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Feminism

Dear Amy,

I recently read your book Manifesta (which I loved), and ever since I have had this compulsive feeling like there's more that I could be doing. I think that it is wonderful that there are inspirational people out there like you, but once inspired, what do we do? I know that there is always money needed for one reason or another, and unfortunately, I have very little myself. I was wondering if there are any organizations or web sites that list places where a person like myself could work or volunteer to help promote feminism? Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but it seems that most organizations want money more than anything else.

This morning I was watching C-Span, and the former president of Ireland/leader of UN Human Rights (her name escapes me)was a guest. A few people phoned in and asked what was being done to help women in Afghanistan. My point with addressing this is this: we know the military does not put relieving the oppression of women at the top of their list....so, what can a person like myself do to help?

Thanks so much,
Brie

 

Dear Brie,

I have received many inquiries from people, like you, who want to do something. Each of these questions challenges me to be specific and clear about what exactly needs to be done. The easy answer is to refer people to other organizations and/or to tell them to call Congress, write letters, etc. However, I realize that these answers don't always provide easy access or even incentive to greater activism.

In my own life, I realize that the most rewarding forms of activism are the ones that are often the simplest to initiate. For instance, "Ask Amy", where I get questions and try my best to provide direction, support or access to other information. Now, this is a more formal process, but it began simply enough. But this has stayed with me, because I feel passionate about it and I realize that you can't instill passion in other people, but help them to tap into something that they will hopefully feel passionate about.

With that said, what is it that is happening in your community that moves you? For instance, are you a student and fed up with student loans? If yes, I suggest that you figure out what your state's process is as well as what federal grants are available through your state's schools and write up this information and get it out to high school students who are beginning this process. Are you disheartened by the number of women who are battered each year? If yes, how about getting a local movie theatre to donate ten tickets each month to the local battered women's shelter, so this can be a luxury afforded to all people. What about reading to elders in the local home for the aging? This can be a profound shared experience. I hope these suggestions help and I would be happy to help you think of others as long as you give me some direction. Thanks again for reading Manifesta and for your interest in doing more.

Amy


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