Take Action With Moms Rising

And share any actions you have to take in the chat!

If you're wondering why there seem to be so many more bills, laws, and other legislative action in the news lately, it's because the legislative season has begun. This means that many representatives and senators are proposing and voting on pieces of legislation that will affect many of us. Luckily there are a lot of advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations to keep us abreast of the most important pieces, and Moms Rising is one of them. The organization just sent out some important laws we should know about and act on this week, including:

The Pregnant Workers Act is an imporant pieces of legislation that would ensure workers can't lose their jobs due to needs while pregnant (like needing water to stay hydrated!). Click the link to write a letter to your local paper so people can learn about this.

We all know how important mental health and safety are, especially after the last couple of years. Lend your support to the People’s Response Act to help further mental help aid, holistic methods of caring for folks and creating healthier communities rooted in care.

It's unbelievable how high prescription drugs are marked up in the United States. In most democratic nations, drug costs are significantly lower. Sign here to ask for lower prescription drug costs

Have you heard of any other big pieces of legislation we should know about and lend our voices to--or against? Share them in the chat.

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International Boost Self-Esteem Month

Are you celebrating, and if so, how?

Did you know that February is International Boost Self-Esteem Month? It's time to help increase your self-esteem, engage in some self-care and really take care of yourself. There are lots of great ways to help boost your self-esteem, so let's share how we're tackling this sometimes seemingly insurmountable task.

Here is a beautiful guide to boosting your self-love and self-esteem, if you need a general place to begin. There are also some great ideas in books by SARK, Cheryl Richardson, Julia Cameron, and Sarah Ban Breathnach, among other writers. Some fantastic activists who've written about self-care include Angela Davis, Naomi Ortiz, Rachel Ricketts and maree brown. This collection from Maureen Johnson is a great place to start, too.

One of my favorite ways to better my own self-esteem is to just make myself lots of small, easy-to-fulfill promises to help boost my self-trust. It's super easy to make and fulfill a promise to, say, eat a meal, or drink a glass of water. Build up to accomplishing bigger goals and not only will you have checked those off, but you'll also believe in your ability to do them!

How do you go about increasing your own self-esteem? Share your rituals, habits and tasks in the chat!

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Why Comedian Commentary Doesn't Bother Me

Or why it doesn't bother me nearly as much as leader commentary does...

As everyone smugly gives up Spotify because Joe Rogan continues to spout hatred and misinformation about Covid-19 there, I can't help but shake my head. Yeah, boycotts work, and I typically support them. Yeah, I think corporations only cave when it comes to the almighty dollar, and most of the businesses giving us everything from eco-friendly products to "woke" characters are only doing so to make the bigger buck. But as a disabled person during the pandemic, I have to say I'm much more upset with the folks our bloody TAX DOLLARS are supporting.

You can boycott a jerk like Rogan, whose opinion is meaningless and who is only being followed by the same folks who follow people like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Riley and Ann Coulter anyway--while plenthy of other hateful podcasts continue to encourage violence, misinformation and harm, by the way--but it's not going to change the fact that our tax dollars are funding leaders who don't support science, who won't protect us with mask mandates or vaccine laws, and who go on television and say it's okay because only the disabled folks who are "already sick" are going to die and everyone else can just live their lives normally. Call me controversial, but I really think we should hold our elected officials and paid government workers more accountable than some racist shock jock everyone knows is wrong and full of hot air. 

There are nations doing this much better than we are. There are nations really caring for sick folks and doing so much more for their citizens with chronic illness. Here, most of the people I know couldn't care less and just want to get back to living their lives, whether that means sacrificing people like me in the process or not. I'll tell you what--most of the disabled people I know give back to their communities by the bushel, leading youth groups and volunteer activities, and they were celebrated pre-pandemic. Now they're scapegoats. 

Boycott Spotify, go on Rogan rants, whatever makes you happy. But at the end of the day if you're one of the people who thinks it's just fine that "only" certain people will die so you can spread the virus and get out there as much as you like, how different from him are you in th first place? 

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New Sperm-Controlling Birth Control Developed

Hopefully this one will help?

A new form of sperm-maker birth control has been developed that looks fairly promising--as long as it's actually used. This "testicle bath" is hormone-free and ultrasound-based, using heat to temporarily modify the mobility of sperm. It lasts up to six months, takes two weeks to go into effect and was developed by a woman who had cervical cancer. Using the birth control pill elevates one's risk of getting cervical cancer, among many other health issues, and industrial design graduate Rebecca Weiss wanted to find an alternative that is safer for couples to use.

Many people believe that sperm creators, who cause pregnancy in the first place, should have to worry about birth control. But since it's egg bearers who get pregnant instead, they can't rely on folks who may not be reliable enough to actually use their birth control--and since sperm-makers can't get pregnant, they often don't worry about it, leaving the side effects for their partners to deal with. Given how many egg bearers have high blood pressure, smoke or have other factors that impact birth control negatively--even with deadly consequences--it's really a responsibility that sperm creators should work harder to bear. 

Some data looks promising in this arena, as there's been an increase in vasectomies in Texas in light of the new anti-abortion bills. Sperm makers are getting more vasectomies so their partners don't face life-threatening pregnancies or jail time. It's a good development, but why didn't they do that before for their partners? My own partner huffed that now they are threatened by the loss of their caregiver, housekeeper, cook, etc. and immediately made me feel worse about the possible good news. Yes, that's where we stand in 2022. 

What do you think of this new birth control? What do you think it will take to get pregnancy causers to take on the task of preventing pregnancy with responsible sperm containment in the long run? Share your thoughts in the chat. 

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M&Ms are Not Controversial

But sexualizing them can be!

Did you ever think you'd wake up to hear Tucker Carlson ranting about how changing an M&M's shoes makes it less date-worthy, and that the change of the M&M's look and not Carlson's level of attraction to a piece of candy is considered the controversy? Pete Davidson called it. We're officially in a joke timeline. How can a grown man possibly be that concerned about candy? 

Candy isn't without controversy, especially when you consider whether or not it's fair trade, how dangerous it is to obtain, who gets harmed along the way and what sorts of damage it does to the environment. But... shoes? This is beyond mind-boggling. And the number of other people who care is just... really? We have a Supreme Court and climate change and a global pandemic and abortion and voting rights and... candy. Okay.

It's no wonder we can't make progress when this is what we're worried about. Folks, when you see this or any other ridiculous conversation taking place, let's throw the Women's Health Protection Act back into the ring to get some attention where it belongs. This needs to get passed and abortion rights need protection once and for all. Have other important, non-M&M actions to share? Post them in the chat!

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Mexican Abortion Activists Reach Across the Border to Help

Plans are in place to help folks get the care they need

It still feels unbelievable even as we become blase with the news that more and more states are moving toward outlawing abortion, my own included. Mexico is certainly under no obligation to help citizens of the United States after the treatment the country has received from our own, yet here they are, forming networks to ensure that people can get the life-saving medicine they need to have an abortion as many states try to create quick backup plans if these laws pass, too.

Folks are pointing out that Mexico once used the United States as the place to obtain abortions and now the roles are reversed. Plenty of clinics across the nation are creating networks between one another as well, attempting to create a safety net for people with uteri who need this life-saving treatment. It's absolutely outrageous that we need to do this in 2022. 

Call your Congress members and ask them to pass the Women's Health Protection Act. Tell us how your call went in the chat and share any actions that you know of to help pass this act as well.

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Big Anti-Choice Protest Planned for Next Week

Because super spreader events are super pro-life...

Of course the folks who claim they are "pro-life" by fighting for fetuses rather than the people who carry them--or on behalf of the millions of impoverished kids who could use their help--would think that holding a super spreader event like a giant anti-choice march during a pandemic is a great idea. Next week anti-choicers are planning to do just that even as we face the biggest numbers we've seen and hospitals ask folks to please stay home.

This march is scheduled for January 21, the day before Roe v. Wade turns 49. Anti-choicers are hoping for an overturn of Roe v. Wade this summer and want to demonstrate that they have the most support. Since most pro-choice folks DO care about actual breathing human lives and will hopefully be staying home to protect said lives, it's hard for us to demonstrate how wrong they are. But the numbers don't lie--most Americans support abortion in some way, shape or form and don't want it to become illegal. 

The ACLU has a great list of things to keep doing to support abortion rights, as does Planned Parenthood, but what are you doing locally to fight the good fight? Has anything worked for you? Share your strategies and actions in the chat. 

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The Impact of Internet Trolls

And system-shifting goals for 2022

$221 million. That's how much Ghostbusters: Answer the Call raked in, far above the average movie according to some sources. For some perspective, that's over $40 million more than Black Widow made last year domestically. Sure, that was during Covid-19 and folks weren't able to go to the movies as often as they normally are, but the way the naysayers talked about the movie, you'd think it tanked big time. It really didn't. I happened to love the movie and obviously plent of other folks did, too.

So as people went gaga over the latest Ghostbusters film that's "for the fans"--as if the previous one wasn't--but did you know that Answer the Call made more than Afterlife during its opening weekend? As excited as I am to see Afterlife--we're still avoiding theaters right now so I haven't had the chance--I loved Answer the Call so much and I'm incredibly sad that we won't get another one. The second installment of that movie is the one I've been waiting for, and Internet trolls made sure that's not going to happen.

I'm a big Ghostbusters fan--I even watched the different cartoon series and named my period Zuul, for Venkman's sake--and that movie made me cry. I loved seeing an all-women team kick butt. I loved the laughs, the cheesieness, the cool effects and how the tropes that made me uncomfortable during the first to films as a person with a uterus were turned on their backs during this one. And Holtzmann! Wow. Put me in a room with Spengler and Holtzmann and I'll be happy. A sequel would've been just as good. Or close.

There are so many things we can't have--whether it's safe contraceptives or sex ed or universal healthcare or abortion without judgement and hoop-jumping--due to people in power but this is one thing we'll never have due because a bunch of whiny babies complained about their "childhoods being ruined." 

What are some other really surprising ways that the power dominant gender in this country (usually the power dominant color as well) have affected you that you never thought you'd experience in your life, and what are you dismantling patriarchal system goals for 2022? Share them in the chat. 

What Sexist Drivel Were You Taught As A Kid?

Get your list. We'll wait.

"He's only mean to you because he likes you!" How many of us were taught that terrible idea? How many kids grew up trying to "fix" someone who continuously hurt them because all of that behavior was supposed to be a sign of affection, and how much violence could have been prevented with some boundary teaching instead?

Each generation has its own beliefs, values and sayings, but the Internet has provided younger generations with the ability to share those experiences and really apply a critical eye to them. Couple that with people sharing their own restorative stories and therapy tips and we have a whole generation trying to heal from these experiences. As a parent, I acknowledge how difficult the job is, and I know a lot of what was said was simply without thought, repeating what parents heard from their own caregivers. But I also acknowledge how harmful these statements can be and how important it is that we stop it now.

What were you taught as a child that you had to unlearn for your own health? What ideas did you not even realize were harmful until well into adulthood? Share your experiences and revelations in the chat. If you're a parent, feel free to share those experiences and the challenges you've encountered, too. 

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FDA Approves Abortion Pills by Mail Nationwide

This is great, but it's not enough

The FDA has approved abortion pills by mail for anyone in the United States, which is fantastic and long overdue. The ability to take care of one's reproductive health should be easy, affordable and accessible to every person who can get pregnant. That said, this is far from a perfect solution, especially since, as many have noted, it remains illegal in Texas and soon will likely follow suit in other states. Texas has a new law that requires pills to be dispensed in person, which makes anyone who violates the law a criminal. Pregnant people are not criminals. 

Many people prefer to get abortions done in a clinic setting for their own safety and comfort. They should also be able to get an exam the same day, as well as any other services and screenings to ensure their best health during their abortion. Abortion is a medical procedure that should be treated as one, and people who get them should be treated with dignity and care--not like fugitives who have to hide in their homes while they swallow a pill. 

The ACLU, various churches and organizations continue to fight this injustice, and they have some actions we can continue to take as we do the same. How are you fighting where you live? Share your actions in the chat.

 

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