Anger, Reprised

Anger is like gasoline. If you spray it around and somebody lights a match, you’ve got an inferno. [But] if we can put our anger inside an engine, it can drive us forward. 

~Scilia Elworthy


Over the past day or so, we learned that reporters were able to find corroborating witnesses for some of the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. So that confirms what we all assumed at the time – the FBI “investigation” into him was a complete sham.

The reaction has been swift.

I never thought I’d have reason to republish the essay I wrote a year ago – almost to the day – about the Anger we all felt surrounding his nomination, and ultimately his confirmation.

But here we are.

And this week that post feels particularly relevant. So if you were with us last year, I hope reading it reminds you just how far we’ve come. And for those of you who are new (welcome, friends!) I hope it helps you motivate and focus your energy. As always, bless you for everything you’re doing. I see you. xo, Michele


Wow. I haven’t seen women this riled up since January 2017. This is really big, I said to my husband while I scrolled through Twitter.

And it was.

And it is.

Page after page of women – enraged. With a white-hot focus and the protective instinct of a herd of mother bears, women came to the defense of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

As you almost certainly know, just over a year ago, after reporters “outed” her, Dr. Blasey Ford came forward to share her #MeToo story: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a house party in the 1980s when he was a 17-year-old prep student; he pinned her down and covered her mouth to stifle her screams while he and a friend laughed “maniacally.”

Women – as a group more prone to external processing – took to social media en masse, processing this newest MeToo in the most public of ways.

It’s like group therapy, I said. But with half of the population participating.

Women my age and older educated the younger generations on what high school was like back in the 80s and 90s – when getting too drunk meant that whatever happened to you was entirely your fault and “you should have known better.” Younger women educated women my age and older that times have not really changed.

Walking down that memory lane, I got tired just remembering the mental struggle of wanting someone to like you – and also wanting to ensure he didn’t “Kavanaugh” you.

And yes, I think “Kavanaugh” should be a verb.

Because what he has been accused of doing – what he almost certainly did – is so damn common that we should honor our collective experiences by giving it a name.

To be Kavanaughed is to be physically overpowered by the rich, smart, preppy boy that everyone – including everyone’s parents – thinks is such a catch he’d never need to assault anyone. To be Kavanaughed is to be assaulted by someone so respected that their word outranks yours automatically. To be Kavanaughed is to be pinned down by someone who would smirk and laugh while you flailed and fought for your life. Who would brush off the encounter like lint from his shoulder, while you slog through decades of psychotherapy, missed opportunities and torched relationships.

And the collective rage that we’re seeing on Twitter should tell you just how many women have been Kavanaughed.

So this group therapy session is a bit of a gift, really.

First, because we’re able to get all of these feelings and memories out in the open (if we want to, of course).

But second, because we’re doing it in a moment when we feel the power that comes with our collective rage, and we can use it to propel us into a place of even more power.

The 2020 Presidential election is no longer a theoretical goal. It’s just over a year away. When you were hyperventilating on your couch in November 2016 praying that November 2020 would hurry up and get here – these are the days you were waiting for.

But lately we women have been busy – school has started and we’re humming along working hard like we always do. It’s hard to stay focused, to stay motivated, to stay … angry.

But this fresh sweet Kavanaugh hell? Well.

They threw gas on a fire that had been simmering, but that – frankly – needed some fuel.

It doesn’t really matter if he did it or not at this point.

What matters is they clearly don’t care whether he did.

And that we can easily see.

We ladies can also see that two of nine justices on the Supreme Court of the United States have been credibly accused of sexual assault. Two of nine justices have been nominated by a President who was credibly accused of sexual assault by multiple women. Five of the nine justices have been chosen specifically because an organization that does not want women to have reproductive freedom had them on a short list.

They have proven time and again – with legislation, with nominations, with words and with deeds – that they are not interested in women’s rights. Hell – they didn’t even think allegations that Kavanaugh attempted rape when he was a teenager was going to be a big deal until they started getting frantic reports from their pollsters warning that women were hitting the roof.

Now they’re nervously laughing and looking around, wondering where all these women came from.

Huh. I wonder.

This is not a blue wave.

It’s pink.

Let’s prove it.

Let’s get to work.


Actions for the week of September 17

Note: Thanks to all of you who completed the two-minute survey! From Alaska to Montana to Massachusetts (and lots of lovely places between), we’ve got folks doing Small Deeds all over the country. And oh my goodness it makes me smile just thinking about it! If you haven’t completed the survey yet, it’s super short (and I’d totally appreciate it). Here’s the link! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8FL6KSB

Tuesday: Look for the Supermajority Bus Tour Near You

The Supermajority Education Fund bus tour kicked off in Atlanta on Sunday. It’s a national tour that will train and motivate women across the country, and lay out the Majority Rules – Supermajority’s “vision for how women can live, work and rise together”.

“Women, and specifically women of color, are holding up more than half the sky and yet we still don’t have the political power we deserve,” Alicia Garza, co-founder of Supermajority and principal of Black Futures Lab said in a statement. “That’s why we’re getting activated — women are adding oxygen to a movement that is spreading like wildfire across the country. This bus tour will support that movement by training, motivating and helping women realize and actualize their power. Our launch of the Majority Rules will help all of us take action so we can live, work and rise together.” (See Women-Led Organization Kicks Off Bus Tour To Mobilize Female Voters)

Check Supermajority’s website for a list of cities and stops. https://tour.supermajority.com/educationfund/

But what about those of us that don’t live on the route, or can’t meet in person? They thought of that too – so join the team virtually on their video call, which will happen this coming Monday, September 23, from 7:30-8:15 CST. Go here to register: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7186488664781926157

Wednesday: Swing Left VA Strategy

The Virginia delegate elections are November 2019 – just a few months from now. So if you’ve been itching to get involved in an upcoming election that’s a great one to get involved in!

Swing Left has a VA Strategy that you can help with in person or remotely, by writing letters through their partnership with Vote Forward.

Check it out here. https://swingleft.org/virginia

Thursday: Tackling Climate Change In Our Own Backyards

In the US, there are 42 million acres of lawn. Our country contains more acres of yard than of corn. (And we have a lot of corn!)

Using national averages, just our Small Deeds community has over 282 football fields full of lawns. (Give or take a touchdown.)

And while the climate crisis is hard to wrap your head around, doing a few things in your backyard feels manageable, right?

Phasing out gas-powered lawn equipment is an obvious one. So is growing some of your own produce (which is fun anyway). But you can also plant a tree that over time will not only reduce carbon but will also shade and cool your home.

And a plushy green lawn might have been all the rage when you were a kid, but if the only way you can get that is with fertilizers, it’s time to let that dream go, friend. Some fertilizers are made by burning a lot of natural gas. And they pollute waterways. “Homeowners pollute at a rate 10 times greater than farmers … ‘because homeowners don’t know what they’re doing.'” See As the Climate Changes So Must Our Horticultural Strategies

So if you’ve been thinking about ditching the lawn and planting native grasses and species that you don’t have to water and care for, go for it! But if you want to keep your green lawn, the Union of Concerned Scientists has some ideas for you:

The Union of Concerned Scientists recommends that you mow high, water in the coolest parts of the day, and that you leave your grass clippings behind to fertilize the soil naturally. (Alternatively, you can set up a really simple compost bin and save your food scraps and yard waste from going to the landfill – and get some amazing compost to boot!) Read and download their Climate Friendly Gardener report here: https://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/what_you_can_do/the-climate-friendly-gardener.html

Friday: Attend A Climate Strike Event

There’s just no getting around it – we must do something about the warming climate. The time for sitting on the sidelines is over. But how do we show how much we care about this issue?

Here’s one way! On September 20, people all over the world will go on climate strike. They’ll leave their work, their school, their home to go join others who recognize the peril we’re in.

Hundreds of rallies and protests have already been organized. Go to https://strikewithus.org/#about (In the US) or https://globalclimatestrike.net/# (Outside the US) to find one near you. Both sites have wonderful information on how to organize your own climate strike if there isn’t one already scheduled near you.

Not able to leave work on September 20? The global site has got you covered with lots of great ideas on how you can take part in the action from work. https://globalclimatestrike.net/organise/

You can also join the strike digitally, either by posting on social media using their prepared graphics or by using their resources to add banners to your website! Smart stuff, I’m telling you… Go here for the digital resources: https://digital.globalclimatestrike.net


WHEW! GO, TEAM! SUPER PROUD OF YOU!

P.S.: Why don’t you make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two? I bet they need it.

If you’d like to sign up to get this pep talk and action list in your in-box each week, you can do that here. Welcome, friend!

P.P.S.: If you want to help support this work you can do so via Patreon at
https://www.patreon.com/smalldeedsdone or via paypal at https://www.paypal.me/smalldeeds
My deepest gratitude in advance.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I read and respond to every e-mail. (Really! I really do!) We’re in this together. Don’t you forget it.

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