What Do You Do When Your Family’s Anti-Choice?

Inspired by Merle Hoffman’s new book Intimate Wars, we’re sharing some of our own most memorable pro-choice/social justice personal actions this month. If you’d like to contribute, let us know!

My family members are anti-choice. This usually hasn’t been an area of conflict for us, because we typically keep our opinions about abortion to ourselves. There are two notable exceptions to that, though. I don’t know that my response in either of these conversations was ideal, but I did the best I could to defend my pro-choice beliefs.

The Older Brother
My older brother and I couldn’t be bigger opposites. He’s staunchly Mormon. I’m a heathen Wiccan. One of the last phone calls we had with each other pretty much sealed the wedge between us. I was telling my brother about how excited I was to meet Gloria Feldt and Gloria Steinem at an event I had helped organized. This was a big deal for me. My brother changed the subject and started talking about cat poop in the litter box. I swear I’m not making this one up, ya’ll. I decided that I wasn’t going to let it go this time. [Read more...]

Some Lessons Learned While Starting an Abortion Fund

Several weeks ago I wrote about the frustrating experience I had trying to open a post office box for the Abortion Access Network of Arizona.  Well, I’m proud to report that AANA has gotten its feet off of the ground, and we are ready to take names and kick some ass.  We’ve had a few snafus since we started in June, but we’ve also learned several practical lessons along the way.  Here are a few tips in case you’re trying to start an abortion fund/nonprofit yourself.

There is one overall tip for all of these steps – and that is to pick a consistent physical address for your abortion fund. You will need it for your articles of incorporation, business license application, PO Box, bank account, and many other things that I’m probably forgetting. None of us wants the possibility of antis showing up on our doorstep for a home protest – but the reality is that if the antis are determined to show up your house, they’re going to do it anyway. So pick a physical address that you can use, and then use the same address on all your paperwork.

1. Establish your contact information. You will need a phone number and an e-mail account for all of the paperwork you are about to file. You can get a free phone number through Google Voice that will forward voicemail to your e-mail address. It’s pretty snazzy.

2. Get your EIN. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is something you get for free from the IRS. You will need it to open a bank account, file for a business license, open a post office box . . . basically, everything you need to be a legit organization. [Read more...]

Planning a Feminist Wedding

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post comes from Lindsay Marie MacAllister. Lindsay Marie works for an anti-poverty non-profit agency as the Program Coordinator. She attended the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counselor and Advocate program at George Brown College as well as school for Psychology at Queen’s University. Lindsay currently lives in a small town in Northern Ontario in Canada with her two dogs and partner. You can follow her on Twitter @LindzMcAllister.

Since I am getting married in two weeks, and at this point, can barely go a few minutes without thinking of something I still need to do, it would be the most appropriate topic for me to write on. When my partner and I decided to get engaged, I knew I would need to incorporate my feminist beliefs into the ceremony and planning process. As I mentioned we decided to get married together, there was no pressure for a huge proposal on my male partner or expectation that I wait quietly and patiently for him to propose when I was not willing to do so. We knew we wanted to spend forever together and that was all that mattered to us. We both got each other an engagement ring, only fair really, and went about sharing the news with our friends and family, together.

Planning a wedding involves a lot of compromise between the bride and groom; it is a big day for both people, not just the Bride. In our case, my partner cared about one thing beyond the two of us spending the rest of our lives together, that his parents and siblings be there at the ceremony. Through discussion we decided that if I gave up my dream wedding in Jamaica on the beach and had it locally, the rest of the details could be my choice. We chose to go with a toned down Scottish themed wedding, a rustic outdoors affair, with brown as the main color, a favorite for both of us. [Read more...]

Tips for Ringing in a Safe New Year

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. Many of us will be toasting champagne and kissing some hotty at the stroke of midnight. But did you know that New Year’s Eve happens to be the biggest night of the year for birth control slip ups? Before you get your stroke on, here are a few tips for keeping it safe.

1. Put some condoms and/or dental dams in your purse. While safe sex is everyone’s responsibility, you can’t always count on your partner to be prepared. I like to think of condoms in my purse as good karma. (You know what I mean – putting out your expectations into the universe, and all that other hooey from “The Secret.”) If you expect to get laid, chances are that you probably will.

2. Have fun, but be responsible about your alcohol intake. People look way hotter when you’re drunk than they do when you’re sober. You might have sex with someone who wouldn’t get to first base without the influence of liquid courage. So get buzzed, but don’t get trashed. Your decision-making faculties will be much better if you’re not three sheets to the wind.

3. Emergency contraception is available if you forget to put a glove on it. EC is available over-the-counter at your friendly local drugstore. It’s also available at Planned Parenthood. So if you do have a mishap, take EC within 72 hours to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

4. Be a pal. If you’re not big on drinking, offer to be the designated driver. Keep an eye out for your friends at the party, and make sure that they’re not unwittingly getting themselves into a compromising position. You could also send them a friendly message the day after the party, just in case they need a helpful reminder about EC.

For more safe partying tips, check out this article from the FFC vault, or this fun guide from Shelby Knox.

Happy New Year everybody!