Mid-summer can be a challenging time for the passionate activist. Otherwise avid groups of protesters might be distracted by the nice sun and abundant opportunities for frolicking. (Even the most serious of activists will sometimes be lost to a good frolick.) So, instead of saying “Give up your summer to devote your existence to canvassing,” – although that’s not an awful idea – here are eight ways you can incorporate activism into your glorious summer of vacation, beach combing, camping or maybe just lounging around.
- When picking out postcards to send to friends from vacation destinations, don’t forget to grab one for your local representative. If you have pro-choice leaders in your neck of the woods, pick out a friendly one and remind them how important it is to support women’s access to reproductive healthcare. If you have anti-choice reps that make it their job to restrict women’s access to healthcare, take note of this. Pick out a novelty postcard, but maybe criticize their consistent failure in a new language or slang you’ve picked up at your fun location. Here’s an example if you were in Southern California: “Yo Dudes, Stop infringing on my basic and necessary rights to control my own body and seek out necessary healthcare. Peace out.”
- Invite your on-the-fence-about-choice buddies on a picnic. Cherish the tasty food, the beautiful sky and don’t forget the wonderful country that we live in that allows us so many rights! “Gee ain’t it swell that Roe v. Wade created a precedent that allows women to make healthy choices about when they want to start a family. If we didn’t have that then more women would take riskier options.”
- Summer is a time to try out new skills and new t-shirts. Try your hand at silk-screening a phrase onto a t-shirt that sends the message you may be too over-heated to be chanting. My radical T will feature: “My Smushmortion is My Smushnisness.”
- When picking out summer music festivals/concerts/shows to go to, pick out some Riot Grrrl music and pro-choice bands.
- Better yet. Open up a garage or jump into a friend’s garage and start a pro-choice band. Screaming about a first-world country’s moral obligation to make contraception at least as accessible as Viagra never felt so cool.
- If going on a road trip with friends bring a great book-on-tape to listen to. How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America by Cristina Page or maybe The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti. Sure the audio version may not be available. But, that gives you an opportunity to read the book aloud, record it and then you and your friends not only get to hear some radical information on a long drive, but also the sweet sounds of your very own vocal chords. You can even pitch it upon your return home and, with any luck, get some summer cash and your voice forever immortalized for millions of Americans. Or, more likely just for your proud pro-choice grandmother.
- Maybe we’re past the appropriate time for choice-inspired theme fireworks. (Believe me, there’s a way.) But every weekend is an excuse for a Support-Pro-Choice-Legislators barbecue! Gather up some petitions and barbecueable treats and invite your friends over. Roast some marshmallows and then have a mellow conversation about the need to empower pregnant women to make their own decisions regarding their pregnancy.
- Lastly. Go to a protest. Volunteer at a local clinic. Write a serious letter to your legislator. Who am I trying to kid? If you’re on this site, you probably have a blast marching on various political entities, and are proud to participate and volunteer in any way you are able. What could be better on a summer day than standing on your respective soap box or capitol steps and challenging “The Man”? Savor it, if you can, while you don’t have to wear a rain coat or a parka.