I just finished reading Jessica Valenti's Full Frontal Feminism (she's also the force behind the website feministing). At the end of the book she has a chapter titled "Get to It" talking about how you can become educated and involved in the feminist movement.
I think this is a great idea for anyone wondering... what now?
Perhaps the most important first (or second depending on how you decided you were a feminist) step is get informed. Read books and blogs, watch videos on youtube, check out major news websites to see how they do and do not report on women's issues. (Check out my previous post on my feminist reading list if you're wondering where to start.)
- Get educated! Find out what your school district teaches by way of Sex Ed. If its abstinence only (and it probably is) engage your friends and peers in discussions about safe sex practices. Hand out reliable sex info so that people can truly be informed. Planned Parenthood is a great resource to check out!
- Take control of your sexuality. But be smart about it! Learn how to protect yourself and go to the Gyno! JUST GO. I know its not the best hour of your life ever... but seriously, go. (Not sure if you can pay, afraid of your parents finding out. Check out the closest Planned Parenthood to you.)
- My favorite recommendation from Valenti, "Have orgasms. By any means necessary."
- Volunteer at your local clinic! (Google can tell you where that is). Help them in any way you can! Whether as an escort, intern, or just help them raise money!
- From Valenti, "Find out about your local pharmacies' policy on giving women their birth control and emergency contraception prescriptions. if they're trying to keep women from their legal right to birth control, throw a shit fit. alert the media, write letters; if its a chain pharmacy, make sure the pharmacist is adhering to the company standard."
I love this idea. This is a great grassroots, local way to understand reproductive rights.
- Vote! Check out the webiste Women's voices. Women vote. Spread the word. Perhaps campaign for your favorite candidate!
- Check out the White House Project and find out ways to get involved with politics.
- Run for office!
And in general, read, watch, become an informed citizen of this world. TALK! Talk about whats important to you and your life. Don't let people silence you! If you don't want to talk then write! Write a letter, a blog, or in your journal.
Most of these suggestions are from Full Frontal Feminism with some added commentary by me. Thanks to Jessica Valenti for writing such an awesome book!