Attempting to put into words the importance of the conversation that took place between Busy Philipps, Center for Reproductive Rights’ Nancy Northup, and SHE Media CEO Samantha Skey at #BlogHer20 Health has been a beautiful challenge for me personally. In a world where the #ValueOfWomen is put to the test each and every day, this open discussion on reproductive health was refreshingly honest, motivating, even funny at times — but also hit me with a few terrifying realities that I can’t shake, and frankly, cannot and should not let go of.
I, like so many other New Yorkers, often find it difficult to see beyond the infamous “New York bubble”. I forget that not everyone shares my views on the world around me, that not everyone holds the same morals or beliefs. Right now, I may not be directly in danger of losing my right to choose, but so many women outside my zip code are — and thanks to sitting in on this conversation, I’ve realized that I can no longer ignore the many women who are at risk. It is our responsibility to support one another as women – whether or not it affects us directly. In the words of Busy Philipps at #BlogHer20 Health, we need to make sure “that we show up. That we make noise. That we make sure people are watching and paying attention.” Especially as content creators.
On March 4th, 2020 the Center for Reproductive Rights will visit The Supreme Court to challenge a law that would make it nearly impossible to obtain abortion care in Louisiana. This is simply not something we at SHE Media can sit around and watch happen. It is our mission and obligation to lift women up, de-stigmatize their issues, say the hard things, and get people to act.
This is why our Voices of the Year Awards (#VOTY) hold so much gravity. At #BlogHer20 Health, Busy and Nancy joined the ranks of a decade of people who have received #VOTY’s based on their fight to make the world a better place.
Busy publicly announced that she was 1-4 women to have in abortion on her talk show, Busy Tonight. Busy also testified before Congress on her decision. “I think there is no better way to use any platform that you’re given than to speak to issues that matter to you personally,” Busy explained to our attendees. “I was scared… that fear was with me, but it didn’t prevent me from doing a thing that I felt was the right thing… the way I wanted to do it.” Busy’s selflessness opened the door for women to come together, as their own “Truth Tellers”, with Busy’s #YouKnowMe campaign.
And then there’s Nancy Northup, who admitted that she has to psych herself up before speaking publicly. The former “shy child” let us in on a little secret — you can be shy and still have a voice. Courage is simply facing your fears. Her adult life’s mission has been to fight for women’s equality, one of the scariest and most rewarding fights I can possibly fathom. Her fight is not just about abortion, but for women’s healthcare.
So, what can we do as content creators, influencers, and entrepreneurs to make our voices heard? To make sure our healthcare is ALWAYS our choice?
We can be authentic. The REAL kind of authentic.
In the words of Busy, “What I think authentic kind of translates to is being able to have some sort of self-awareness, and not just about yourself but also critically think about the world around you and your own audience.” Even if you have a small following, being real with your audience about your beliefs will create a ripple of engagement around women’s healthcare. “Tell your truth, ladies. Only good will come of it.” Busy Philipps exclaimed on our stage. These words are still ringing in my head.
Share your thoughts on social media.
“Here’s the joy of social media. We can have the kitchen conversation with hundreds of thousands of people around the country and really effectively make change. Not just like in government and voting, and these cases but also in business and hiring opportunity and making sure that more women are given a chance.” — Busy Philipps at #BlogHer20 Health. Need some guidance? Start with the hashtag #MyRightMyDecision.
Talk to your community — in person or through your website.
“We have the power. We are the vast majority. What we need to do is make that support visible. Join the movement to talk about your own abortion if you’ve had one. Also just make your support visible in any way. By writing about it on your platforms, by talking to friends about it in your community, or your family members, make the support visible. The bullies, the violence, the harassment, that’s what’s kept people silent. 7 in 10. All we need to do to win this is to make our voices visible.” – Nancy Northup at #BlogHer20 Health
The Center of Reproductive Rights has set a goal of raising $150,000 before their oral arguments to support all the work going into preparing them for their fight on March 4th. Stand with them by making a generous donation, especially if you’re the owner of a small business. I personally love to see when a business takes part of their profits to contribute to a cause I’m passionate about. You may even see a boost in sales!
If you can, show up in DC or NOLA. Busy Philipps will be there. Elizabeth Banks will be there. Join us to rally for abortion access. Tag @blogher in your Instagram Stories from the march and we’ll share them!
If weren’t able to join us at #BlogHer20 Health and want to learn more, tune in to their talk below.
Inspired? Yes. Terrified? Also, yes. Ready to fight? Absolutely fucking yes. Thank you, Nancy, Busy, and Sam, for lighting this fire. Time to let it burn.