Tag Archives: rally

Girls’ (And Supportive Boys’) Night Out

A couple of days ago, I got an email from Periods for Politicians (formerly Periods for Pence), announcing a pre-election rally focused on women’s issues in Indiana. The aim is to highlight all of the measures that caused harm to Hoosier women during the last four years–years that, not at all coincidentally, coincided with Mike Pence’s term as Governor.

“Governor Pence’s policies have done untold damage to Indiana, and this trend cannot continue if Indiana is to remain a healthy place for families and women,” said Sue Magina, Periods for Politicians (P4P) founder. “Pence was not alone in his decision making. Many state politicians supported his policies and their disastrous effects on all women living in Indiana, regardless of political affiliation. We need to revisit these policies and determine together how we can make progress moving forward.” Sue Magina is an anonymous woman resident of Indiana who goes by that fake name for reasons of personal safety.

The rally will be held at 5:30 p.m. on November 2d at the Indiana Statehouse.

If you attend–and if at all possible, I hope you will–here are some of the things you will hear about:

  • · HEA 1337, called the “most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country.”
  • · Continued attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides essential health care to thousands of low-income Indiana women.
  • · RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“protecting” discrimination ostensibly based upon religion.)
  • · The undermining and effective removal of Glena Ritz as School Superintendent, and the diversion of monies meant for public schools to the Governor’s pet voucher program favoring parochial, religious education.

National and local speakers will discuss these and other issues.

Speakers include: Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, named one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists” by Bustle, and the “architect of the U.S. policy campaign to squash the tampon tax” by Newsweek; Dana Marlowe, founder of the national organization, Support the Girls; Cheryl Laux, local activist from Indiana Moral Mondays; a representative from Planned Parenthood; local singer/songwriter Jen Edds, and more.

The night will close with the first ever public appearance by Sue Magina, who created the brilliant “Periods for Pence” grassroots campaign.

In case you missed hearing about it (despite the fact that the campaign has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, CNN, Yahoo, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, among others), Periods for Pence was a response to Indiana’s restrictive and ridiculous abortion law, which the Governor said he “signed with a prayer.”

Among other things, that law required women to “cremate or inter” aborted or miscarried fetuses. Since fertilized eggs can be expelled during every menstrual period without the woman even knowing, the campaign urged women to call or tweet the Governor’s office to inform His Piety of the monthly “visit.”

My favorite tweet: @periodsforpence. Started my cycle today. When will you be by to check my used pads for HB1337 compliance so I know to be home?

The campaign brought national attention to–and censure of– our retrograde Governor and legislature. It became Periods for Politicians when he joined Trump’s ticket.

Women planning to attend the November 2d rally are encouraged to bring sealed menstrual hygiene products and bras for distribution to homeless women and girls throughout Indiana.

Men attendees are encouraged to bring socially responsible attitudes.


Waking the Sleeping Giant?

I just returned from a rally at the Indiana Statehouse. I joined several hundred people protesting HR6–the measure that would amend the Indiana Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

This marks the second time in my life I’ve attended a rally; the first was Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” a few months ago. I went through the tumultuous sixties without ever feeling the urge to demonstrate, although I certainly had opinions about the issues of the day.

I thought about my late-in-life expression of civic activism during several of the speeches, but especially during a rousing talk by State Senator Vi Simpson. She urged those in attendance to join with so many others who are being targeted by unfair legislation–working people, women, teachers and others. And she predicted that the demonstrations we have been seeing in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio over the past month would continue, because “those in power have overreached, and they have wakened a sleeping giant.”

I think she’s right, and I’m a good example.

I grew up in a household that was anti-union; my father was a small businessman in Anderson, Indiana, and when unions called strikes, his business suffered.  My husband is an architect, and no fan of the building trades unions. Our daughter served three terms on the school board, and often was impatient with the Teachers’ union. None of us would be the people you’d expect to side with the unions in the attacks brought by the Governors of Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. Probably, had those Governors engaged in a less all-out assault, we would have been conflicted on the issue. But when they chose to attack the right to bargain–when they tried to strip away the right of workers to band together to negotiate for wages and benefits–we all recoiled from the abuse of power. We were offended as citizens. We became pro-Union.

When the GOP in Congress attacked Planned Parenthood, I was outraged as a woman. When the GOP at Indiana’s Statehouse proposed to constitutionalize second-class citizenship for gays and lesbians, I was outraged as a mother. When the legislatures in Wisconsin and Indiana dissed the public schools and criticised the “elite” who teach in them,  I was outraged both as a former high school English teacher and a citizen.

The Republican Party as it exists today is nothing like the party I supported for 35 years. It is short-sighted and mean-spirited.

If the current GOP agenda has radicalized someone like me, Vi Simpson is right. It really has awakened a sleeping giant.