Scene: I had just dropped my son off at work and stopped by a corner market to pick up a few items. It was mid-morning and pretty busy in there. As I queued in line I noticed one cashier finishing with a customer, another in front of me with a large basket of groceries and then a man behind me. Another cashier opened her register, allowing for the next person in line. The man behind me started to go forward but then indicated for me to go ahead. Thanking him, I placed my item on the counter. Here is where the “cautionary tale that’s really occurred” comes in. This man then stated, “Well, I think that deserves a hug” and immediately grabbed me up into a full frontal hug. I immediately pushed away with an emphatic “NO” and “Get your hands off me!”. I was stunned, violated and scared. The clerk was paralyzed. I paid, left with the man following soon behind me where I noticed he took my picture as I was getting into my car.
So there you have the scene. I went through the gambit of emotions: fear, embarrassment, anxiety, anger, shame. Then I did my own victim blaming, “If only I’d been wearing my wedding rings he wouldn’t have targeted me.” “Maybe he was just doing a nice southern gesture”. NO! NO! NO! How too soon I’ve forgotten the #MeToo movement and the empowerment of women it has fostered.
So, why this blog; why now? Today’s political climate is daily, sometimes hourly, in flux. The frenetic pace of crisis mode is the norm rather than the exception as our State and Federal representatives continually push destructive legislation through. We MUST keep all our important issues in the forefront. But this is so taxing and many of us weary. So let’s game plan.
First: VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! If you aren’t registered, it’s easier to do so now more than ever. Just go to a simple online tool, Proud Voter, and you’re good to go. Our vote is the way to make our voices emphatically heard.
Second: Tap into a special interest in which you can maybe donate time or resources. If healthcare impacts you get in touch with the Tennessee Justice Center. If common sense gun laws is your passion then Moms Demand Action is just for you. There are always voices needed for our disability community and I think Tennessee Disability Coalition is an outstanding resource. DACA and Immigration is a very important issue for our state. Please advocate with Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition if this your wheelhouse. And making sure everyone is treated equally, the Tennessee Equality Project works tirelessly on behalf of our LGBTQ community.
Third: If you don’t necessarily have a niche yet or a special interest to get behind, then consider donating to Act Blue so the “Blue Tide 2018” progressive candidates can be successful and affect realistic change which benefits everyone.
My cautionary (real) tale is just a reminder that although there are so many issues to fight and claw, we don’t have to forget one as another comes to the forefront. There are enough of us working together to shine the light ALL THE TIME on healthcare, common sense gun laws, #MeToo movement, immigration, tax reform and government corruption, etc. We are on the cusp of a very active, important political season. Let’s get to work!