ONTD Political

Surviving in Trump's America: 10 things women can do to protect their rights

5:02 pm - 11/30/2016
After the shock of Donald Trump’s presidential win wore off, it didn’t surprise me that one of the first things I saw women doing online was advising others to get IUDs as soon as possible. Anticipating the end of Obamacare, coverage for birth control, perhaps even abortion, a lot of women started to think about long-term contraception and talking about their options online. With social media, getting involved is easier than ever. And with Trump– the most overtly misogynist politician in history – in office, we have our work cut out for us. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are 10 things women can do that might ease our minds, and protect our rights.

1. We all know that reproductive justice will be under the gun with Trump – and Pence, a well-known extremist on abortion rights – in office. Lots of people are already donating to Planned Parenthood, which is great. But we should also give some love – money and time – to independent abortion clinics and abortion funds (small grassroots orgs that raise money to help women afford their procedures).

2. If you’re considering getting that IUD while your insurance carrier still covers it, now also might be a good time to stock up on Plan B, better known as the morning-after pill. It’s over the counter now, but that could change.

3. Get a passport if you don’t already have one. This is especially important for trans people, because they are good for much longer than driver’s licenses and right now you can list your gender without having to provide proof, and don’t need to have your name legally changed.

4. If you’re a young person, find out what your school’s sex education curriculum is like and if you have comprehensive sex ed – protect it. Organize with fellow students, lobby your school board, reach out to reputable sex-ed orgs for help. Abstinence-only education funding could be reinstated and dangerous (and inaccurate) ideas about sex, sexuality and gender could be taught.

5. In the wake of electing a president who normalized sexual assault by calling it “locker room talk”, do not be surprised if you see an uptick of everyday harassment and assaults. Pay attention to organizations like Hollaback (fights against street harassment) and Know Your IX (protects students’ Title IX rights as they pertain to sexual violence), and find out your workplace and school discrimination/harassment policies.

6. If you are a DREAMER, immigration rights experts are suggesting that you do not apply for a temporary work permit if you don’t already have one as it could open up undocumented young people to possible deportation under a Trump administration. If you want to support undocumented young people, see if the schools in your area have appropriate and progressive policies and resources for DREAMERs, and ask local organizations already working on the issue how you can best support them.

7. Fight back against the misogynist-in-chief by making sure there are more women than ever in other offices. And consider running yourself. Look at your city council, local offices – even the PTA. Exert positive influence where you can.

8. Hate crimes are already on the rise since Trump won the election. If you’re afraid for yourself, or think your rights are being violated, contact the ACLU. If you want to support those that are being targeted – show up. Go to protests, donate money to Black Lives Matter and listen to what Muslim activists are saying about what they need right now. Pay attention to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

9. Start local. We’re all sharing on Facebook and Twitter, looking for ways to channel our energy. In addition to doing that and looking at the big organizations that are known nationally – find out what your community needs. What’s going on in the school system, in your town?

10. As the culture war rages on, one of the things we’re going to be told is that Americans don’t actually hold progressive values. We’re going to see an increase in shaming around issues like abortion, LGBT identity and sexual assault. If you are able to speak out about your experiences, able to share your story – do it. Post on Facebook, use a hashtag on Twitter or just talk to people in your everyday life. If we can lessen stigmatization culturally, it could help sway policy as well.

Source: The Guardian

I don't know about anyone else, but I really appreciate the concrete suggestions this article provides. Ever since the world as I know it came to an end the basket of deplorables shat on us all by electing Voldemort the election happened, I've been itching to do something, but couldn't figure out what. Now I have a few more ideas than I did before.Hope this is helpful to others as well.
exercise 1st-Dec-2016 01:35 am (UTC)
Do morning after pills expire? I'd assume they do, since most medications do.
As a woman who has very little to no interest in baring children, talk of this legitimately scares me.
shahar 1st-Dec-2016 02:48 am (UTC)
You can consider getting an IUD.
exercise 1st-Dec-2016 04:02 am (UTC)
I'm not really sure how I feel about that. :/
lightbird777 1st-Dec-2016 05:25 am (UTC)
Exactly. There are risks with IUDs.
exercise 1st-Dec-2016 01:00 pm (UTC)
Exactly, and these things just came out within my life time so I am not even sure that we are aware of the long term effects. I feel like a lot more research will be done over the years as more and more women grow older with them.
moonshaz 1st-Dec-2016 08:53 pm (UTC)

IUDs have been around since the 1960s, so I think the long term effects are actually fairly well known by new. I'm well past the age of having to worry about birth control myself, but fwiw, the ones that are available now sound a lot more appealing to me than the 1970s and 1980s versions.


This article is pretty informative, if anyone is interested in knowing more: As Memories of Dalkon Shield Fade, Women Embrace IUDs Again.

elenbarathi 2nd-Dec-2016 03:57 pm (UTC)
Good article, thanks! but your link there isn't working - here it is:

http://msmagazine.com/blog/2012/08/29/as-memories-of-dalkon-shield-fade-women-embrace-iuds-again/

And here's the Center for Disease Control's break-down of failure rates for different methods:

https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/
elenbarathi 2nd-Dec-2016 03:11 pm (UTC)
IUDs have actually been around since the early 1900s. My older sister had one for about 5 years in the early 70s (between her first and second child) and had no problems. My daughter (who's 27) has had one for nearly two years now with no problems - it's actually made her periods less difficult. She can't take hormones, so the IUD is the only reliable method available to her.

The beauty of the IUD is that once it's in place, it's there. It can't be lost, forgotten, stolen, used incorrectly, outlawed by the State, denied by some pharmacist, rendered ineffective by medication (as birth-control pills can be) or otherwise messed-with by anyone, and it's good for ten years.

IUDs got a bad reputation in the US because of the Dalkon Shield, which was a bad design. But that was so long ago that all the women who had the Dalkon Shield are past menopause now. The modern designs have an excellent safety record, and their failure rate is far less than that of birth-control pills or the patch.

Just for comparison, note that during the same period when the Dalkon Shield was causing a marked increase in pelvic inflammatory disease, birth control pills were causing a marked increase of sudden death: "For those who had taken the oral contraceptive continuously for 5 years or more, the death rate was 10 times that of the controls." They're safer now too, of course, but still less reliable than the IUD.

Edited at 2016-12-02 05:42 pm (UTC)
4o5pastmidnight 1st-Dec-2016 08:31 am (UTC)
Having the same issue, tbh. I have zero desire to have kids, but I don't want to undergo the insertion process of an IUD, I've had friends who had theirs come dislodged, and the long-lasting ones apparently make your periods worse (and I already have awful periods, for which I take the pill). IUDs can be great for some people, but they're hella invasive and not for everyone.
amyura 1st-Dec-2016 10:34 pm (UTC)
And they can fail. And then you're looking at an unwanted kid or an abortion. *Ask me how I know....*
elenbarathi 2nd-Dec-2016 03:19 pm (UTC)
My daughter had awful periods, and getting an IUD made them easier.
shanrina 1st-Dec-2016 09:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, I get that IUDs are great options for some people, but even though I never want to be pregnant/have children, it's still not a great option for me. I tend to wind up with a lot of weird side effects any time I go near anything medical, and I'll be traveling internationally a lot over the next few years. I don't want to wind up having a problem with it in a place where I either don't have easy access to a doctor or where doctors aren't as familiar/experienced with IUDs. BC pills are annoying but much less invasive, and I've used some in the past that, shockingly enough, don't come with horrible side effects for me, so I'm sticking with those for now.
sugartitty 1st-Dec-2016 12:39 pm (UTC)
This is me exactly. I've toyed with getting an IUD for a long time but it seems so invasive and the side effects make me nervous because I'm not sure I'm done having kids yet. The side effects of BC pills blow too but at least I feel like I can stop taking them anytime I want without having to arrange to see a doctor.
exercise 1st-Dec-2016 12:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah I was reading through side effects last night and one of the things listed was that you can stop getting your period all together. I know that for some women that would be a blessing, but I actually like the process of going through my period. It feels cleansing and is a time where I really hone in on taking care of my body. Birth control didn't even work out for me. I was much more emotional and had a harder time coping with stress and depression when I was on BC, it kind of made me feel worse over all, and it threw off my natural cycle. I haven't been on BC for years and my period synched up with the moon cycles. I always have my period on or around a new/full moon now. The only scare I ever had was while I was on BC. I practice safe sex with condoms, but those could fail. I don't want to be in a position where it does and then I am forced to go through with the pregnancy.
I am just not ready, and additionally I don't think that my body is physiologically prepared to grow another human. I have a hard enough time making sure that I get the macro-nutrients I needs. Let alone another human life.
robi0688 1st-Dec-2016 03:06 pm (UTC)
If it works :/ I bled for eight months straight on Mirena and after two ultrasounds showed everything was technically sound had to have it taken out. Not to mention the constant mood swings, cramping with any core movement, and debilitating pain. Not to mention the mood swings jfc.

Don't get me wrong, when they work they're a fantastic option, I just hate when they're billed as plug and play. It can be a huge ordeal when they go wrong and women need to be prepared for that.
magedragonfire 1st-Dec-2016 04:25 pm (UTC)
Birth control pills do, so I would imagine that the morning-after ones do as well, since it's all largely the same stuff (from what I've heard (not a doctor myself don't do this at home) you can take a large dose of regular BC to replicate the effects of the MA pills). I mean, you probably won't hurt yourself taking pills that have expired, but there'd be some kind of change in effectiveness for sure, at the least.

Not sure how long the expiry would be, though. A couple of years, probably? I don't know if it'd be long enough to get anyone through a four-year term. :\
moonshaz 1st-Dec-2016 11:38 pm (UTC)

Any drug has an expiration date. Afaik, that's a given. I have no idea what that is for plan b.

elenbarathi 2nd-Dec-2016 04:31 pm (UTC)
You can extend the shelf-life of pills by putting silica moisture-absorbing packets in with them, double-bagging them in freezer bags, and keeping them in Tupperware in the back of your freezer.

Pills actually do last longer than their official expiration date. That's more-or-less the date they're guaranteed to not expire before, even if you keep them on the bathroom window-sill. If you keep them safe from heat, light, moisture and bacteria, they'll stay good much longer than that.
maynardsong 1st-Dec-2016 02:59 am (UTC)
I hate that reproductive justice issues aren't thought of as bread and butter issues. It's definitely not an elitist issue. It won't be the "elitists of liberal bubbles" who get hit hard when anti-choice laws sink roots. Rich ladies will always be able to cross the border into Canada. My mom always said, "Maynardsong, if you get pregnant and they've overturned Roe, I can take you to India." Me and the rest of the bougie women can safely find ways around anti-choice laws without taking a major hit in our livelihood. But those who work three jobs just to make ends meet and already have children to deal with? Those who worry about putting food on the table? THEY'RE the ones that get the most affected by this "cultural" issue.
thelilyqueen 1st-Dec-2016 03:37 am (UTC)
Exactly. My grandmother, who led a very traditional life in a lot of ways (married at 18, raised four kids, don't think she ever worked outside the home, etc.) nevertheless had some radicalizing experiences/contacts and would talk frankly about the pre-Roe days and girls she knew who somewhat suddenly developed a yen to go to Europe, others who went to live with a previously unmentioned 'aunt' for a few months, still others who died... guess what socioeconomic group each of those tended to fall into.
cherriesarered 1st-Dec-2016 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, this. Anti-abortion laws scare me on a personal level (I have a uterus), but I, a wealthy white woman, am not going to be the one hit the hardest by these new restrictions.
amyura 1st-Dec-2016 10:39 pm (UTC)
Totally this. I live in Massachusetts-- if Roe is overturned, odds are abortion would still be legal here, and we have an excellent Planned Parenthood less than an hour from my home. If it did end up becoming illegal, I'm six hours from Montreal-- close enough so that if I got up early enough, an abortion could be a day trip. Most of the red states where abortion is more likely to be outlawed are further away from places where abortion will remain safe and legal. Women who live in poverty or even women who are lower-middle-class won't be able to just take a weekday off to jet up to Canada for an abortion.

And like thelilyqueen, I had a Nana who was staunchly Catholic (and of the old-school, holy pictures in every room, rosary every night, variety) and just as staunchly pro-choice, because a cousin of hers died of a botched illegal abortion.

Edited at 2016-12-01 10:40 pm (UTC)
elenbarathi 2nd-Dec-2016 05:26 pm (UTC)
I strongly agree with your first sentence, but not so much with the second. I think framing it as "not an elitist issue" misses the point.

Privilege is what's left to fight over after everyone's rights are taken away. I had my abortion in Seattle in 1987: cheap, easily obtained, no waiting, no harassment, totally professional - not because I had privilege, but because all of us had rights.

I'm long past the age of needing another, and my daughter is very unlikely to ever need one - if she did, she could just fly to wherever. But that doesn't mean we're not affected by anti-choice laws. What those laws say is that womens' bodies are not our own; that old men sitting in Congress regard us as chattels of the State rather than as free citizens, and arrogate to themselves the right to control our wombs.

Sure, it's more comfortable to be a pampered slave than a downtrodden one, but if our own bodies don't belong to us, then we are all slaves.

Time for all the liberal young ladies who consider themselves 'post-feminist' to wake up and smell the coffee: the fight isn't over, my dears. All the gains in womens' rights over the past half-century could be undone in the next four years - denying abortion is just the foot in the door.
angelmaye 3rd-Dec-2016 12:44 am (UTC)
I was just talking to a Physician's Assistant this week when I got my Depo Shot. We were discussing whether Cheetos would take away the birth control provision of the healthcare act. I made the statement that I could afford to pay for the shots, but I sure did appreciate getting them for free.

She stated it's the people that really need them that can't afford them.
ladycyndra 1st-Dec-2016 03:45 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. Its helpful.
moonshaz 2nd-Dec-2016 12:43 am (UTC)

'Twas my pleasure! :-)

lightframes 1st-Dec-2016 04:23 am (UTC)
This is a good list! I probably would not have even thought of #6.
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