Here are five resolutions to get you started on how to make women’s voices the norm, rather than the aberration or the token, in your home or community in 2017:
1. Amplify female journalism. The tirade of angry, un-intersectional, and mark-missing think pieces by boring white men on even trusted leftist news sources has made a nuanced and intersectional approach to politics hard to find. Their cloying and superior tone also makes it hard to approach a world that is so fucked up with the care, kindness, thought, balance, confusion, and resolution that we need. Follow your favorite journalists on Twitter and keep up to date on their politics, writing, and musings. Develop a trove of female voices that you can go to and trust, to report on, but also muse about, all the issues that will continue to plague our world. Support these female journalists by amplifying and sharing their voices.
2. Reject all-male echo chambers. The political podcast has risen over the past few years as a great source for people to listen to roundtables on political issues. There’s absolutely no excuse for all male roundtables and all male podcast editions in 2017, however — we don’t need men bouncing their ideas off other men, validating other men, and ignoring and silencing female voices. Whether it’s the ‘dirtbag left’, Democracy Now! interviews, or NPR, make a feminist pledge to give no time to the spaces that exclude women.
3. Resolving to read more fiction this year? Commit to female authors! People often resolve to read more books, come the new year. If you’re looking to make a commitment to reading more this year, whether it’s a book a week, month, or year, why not resolve to actively seek out female authors? Sexism in literature — i.e., what is considered worthy literature, and who is considered worthy of publication — is well documented and rampant. Reject rewarding the mediocrity of misogynistic male voices and fill your shelves with female authors, famous and niche, in 2017.
4. Looking to read more nonfiction, or engage in academic research? By the same token as above, if you’re looking to read more to expand your knowledge on anything — whether it’s history or politics or current affairs — why not make an attempt to seek out women authors to help you out? Female academics face sexist bias, are cited less, and receive less credit for their contribution to collaborative group academic projects. Whether it’s your personal reading list or your research paper bibliography, in 2017, fight the bias favoring men in academia.
5. Check your activist spaces. Organizing and activist movements should take up much of our time, energy, and emotional and physical space in 2017. But any of us who have been involved in these spaces know the perils of lionizing and hero-worshipping the men in those spaces, and the potential that opens up for abuse, sexismand misogyny, even in spaces that profess to be against those things. Reaffirm, amplify, and put at the forefront women, especially women of color, in your activist movements — whether it’s in person, at teach ins, sit ins, demonstrations, or published online.