I am a mother of an eight-year-old little girl. She is bright, loving, kind, quite feisty, and is full of hopes and dreams for the future. She wants to be a scientist when she grows up. I know that no matter what she wants to do in life, she can achieve it- there is no question in my mind. I don't worry about her ability to reach her dreams because she is so smart and so driven, and because so many women have paved the way before her. But, I left some things out about her, some things that may very well make life much harder for her ... She is tall, has long blond hair, huge gorgeous green eyes, long eyelashes, she has a toned/athletic build, and she has that perfect “California tan.” This is my child, my little girl, and I cannot tell you how many times in only eight years that I have worried about her, worried about her being sexually harassed at some point in her life, or worried about even worse.
It seems ludicrous that a parent would worry about such things for their young child, right? Many may think so; many may even think it was outlandish or inappropriate for a parent to even mention such things when it comes to a child. Many may wonder, who is worrying about these types of issues at such young ages? I can tell you that I certainly do, and I know that many more parents out there today do as well. Last week, America sent a message loud and clear to women, and to parents of girls - women are not safe here.
This week was beyond difficult for countless women. To hopefully spare more pain, I would like to place a “trigger warning” here out of mindfulness and respect for those who have been hurt by sexual assault. Sisters, please spare your hearts, and do not proceed if this topic is difficult for you.
Brett Kavanaugh is being interviewed for one of the most important positions in this country; he also has been accused of sexual assault - and the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee don't feel the need for it to be investigated. The woman accusing him, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, spoke about how she recalls Brett Kavanaugh holding her down and covering her mouth as he attempted to take her clothes off so he could rape her. She spoke about how she feared that the extremely drunk Kavanaugh would accidentally kill her in the process. She spoke about how the laughter of Kavanaugh, and his friend who was there, Mark Judge, has haunted her ever since that terrifying day. It is beyond me why the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee didn't think this was something that needed to be investigated. Even when women are found to be credible (as everyone has found Dr. Blasey Ford to be), crimes against us, violence against us, trauma caused to us ... is not even worth looking into. What message does that send to women, girls, and survivors of sexual assault? I can tell you what it tells me, a survivor of sexual assault, I can tell you what it tells me, a mother of a young girl ... it tells me that women are not safe here.
Back in June of this year (2018) a report claimed that the United States ranked in the top ten of the most dangerous countries for women. While many would find such a statement completely outrageous, if one were to consider the the risks women face as far as sexual violence, harassment, sexual coercion, and women's access to justice in cases of sexual assault, one may see why the US was found in this report to be unsafe for women. Many people don't realize that every 96 seconds a person in the US experiences sexual assault. Sexual violence affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, and one out of every six American women has been the victim of a rape or attempted rape. Only six out of every 1,000 accused rapists will end up in prison. And in the case of Brett Kavanaugh, if it wasn't for Senator Jeff Flake (R- AZ), Christine Blase Ford's accusations against Kavanaugh wouldn't have been further looked into.
(I would like to also acknowledge that it is not only cis women who are assaulted sexually. Over 3 million men in the US have been victims of sexual assault. One out of ten rape victims are male. Sexual assault also impacts the LGBTQA+ community. Twenty-one percent of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females, and 4% of non-TGQN males.)
Women are not safe here... but something can be done. We will continue the fight that was started decades ago by courageous women, we will stand, march, write, call, protest, fight, scream, and VOTE! We will do this hand-in-hand with other strong women, with our allies, with our daughters, and granddaughters; and we will never stop fighting until everyone ... Every. Single. One. Of us is safe.
We believe you.
Closer To Home
I hope that everyone has found a candidate or five (or more!) that they have been making time to help out with during this election cycle. There are lots of amazing Democrats running and they all need our support!
I wanted to take some time to acknowledge the amazing contributions to our community that our members have been making. It is so important to me that our club members find causes that speak to their hearts, and that everyone finds opportunities that they can give back to that support our wonderful Democratic values. The Democratic Party is the people's party, and I don't think any of us would be Democrats if we didn't deeply believe in giving back to our community. In honor of all of the community support that our club members have been giving this past month, I wanted to list some of the activities and activism that we all have been involved in:
Actions to stop fracking, Rise for Climate, California Coastal Clean Up Day, Alzheimer's disease awareness, many of our members (including myself) belong to DMOC (Democratic Moms of Camarillo) and raised $300 for CAUSE and $1000 to sponsor Conjeo Valley Pride, Walk to Fight Suicide, the launch of the Ventura County Climate Reality group, voter registration at Conejo Pride, National Voter Registration Day, First Responders Appreication Day, SoCal Stands with Puerto Rico march and protest, National Walkout & Moment of Solidarity (protesting Kavanugh), #BELIVESURVIVORS- protest against Brett Kavanaugh and support of survivors of sexual assault, Precinct Captain training, Ban Gun Shows at the Ventura Fairgrounds, Get Out The Vote and Flip events, and many more I'm sure I forgot.
From the depth of my heart- THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone out there trying to make a difference in one way or another.
If you are looking for ways to give back to our community, and/or to support local campaigns, please feel free to reach out to me and I'm happy to help connect you with a cause that speaks to your heart.
Calls To Action
- Don't forget the children separated from their families. Make calls, protest, donate, talk about it. Whatever you can.
- Kavanaugh cannot become a justice on the SCOTUS. Continue to call and express your discontent with the nomination.
- A proposal for 79 new oil wells to extract tar sands, expanding an existing oil and gas operation on the Oxnard Plain next to Camarillo airport. Contact Supervisor Kelly Long (who is in support of oil drilling and expansion) to let her know this project requires proper environmental review
- Flip the House - we still have a lot of work to do to keep fighting to win back the house. Write those post cards, make those calls, and advocate, advocate, advocate.
If you are on Facebook, please join our group page “Democratic Club of Camarillo” as we are constantly adding events, social awareness activities, and opportunities for activism there.
Dates To Remember
- October 4 – Next regular Club meeting
- October 7 - Camarillo Blue (Biennial fundraiser for Democratic candidates)
- November 6 – Election Day
November Club Meeting
November's meeting has been moved one week to November 8th, the second Tuesday of the month. That will give us time to digest the results of the election. Helping us will be Tim Allison, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at CSU Channel Islands.