The more I think about the work I am meant to do in the world, the more I keep hearing the word “political.” This is not a surprise as this was my theme word for 2014 and this is actually where I started my career as a young woman, in politics.
I spent a lot of 2014 with my energy focused on this theme — writing political articles and blogs, hosting events to awaken women’s political consciousness, supporting Marianne Williamson’s Congressional campaign in my district, and writing and publishing my book, Find Your Voice: A Woman’s Call to Action.
But what’s different now is that I am feeling called to take this word and theme, “political,” to another place. What’s happening now is that I am being pulled in the direction of becoming a full-fledged activist. This means that I want to learn about the laws: how they work, how they don’t work, what it takes to get one passed, how to write and propose legislation, how to organize and how to lobby.
This is intimidating for me, to say the least. But it is also a necessity. I can’t stand back anymore and watch us be oppressed by voices and lawmakers who only understand part of the story. I can’t stand back and complain about the status of women and girls, when I myself, am not taking a stand for myself — in government.
I used to think the government was only part of the equation for social change. I believe art, business, media and religion also play big roles. Because of this, I didn’t feel the need to pursue action in government. I saw government as part of the “old system” and therefore considered it irrelevant at times when I was envisioning how social change could happen. (In my vision, social change in its broadest terms, means the transformation of violence in all its forms into love and respect of all humanity and all beings on this planet, including the earth Herself.)
But what I have discovered for myself is that all roads seem to lead back to our government. For now, these folks are the creators of law and public policy. Every day, women and girls in the United States are being raped, trafficked, violated, and discriminated against. And in most of these cases, women and girls are still being blamed and the perpetrators are being let off. Girls are being forced to have the baby of their rapist because many states around the country have put restrictions on abortion and have made abortion difficult to access, some with no safe, legal provider at all. Unequal pay, no paid maternity leave, no sick leave, skimpy domestic abuse and rape laws. These are just a handful of ways violence is being inflicted on women and girls around the nation every day.
So, I invite you on a journey with me as I look toward the future and learn about what it takes to be an effective women’s rights activist. (Note: there is a difference between being an advocate, which I already am, and being an activist).
If there was one law you could put into place, what would it be?
Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed., is a women’s leadership mentor and coach, specializing in helping women find their voice. She is the author of the bestselling book, Find Your Voice: A Woman’s Call to Action. Learn more at tabbybiddle.com.