We are on the precipice of change. We are seeing courageous women come forward and share their personal experiences and it’s catching fire. But there is still so much work to do to ensure that the next generation of New Mexicans has the type of future we all dream of. But, one thing we are certain of is that our stories will continue to be at the root of this change.
That’s why now, more than ever, we need to encourage people – especially women – to speak out about their lived experiences – whether it be abortion, harassment, or violence. Bringing light to the realities that we live through and experience will not only bring strength to our movement but will also help destigmatize some of our lived experiences – like abortion.
The reality is that our voices are constantly under attack. It is not lost on us that since the very start of the Trump Administration they have been taking strategic steps to silence women.
In this atmosphere, the Trump administration’s actions look remarkably like a real-time backlash to the growing assertion of female power. The assault on women began almost instantly after the primal female scream that was the women’s march in January.
That month, Trump signed his first executive order (surrounded by men). Literally a “gag rule,” meant to prevent health clinics around the world from even talking about abortion
Blatant attacks like this are one of the many reasons we need to keep encouraging our friends, sisters, aunties, mothers, and grandmothers to continue to speak up and share their stories.
According to the Guttmacher Institute and the American Journal of Public Health, one in four women in the U.S. will have had an abortion by age 45. Think about that. Picture the women that are the closest to you, and understand that one out of every four will have had an abortion by the age of 45.
So why all the stigma? Is it because we live in a male-dominated society? Yes.
And let’s be clear – this is not about male bashing, this is about supporting women to speak up. Because many of us, myself included, have always felt the need to hide even the smallest aspects of my daily life. For example, hiding a tampon as I walk to the bathroom at work when it’s that time of the month. Even the simplicity of referring to our periods as – that time of the month.
We are fortunate, here in New Mexico, to have a healthy community of strong women that are working every day to raise women’s voices and attack the stigma that women face head-on. Recently, the Respect NM Women campaign hosted their second annual Respect 140 event. They brought together artists, activists, and supporters of reproductive health and justice to talk about the things we’re not used to talking about. Abortion. Miscarriage. Sexual assault. Simply put – our stories.
If you missed Respect 140 and you’re looking for other ways to feel connected to the power of storytelling our friends at the Tricklock Company have a way to help – their production of REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. You have to hurry and get your tickets, the only remaining show that has tickets left is their show on Saturday, Dec 2nd, at 6 pm. All others have sold out.
Tricklock Company kicks off its 24th season with the award-winning REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. by Alice Birch. In this implosive play, Alice Birch examines the language, behavior, and forces that shape women in the 21st century and asks what’s stopping us from doing something truly radical to change them. Told in a visceral, vignette-driven style, REVOLT is a ferocious and ferociously intelligent piece of theatre that will make you question everything you say to, about, and around women, our impulses toward each other, and a world in need of revolution.
We are at a crossroads and we need to encourage women and each other to speak out and speak up.
“That’s why events like Respect 140 and productions like “Revolt” are so important. Not only are they busting the stigmas of the things we’re “not supposed to” talk about, but they are showing that these things have been happening FOREVER. Sexism, sexual harassment, and just general hostility to women and our experiences are nothing new. It’s just now we’re talking about it and believing it. I love that Revolt is so successful, because it means that it’s resonating with people! Same with Respect 140. Speaking out, while not always possible for everyone, is important because it shows people that, yes, this stuff is real, and it is happening to the people you know and love, but it’s also showing others who have been impacted that they aren’t alone.” – Rachael Maestas, Digital Communications Manager with the ACLU of New Mexico and Board of Directors Member with the Tricklock Company
For many of us, we may not be ready just yet – but as we continue to chip away at stigma I hope it will ease the cross of silence many of us still bear.
“What has stuck with me the most from performing this piece, are the women who come up to me after the show. A moment that comes to mind is when a woman came up to me after one of the performances to say thank you. As she was fighting back tears, she thanked me for my bravery and told me that in her life time they thought they had achieved so much, but where they thought they were making strides they had only taken steps. If it wasn’t for the generations of resilient woman who have come before me, this show would have never been possible. In contrast to recent reviews, this show isn’t “feminist angst” it’s not just some fad or a faze we will grow out of. This show is the boiling over pot that has been filled with decades of systematic oppression and inequity. If you can’t “stomach” the show, move out of our way. We have work to do. ” – Diana Delgado, Artist, Tricklock Company
You can reserve tickets for the show here http://www.tricklock.com/production/revolt/.
We have work to do.