The silver lining to having a pretty much crazy-pants situation is that some of these young people are freaking aware. I saw this Daily Show clip from Yara Shahidi, the actress who plays Zoey in Black-ish and Grown-ish, and I loved it. Yes, she still had the occasional teenager “like” and “um,” but she’s talking about figuring out your own opinions and beliefs and figuring out how to look at facts and start to reason, and then she says, “. . . a lot of that comes with your personal development and evolution along with a political development which is expedited by our current administration.” Ha! “Expedited by our current administration” just kills me. I love how it sounds both diplomatic and brutal at the same time.
But it is not just random celebrities. . . M and J are really interested and aware, and. . . they make me feel like an old fogey! I am not even kidding! Whether it’s bringing up consent issues with the cat (don’t say that you can’t resist petting her because she’s fluffy and adorable: that’s victim-blaming) or calling their mother out for shutting out the trans-male experience with some goofy joke about a guy’s package (I promise you that I can’t remember what the joke was, something about how Cute W’s old running tights were a little too form-fitting), these girls have moved beyond me. Which I love. This, my friends, is the long arc bending toward justice. These kids will move well beyond me, and they are so much more plugged into current events than I was at that age. It makes me feel really excited and hopeful.
Speaking of excitement, on Saturday, I’ll be heading to the Women’s March in downtown Albany. Yeah, I know. I’m not making it all the way down to NYC. M has a track meet down in New York, so we couldn’t do a repeat of last year’s full family affair, and we’ve been feeling crunched for time lately. I’m bringing J and one of her friends, so we’ll still get a chance to hold some signs and get riled up, with a bit less time commitment.
Wanna go? You totally should! If you are debating about whether or not you have the time, energy, or sufficient inclination to get to a march, allow me to recommend a viewing of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, which is on Netflix Instant right now. It’s a documentary about modern American women’s protest movements, and I thought it was really inspiring.
For even more motivation, you can couple your protest with a trip to the Votes for Women exhibit at the NY State Museum. I actually visited this exhibit last Sunday when J had a volleyball practice nearby and I had 90 minutes to spend in downtown Albany. It was a fun exhibit. I’ve already seen similar material during our trips to visit Susan B. Anthony’s home and Seneca Falls, but this was still worth checking out.
I was especially excited about seeing a real, scandalous “bloomer” outfit:
Did I ever tell you guys about the Daily Gazette letter to the editor that I wrote in which feminism, and bloomers specifically, was a feature? If I do say so myself, it was pretty good.
But I digress. The exhibit is good. I liked the fun artwork as well as the really hyper-local mementos from activists in Albany and Schenectady. Conveniently located right near the downtown Women’s March, too!
Oh, and speaking of super-cool young girls, another documentary that I recently enjoyed on Netflix Instant is The Student Body, in which a high school student explores her school’s policy of mandatory BMI screening. Yes, she has a film-making dad to help her out, but for a school project, it’s really well done, and I really appreciated watching her push beyond her own comfort zone. For me, it was another hope-for-the-future booster shot.