With all the changes brought on by the coronavirus, one thing has remained the same.  We are all still united by our commitment to defending women’s rights, speaking truth to power and sharing information that lifts up our cause—and our spirits. 

I’m using these weekly updates to share with you some of what I’ve been reading, thinking about and experiencing online.  One important article I want to bring to your attention is this piece in The Atlantic, “The Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism.”  I love the way the article begins: 

“Enough already. When people try to be cheerful about social distancing and working from home, noting that William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton did some of their best work while England was ravaged by the plague, there is an obvious response: Neither of them had child-care responsibilities.” 

As you may know, NOW has launched a campaign called “End the Demand,” to address the commercial sexual exploitation of women, which is a form of gender-based violence.  This article about a disturbing ad campaign in the New York City subway system makes this point: 

“Will COVID-19 lead states to finally recognize that people prostituted in the multi-billion-dollar sex trade are not only harmed, but also in urgent need of housing, medical assistance, and other services?” 

 I also read with interest this book review of Susan J. Douglas’ In Our Prime:  How Older Women are Reinventing the Road Ahead.  As Leslie Bennetts’ review concludes: 

“The men who run our country have failed to make it a fair one, so it’s up to us. In this as in so much else, women are the logical candidates to lead us to a better world.” 

Along those lines, here’s a music video I enjoyed from the blues artist Keb’Mo’ of his song “Put a Woman in Charge,” featuring Roseanne Cash.  Keb’ Mo’ did an online concert last weekend for the organization behind the video I included last week, Playing for Change, and he played this song.  

As we all know, women living under the threat of domestic violence are more vulnerable than ever during this lockdown.  Here’s an article from CNN about how women are using code words at pharmacies in Europe to get help.  It’s an idea worth considering here. 

And I’ll be including this phone number and contact information for the National Domestic Violence Hotline in every one of these updates.  From their website

 For any victims and survivors who need support, we are here for you, 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. 

This is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and it is vital to ensure that the needs of all sexual violence survivors are addressed during this pandemic. The All in Together Coalition is hosting a webinar on Advocating for Survivors During COVID and offers a COVID Resources Center.  The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). 

We also encourage you to visit NOW’s Coronavirus Resource Page, which is updated with new resources and information regularly.  

If you are looking for other ways to connect with one another, NOW volunteers are making comfort calls to check in on our NOW sisters and allies. If you’re looking for something tangible to do right this moment, we invite you to sign up to make check-in phone calls with us! Our Political Director Sara Mitchell will be in touch to train you soon.    

Finally, if you received my phone call to members this week I mentioned the Netflix series Self Made, inspired by the life of the trailblazing African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker.  It’s a positive story for these difficult times. 

And how about just a few jokes?  I got these from a friend (first in a series): 

My Self-Isolation Quarantine Diary  
Day 1 – I Can Do This!!  Got enough food and wine to last a month! 
Day 2 – Opening my 8th bottle of Wine.  I fear wine supplies might not last! 
Day 3 – Strawberries:  Some have 210 seeds, some have 235 seeds.  Who Knew?? 
Day 4 – 8:00pm.  Removed my Day Pajamas and put on my Night Pajamas. 

Until next week, stay healthy, stay safe, and stay connected.