I originally posted this on Medium January 20, 2018, but the humble advice here works any time you want to make a political difference, especially a feminist one, even if you aren’t totally cool with crowds. You too can #resist, bookish nerds! – KHG
I went to the Women’s March in 2017, and it was amazing and powerful and meaningful. I expect the 2018 anniversary marches across the country to be much the same in that way, but I won’t be there.
As a bookish nerd, I also found the thousands upon thousands of people to be anxiety-producing and even sometimes a little scary. I was with a group of very close friends in 2017, and even with that supportive buffer, it was a lot to handle.
So this year, I want to wish everyone marching the best of luck, the best of weather, and the best of outcomes. I am totally behind you every step of the way. But I’m really far behind you. Like, at my house.
There’s still plenty for us bookish nerds to do this weekend, even from home. I started my morning with Resistbot, which lets you send messages to your representative in the House, your senators, and your governor. I chose my DC congresspeople and sent them a thank you note for their strong stance on DACA and CHIP.
My next move is to go to a meeting of my Hood to Coast race team. I know a couple of people on the team, but not many. It’s a more manageable size for me than a march of thousands. It’s my first time running this 200-mile relay, and I’m glad to be part of a team of women and men who’ll train together and support each other. And share a couple of stinky vans during the race.
I also did some research this morning to find contact info for organizations I’d like to volunteer with. I’m a writer and editor, so I’d like to use those skills to help others who struggle with writing or reading. I’ve got the emails in my pocket to send off Monday morning, when people are more likely to be in their offices.
A Few Suggestions for Crowd-Free Resistance
That’s my plan for Women’s March Weekend, but there are lots of other things bookish nerds can do if crowds give them the howling fantods. Here are a few ideas:
- Start a small politically minded reading group. You can read books together or discuss long-form journalism from sources like the New Yorker or the Atlantic. No hot takes, no tweets. Bonus points for encouraging and seeking out diversity in the group’s members and the authors you choose to read.
- Start an all-woman (and those who identify as such) role playing group. Play an adventure that allows for lots of cooperative baddassery.
- Use technology for good. Resistbot and Flippable are pretty great, but there are lots that have established themselves in the past year to effect real change, especially in the 2018 elections.
- Speaking of which, register to vote or make sure your registration is up to date, and then vote! I’m Gen X; there are something like 300 people in my generation. Millennials, though — there are a ton of you guys! Please save us with your votes.
- If you’re thinking of volunteering but don’t want to attend meetings all the time, I get it. Me neither. What skills could you offer? Do you know how to wrangle a database into useful shape? Can you proofread flyers and newsletters? Can you design postcards? Lots of organizations, especially the new ones that have popped up in the wake of the 2016 election, could use your help. Bonus points for offering these skills to small, local organizations that likely have fewer funds for staff.
Visibility and numbers are important, so if you can march, do! But if the thought makes your stomach turn, get your Spotify feminist playlist of choice fired up this weekend and make change happen from home. Let’s do it, bookish nerds.