Like many, many people across the country, I am pretty pissed off right now. Whether or not you believe that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, pretty much the entire country has stepped away from the proceedings with a collective bad taste in our mouths.
The hearings themselves had a very Salem witch trial feel to them — and at the very least, they highlighted privilege, and the way that a white man can be visibly, loudly angry in a way that is apparently less palatable in any other gender/ethnic combo. (See: Serena Williams.)
But, personally, I believe that women’s anger is not a liability. It’s a superpower.
Anger can be the engine it takes to get off your ass and do something. Anger can be the heat that it takes to ignite a spreading fire of passion — whether in yourself or in someone else who, in seeing you, realizes their own power and potency and is inspired to act.
For too long, women have festered in the brew of their own anger and silence. When anger goes unvented, it ferments and percolates into an acidic, fetid mess of anxiety, depression, and sadness. But when women’s anger is expressed? We can move mountains.
Let’s move some mountains, ladies. Because in a storm, it’s all hands on deck. And we are certainly in a storm.
So, if you’ve posted even one angry meme on social media, it’s time to translate into actions that will make a difference.
Every one of us is capable of getting five voters to the polls, and every one of us needs to take responsibility for that. Marching in the streets is cathartic and powerful — but getting five voters to the polls can change our world dramatically from within.
This can mean any one or combination of the following:
1. Reach out to at least five friends and relatives with college-aged kids to make sure they are registered to vote. Also, if they are registered to vote at home while attending an out-of-state school, make sure they have absentee ballots — look up the registration requirements for your state, as well as the procedure to apply for an absentee ballot. Make things as easy as possible for them. This is no time to lament helicopter parenting! I literally print the stuff out and drive it to people’s houses. I even put stamps on things sometimes because, millennials, amirite? Sigh.
2. Volunteer to register people to vote. There are many opportunities to do this with different organizations like headcount.org, which enables you to register even by text message. Deadlines are approaching in most states, so get on this one ASAP.
3. Canvass and/or phone bank for the politician of your choice. And don’t worry, you won’t go out cold: There are training sessions, and usually you can work with a partner, so bring a friend and make a day of it. Teenage children can participate in the phone banking, too. (Although if someone yells at your kid, they might tell the yeller, “Sir, stop yelling at me and talk to my mom,” and hand you the phone, like my son did. True story.)
4. Get educated and get involved. Help put up signs for candidates you support. Be sure to learn about the candidates in your local races; reach out and ask them questions. You may not be especially concerned about whether or not there’s a stop sign at a particular intersection, but your local elections may be more important than you realize — would you want a creationist on your school board, for example? Introduce candidates to friends. Political involvement is contagious.
5. Plan to physically bring people to the polling places on November 6. I know Uber and Lyft are giving people free rides to the polls — so this might not mean physically driving people. But if you’re walking a dog and see some people milling about? Take them right over to the polling place. Or, if you’re an employer, for example, make sure to give the people you employ the opportunity to go vote. (And, yes, that might include your babysitter or caregiver — but don’t worry, you won’t be left in the lurch. Voting doesn’t take long, after all — and you should really consider bringing your kids with you when you vote, anyway.)