humanist values.

“Feminism is for Everybody” was published over two decades ago, yet its relevance has only grown. In an era of #MeToo, Dobbs, and resurgent authoritarianism, hooks’ inclusive approach offers a roadmap. She shows that feminism is a vital tool for building a just society where everyone can thrive.

Whether you’re a longtime activist or someone who’s always been wary of the term, “Feminism is for Everybody” beckons you to join the movement. After all, as hooks so eloquently shows, there’s a place for everyone in this movement.

When women’s rights were still facing resistance in the 1970s, Billie Jean King became a pivotal feminist icon.

In 1970, King and eight other female tennis players were fed up with pay disparities and formed their own tour. They would later become the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), ensuring better pay, recognition, and opportunities for women in the sport.

But King’s most iconic moment came in 1973 with the “Battle of the Sexes”. At 29, she faced off against 55-year-old former men’s champion Bobby Riggs. Riggs had boasted that even past his prime, he could beat any top female player. The match was a high-stakes symbolic battle for gender equality, watched by 90 million viewers worldwide.

King’s victory shattered stereotypes about women’s athletic abilities. The match transcended tennis, becoming a rallying point for the women’s movement. Thus, she inspired countless girls and women to demand equal treatment.

Throughout her career, King continued to champion equality. She advocated for Title IX, the landmark U.S. legislation that prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational institutions receiving federal funding. This law dramatically increased women’s access to sports programs, scholarships, and facilities, reshaping the landscape of women’s athletics in America.

In 1981, King faced another challenge when she was outed as gay after a palimony lawsuit. In an era when such a revelation could end a career, she lost all her endorsements overnight. Yet, she didn’t hide. Instead, she became one of the first prominent athletes to openly acknowledge her sexuality. Thus, she also paved the way for LGBTQ+ acceptance in sports.

Billie Jean King’s legacy is a testament to the power of skill, courage, and an unyielding commitment to equality. In the game of feminism, Billie Jean King didn’t just participate; she aced it.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of BLACK transgender people. They organize the community, advocate for their people, create an intentional healing community, develop transformative leadership, and promote collective power.

MPJI advocates for BLACK trans people who are resisting, grappling with survival, and looking for a community. They aim to demystify, diversify and expand opportunities for our community.

MPJI was founded in response to the murders of BLACK trans women. They aim for inclusion of their community in social justice issues such as racial, gender, and reproductive justice, and gun violence.

Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor. She was a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Marsha went by “BLACK Marsha” before settling on Marsha P. Johnson. The “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is how Marsha responded to questions about her gender. It is the consideration of who “BLACK Marsha” was that inspired The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.

So much of our understanding of Marsha came from the accounts of people who did not look like her. As transness is now more accessible to the world, there is a need for a supportive BLACK trans community.

Julie Johnson is a defender of justice and fights for those who need it most. She fought her way into the courtroom during a time when women weren’t very welcome. She defends workers, stands up for the mentally disabled, helps at-risk students, and fights for equality for female athletes.

As a legislator, Julie Johnson has earned a reputation for going toe to toe with the crooked and powerful. Last session, she helped kill 76 of 77 anti-LGBTQ bills. She also authored the historic Live Well Texas bill, which would have expanded Medicaid in Texas. She was also on the front lines for reproductive rights as Vice-Chair of the Women’s Health Caucus.

In Congress, Julie will continue fighting to put our Democratic beliefs into action. She will work to reinstate reproductive rights and write Roe into law.

She also wants to strengthen our gun laws. She’s in favor of raising age minimums, and safe storage laws. Her goal is to prevent individuals at risk of causing harm to others from possessing a firearm

She will work to stop the extremist agenda that’s pushing hate and divisiveness. This is especially important in Texas. Finally, she will reduce the cost of prescription drugs and protect the Affordable Care Act from MAGA Republicans’ attack.

Nebraska has opposing abortion ballot measures racing to qualify for November’s election. The abortion rights initiative would put an amendment in the state’s constitution allowing abortion until fetal viability – usually about 24 weeks. However, four months after the abortion rights groups got going on the fetal viability proposal, activists opposing abortion started a drive for a 12-week ban.

To get on the ballot, both campaigns have until July 3 to collect signatures from 10% of the state’s registered voters – about 123,000 people. That has to include signatures from 5% of voters in at least 38 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. In order to pass, the ballot proposals require majority approval, with votes from at least 35% of those casting ballots in the November election.

There’s a chance they could both get on the ballot, creating direct conflict for the voters to resolve. And while it’s up to the governor – after the vote – to rule officially that two amendments are in conflict, Sec. of State Bob Evnen says he thinks these do. “They are wholly in conflict with each other,” he said. “There’s nothing to reconcile.”

This scenario could test a 1912 law that says if both pass, then whichever proposal gets more votes will be adopted. This could lead to confusing choices for Nebraska voters in November.

For now, both campaigns are focusing on getting their proposal onto the November ballot. Then they’ll turn to educating and turning out voters, since a simple majority might not be enough to win.

Gay For Good (G4G) mobilizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and ally volunteers to promote diversity, foster inclusion and strengthen ties to the broader community.

G4G was founded in 2008 after the passage of Proposition 8 which abolished same sex marriage in California. The founders were seeking a way to bridge the division in their own community and drew on inspiration from Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California.

Milk’s strategy of reaching out to his local neighborhoods enabled him to gain trust and respect within his district, and ultimately win office. This sparked their idea to bring people together through service for multiple purposes. First, to inspire more LBGTQ+ involvement in local and global societal issues and activities. Also, to provide social welfare and environmental service organizations with much needed volunteer labor in support of their worthy endeavors. And finally, to serve as a vehicle to bring people of different backgrounds together for a shared purpose.

G4G believes in the power of service and working hand-in-hand with community partners to foster mutual understanding and respect for all. They aim to increase LGBTQ+ awareness, representation, and goodwill through authentic interactions and relationship building.

G4G welcomes volunteers and support partners whose diverse backgrounds enrich perspectives while broadening awareness and understanding. Sign-up today to get notified about volunteer events in the 20+ cities they serve.

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