Canada’s Prime Minister is an Outspoken Feminist

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Feminist Prime Minister, is a wonderful leader to have in the world. He actively encourages other men to be outspoken proponents of women’s equality too. This is one of my favorite clips and it’s been making waves on the internet for over a year. Perhaps you’ve already seen it?

The Women’s March on Montana: The Experience. From Crowds to a Rural Montana Bar

With estimates between 2.6 and 2.9 million women and men in attendance across the nation, the march is regarded as the largest protest in U.S  history. And, as NBC News points out, not a single arrest was needed. Peaceful is productive. Additionally, there were hundreds and hundreds of rallies worldwide. (Click here to see the amazing NYTimes gallery of global marches photos.) Millions of women and men are finally on board with the importance of feminism.

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The March in Montana was a profound experience. When we arrived at the Women’s March in Helena, the crowd of women and men was so massive it curved around up ahead beyond our sight. I got more of a sense of just how huge the protest was when a wave of momentous cheering came from somewhere far, far ahead and rippled through the crowed to where we stood. I couldn’t help but turning to my friends and saying “This is the positive revolution right here.” And it truly is, especially if we keep this momentum up.

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Photo credit: JuliaView. More photos below View

The sun hadn’t made it’s way out of the clouds for weeks and here it was warming up us protesters in the below freezing temperatures. The energy was amazing. The march began to move with signs bobbing up and down and people joyously coming together to celebrate ‘love trumping hate” and to stand up fiercely for ALL women’s rights. As the march turned the corner, my friends and I took to climbing the snow covered hill, our boots sinking into feet of snow, along with other marchers, to get a glimpse of the speakers with the magnificent Helena capitol building in the background. The speakers began with first acknowledging that we were standing on native ground. Speakers talked about women’s rights including bodily rights, freedom from rape, native rights, economic justice, black lives matter, LGBTQ, water protectors, access to good education, muslim rights and uniting all women and men. I looked around at the crowd of fierce women of all ages taking a stand, and at my amazing friends who had come with me. I especially appreciated that three of my best guy friends had been so excited to come out and show support with us. They were one of the thousands of men who marched in partnership.

After the march, the town of Helena was packed and it was impossible to find a place to eat so we stopped into a bar and grill in the middle of nowhere in between Helena and Missoula. We walked into the bar filled with very nice, yet thrown-off at seeing us, cowboys and men in snow work-pants and camouflage. I took my jacket off and sported my “this is what a feminist looks like” shirt and my Rosie the Riveter earrings without thinking about how funny it was I was rocking my feminism so proudly in such a bar: A rural area in the thick of Montana where, according to most voting trends, had most likely voted for Trump and might never have taken a second thought to think about why feminism might be important. More marchers ended up coming into the place, throwing off the original rural, isolated vibe.

Driving home with my friends sleeping in the backseat as I peered out at the snowy landscape with the sun peaking through the clouds in shades of tangerine,  I thought about how influential the moment was: Finally, women’s voices were being heard in massive protest. (One only has to look at the absence of women’s participation in history to gather the momentousness of the day.) Nearly 10,000 women and men turned out for the march in Helena, (6,000 more than projected) and nearly 500,000 women and men turned up in Washington D.C, and 2.6 million across the nation, to say: It is high time we have bodily rights, equal pay, freedom from rape and other violence, and the ability and right to participate fully and loudly in our own society. To say all people, women and men of all color, of all backgrounds, religious (and non-religious) affiliations, sexualities and gender identities, all have inalienable rights that need respect. To paraphrase one of the speakers at the rally “We need to look at our neighbors and say, ‘I see you and I honor you.'”

We are a community of humans: The experience made my heart feel full to the brim with, you guessed it, LOVE. Love is such a fundamental driving factor in humans which creates such immeasurable beauty we should not be afraid of being “cheesy” and instead say “Yes. I’ve got a lot of love for y’all fellow humans, ALL of you, and we’re all in this together. So I’m going to act with love.” Throughout the march, I thought especially of my loving mother and my grandmothers.

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(Photo credit: JuliaView)
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(Photo credit: JuliaView)
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(Photo credit: Julia View)
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(Photo credit: Julia View)
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(Photo credit: Megan H)
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(Photo credit: Megan H)
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(Photo credit: Megan H)
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(Photo Credit: Megan H)

Standing Rock Water Protectors: Thank You

Water protectors are still standing strong in Standing Rock, despite the horrific violence they have faced from the beginning. They have been protecting the water source in North Dakota which is at risk of being contaminated by a pipeline that would run through the Missouri river. The water protectors have been peacefully protesting, praying, and taking a stand, for the sake of ALL of us and the future of our water and planet.

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Photo credit: Jenni Monet for The PBS NewsHour

Tribes across the country, many that used to be enemies, have banded together and we need to make sure we continue to show our support, especially on a day like Thanksgiving, which has controversial beginnings to say the least. On Sunday night, the violence against water protectors escalated to an even worse level where law enforcement launched water canons onto the people in frigid temperatures and many were severely hurt.

We need to move away from fossil fuels. We need a carbon tax. And we need to stand with Standing Rock. The water protectors there are leading the way for a better future and we need to follow suite. This is not just about North Dakota. This is far bigger than one place.

The Water Protectors are fighting for our human rights to basic access to clean water and I hope to join them over there soon because I am truly and immensely grateful for them. 

(You can donate to the cause following this link if you feel so inclined. http://standingrock.org/)

The Worst has Happened: Trump is Here. Let’s Take a Stand in Whatever Way We Can

Shots were fired outside my house in my Montana neighborhood late Tuesday night and that’s when I knew Trump was officially the President of the United States…Celebratory bullets into the air. My friend, in another part of town heard some guns being fired there too.

This is a sad, sad day in world history. We have come so far in human rights and environmental protection and we must continue to fight for the greater good, even in the face of a Trump take-over. I really want to be hopeful that it won’t be too bad, and there certainly IS hope, especially if we continue to unite and stand together.

As we know, Hillary Clinton won by popular vote. Donald Trump only won due to the electoral college. (Perhaps we should look at changing the system in that regard…That’s how George W. Bush got into the presidency too.) But yes, Hillary Clinton did win by popular vote and not all hope is lost YET. There is a change.org petition going around directed to the electoral college saying, “You don’t have to cast your vote for Trump!” Already, one state has said they’re doing just that: Maryland officially became the first state to approve a plan to put their votes towards the candidate who won by popular vote and not Trump.

Remember, electors in the electoral college are not actually obligated to vote how their state did and can be urged by the people to vote for Hillary. Almost a million have already signed the petition. It’s a long shot, but if we spread this petition like wildfire, maybe we truly could prevent Trump from taking the presidential seat. Let’s rise to action! But we only have until December 19th, because that is when the college officially votes. Click here to access the petition. We must rally and protest. And remember, elections for other political positions are coming up again in two years: VOTE! Do not take your right to vote lightly.

One reason I think this Trump take-over has happened is because I heard a lot of this: “Oh, he’ll never actually run for president…Oh but he’ll never get the republican nomination…Oh but there’s no way he’ll actually win.” And here we are. People largely underestimated the monster and so did not feel compelled to get out and rally for Hillary. Coming up in this presidency, (if the electoral college does indeed vote him in) we have to be aware when people say, “Oh he’ll never actually pass that bill…” or “Oh he’ll never actually deport people.” Etc.

Let’s not be naive because Trump is not to be underestimated. Also, let’s face it, sexism, whether overt or subconscious, did play a major roll this election. Just an idea: If Trump were a female, there’s no way she would have been allowed to say the things that were said and to get where things are now; do you agree? 

Red president, red house, red senate. Certainly, it is true that not all republicans are so bad, (thankfully) but look at the news and see how this has already effected the people: You will see there has been a jump in violence against specific groups of people in the past 48 hours. And the KKK was spotted on a bridge in North Carolina just after a Trump victory was announced:

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Trump has posted what he will do in his first 100 days and it does not look good. Some of it may not even seem that bad to some people, but I would caution those who see it that way to be cautious of the rhetoric: Sometimes things that are horribly bad, are made to sound not so bad in rhetoric.

We must UNITE. We must continue to take a stand against misogyny, racism, and xenophobia of all types.

Start a rally in your community!! Show the world that this is not OK. Write a letter to the editor in your newspaper. Or just speak your mind between friends. Every little bit is powerful. Speak up, protest and stay safe. Because people like the KKK are coming out of the wood-works. And people like this too, are feeling free to spout their vile words:

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Here in Montana, we had a gathering of people last night. It was empowering and hopeful to see the compassionate people of my community come out and take a stand promoting acceptance and equal rights, and denouncing that which Trump stands for. Be strong fellow Americans, and fellow world-citizens, we will get through this.

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Photo credit: Juliaview