I’m not planning on marching this weekend. The turbulence with the official Women’s March leadership — and the seemingly obstinate refusal of its leadership to condemn anti-Semitism — makes me loath to participate.
The good news is that there are many marches that are unaffiliated with the national group planned for Saturday. I fully endorse them, and you can find one that might suit your geographic and timing needs here.
To be frank, however, I am not sure that my family and I are going to be part of those, either. We might end up marching, but there’s a winter storm expected in my area this weekend. Plus, I am willing to acknowledge that I don’t have my act together as much as I have in past years. It’s regular busy life getting in the way, plus the greater hope that this force can be channeled in the voting booth, where it matters deeply, as evidenced in 2018.
My feelings about the March aside, the reinvigoration of the women’s movement, especially since a certain someone was elected president, is something that I wholeheartedly embrace — and, more to the point, is something that I want my children to appreciate and support. So, aside from marching, are there things we can do as a family to support women and women’s rights at this particular time?
Why yes, there are loads. Here are five ideas.
1. Help women and children suffering from domestic violence.
When women are abused, all women (and men, for that matter) need to stand up on their behalf. In my area, the Jewish Family Service has planned an event to create activity bags for kids affected by domestic violence — kids helping kids, which always appeals to me. Look for the Jewish Family Service or equivalent organization in your area to find ways that you and your family can help, whether you’re buying toys and art supplies or making cards.
2. Educate kids (and yourself!) about the women’s suffrage movement.
It was only a very short time ago that women had virtually no rights — and I believe it’s so important to teach our children the past so they can make sure to secure and amplify women’s voices in the future. There are so many online resources for teaching your kids about the women’s suffrage movement. A few good places to look are Scholastic, A Mighty Girl, and National Geographic Kids.
3. Go to the library and get some great picture books.
The book recommendations at A Mighty Girl are some of the best around, including the classic The Paper Bag Princess and the newer books Grace for President and Malala’s Magic Pencil. You may not feel like you are making a difference by just sitting and reading with your child, but you are. The more of these books you read to your children showing girls as powerful, the more you will feel as though you are truly changing the paradigm for your children.
4. Come together with your neighbors.
Look into connecting with other women in your area. We are stronger together! If you’ve got little ones, check out Mothers of Preschoolers. This is an organization that rallies women to come together in their own neighborhoods and help each other through parenting — we have all felt alone as parents. Destigmatizing parenthood by collective honesty takes real, concrete steps to changing the perceptions of women. Don’t feel left out if you don’t have a preschooler — MOP is also a great starting point for groups for moms of babies and older children.
5. Spark your kids’ political passion.
Got older kids? Check out how you and your kid canget involved with Ignite, an organization designed to ignite the spark — get it? — of political passion and involvement in high school kids. Ignite trains girls and young women “to understand how government works, why it matters, and how to analyze the policy issues that impact their lives.” Participants get to meet and learn from local elected women and candidates, which is an amazing opportunity for some inspiring new role models.