This year’s Women’s Equality Day celebrates the 99th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, signed into law on August 26th, 1920. Give your fellow sisters a solid high five, celebrate your own wins in gender equality, and while you’re at it, go ahead: set a few intentions to pursue in the next year that will help further our collective progress.
Here are three intentions that all of us should include on our agenda to honor Women’s Equality Day this year.
Exercise Your Right to Vote
Following the end of World War I, women’s suffragists were finally able to convince President Woodrow Wilson that they deserved to let their voices be heard, after having spent many years demanding the right to vote.
Thanks to them, we’ve got the right to vote, so let’s use it! Only 55 percent of eligible women cast a vote in the 2018 midterm elections — approximately 65 million women out of the 81 million who were registered voters. And we did good! Americans elected a record number of women into political office, believing these officials to be the best representatives of our nation. Congress still has plenty of room to be more representative, and getting there will take even more voter engagement from the public, regardless of your gender identity. Vote in your local elections and the upcoming primaries, and while you’re at, help protect every eligible voter’s right to cast a ballot in the upcoming elections by linking up with an initiative like Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight 2020.
Normalize the Nipple
Here’s an intention that you might not have thought to consider: Leading up to the centennial anniversary in 2020, let’s normalize the nipple.
Yesterday, communities across the country went topless in organized demonstrations against the discrimination that women face for daring to bare their nipples in public. Going topless whenever the hell you feel like it is countercultural in a way that can make the more prudish members of the public squirm and can leave many of us vulnerable to very real harassment, but the reality is that it is 2019 and women are getting fired from their jobs on the basis of what they do with their breasts outside of the classroom, or getting kicked out of public pools for breastfeeding a child. I mean, it hasn’t been so long since Brandi Chastain’s shocked the world by daring to take off her shirt while on the soccer field, an act that her male counterparts do without so much as a peep from the public or the media. This year, try doing some mundane, nonsexual things with your boobs out and be bold AF while you’re doing it. Get ready to stare down some haters.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
When the US Women’s National Soccer Team took home the World Cup this year, the stadium broke out in cheers — and chants for equal pay. It had been the topic of conversation in the country for months leading up to the match; the demand of receiving “equal pay for equal work” has held steady as the USWNT look toward their trial against US Soccer in May next year. When our icons receive equal pay for equal work, it will be a substantive and symbolic win for all women.
Aside from engaging with media that covers equal pay for equal work in women’s sports, make your support for wage equity known by showing up as a fan — for soccer, for ice hockey, basketball, you pick. This is one small way for you to be an advocate through the power of your pocketbook; when combined with the support of a large coalition of energized fans, the revenue you will generate is going to catch the attention of the heads of these organizations as well as potential corporate sponsors.