We Rise to Resist

Voices from a New Era in Women’s Political Action


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About the Book

“There are more seasons to come and there is more work to do,” Hillary Clinton told her supporters following her surprising defeat in the 2016 presidential election. Taking her words to heart, on January 21, 2017, millions of women (and men) across America—opposing a president-elect many considered a misogynist—marched in protest. Millions more around the world joined them in the first mass action of a new women’s political resistance movement. This collection of essays and interviews presents 36 voices in this emerging movement discussing a range of topics—activism, healthcare, education, LGBTQIA issues, the environment, and other concerns that affect the political and cultural environment now and in the future (www.werisetoresist.com).

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Paula vW. Dáil is an emerita research professor in social welfare and public policy. Widely published in the social sciences, she is a political activist, former journalist, and award-winning nonfiction writer. She lives in the Lower Wisconsin River Valley of Southwestern Wisconsin.

Betty L. Wells is a professor of sociology and extension sociologist at Iowa State University, where she focuses on issues of sustainability and diversity. She is a founding member of the Women’s Food and Agriculture Network. She lives in Ames, Iowa.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Paula vW. Dáil and Betty L. Wells

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 284
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7164-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3295-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: November 8, 2017—Another Day That Will Live in Infamy (Paula vW. Dáil) 1

Section 1. United We Stand, and Together We March (Paula vW. Dáil) 15

Moving Forward Together: Women’s Marches as Spiritual Practices (Mary E. Hunt) 19

Good Morning, America: A Photo Essay (Pam Kidd) 25

Section 2. Indivisible, We March On: A New Women’s Political Movement Arises (Paula vW. Dáil) 33

The Resonance of Resistance (Ashley Goff) 36

January 21, 2017: Marching in a Wheelchair (Alexandria A. Cunningham) 41

When the Whole World Is Silent, Even One Voice Becomes Powerful (Patti Herman) 45

Section 3. The Right to Protest: Warhorse Activists Report for Duty—Again (Paula vW. Dáil) 48

I Can’t Believe I Have to Protest This Shit Again (Sandra J. Callaghan) 50

Putting on My Marching Shoes (Rebecca Roth) 55

Grandma, We Were Never The Mess (Ahna Kruzic) 58

Section 4. Alternative Facts: Donald Trump Off the Rails (Paula vW. Dáil) 60

The Emperor Has No Clothes (Alice A. Thieman) 66

The Bully in the Bully Pulpit (Jennie Lusk) 73

On Whose Authority? (Nikki Stern) 79

Section 5. Not My President: America Goes Dark (Paula vW. Dáil) 83

Dancing with the Devil: Donald Trump’s Moral Failure (Paula vW. Dáil) 90

Diversity En Masse (Danielle James) 94

The Administration of Running with Scissors Strikes Fear in the Hearts of Everyone but
Fetuses and the NRA (Ruth Burgess Thompson) 98

Section 6. Climate Reigns Over All: Fighting Pipelines, Seeking Justice,
Saving the Planet (Betty L. Wells) 102

Fighting for Climate Science (Gabrielle E. ­Roesch-McNally) 106

The Making of a Climate Action Warrior (Miriam R. Kashia) 110

Homecoming (Angie Carter) 116

Road Talk: Conversations That Keep Us Going—An Interview with Danielle Wirth (Betty L. Wells) 122

Section 7. Sick in the USA: When the Personal Becomes Political (Paula vW. Dáil) 128

Real People—Real Lives: Conservative Politics Turn Health Care into Hell Care (Alexandria A. Cunningham) 133

Ten Months Later: A Retrospective from the Front Lines of Reproductive Justice (Heather K. Sager, Esq.) 140

A Canary in the Coal Mine (Dede Ranahan) 146

Section 8. The Lamp Beside the Golden Door Grows Dim: Immigration in 2017 America (Paula vW. Dáil) 151

This Land Is Our Land: Embracing the Strength in Our Diversity (Rabah Omer) 156

Stories from Inside a Refugee Camp (Tayler Bowser) 163

If They Push Us to the End of the World, We Will Fly (Ari Belathar) 169

Section 9. Somewhere Over the Rainbow: America’s Gender Anxiety (Paula vW. Dáil) 171

Families Resist: LGBTQ Rights in the Trump Era (Rebecca Gorman and Michelle Bowdler) 175

Feeling Like Sisyphus: Transgender in the Trump Era (Rachel Eliason) 180

Section 10. When Blind Justice Isn’t Blind: Women Face the Criminal Justice System (Paula vW. Dáil) 183

Is There Justice for Women in America? An Interview with Wisconsin Supreme Court
Justice Janine P. Geske (ret.) (Paula vW. Dáil) 189

I Am Not Resigned and I Do Not Approve (Michelle Bowdler) 195

When Culture and Gender Violence Clash with the Law (Mariya Taher) 199

Section 11. Saving Public Education One Teacher and One School at a Time (Paula vW. Dáil) 205

Goodnight Public Education: The Fight to Save Neighborhood Schools (Cassi Clark) 212

Stand Up. Speak Out. Be Kind (Abigail Swetz) 219

Section 12. When They Go Low, We Go High: Swimming in the Deep Rivers of
Racism (Paula vW. Dáil) 222

The Resistance Will Be Beautiful (Erica Gerald Mason) 226

Our Country ’Tis of Thee (Darlynne L. Campbell) 230

Section 13. When We Fight, We Win: United, We Move Forward (Paula vW. Dáil) 235

The Birth of an Activist (Kathy Steffen) 239

Being the Change: A New York Liberal Takes On Indiana Politics (Heather K. Sager, Esq.) 245

How Can I Not Resist? (Scott Thompson) 249

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, but Not Far Enough (The Rev. Sandra L. Ingham) 253

References 261

About the Contributors 263

Index 267

Book Reviews & Awards

  • A Booklist Starred Review
  • “No stranger to examining cultural paradigm shifts, [Dail] organizes this collection…around core issues of authoritarianism, immigration, gender rights, and racism, among others. For every person who railed in private or public protest against assaults on our nation’s cherished institutions, Dail’s anthology provides essential validation, affirming that dissent eventually works and that one’s outrage need not be in vain.”—Booklist
  • “The volume serves not only as a springboard for classroom discussions but also as a unique documentary source for future generations. We Rise to Resist contextualizes third-wave feminism by highlighting the diversity of women’s experiences while offering a space for reflection and a call for political action…highly recommended”—Choice
  • “A mother and advocate for people with serious mental illness, Dede Ranahan’s essay, A Canary in the Coal Mine, appearing in We Rise To Resist delivers a succinct call for actions that will fix a currently fragmented and broken mental health treatment system. A must-read for everyone concerned about this issue.”—Carla Jacobs, Past Board Member, NAMI National
  • “Treatment of Mental Illness in the U.S. is Mom’s job. Ranahan’s personal, professional, and civic life exposes public policies that reject medical science and condemn our sick children.”—Rose King, Co-Founder, Mental Illness FACTS, Political Consultant
  • “A modern-day Dorothea Dix, guided by her broken heart, shatters silence by reporting the uncomfortable truth about the failed treatment of serious mental illness in America. This story makes you care about forgotten families.”—Teresa Pasquini, Co-Founder, Mental Illness FACTS, Family and Consumer True Stories/Right 2 Treatment
  • “After 9/11, Nikki Stern overcame tragedy to shine as a beacon of reason and hope. Now, as we wobble close to tyranny, Nikki and the other excellent writers in We Rise to Resist collectively provide a way out. Resistance has many voices. Some of its most articulate advocates are gathered in this mighty collection.”—Lorraine Berry, contributing essayist, The Guardian
  • “The Women’s March [that inspired this book] has been called the largest, most spontaneous mass demonstration in U.S. history. My wife and I were delighted to march in the Nashville event and to feel the power of so many good-hearted people rallying for a better America. It was, and is, an inspiration.”—Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN, 5th District).