Category: Feminism

#istandwithplannedparenthood

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The 2-year-old and I attended a rally in support of Planned Parenthood in Albany last weekend. It was my first rally (except for the prayer vigil in town a few weeks ago). I didn’t know what to expect.

To be honest, I felt a little awkward. I never managed to meet up with my friends. The baby got a lot of attention, but I mostly didn’t know what to do with myself. So I just stood there and tried to take up space —  not hard to do with a baby on your back — and make the crowd look bigger.

I’m glad I went. I would go again. I’ve talked with a few different people about the phenomenon of large groups, and they have different rationales for their importance. One pointed out the impact of seeing a large number of people in one place for the same reason. Another talked about how the act of protesting changes the protesters. And everyone agreed on the need for sustained action.

There has been a lot written about why liberal protests don’t work: they are just a catharsis. They make everyone feel better, and then everyone goes home and goes about their daily lives. Detractors point to the Occupy Wall Street Movement as an example of liberal failure. I’m not sure it’s fair to characterize that movement as a failure, when we had a candidate like Bernie Sanders bringing so much national attention to many of the issues on their platform.

And there have been other protests that have brought real change: Selma, Stonewall, a huge number of protests against the Vietnam War.

The problem is that change comes slowly. Protests help to make the problems visible to those not directly affected.

I keep meaning to write about my top three causes, where I want to put my energy over the next several years, and I keep getting distracted by the barrage of bad news, by how many things need attention. But women’s rights, specifically women’s reproductive rights, has always been one of my causes. It was probably my first cause.

So it seems fitting that this was my first big rally.

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

I had a new-to-me experience today: Today I felt fear as a persecuted minority.

It is surreal to me to write that. I am a white, middle-class, Christian, straight, cis, property-owning, American-born woman. I’ve experience misogyny, sure. But I have never felt persecuted. I have the luxury of living an unexamined life if I so choose.

But today, I sat as fear washed over me. I did not feel safe.

Two major events combined to make me feel this fear.  First, reports from Russia that Putin has signed a bill that decriminalizes domestic violence. The details of this bill are chilling:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on a controversial law decriminalizing domestic violence as long as it does not happen more than once a year.

The new law makes the first offense of violence against “close persons” such as relatives or children an administrative offense, punishable by a 30,000 ruble fine ($500) or arrest for 15 days.

I drive by the Women’s Support Services office on a regular basis on my way into work. I used to volunteer for the 24-hour domestic violence hotline. I’ve heard the stories of women, in their own voices, late at night. I learned about Tracey Thurman, who, in 1984, successfully sued the Torrington, CT police (a town about a 30-minute drive from my house; I went there this week to have my teeth cleaned) for violating her civil rights for ignoring her reports of the harm her husband continually inflicted on her. I remember the work WSS did to advocate for a state statute to make strangulation a felony. The statute was enacted in 2008.

I know that Russia is not the United States. Not yet, anyway. And I know that there are plenty of countries in which women have a particularly hard time (oh wait! The United States is on that list!). Given the role Russia has played recently in our news cycles, and given our new president’s professed fondness for Putin, this hit close to home.

The second was the Republican Senators’ vote to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren during the debate on the nomination of Jeff Sessions to the position of attorney general.

Sen. Warren was reading a letter written by Corretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., opposing the nomination of Jeff Session to a federal judgeship in 1986.

Dear Senator Thurmond:

I write to express my sincere opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.

I regret that a long-standing commitment prevents me from appearing in person to testify against this nominee. However, I have attached a copy of my statement opposing Mr. Sessions’ confirmation and I request that my statement as well as this letter be made a part of the hearing record.

I do sincerely urge you to oppose the confirmation of Mr. Sessions.

Sincerely,

Coretta Scott King

After the Republicans voted to silence Sen. Warren, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico read King’s letter into the record. No one objected.

I feel that efforts are being made in diverse arenas to silence the voices of women.

I plan to attend a rally in Albany, NY, to support Planned Parenthood on Saturday. And I plan to keep writing.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, 1825-1911

I had the misfortune to read the remarks made by the current president at a luncheon in honor of Black History Month today.

In an attempt to scrub them from my brain, I thought I would share some information about Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a 19th-century African American writer. I wrote a chapter of my thesis for my  master’s degree on her serialized novel, Trial and Triumph (1888-1889), so I hope you will indulge me quoting myself at times.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1825 to a free black mother, Frances Ellen Watkins spent the years after her mother’s death with her uncle, William J. Watkins, a minister and abolitionist. Little is known about Watkins’s father; some have speculated that he was a white man. She received a first-class education at her uncle’s school and worked as a seamstress and in a bookstore before joining the faculty of a school for free African Americans in Ohio in 1850. After three years of teaching, Watkins left education to begin her life’s work as a speaker, poet and activist for the equality and advancement of African Americans. In 1860 she married Fenton Harper and retired from public life. They had a daughter, Mary. After Fenton’s death in 1864, Harper returned to her speaking and writing. She was a member of the Underground Railroad, and after emancipation traveled extensively in the South. She joined a number of organizations of both African Americans and women, continuing to speak until she was eighty years old. During the course of her life, Harper produced at least eight volumes of poetry, one short story, three serialized novels, one full-length novel and numerous articles. Harper dedicated her life to the advancement of her race; as Foster says, “To Harper, literature was not separate from life. Her writing was but one of the ways in which she sought to live her convictions and to work for the betterment of the world within which she lived and the people with whom she identified” (135). Her commitment to a number of social causes—temperance, suffrage, civil rights—comes across in all of her writing, forcing her readers to recognize the intent of her work to shape society.1

1 Maryemma Graham, “Frances Ellen Watkins Harper,” Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 50: African American Writers before the Harlem Renaissance Ed. Trudier Harris, (Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1986) 164-173.

Foster’s novel, Iola Leroy (1892), falls in the tragic mulatto genre: Iola, a mixed-race young woman, born free, who could “pass” as white, is sold into slavery after the death of her white father. Iola Leroy was one of the earliest novels written by an African American.

I chose the shorter, and earlier, Trial and Triumph for my study because the protagonist, a young African American woman named Annette, has aspirations of becoming a poet. I was interested in how 19th century women writers portrayed themselves — women writers — in their fiction.

In Trial and Triumph, Harper has her young poetess turn away from her writing to pursue “race work.”  Readers in the 19th century expected their literature not only to entertain, but also to uplift. There was supposed to be a moral purpose to the story. Harper embraced this trope and turned it to her purpose, using her writing to inspire pride, hope, and self-respect in her audience.

Noting that “The literature they read was mostly from the hands of white men who would paint them in any colors which suited their prejudices or predilections” (240), Harper shows her reading audience the importance of the text they hold—written by a black woman, a member of the traditionally voiceless—to the battle for social equality. By authoring their own texts, African Americans have the opportunity to shape the images displayed in popular culture.

Trial and Triumph is such an interesting text, for its blending of genre, for its African-izing of the common stereotypes of white women, and for its unflinchingly optimistic portrayal of the prospects of Black America.

Harper creates the character of Annette, who is both a poet and an activist, in part to argue that a race capable of contributing to the cultural tradition of its nation surely has the intellect to contribute to that nation’s political processes. Literature is concerned with the nature and state of humanity. It addresses moral, philosophical and political questions of human experience and examines the phenomenon of society. Harper’s work stands as testament to the humanity of her race and thus argues for the inclusion of African Americans, including African American women, in the political life of America.

Reproductive Rights Under Attack

I can’t even believe I’m writing this. A woman’s right to make decisions about her own body was probably the very first issue that ever sparked a political thought in me. I was maybe 15 years old. Maybe younger.

And now, more than 20 years later, there is still doubt over whether women should be allowed to make their own decisions.

This is what happens when millions of women stand up to demand to be heard. Backlash.

I’m not going to write a long post justifying a woman’s right to self-determination.  There does not have to be any justification. There is nothing to argue: My body, my rules.

Instead, I will list the places to go to fight for this right.

Starting at the top:

Today the POTUS signed an executive order that reinstates the global gag rule, denying federal funds to NGOs in other countries that do so much as talk to women about abortion.

Rep. Jody B. Hice, R-GA, introduced a bill that defines life as beginning at conception.

In Connecticut, not one, but three bills were introduced to limit access to abortion.

CT [R] SB 315: An Act Increasing the Age for Which the Provision of Certain Information and Counseling Is Required Prior to an Abortion to Persons Less than Eighteen Years of Age

CT [R] SB 321: An Act Requiring Parental Notification Prior to the Administration of an Abortion

CT [R] SB 330: An Act Requiring an Ultrasound Procedure Prior to the Termination of  Pregnancy

If you don’t understand why the proposed legislation is worrisome and problematic, please comment or contact me directly.

If you get it, get to the phones.

Dunning-Kruger-ing Myself

I read the most bizarre thing today. We started a hard copy subscription to the Sunday New York Times just before Christmas. I love having a real newspaper in the house, but I have a really hard time getting through it. Especially when the 2-year-old takes such glee in throwing it on the floor and dancing on it.

So I had a moment today to sit and read a little bit, and I came across this headline: “Women Who Voted for Donald Trump in Their Own Words.”

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I’m pretty shaken by what I read.

 

I started to list examples of what these women said and why I found it outrageous, but it just felt wrong to me. Like I was making fun of them, which I’m not trying to do. I’m trying to hear them, but it is so hard when what they say just doesn’t make sense.

I also read an article about the Dunning-Kruger effect, and it immediately made me question my intelligence. Which is what it’s supposed to do, according to Dunning. It’s supposed to make you stop and think and question what you don’t know. And that’s what I was hoping to get out of reading these women’s explanations for why they voted the way they did. But the cognitive dissonance was too great for my ears, and I had to put it down.

I had a moment today, listening to WAMC, listening to The Round Table, and one of the participants pointed out that Trump says he’s going to bring us universal health care. They immediately began to debate what that would look like, if it was even possible, but I had a moment, just one, small, fleeting moment, when I felt a spark of hope. Maybe he will, I thought. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

I mentioned this to James tonight, and told him that as much as I’d like to hang on to that fleeting spark of hope, I realize that it is much more likely that Trump has no idea what he’s doing and is just saying what people want to hear. “I just want a president who’s not a fascist dictator!” I yelled in frustration. “Why is that a naive dream?”

But I realized, then, what these women found in him. For one, small, fleeting moment, they felt a spark of hope after Trump said something they wanted to hear. Whether it was about bringing back manufacturing jobs or taking care of natural-born citizens ahead of immigrants, something he said sparked hope in them, maybe for just one, small, fleeting moment. But, unlike me, they were able to hold on to that.

All I Wanted for Christmas Was an IUD

The 115th Congress of the United States has been in session less than a week, and many of our basic rights are already under attack.

The news about gutting the Office of Congressional EthicsRussian interference in U.S. elections, and plans to push through unqualified Cabinet nominees is terrifying enough. But we also have to face the very real possibility that millions of people will lose access to basic health care, whether through the loss of the Affordable Care Act or through the planned defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Health care in America is broken, that is no secret. Health care for women varies dramatically based on what state you live in. Roe v. Wade has been under constant attack since it was decided in 1973, and Planned Parenthood’s providers have had to take dramatic measures to ensure their safety.

Coverage for men and women has varied dramatically through the years and among insurance carriers. The ACA brought about universal coverage of birth control for women, but insurance companies are not required to cover any type of male birth control. And, if you work for a religious institution, it’s possible that your insurance plan might be exempt from this mandate.

Despite all the loopholes and exceptions, the birth control mandate has been a hugely positive part of the ACA.

guttemacher

Now I’m going to get personal.

James and I are agreed that two children is the right number of children for our family.  Our house has no more bedrooms, our cars have no more seats, our salaries can’t stretch any farther. Two is perfect for us.

Before our second was born, James decided that he would like to have a vasectomy. We both agreed that we wanted a reliable, long-term, preferably permanent, birth control solution. James felt that, since I had been the one to birth the babies, and since a vasectomy is an out-patient, in-office procedure, it made sense for our family. I agreed, and supported him.

Then, after looking more carefully at our schedule of benefits, James discovered that vasectomies are not covered by our insurance.

We stayed in limbo for the better part of a year, knowing that our insurance provider was going to change in a few  months. We were hopeful that maybe the new plan would cover vasectomies.

Then Trump won the election, and everything health care related was thrown into uncertainty.

I had been resistant to considering an IUD (intrauterine device), mostly because the idea of having something inserted into my uterus kinda squicked me out. Ironic, considering my uterus has played host to two foreign entities for extended periods of time, but that’s how I felt.

However, with Trump awaiting inauguration and Paul Ryan heading up a rabid throng of anti-women Republicans, I felt that I no longer had the luxury of turning up my nose at an IUD just because the idea of it makes me uncomfortable.

I made an appointment with my gynecologist for early December and asked for information about IUDs.

I knew there were two kinds: the Mirena, which uses a low dose of hormones, and the Paragard, a copper, non-hormonal option. Based on my past experience with hormonal birth control pills, I was pretty sure I wanted the Paragard. My doctor agreed with me.

I have a great doctor. He explained the differences between the two, how they work, their effectiveness, how long they last, expected side effects, how it is inserted, how it is removed. We talked for probably 30 minutes. At the end of our conversation, I felt pretty comfortable with my decision to get the Paragard.

The one thing that worried me, though, was his description of the pain I could expect upon insertion. He compared it to labor: “Instead of having labor pains for hours, it’s like having labor pains for a minute.”

Having been through both an induced labor and an unmedicated labor, the prospect of enduring labor pains for even a minute was not exactly something I was looking forward to.

I went home, James and I discussed it some more, and I decided to go for it. I called my gynecologist’s office, they got preapproval from my insurance company, and I was instructed to call back when my period starts to schedule the insertion.

There are two reasons doctors like to insert IUDs during menstruation: 1. They can be sure you’re not pregnant. 2. The cervix is softer and more open at that time.

I ended up with an appointment the week before Christmas. Merry Christmas to me! I joke, but the timing was actually good, as I was off work, but both children still had school or day care. With the description of the pain I could expect, I was really not sure of how chipper I’d be the rest of that day.

I was not, however, able to schedule the procedure with my regular gynecologist. Instead, I was seeing the new female doctor in the practice for the first time. While I was thrilled to be seeing a female doctor (I had been skeptical of this practice’s three male doctors; turns out I love two out of three of them; not bad), I was not really happy with having the procedure done by someone I would be meeting for the first time that day.

The day came. The nurse who prepped me also compared the pain to labor. She spoke very familiarly about the procedure; it turns out she had recently had an IUD placed as well. But, she said, she has never had children, so she probably had more pain that I would.

I met the new doctor, and she immediately put me at ease. But again, she compared the pain to labor. I finally said, “Just because I’ve been through labor doesn’t mean I want to do it again.”

It turned out not to hurt much at all. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it pain, more discomfort.

The procedure has two parts: First, the doctor inserts a small rod to measure the depth of the uterus. If the uterus is shorter or longer than recommended, the device won’t sit correctly and might not work as advertised. Mine was the right depth. Yay!

Then the doctor inserts the IUD. The IUD is shaped like a T, and the arms are flexible. It is folded down into a straw, inserted, and then the straw is removed and the arms unfold, and the device settles into place.

No anesthetic is used, though it is recommended to take ibuprofen an hour before the procedure. No dilators are used to open the cervix. The entire procedure, from start to finish, took about 5 minutes. I had to remain lying down for another 5 minutes because “any manipulation of the cervix can lead to lightheadedness.” I did not experience that.

I had some cramping the rest of the day, but was able to control that with ibuprofen. After 48 hours, the cramping was gone.

I have to go back in a few weeks so the doctor can confirm that the IUD is staying in place and everything is as it should be. The greatest risk for expulsion is in the first month.

This has been a very bittersweet experience. I am angry that I was forced into choosing a form of contraception that I didn’t want because of which politicians were elected to office, but I am extraordinarily grateful that this option was available to me. I am angry at the double standard that forces the woman to assume the burden of birth control, and extraordinarily grateful that my husband shares that outrage. And, I am very relieved to know that my husband and I are able to decide for ourselves what the best options are for our family.

I am writing and sharing this to add a personal story to the political argument around health care and access to contraception. Our family is doing okay. We don’t have a ton of money, but we own a home in a great community, we have steady jobs, and our children are healthy and happy. All of that would be much harder, if not impossible, to maintain if we were not able to control the size of our family. We are excruciatingly aware of how easily the balance could be disrupted, and that many other families don’t have the stability we have.

This is why it is so important that our government protect our access to health care and birth control. The ACA actually helps real people of a wide variety of economic means. Planned Parenthood does so much more than offer abortions.

If you are in Connecticut, there will be a rally in support of Planned Parenthood at the State Capitol in Hartford on Wednesday, January 18, at 4:30 pm. Sign up here.

If you can’t attend, or you aren’t local, call your elected officials and urge them to defend Planned Parenthood.

And you can always make a donation. Planned Parenthood has pledged to keep its doors open even if it loses government funding, so it will need every penny we can collect.

Institutional Racism and Intersectionality: A Primer

There’s been some turmoil in the Pantsuit Nation Facebook group, a “secret” group of Hillary Clinton supporters that was born in the weeks before the election and ballooned to more than 3.5 million members as of this writing. While I think the group started out primarily female, it now includes Americans from every gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. It was inevitable that conflict would arise.

The post that has gotten a lot of attention (thank you, Husband, for drawing my attention to it), is one in which a Black woman calls out racism in the group and says she is leaving because she doesn’t feel welcome. The poster takes pains to point out that it is not bigotry or overt attacks that she has experienced, but rather the insidious, institutionalized racism that so permeates American culture.

The comments on this post–over 3,000 when I saw it earlier this evening; I’m not able to find it easily on the page right now–run the gamut from supportive to confused to hostile. There were some who begged the woman not to leave, but to “stay and teach us.” And there were comments from others pointing out that it is not the job of women of color to educate white women on what it’s like to be a woman of color.

This post is an attempt to help those white women who are genuinely confused about this woman’s experience and who do want to be educated. I hope, if you’re reading this, you will use the information here as a starting place. I hope this post gives you enough information to figure out what you don’t know, a place to begin your Google search, and that it will spark a desire to know more. And that what you learn here and in your future research will inform and influence your actions in our fight going forward.

To start off with, let’s take a look at what racism looks like in America.

First, let’s agree that America is a racist society. It’s in our soil, and we’ve been eating the fruits of that soil for generations. It’s in us, all of us, white and non-white alike. We eat racism, drink racism, breathe racism. It’s there, whether we want it or not. And we have to work really hard to get rid of it.

The first step to getting rid of it is to recognize and name it.

This next bit comes directly from the Racial Justice curriculum created by my colleague, the Rev. Da Vita McCallister, for the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ. You can read about her ministry here. In short, she is insightful, compassionate, and absolutely dedicated to eradicating racism. She is the one who taught me that I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. She is the one who awakened the social justice spirit inside me.

Racism exists in four realms: Personal, Interpersonal, Institutional, and Cultural.

The first two are pretty easy to identify and are what most people think of when you say “racism.”

Personal Racism is the thoughts that exist only in your head. You may never admit to them, you may never utter them aloud, but they exist within you. Personal Racism is what you carry around with you every day: It’s thoughts like, “She doesn’t belong here;” “Why do they always have to make it about race?” “I don’t understand why they can’t just be more like us.”

Interpersonal Racism is the racism that exists between two or more people. This is where the insults, the discrimination, and the bigotry live. Interpersonal Racism is the graffiti of racial slurs sprayed on elementary schools, the taunting on the playground. You know Interpersonal Racism when you see it.

The next two realms can be harder to recognize, and they have been getting more attention in the national debate lately. This is what people have trouble with.

Institutional Racism is racism that is written into law and policy. It is the school-to-prison pipeline that leads to a prison population that is 61% Black or Latino compared to a general population that is 30% Black or Latino. PBS has an excellent fact sheet that explains the statistics. Institutional Racism is the company policy against dreadlocks. It is the difference in outcome when a white motorist is pulled over by police versus when a black motorist is pulled over. Institutional Racism sometimes doesn’t look like racism because it is embedded in the very laws that we rely on to structure our society.

If you don’t believe in Institutional Racism, start with examining the statistics linked above, and then look into statistics about who lives in the the “worst” parts of cities, who is most impacted by environmental disasters, who holds the most real estate. Institutional Racism is revealed in statistics.

Cultural Racism is easiest to see in the television and movies we consume. Black=bad and white=good. How often is the bad guy a person of color? How often is the one character of color in the show an amalgamation of every racial stereotype associated with the character’s ascribed race? These portrayals of race in media seep into our subconscious in the exact same way that the impossible beauty standards of supermodels do.

While Personal and Interpersonal Racism should  never be tolerated (and are what were espoused by our president-elect during the campaign), it is Institutional and Cultural Racism that are really sinking our country right now. And that is what the poster on Facebook was calling out.

(“Microagression” is another term to research. And if you are confused about “privilege,” which is another important term in this discussion, start with Peggy McIntosh’s seminal essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” written way back in 1989.)

Now that we understand some of the ways in which racism works in American society, let’s move on to the more complicated issue of intersectionality.

I dug out my Critical Lit anthology from grad school to brush up on this one.

The Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s fractured under the stress of unrecognized intersectionality. My frustration when I read comments on posts like the one I’m talking about stems from the fact that WE ALREADY HAD THIS CONVERSATION.

Intersectionality is the idea that different minority identifications interplay with one another. In this case, the first layer of minority is “woman.” Women are treated unequally in society, so they band together to work against the patriarchy.

But within this group of women are Black women (and Latina, Asian, Filipino, etc.). And the Black women find themselves marginalized within the Women’s Liberation movement. And when they speak up about it, they are dismissed by the white women who are running things. In the exact same way the white women are dismissed by the men running the patriarchy.

Add in another minority layer of “lesbian,” and just imagine what your experience is like.

So I pulled out Barbara Smith’s essay,  “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism,” written in 1977 criticizing the monoculture of the Second Wave Feminist Movement. 1977. These ideas are not new. But they are important enough to quote in blocks. I am using the the text found in The Critical Tradition: Classic Tests and Contemporary Trends, edited by David H. Richter, 1998, Bedford Books: Boston:

All segments of the literary world–whether establishment, progressive, Black, female, or lesbian–do not know, or at least act as if they do not know, that Black women writers and Black lesbian writers exist.

For whites, this specialized lack of knowledge is inextricably connected to their not knowing in any concrete or politically transforming way that Black women of any description dwell in this place. Black women’s existence, experience, and culture and the brutally complex systems of oppression which shape these are in the “real world” of white and/or male consciousness beneath consideration, invisible, unknown.

This invisibility, which goes beyond anything that either Black men or white women experience and tell about in their writing, is one reason it is so difficult for me to know where to start. It seems overwhelming to break such a massive silence. Even more numbing, however, is the realization that so many of the women who will read this have not yet noticed us missing either from their reading matter, their politics, or their lives.

This is why that Black woman wants to leave the Pantsuit Nation Facebook group. Still, almost 40 years after Smith wrote these words, the testimony of Black American women is dismissed, buried, and unheard. White women still do not even see Black women, and they don’t believe them when they report racism in what is supposed to be a progressive community. And this is why it is so disrespectful to ask the woman who was brave enough to name the racism to help educate us white women who have never experienced a single moment of racism.

A quick search seems to suggest the full text of Smith’s essay is not available online for free. JSTOR has it, if you have access to that. You can buy it at Amazon or, I’m sure, find it at a library (interlibrary loan is a thing, too). It’s worth reading in full.

This is just an introduction. There is so much more to read about how racism permeates our very existence in America. If you are confused about why Trump’s blatantly racist statements struck a chord in a large section of the voting population, start reading. Search out writings by people who don’t look like you, and listen to them. Believe them when they report a different experience from what you know. Share them with people who look like you; boost their signal. Don’t talk over them.

And then join in the fight.

 

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