How to Stay Woke Midst a Pandemic

Being a Gender and Women Studies major I seem to be struggling recently to find ways to stay active in feminism and politics. Here is a list I have compiled to not only help me but you to stay active while remaining distant!

 

1.     Read books

I wouldn’t consider myself a book connoisseur, however, since the pandemic I have read some pretty astonishing pieces from a few female authors, 2 of my favorites being Hunger by Roxanne Gay, and The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy.

Hunger by Roxanne Gay is a memoir about Roxanne and her story is remarkable. Going into great detail about being a victim of rape and assault as well as her battle with food and depression. I find this read to be all sorts of feelings from anger to happiness she does not fall short of the truth and vulnerability.

The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy has a lot to say about how to go from recognizing a problem and acting on it. She goes into detail about how women are ‘expected’ to act in society and how her experiences have trained her to react in an out-loud way. She teaches activists like you and me how to operate in a society that favors straight white men.

 

2.     News Sources

As intimidating MPR can be, it can be a great non-bias and credible source for updated news on what decisions our political leaders are making and how they affect all of us; mpr.org/politics. Staying in the loop of what is going on in our local and federal governments is a great way to learn about different policies and advocate for them.

A few other credible non-partisan news sources include opensecrets.org, and a great place to learn about our representatives, which is especially important during election season, is congress.gov.

 

3.     Join a Gender and Women Studies class on campus

Most 4-year universities offer political science/gender women studies classes which is a great way to talk to classmates and be more informed about injustices within your community, around the country and even the world! A few courses offered at Minnesota State University Mankato are Intro to Gender, and Sex and Gender Worldwide, both of these classes are packed with information and are great ways to gain understanding about politics and gender.

 

4.     Donate!

After you have acquired the knowledge you then can read into different organizations that help with the injustice that’s happening within the United States. Some organizations that I turn to for information and donations are:

            Color of Change:

This is the nation’s largest online racial Justice Organization. They predominantly advocate for Black communities, challenging injustice’s, hold political leaders accountable, and help to advance solutions for racial inequalities.

 

            Planned Parenthood:

This organization is to provide affordable healthcare services and sex education. Taking the lead in the nations progressive change towards reproductive health and rights movement. They also take part in advancing health globally working with people around the world who don’t have equal access to reproductive health services whether due to a lack in education, a lack in medical professionals who specialize in these areas, poverty, politics or war.

 

            Black Lives Matter:

This organization is primarily to call attention to police brutality and racial motivated violence towards black people. They also work to help spread the names of victims of police brutality and how to overcome and move forward from them. “The call for Black Lives Matter is a rallying cry for ALL black lives striving for liberation.”

All of these sources are not only great places to donate to but to learn from as well.

 

5.     Hashtags

Being that we are a society that revolves our lives around our phones and stays connected via social media hashtags and posting are great ways to get more people involved and aware. Spreading awareness is step one to becoming a successful activist. Some hashtags that are informative to search are:

 

#MeToo

This hashtag is a social movement related to sexual assault and harassment calling attention to advocators and victims who share their story in hopes that someone else will feel comfortable to as well.

 

#BlackLivesMatter

A response to police brutality and racial violence embedded in lawmakers.  

 

#NeverAgain

This hashtag is a response to gun control and was created after the brutal school shooting that took place in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida in 2018. The students who are behind this hashtag are fighting for tighter gun control by reaching out to representatives locally and federally.

 

Being in the midst of a pandemic you may feel out of touch with society and at a loss for help. I am hoping that this list of ideas has sparked interest and motivation to get involved regardless of circumstances. The first few steps to becoming a successful activist is to listen to those that need to be heard, educate yourself, and use your power of voice!