9 Ways To Be A Feminist In This Desperate Time

by Lani Seelinger

The election of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president was by no means a defeat for feminism — it was a call to action. Now, it's time to step it up with some actual feminist actions you can take, now that Donald Trump has become the president. Having a sexist of unprecedented proportions as the world's most powerful man does pose a challenge for all those who desire equality, but that's just all the more reason to stand up and fight harder.

It's important to note that a feminist action doesn't have to be a grand gesture. It could be anything from calling your senator to wearing your "Nasty Woman" shirt to donating $5 to Planned Parenthood. All of those things are equally useful and equally valuable. The key is just to choose what you want to do, and keep doing it for as long as Trump is the president. He's made it pretty clear that he's not going to stand up for the female half of the country, and his cabinet is as white and male as they come. So, the feminism is up to you. Here are just a few ways to dig in, but this is by no means an exhaustive list:

March In A Women's March

Whether it's Washington or Wellington, get out there and march with your comrades in feminism around the world. And don't forget — the movement doesn't end when the march ends.

Donate To Feminist Groups

If you're in a position to do so, a donation to a feminist group like EMILY's List, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, or any one of so many more organizations fighting for women's rights goes a very long way. Even if it's just a dollar a month, it helps — they keep track of numbers of donors and donations, a keep both numbers as high as possible is a big deal.

Support Feminist Politicians

There's been a lot of talk about calling your congressmen and women lately, and those don't just have to be calls asking them to change something. If your representatives are feminists, whether they're men or women, let them know that you appreciate them for standing up for you. If there's a feminist running against an anti-feminist in the upcoming midterms, donate to the feminist and get out there supporting them as much as possible.

Wear Your Feminism On Your Sleeve

... Literally and figuratively. Be vocal about your feminism. Tell people about it. Wear clothes that show your dedication to the cause. Feminism is what needs to be normalized, not the forces that move against it.

Be A Visible Ally

Wear your safety pin, but don't stop there. Fight discrimination when you see it. Being a feminist doesn't mean just fighting for yourself — it means fighting so that everyone has equal rights, no matter who they are. So many of these rights for so many people are in jeopardy now, so many people are feeling threatened now that Trump is the president, and so being an ally is that much more important.

Read A Feminist Book

Reading is good. Books are good. Reading feminist books is the best. Donald Trump probably hasn't read a book in his entire adult life, so let that be an inspiration to you. You'll be better able to explain and talk about your feminist beliefs once you've read them in someone else's words, words that you can then draw on whenever you need to.

Join A Feminist Club

Two heads are better than one, and a whole group of feminist heads is even better than just two. Let your ideas bounce off other people's and grow that way. With a little digging, you'll definitely be able to find a feminist club in your town or on your campus. If there isn't one, then start one yourself.

Call Out All The Anti-Feminists

When you see anti-feminism, don't let it stand — whether it's coming from a kid at your school, a random person on your street, your congresswoman, or the president of the United States. Don't rely on someone else to do it. You have to be the person to advance feminism wherever you can.

You Do You, Girl

Do whatever calls to you, and do it loudly. Be proud doing it. Don't let anyone stop doing it. Remember, the aim of feminism is to give all women the opportunities that they deserve, and the equality that they need to really fulfill your dreams. Whether that means creating art, kicking butt at skiing (Trump didn't like it when Ivana did that), running a company, raising your kids, being your class valedictorian, traveling the world, becoming a politician, or whatever else it is — don't let anything hold you back. It is feminist for you to pursue your dreams, and not to give in to anything.

Like these ideas? Good, go do them. Hate them? Also good! Do whatever feels right to you. Either way, just remember: the feminist cause needs you now, more than ever.