Ser Pro-activo (Be Proactive)

pro-activo-buttonEstamos a punto de terminar el mes de acción en contra de la violencia doméstica pero creo que deberíamos seguir siendo proactivos durante todo el año, no sólo en octubre. Para ser proactivo, hay muchas cosas que puedes hacer en este momento, y el votar es una de ellas. Votar es muy importante sobre todo porque éste es un año de elecciones presidenciales. Es cierto que el gobierno por sí solo no va a solucionar o resolver el problema tan fuerte de violencia doméstica y sexual en nuestra sociedad. Sin embargo, la administración que sea elegida tendrá un impacto sobre el financiamiento de los servicios que están disponibles para los sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica y sexual. Tu voto cuenta. Tu voto tendrá un impacto y puede hacer la diferencia.

Al final, sea quien sea el ganador de esta elección, nosotros continuáremos trabajando para hacer de este mundo un mundo mejor. Estamos en esto juntos. Vamos todos a asumir al 100% nuestra responsabilidad de poner fin a la violencia doméstica y así crear una comunidad de amor para todos nosotros.

Para hacer tu parte, puedes:

  1. Registrarte para votar―si ya lo has hecho, ¡genial! Entonces ofrécete como voluntario y ayuda a otros a registrarse.
  1. Reta a tus amigos, familiares y a ti mismo―cada vez que escuches algo que no está bien, llámalo por su nombre. Por ejemplo, cuando un niño golpea a una niña en el parque y la excusa es “es niño” o “son niños”, se proactivo y di “Eso no está bien. Esa es una conducta abusiva”. O cuando una estudiante es atacada sexualmente y todo el mundo se centra en lo alcoholizada que estaba, de nuevo, se proactivo y di ” Eso no está bien. Alcoholizada o no, ella tiene el derecho a ser tratada con respeto”. Todos los días escuchamos este tipo de comentarios, por lo que hay muchas oportunidades para iniciar estas conversaciones.
  1. con tus hijos―los niños son muy inteligentes y por lo general están escuchando todo lo que está sucediendo alrededor de ellos así que toma un momento para hablar con ellos, pregúntales sobre lo que escuchan y así sabrás lo que están entendiendo. Luego ten una conversación con ellos sobre el respeto y el consentimiento. Es importante que los niños comprendan que hay ciertos comentarios que no son aceptables. Nuestros niños están siendo influenciados por el medio ambiente. Depende completamente de nosotros si queremos que ellos estén bien informados y conscientes.
  1. Infórmate―La información es poder, la ignorancia es peligrosa.
  1. Ve y vota el 8 de noviembre

 

****

proactive-buttonWe are about to end Domestic Violence Action Month but I believe we should continue to be proactive all year long, not just in October. To be proactive, there are many things that you can do right now, and voting is an important one especially since this is a presidential election year. It is true that the government by itself is not going to fix or resolve the pervasive issue of domestic and sexual violence in our society. However, the administration that is elected will have an impact on funding services that are available for domestic and sexual violence survivors. Your vote counts. Your vote will have an impact and it will make a difference.

In the end, whoever the winner for this election is, we will continue working to make this world a better one. We are in this together. Let’s all take on the responsibility of ending domestic violence and creating a beloved community for all of us.

To do your part, you can:

  1. Register to vote―if you have done that, great! Then volunteer and help others to get registered.
  1. Challenge yourself, your friends, and family―every time you hear something that is not accurate, call it out by its name. For example, when a boy hits a girl in the playground and the excuse of “boys will be boys” is used, say “That’s not OK. That is abusive behavior.” Or when a girl is sexually assaulted and everyone focuses on how drunk she was, again say “That’s not OK. Drunk or not drunk, she has the right to be treated with respect.” Every day we hear these kinds of comments, so there are plenty of opportunities to initiate these conversations.
  1. Have conversations with your kids―kids are pretty smart and they are usually listening to everything that is happening around them so take a moment and talk to them, ask them what they are understanding. Then have a conversation with them about respect and consent. It is important for children to understand that there are certain comments that are not acceptable. Our children are being influenced by the environment even if we do not want it. If we want them to be well informed and aware, that is up to us.
  1. Inform yourself―Information is power, ignorance is dangerous.
  1. Go and vote on November 8th.

 

 

 

 

Back to school

school-backpacks

This week kids across Washington State headed back to school.

According to our state constitution, educating our children is the paramount duty of government. It is the greatest collective responsibility we share as a community.

Of course, there is no lack of debate or dispute over what that duty requires.

Washington State has been ordered into court on Sept 7th by the WA Supreme Court to answer questions about the ongoing impact of the McCleary Decision, which has been fining WA State $100,000 a day for over a year for not making significant progress on special education, teachers’ salaries and a host of school basics.

Arguments over “teaching to the test” continue to brew. School bathrooms have taken center stage in the growing conversations and controversies over gender. The Department of Justice has pointed out the dangers of the “preschool to prison pipeline” where African American children, poor children and foster children disproportionately find public education not a path to stability and achievement, but a process of escalating surveillance and criminalized discipline that results in imprisonment rather than empowerment.

And a recent study by the NW Network and the National Domestic Violence Hotline demonstrates that fear of mandatory reporting to police or CPS by reporters such as school teachers and counselors results in young people delaying or avoiding seeking help when they are experiencing harm.

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the storms that surround education. But, instead of turning away from the challenges that face our schools, let’s get educated about these challenges and the positions on education held by every candidate seeking office this fall. Let’s make sure we have all our kids’ backs as they head back to school.

Will you run?

I have a confession. I love snark so so much. (This feminist killjoy needs something to fuel my rage and humor at the same time!) And so when I heard about the new snarky website that asks, “Bruh, can you not?” I just had to check it out. Underneath the snark was some important wisdom and social commentary: Perhaps well-meaning white bros should support diverse candidates that share their views rather than running for office themselves.

At our annual conference last year, one of our amazing speakers mentioned that on average a woman has to be asked to run for office seven times before she actually will. Not so for men.

There is a lot to unpack here, but ultimately the thing that matters to me is that if we want to see change―at local, state, and national levels―we need to do things differently. And maybe the change is having more women, and people of color, run for office and win.

sheshouldruninfographic

After the Anita Hill catastrophe, there were a record number of women elected to Congress in 1992. We knew that in order to challenge sexual harassment and rampant sexism, women needed to be at the table.

We still need that. We need a diverse group of people weighing in on sentences for convicted rapists. We need a diverse group of people passing laws that enable welfare recipients to get their support without wasteful, costly, and inhumane drug testing. We need a diverse group of people fighting for reproductive freedom. And we need a diverse group of people challenging institutional racism, homophobia, and transphobia.

So, I am asking. Maybe this is the first time you’ve been asked or maybe (even better!) it’s the seventh. Will you run? Will you ask someone else to? We need you, we really do.

Opinión vs. acción (Opinion vs. action)

Estamos en año de elecciones, inevitable no hablar de esto. Hoy más que nunca es necesario ser responsables de nuestros actos e involucrarnos como ciudadanos, es un deber y un derecho que tenemos para poner nuestro granito de arena y ser parte del cambio en nuestras comunidades, en nuestro país, y elegir juntos un buen liderazgo.

Escucho cientos de comentarios diarios sobre el ambiente político de hoy en día, en los medios de comunicación, en el trabajo, con mis amistades, en casa, en fin, y va a incrementarse conforme se acerquen las elecciones. Pero ¿qué tanto estamos siendo responsables? ¿Qué tanto estamos haciendo nuestra parte? Es sumamente sencillo hacer comentarios, enojarnos, y tener una opinión pero eso no es suficiente.

Tu Voto Es Tu VozSi realmente queremos que nuestra opinión tenga un impacto, y queremos que haya cambios sociales, justicia, avance, que se tome en consideración a todos y cada una de las personas, si queremos que realmente se refleje lo que este país es y puede ofrecer, entonces involucrémonos, informémonos, y si tienes el derecho de votar, hazlo. Tu opinión cuenta pero tu acción crea un impacto y genera cambio.

Alguna vez leí algo sobre reglas básicas de convivencia y recuerdo que iban algo así: ¿llegas? Saluda, ¿te vas? Despídete, ¿recibes un favor? Agradece, ¿prometes? Cumple, ¿ofendes? Discúlpate, ¿no entiendes? Pregunta, ¿tienes? Comparte, etc. Simples ¿verdad?, muy sencillo. ¿Quieres un líder que refleje tus valores? entonces haz algo al respecto.

****

We are in an election year, it is impossible not to talk about it. Today more than ever we need to be responsible for our actions and engage as citizens. It is our duty and our right. We need to practice it and be a part of the change in our communities, in our country, and together choose good leadership.

Every day I hear hundreds of comments on the political atmosphere in social media, at work, with my friends, at home, and it will increase as the elections approach. But how responsible are we being? Are we doing our part? It is extremely easy to comment, get angry, and have an opinion, but that is not enough.

If we really want to make an impact, create social change, have justice, make progress; if we want everyone to be taken into consideration;; if we want  leadership that truly reflects what this country is and what we can offer; then commit, get involved, get informed, and if you have the right to vote, do it. Your opinion is important but your action creates an impact and generates change.

I once read something about the basic rules of coexistence and they go like this: if you arrive somewhere, say hi; if are you leaving, say goodbye; if you receive a favor, say thank you; if you make a promise, fulfill it; if you offend someone, apologize; if you do not understand, ask; if you have, share, etc. Simple, isn’t it? So if you want a leader who reflects your values, then do something about it.

My oh my!

In the words of Seattle Mariners late broadcaster, Dave Niehaus, “I DON’T BELIEVE IT!”

I don’t believe it. That statement is alive and well right now. From the mundane (the color of my son’s hair―spoiler alert: brown dyed blonde turned orange) to the amazing (have you noticed that our Mariners AND the Chicago Cubs sit atop their respective divisions?) to the state of the union (hey, this is my country too!). It’s a lot to take in, and nearly impossible to make sense of.

I’m in the business of sense-making. I prefer to observe and listen and think before I proclaim my sense of any given situation or issue. And the truth is that, while people often expect me to come forth with a radical sense, where I almost always land is in the realm of common sense. I’m a linear, practical gal, and there is way too much going on―in this time, in this country―that violates common sense.

I can live with my son’s orange hair, because it is attached deep down to his good heart. And this really could be the year of a Mariners-Cubs World Series. I can definitely live with that. But what of the state of our union? The volatility, extremism, political machinations, and hate? These are hard for me because they don’t make sense.

2016 is an important year. We need all eyes on North Carolina, all ears in electoral and ballot debates, and all hands on deck. We must emerge with a common sense. That’s all I ask.

For my son and all children:

For my Mariners and all fans:

For my people and our world:

 

 

 

Silenced

Silenced. A word often associated with domestic violence and how victims feel. So while scanning my Facebook wall the other day, the title of a link caught my eye: Silenced: Gender Gap in the 2012 Election Coverage. It’s an infographic (which is apparently a schmancy graph) showing a glaring gap in major media outlets’ use of quotes from women—including on issues that by and large affect women!  I sound surprised, I know. Some of you might say, Traci, really this shouldn’t be so shocking. It’s still a man’s world. Blah blah blah. I know.

Even on “women’s issues”—historically regarded as less important and thrown aside only to surface when politically hot—women don’t rise to the level of legitimate sources of information. So what makes the media go to men for expertise on Planned Parenthood, birth control, abortion, and women’s rights? I think sexism is the obvious answer. Our voices are perceived as invalid, even on issues that affect us more.

Why is this such a big deal? Because the media shapes what we think about and how we think about it. It is an extremely powerful tool, and if you, your mom, and that weird cousin of yours, are not hearing from women as well as men, you are not really getting the whole picture. None of us are. Decisions are being made, opinions are being formed, and without the voices of women.

But we can’t let this get us down. We have to continue to speak up. About domestic violence and all the other issues in this infographic. And also about the economy, workers’ rights, and everything else not considered a “women’s issue” because really, all issues are women’s issues, and what women have to say about them matters.