on blogging + politics

i've been having a hard time again. this is a different kind of hard time than i had last year though. i'm struggling because of the political climate in our country, and i'm struggling to find ways to share my thoughts and encourage others to do the same. and sometimes, i worry i'm going to alienate my readers or friends by being too political.
but here's the thing: i just don't care anymore. it's not that i am intentionally looking to offend anyone, but i simply can't remain silent anymore. and i don't think anyone should feel they have to. it's important to create open dialogues and spaces where people can share their thoughts. and i hope that's what this space can be.

a lot has happened in the last few days (!!!!) since trump took office. government agencies have been silenced, an immigration ban was put into place (for seven predominantly muslim countries) and subsequently given a stay (for seven days), steve bannon was appointed to the national safety council (lololol), trump has pledged to break apart the affordable care act and leave millions without health insurance, we are once again talking about defunding planned parenthood, he's publicly stated global warming is false, he's attacked news outlets, his staff has presented "alternative facts," and much much more. are you tired yet? because i'm exhausted.

and yet, i've seen people come together like never before. i've seen people who've never thought about becoming political start to open up and post on facebook about injustices and show up to marches. organizations like the aclu and planned parenthood have received millions of dollars in donations.

i'm torn, because i'm passionate about SO MUCH and there's so much i want to do and say and support. it's overwhelming at times because i understand i am at once both privileged and disadvantaged. i am a college-educated woman with a job and access to private health insurance. i've never been denied the right to marry. and at the same time, i'm still a minority and a woman in a corporate environment statistically making 77 cents to the dollar for the same work as a man. my access to abortion is still being debated by a room full of men, and i still face racism and sexism regularly.

there's just so much. so i'd like to share with you what i've decided to do to make a difference. i've pledged a monthly donation to planned parenthood. i chose planned parenthood because i believe a woman's right to affordable and safe health care is of the utmost importance. because they were there for me when i needed them. and because now that i do have access to private health insurance and can go to my ob-gyn yearly for an exam, i want every woman to be able to do the same. i made the conscious decision to use my money to support the cause that is nearest to my heart.

however, i am still going to participate in as many marches and demonstrations as i can for every injustice this country is facing. because i am still the child of an immigrant, my friends are still lgbtqia+, and i still think our country is inching toward fascism. i refuse to stop educating myself; i've heard a lot of people say they just want to turn the news off because it's all too much but turning it off doesn't make it stop. find reliable news sources and READ them. if you have an amazon prime account, you can get a free 6-month digital subscription to the washington post. do it. it's free. read voraciously, and talk about what you read.

do not stay silent. i think bloggers have a duty to their readers and to themselves to use their platforms to educate. it's nice to have an escape and look at pretty pictures and light life updates, but the current state of our country is impossible to ignore.

so thanks, for hanging out through this novel of a post. for indulging me. and for all you've done. i've seen so many friends marching, donating, being loud and proud. my heart is so full. we have a lot of work left to do, but we're stronger together. and, at the end of the day, it's all about relentless forward progress.

// photo by my extremely talented friend, madeline heising from the women's march on washington

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