Town Hall Theatre Company — “The Revolutionists”

Please join Contra Costa NOW for this event.  We will be present at most of the weekend showings.

THE REVOLUTIONISTS
by Lauren Gunderson

Bay Area premiere
Directed by Susan E. Evans

September 27 – October 20, 2018

Previews: September 27 & 28, 2018
Opening Night: September 29, 2018

Liberté, égalité… sororité!  A comedic quartet about four real-life badass women during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror – Olympe de Gouges, activist playwright and feminist; Charlotte Corday, country girl and assassin; Marie Antoinette, fascinating former queen; and Marianne Angelle, black free woman from the Caribbean, a spy. They may have lost their heads but they found their voice.

PG-13. Sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any concerns about content, please contact the box office. BUY TICKETS HERE

 

Precinct Walk to support Rebecca Bauer-Kahan – Partnering with Planned Parenthood

Rebecca Bauer Kahan received Planned Parenthood’s sole endorsement for the Assembly District 16 race in November. She has continuously proven herself to be a champion for reproductive health, and reproductive access. Join Planned Parenthood and Contra Costa NOW for a precinct walk to ask residents to support Planned Parenthood’s choice for Assembly District 16. Meet us October 6th from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at 3685 Diablo Blvd Suite 250, Lafayette, CA.  To RSVP click this link https://bit.ly/2N98wON , or just show up.

Brett Kavanaugh Should Be Removed From The Bench

Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt

September 24, 2018

WASHINGTON–The news that Brett Kavanaugh allegedly committed sexual assault as a college student confirms what we’ve already known: Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to serve as a judge. He’s not only unfit to sit on the Supreme Court, he’s unfit to hold the position he currently occupies on the United States Court of Appeals.

Brett Kavanaugh must withdraw his nomination to the Supreme Court, and he must also step down from the federal bench. If he refuses to do so, appropriate investigations and judicial proceedings should commence.

The Senate Judiciary Committee should not turn Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing into a trial at which women face hostile cross-examination from a partisan attorney, and see their personal trauma minimized or dismissed.

We know that the Judiciary Committee is led by men with a history of opposition to decisive measures that protect women from sexual violence. The six ranking Republican members of the Committee–Grassley, Hatch, Graham, Cornyn, Lee and Cruz–each voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act of 2013, which passed the Senate 78-22. We know that two of these men, Hatch and Grassley brutally grilled Anita Hill and voted to elevate Clarence Thomas to the highest court in the land.

We demand that these allegations be investigated. We demand Kavanaugh step back from this nomination and step down from the federal bench. He should not be in the position to “judge” anyone. Enough is enough!

The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women

Have you ever been harassed in the street? Received a crass message on a dating app? Had a coworker make a comment about your appearance that just didn’t sit right?

You’re not alone.

With the #MeToo movement, it’s easy to log onto Twitter or Facebook and see just how many women are victims of sexual harassment. Whether in person or online, women everywhere have experienced it in one way or another. And with all the new ways the internet has opened avenues of communication, online harassment is more prevalent than ever.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, most online abuse takes place on social media. Although men are also subject to online harassment – which includes name calling, derision, and physical threats – the study found that online, women are more than twice as likely as men to experience sexual harassment.

In addition, more than half of women ages 18-29 report having been sent sexually explicit images without their consent.

This number is only growing, and while 70% of women believe online harassment to be a major problem, not many know how to prevent it.

Women are often targeted simply because they are women. Attacks are often sexualized or misogynistic, and rhetoric tends to focus on their bodies and sexual violence. This is both physically and emotionally damaging, and women are often intimidated into silence, preferring to disengage rather than put themselves at risk.

However, there are ways we can protect ourselves.

This guide was written with the intention of empowering women to navigate the internet without fear. We discuss common occurrences in which women are subject to harassment in their daily lives – on social media, at work, while dating, and more – and give tips and advice on how women can take control.

It is important for us to note that some of the advice given here encourages anonymity, rather than risking being targeted. While this may seem to run counter to the idea of encouraging self-expression, we believe that every woman should be empowered to make that choice for herself.

Our job is to give you the tools you need to do that.

We hope this guide encourages women everywhere to defend and protect themselves, and to stand up to sexual harassment, both on and off the web.

To review the full guide, click on this link: https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/the-empowering-internet-safety-guide-for-women/

 

Equal Rights Belong in the Constitution

Posted to Politics June 28, 2018 by Toni Van Pelt

Are we one state away from full constitutional equality for women?

Ninety-five years after the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in Congress, women are still not granted equal rights in the U.S. Constitution.

Donald Trump and his enablers feed on the resentment they can incite toward anyone who can be looked down on as “other.” The administration’s most recent actions to separate refugee children from their parents and use them as hostages to advance Trump’s political agenda undermine not only the rule of law but also our most basic humanitarian principles and common decency. Differences are scorned, diversity is rejected, beliefs are disrespected. History is rewritten and facts are denied. Acts of violence are condoned in the name of perpetuating an exclusionary, discriminatory white patriarchy.

At the heart of all this hatred is opposition to one of the most fundamental tenets of our democracy — equality. There are not two sides to this debate — either you are for equality or you are against it. And if you believe in equality, you must commit to its defense, no matter what.

That’s why I am rededicating myself to a cause that’s more vital, and more urgent, than ever: the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Women are still not guaranteed equal rights under the U.S. Constitution. The National Organization for Women has made ratifying the ERA a top priority because equality in pay, job opportunities, political structure, health care (including reproductive health care), and education — in particular for women of color, women with disabilities and the LGBTQIA+ community — will remain an elusive dream without a guarantee in the U.S. Constitution.

The ERA would codify reproductive rights in the Constitution and greatly support low-income women who are the first to lose access to affordable birth control when family planning services are reduced.

As we push for gender equity, the gender/race pay gap remains one of the most glaring and measurable examples of inequality. Not only do women make less than men overall, but when disaggregated by race, the gap grows even further.

The ERA would create a precedent for enduring and enforceable legislation that addresses the intersections of pay discrimination. Without constitutional protections, women will continue to face lifelong consequences of gender discrimination in the workplace.

It’s unconscionable that the U.S. Constitution fails to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of gender. Fixing these flaws is not only proper, it is essential to the continuation of our democracy. Our Constitution is not set in stone. It’s a living document that must reflect our core values and principles.

The failure of the framers to include women in our nation’s founding documents is a constitutional mistake that has long demanded correction. Now, with actions taken by state legislatures in Nevada and Illinois to ratify the ERA, the amendment is one state short of the 38 needed to make the ERA part of the Constitution. NOW supports an intersectional interpretation of the ERA that uplifts the needs of all women including immigrant women, low-income women, women of color, women with disabilities, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

The progress we have made — and must continue to make — toward women’s equality can be lost at any time because those advances depend on legislation that can be (and has been) weakened or repealed by Congress. Given the current political climate, this is more of a concern than ever.

In an interview with Vox,  Carol Robles-Roman, co-president of the ERA Coalition, reminds us, “The ERA has had momentum, and the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up, the messaging of both, really showed that we need an ERA.  People are realizing that women don’t have constitutional equality.”

Beyond the overwhelming need for the ERA from a legal and constitutional point of view, the campaign to achieve full ratification is a vital organizing and social justice movement as well. The next election will be a referendum on our most basic principles and values.

The suffragette leader Alice Paul, who drafted the original ERA in 1923,  once said, “We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government.”

I agree — and that’s why I’m working to make the ERA a part of the Constitution.  As long as there are men in positions of power who keep women down, we need an explicit guarantee of equality in the Constitution. Nothing else will do.

About the Author

Toni Van Pelt

Toni Van Pelt is the president of the National Organization for Women.

Lucie Brandon 1933 – 2018

Lucie Brandon MemorialContra Costa NOW members (from top, left to right) Katia Senff, Phyllis Bratt, Kem Tetlow, Nancy Bocanegra, Erika Maslan and Kathy DeFabio attended the memorial service for longtime member, Lucie Brandon, on June 9th.  Phyllis spoke on behalf of NOW, noting Lucie’s many contributions to the chapter.  Lucie was described as a powerhouse, and a dedicated activist who knew how to get things done.  She will be missed.

Illinois Passes The ERA

Illinois Passes the ERA,

Bringing Women One Step

Closer to Constitutional

Equality

Statement from NOW President Toni Van Pelt

May 31, 2018

After 36 years, the Illinois House has finally moved to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, bringing us one step closer to constitutional equality.

NOW salutes the hard work of Illinois NOW and its partners’ relentless efforts to pass the ERA.

The #MeToo movement has underscored the importance of strong legal protections for women’s rights, and our resolve to secure these Constitutional guarantees is unwavering. The hard-fought battle in Illinois shows that women are determined to win.

We know our work is not done and we will continue our efforts to help ratify the amendment in the remaining states. Not only will we work to urge our representatives to continue the fight for equality for women, but we will make sure the candidates we elect share our commitment to this cause.

Illinois has finally voted to put itself on the right side of history. There’s still more to be done to correct this shameful failure of our Constitution. But today, NOW activists celebrate our victory in Illinois and tomorrow we will continue the fight in Virginia and the remaining states.

15 Women Who Were Overlooked by History — Until Now

6 women

15 Women Who Were Overlooked by History — Until Now

It was not customary, in New York City during the late 19th century, for a woman to accompany a man to a construction site. Petticoats tended to get in the way of physical work.

But when Washington A. Roebling, the chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, fell ill with the bends, it was his wife, Emily Warren Roebling, who stepped in. She managed, liaised and politicked among city officials, workers and her husband on his sick bed to complete the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge. In 1883, she would be the first person to cross the new bridge — carrying a rooster for good luck.

Roebling is one of 15 women featured in Overlooked, a project we launched today, in which we are revisiting 167 years of New York Times history to write the obituaries for women who never got them, but should have.

Ida B Wells

It is said that obituary writing is not about death, but life — the last word, so to speak, on a person’s time alive. A good obituary is a carefully crafted final testament to a mark left on society, culture, history, whether good or bad.

But who gets remembered — and how — has always been a matter of judgment. And so to look back at obituaries over time is to learn not only about lives lived, but about how society assessed those lives. In some cases, a gap is obvious in who was, and wasn’t, deemed worthy of an obituary.

Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries, for heads of state and Nobel Peace Prize winners, but also for the inventors of Stove Top dressing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority of those obituaries chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, just more than one in five of our subjects were female.

Among the women who did not receive obituaries are Charlotte Bronte, who wrote “Jane Eyre,” and Ada Lovelace, a gifted mathematician who was the world’s first computer programmer. They were Mary Outerbridge, who brought tennis to the United States, and Qiu Jin, a Chinese feminist, author and revolutionary. Also Ida B. Wells, the muckraking journalist and leading voice of the anti-lynching movement (her wedding, however, did receive front-page attention).

It is said that obituary writing is not about death, but life — the last word, so to speak, on a person’s time alive. A good obituary is a carefully crafted final testament to a mark left on society, culture, history, whether good or bad.

But who gets remembered — and how — has always been a matter of judgment. And so to look back at obituaries over time is to learn not only about lives lived, but about how society assessed those lives. In some cases, a gap is obvious in who was, and wasn’t, deemed worthy of an obituary.

Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries, for heads of state and Nobel Peace Prize winners, but also for the inventors of Stove Top dressing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority of those obituaries chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, just more than one in five of our subjects were female.

Among the women who did not receive obituaries are Charlotte Bronte, who wrote “Jane Eyre,” and Ada Lovelace, a gifted mathematician who was the world’s first computer programmer. They were Mary Outerbridge, who brought tennis to the United States, and Qiu Jin, a Chinese feminist, author and revolutionary. Also Ida B. Wells, the muckraking journalist and leading voice of the anti-lynching movement (her wedding, however, did receive front-page attention).

Qui Jing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some women, by contrast, received obituaries that now seem comically inadequate.

When Frida Kahlo died, in 1953, she was identified first as the “wife of Diego Rivera.” Susan B. Anthony was noted in 1906 to have “possessed a figure of medium size” and “a firm but rather pleasing face.” Harriet Tubman’s 1913 death merited only 132 words (though short obituaries were customary at the time).

Emily Warren Roebling, the Woman Behind the Man Who Built the Brooklyn BridgeRoebling
She was not an engineer. But she was instrumental to the construction of the great engineering feat.

 

 

 

 

Ida B. Wells, Who Took on Racism in the Deep South With Powerful Reporting on LynchingsWells
Wells is considered by historians to have been the most famous black woman in the United States during her lifetime, even as she was dogged by prejudice.

 

 

 

 

Diane Arbus Called Her Portraits ‘A Secret About a Secret’Diabe Arbus
A daughter of privilege, she photographed those on the outside, and her work has been hailed as brave and reviled as freakish.

 

 

 

 

 

Marsha P. Johnson, a Transgender Pioneer and ActivistJohnson
When she died at 46, under murky circumstances, Johnson was mourned by many friends but her death did not attract much notice in the mainstream press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from the Contra Costa Women’s March

 

Women's March 14 Women's March 13 Women's March 12 Women's March 10 Women's March 11 Women's March 9 Women's March 8 Women's March 6 Women's March 7 Women's March 5 Women's March 4 Women's March 3 Women's March 2 Women's March 1

 

Holiday Party with STAND!

As part of our community outreach we collected donations of items for women’s shelters in our county through STAND! For Families Free of Violence.  Items included women’s underclothes, women’s socks, children’s underclothes, children’s socks, adult pajamas, child pajamas, diapers, hygiene supplies (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, tampons, pads, hairbrushes, bath soap-liquid, hand soap-liquid), bed sheets, towels, pillows, back packs w/school supplies, journals and pens.

Rhonda, director of STAND!, raised our awareness of how STAND! operates and the various problems it faces.  Funding is mainly through grants, then donations.

Below is a photo of the Board members in front of a table with various donations.

Stand Party

 

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