Thursday, July 14, 2005

grassroots disappointment

Opening up my email today (for about the 6th time -- I'm a bit of a compulsive email checker), I came across an email from NARAL Pro-Choice America, with the subject line, "Help us mobilize 250,000 women in key states."
At first, I was really excited -- "finally," I thought, "they're going to tell me what I can actually do!"
Scroll, scroll, scroll, and then the dreaded words "Click here to make your pledge online now."

Now, I'm not saying that these organizations -- NARAL, Feminist Majority, NOW, etc -- don't need your contributions. They do, most definitely. I have no problem with their reminding people that they're nonprofit NGOs and need contributions in order to keep running.

I do, however, have a problem with their assumptions that: a) the only thing people will do is give money or sign pre-written form letters to their senators/representatives, and b) that the only way people can help is through financial contributions.

Maybe the reason I have such a problem with this is because I'm a poor, broke-ass college student who doesn't have any money to give to them.
And in their logic, it seems like the only way I'd be of use to them is if I had money to contribute to their fight. I'm not a useless blob just because I'm racking up debts that I'll be paying off until I'm 62. I want to be in there, I want to be the one that's actually fighting.

Why is it that the only actions they ever offer to us are form letters and forking over money? There's got to be more I can offer the pro-choice/feminist/whatever movement as a college student than money and harassing my senators, both of whom have already pretty much vowed to not let Bushie stack the Supreme Court.

Anyway, so I wrote an email to Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, saying basically what I said above, telling her to, instead of offering just the standard options for recourse, to really give us something to do.
I think she'd be surprised at the response if she gave people more to do than putting their names on letters they didn't even write.

And then, I suggested that NARAL and NOW and FMF and whoever else host another March for Women's Lives. Because it's been over a year. And now, we've got something real, something tangible to rally behind; there actually is an imminent threat to our control over our own ovaries.
I know that I, for one, would be down in DC (even in this heat) in a second if they held another one.

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