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Filtering by Tag: NOW-NYS

Feminist Halloween Costumes


2016 update:

For 2013:
  1. I printed out a map of Virginia and taped it to my shirt. Then, I used black eyeliner to create Wolf makeup, so I was Virginia Woolf. 
  2. My feminist husband had bells around his neck, secured to hooks. Also a copy of bell hooks' Feminism is for Everybody.

Updated: 2013
I posted the following a few years back, but some of it still rings true. I am adding some awesome new links to it. Can you please add your ideas of feminist or at least NOT slutty, fill-in-the-blank costumes on the blog post? Thanks!

More great ideas from:
  1. This great Kickstarter project which we helped promote
  2. Bitch Magazine
  3. Jezebel
  4. Very funny AOL
  5. The Tired Feminist
  6. Pinterest Bonus point if you can pick out the Godmother of VAWA

Originally posted: 2010
Cross-posted on NOW's official blog, Say it Sister!

There has been a lot of discussion within feminist circles about the lack of choices for Halloween costumes for women and girls. Almost every female costume is sexy -- whether it's sexy kitten, sexy cop, sexy nurse, or sexy fill in the blank. There is nothing creative about these costumes that encourage women to fulfill male fantasies.

Oct. 17 marked the 15th anniversary of Love Your Body Day, which is NOW Foundation's campaign [http://loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org/] to promote messages of self acceptance. With Halloween following right after Love Your Body Day, I wanted to compile a list of feminist Halloween costumes that includes a combination of my own ideas and a compilation from across the Internet -- because we must work together to further the movement.
The thought came to me because Noreen Connell, former President of NOW NY State, had the great idea during the 2009 Halloween of us dressing up as historic figures who agitated for health care. We had a blast marching in the historic Village Halloween parade, all while working for a good cause. Noreen dressed up as Francis Perkins, and I was Margaret Sanger.

Here is my list of ideas: (Please comment below with more of your own)

1. Israeli feminists organized an interesting consciousness-raising campaign against human trafficking. To borrow from their idea, dress as a trafficked woman - wear regular clothing and makeup on bruises. Have a price tag detailing age, weight, height, dimensions and country of origin. Wear a sign that says "stop trafficking" on your back, just in case there are perverts who think it's "sexy." If you choose this costume, be prepared to engage in educational dialogue. NOW-NYC has great fact sheets and action items here.
2. A Crisis Pregnancy Center worker who tells women they are sluts for having premarital sex, and that condoms don’t protect against pregnancy or STIs.

3. Gender-bender costumes: Have women and men dress up opposite their gender roles to discuss the problems of gender stereotypes.

4. Betty Friedan, founder of NOW

5. Bella Abzug

6. Catherine the Great

7. Anne Frank

8. Helen Keller

9. Wilma Pearl Mankiller - the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation

10. Rosa Parks

11. Eleanor Roosevelt

12. Indira Gandhi

13. A metal hanger: Before abortion became legal, many women bled to death with hangers stuck in their uterus. Although abortion may be legal, access to this medical procedure is limited depending on someone's location and economic means. Anti-women forces want to take away our rights by forcing women to choose between having to pay for a medical procedure, or pay for other essential needs such as food or education. Be a metal hanger to remind people that the Hyde Amendment is a metaphoric metal hanger for all poor women, and the Nelson Amendment affects middle-class women, also.

From Noreen Connell:

Write/Say something like "We are giving witches a bad reputation--we're for government surveillance of every woman's pregnancy, for cutting Social Security and Medicare and against same-sex marriage, the separation and church & state, and gays and lesbians serving in the military." Works for either person below:

14. Sarah Palin

15. Christine O'Donnell

From NOW’s 2008 ideas (where necessary, slightly adjust for 2010):

16. Safe-sex pusher

17. Back in the Closet

18. Rich Get Richer Woman

19. Alan Simpson with the words "I will send you to the poor house" written on him. NOW recently held our "Tits for an Ass" campaign to highlight his plans to cut social security and send women and children to the poor house. He had the nerve to call social security "a milk cow with 310 million tits."

From the 1960s, discovered by NOW Action VP Erin Matson:

20. Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, shortened W.I.T.C.H., was the name of many related but independent feminist groups formed in the United States during 1968 and 1969 who were important in the development of socialist feminism. Fopr your costume, you could tackle a variety of issues, from the White House leaving out reproductive rights in health care reform to other scary current issues.

More ideas from:

Democratic Underground

Feminist Philosophers

Planned Parenthood of New York City's blog

TCU Women's Network

Nothing Elegant

Bitch Magazine

Please respond below with more ideas of your own!

In Solidarity,
National NOW Board
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Co-Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

Disclaimer: This was originally posted in 2010.  I was going to write an updated one for 2012, but was sidetracked by Hurricane Sandy.

Fri, March 4: Vigil for Jobs: Create a National Jobs Program Joblessness and Service Cuts Must Not Become the New "Normal"


First Friday Vigil for Jobs - Come Stand With Us in Albany, Chicago, Dayton, Detroit, Long Island NY, and New York City to Send a Message to Washington, DC 

Create a National Jobs Program
Joblessness and Service Cuts Must Not Become the New "Normal" 

Friday, March 4, 2011  •  12:30 pm – 1:30 pm  •  East 47th– 48th  Sts. in front of Senator Schumer's Manhattan office, 757 Third Ave.

Join the Vigil for Jobs on the First Friday of every month BECAUSE…

This past year, one out of every four families in America have been affected by unemployment. In January 2011, close to 13.9 million persons were officially unemployed, and another 11.5 million persons, the "hidden unemployed," wanted full-time work but were forced to work part-time or wanted a job but were discouraged and not actively looking. The best way to solve this crisis is for the federal government to create a new national jobs program, similar to the innovative work programs created by President Roosevelt during the 1930's Great Depression. Senator Schumer, as New York's highest federal official, we urge you take our message to Washington. 

Congress and the President must act immediately to:
·       Pass H.R. 589 to extend emergency benefits for the long-term unemployed who have been jobless for longer than 93-99 weeks.
·       Resume financial assistance to state and local governments to avoid massive layoffs in health care, education and other essential services and which will disproportionately affect women.
·       Create "Green Jobs" in the United States and defund foreign wars and military bases.

Speakers at Vigil: 
Ed Ott, Murphy Institute; Owen Rogers, Equal Employment Council; Gibb Surette, U.S. Labor Against the War; Trudy Goldberg, National Jobs for All Coalition; Gaby Moreno, National Organization for Women-NYS

Endorsed by: 
Americans for Democratic Action, NYC Chapter • Communications Workers of America, Local 1180 • Democratic Socialists of America, NYC Chapter • Empire State Economic Security Campaign • FIGHT BACK • Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition • Healing of the Nations Fndtn, Rev. James Forbes, Jr., Pres. • Hunger Action Network of NY State • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, NYC Chapter • National Assoc. of Broadcast Employees & Technicians (NABET), CWA Local 16 • National Jobs for All Coalition • National Organization for Women – NYS • New York Jobs with Justice • Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, AFT Local 2334 • The American 99ers Union • U.S. Labor Against the War, NYC Chapter • Veterans for Peace, NYC Chapter • Workers Defense League, Inc. 

• Individual Endorsements, org. for identification only: 
Tom Anderson, Vice Chairman, Organization of Staff Analysts • Keith Brooks, United Federation of Teachers • Leslie Cagan, Co-Founder, Organization United for Peace and Justice • Barbara Garson, author • Connie Gruber • Martin Melkonian, Adj. Assoc. Professor, Hofstra University • Ed Ott, former Exec. Dir. NYC Central Labor Council • Dorothy Savage, Former Dir. of Education & Leadership Ministries, The National Council of Churches • Julia Willebrand, delegate, U.S. Green Party Natl. Committee

Contact: national vigil coordinator Logan Martinez (937-433-8260 or 937-275-7259 or loganmartinez(at)hotmail.com
NYS vigil coordinator, Noreen Connell, 212-586-3257 or norconnell(at)aol.com

Sat, 1/22, 12pm-2pm: Community Speak-Out for Reproductive Freedom for Roe vs. Wade Anniversary


Hope you can attend the following, which both National Organization for Women (NOW) - New York State and the NOW New York State -- Young Feminist Task Force are endorsing.  I will attend, along with other NOW New York State Young Feminist Task Force members. 
Community Speak Out for Reproductive Freedom
Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
Celebrating 38 years since Roe v. Wade

11am - Gather
We need people to help establish a Pro-Choice zone.  We have a permit and need people to help occupy as much space as possible so that the Anti-choice forces can't.

12noon - Speakout
Come share your story of how choice and reproductive freedom have helped change your life, commemorate Roe v. Wade and the bravery of abortion providers in the face of increased terrorism against abortion clinics, and support a local clinic under attack.

Dr. Emily's Women's Health Center
560 Southern Boulevard, South Bronx
#6 Train to E. 149th St.
BX19 Bus to Southern & 149th

How you can participate:
1) Endorse! Email nycradicalwomen@nyct.net with your org name
2) Forward! Send this to your e-lists
3) Speak out! On 1/22 - we're asking that all speakers (even org. representatives) share their stories of how reproductive freedom and specifically abortion have positively impacted their lives.
Individuals -
1) Forward! Send this to your friends, make announcements at meetings, and help get the word out.  Flyers are also available for leafletting!
2) Join! "Like" the New York Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense here.
3) Attend! Come early on 1/22 to help us establish our protest area
4) Early birds, if you can't attend (or even if you can!) we need help calling the media at 6am the morning of the event.
5) Speak out! Come to speak your mind about the abortion you aren't sorry you had, the reproductive freedom you want to maintain, or the abortion provider who made the difference in your life.  Even if you wish to remain anonymous, you can give us a written statement to read on stage so that we can share your support for reproductive freedom.
Interested in helping? Email nycradicalwomen@nyct.net or call 212-222-0633

Sponsored by: New York Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense and Radical Women
Endorsed by: Freedom Socialist Party, National Organization for Women (NOW): NY State, BKLN/QNS, Young Feminist Task Force; Socialist Core, World Can't Wait, National Women's Liberation

In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Political Action Committee
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

Fri, Jan 7, 12:30pm – 1:30pm: Vigil for Jobs -- Stand With Us to Send a Message to Washington, DC


First Friday Vigil for Jobs - Come Stand With Us to Send a Message to Washington, DC 
Create a National Jobs Program 
"People need to cut through Washington double talk about 'stimulus' and make the 
 politicians embrace the right word — 'jobs…jobs…jobs' — that is the true solution." 
-- William Greider  The Nation 

Friday, January 7, 2011   •   12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
in front of Senator Schumer's Manhattan office, 757 Third Ave.
(between E. 47th & E. 48th Streets)

Join the Vigil on the First Friday of every month (after the release of monthly unemployment data by Bureau of Labor Statistics) BECAUSE…
•  In November 2010, 15 million persons were officially unemployed, and another 15 million persons wanted full-time work but were forced to work part-time or had given up looking for work. The unemployment rate of single women heads of households is double that of married women and married men. This past year, one out of every four families in America have been affected by unemployment.  This must not become the "new normal."
• The best way to solve this crisis is for the federal government to create a new national jobs program, similar to the innovative work programs created by President Roosevelt during the 1930's Great Depression. 
• Congress must also act immediately to 1) extend benefits for the long-term unemployed who have been jobless for longer than 93-99 weeks and 2) continue financial assistance to state and local governments to avoid massive layoffs in health care, education and other essential services.
Speakers at Vigil:
Hazel Dukes, NAACP-NYS,
Bill Henning, CWA-Local 1180,
Charles Bell, NJFAC,
Heidi Siegfried, Hunger Action Network,
Noreen Connell, NOW-NYS
Endorsed by…
Communications Workers of America, Local 1180
Empire State Economic Security Campaign
Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
Healing of the Nations Fndtn, Rev. James Forbes, Jr., Pres.
Hunger Action Network of NY State
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, NYC Chapter
National Jobs for All Coalition

National Organization for Women - NYS
New York City
 Chapter of U.S. Labor Against the War
NYC Democratic Socialists of America
Workers Defense League, Inc.
Individual Endorsements, org. for identification only:
Ed Ott, former Exec. Dir. NYC Central Labor Council
Jim Perlstein, Retiree Chptr, Profesional Staff Congress/CUNY
Paul Vasquez, Pres., NABET-CWA Local 16
For more info contact www.njfac.org or
NYC vigil coordinator, Noreen Connell, 212-586-3257, norconnell@aol.com 

Health Reform Town Hall Summary


On Thursday, Dec 2, National Organization for Women NY State co-sponsored "Health Reform: The Battles Ahead in Albany and Washington."  I was thrilled to see head of National Physicians Alliance NYC Chapter (NPA_NYC), Pro-Choice Dr. Sharon Phillips in the audience.  She wrote the following thoughtful piece about the event, cross-posted from the NPA_NYC blog.
In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa

National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Political Action Committee
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

Town Hall in Brooklyn December 2nd, 2010

NPA New York Local Action Network cosponsored an event on December 2nd with multiple organizations** entitled “Health Reform: The Battles Ahead in Albany and Washington.” Those who attended were fortunate to hear from New York experts Dr. John McDonough (Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College); Mark Hannay (Director of Metro New York Health Care for All); Kinda Serafi (Senior Health Policy Associate at the Children’s Defense Fund); NPA’s Dr. Bill Jordan (NPA board member and co-chair of health policy for the Public Health Association of New York), Jenny Rejeske (Director of Health Advocacy for the New York Immigration Coalition), and Lois Uttley (Director of the Mergerwatch Project, co-founder of Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, and Board Member of PHANYC).

Dr McDonough began the talk with an overview of the provision of the Health Reform Act, also known as the PPACA. The goal of the act is to improve access to health care through nine different measures:

1) Affordable and available coverage through creation of an insurance exchange and subsidies

2) Reforms of Medicaid and CHIP (Child Health Insurance Program) to increase the number of people eligible by changing income requirements and covering single adults

3) Delivery system reforms to lower the rate of spending increase throughout the system

4) Prevention and wellness initiatives to improve access to preventive care by eliminating cost-sharing for most preventive services and creating a national program to promote wellness & prevention

5) Workforce initiatives to improve access to primary care

6) Eliminating fraud and abuse

7) Improving access to generic versions of certain expensive medicines

8) New affordable private voluntary disability insurance

9) Attain revenues by increasing taxes on the most wealthy (with an income over $200,000 for individuals, $250,000 for families) and on unearned income, as well as taxes on indoor tanning salons

He also explained how the reforms enacted would not only pay for themselves, but would end up saving billions of dollars by decreasing costs of health delivery, decreasing costs of taking care of the uninsured nationwide, and reforming the way Medicare and Medicaid work to make them more efficient.

Following Dr McDonough, Mark Hannay explained where we are in New York with this law, and where we have to go to truly make sure all New Yorkers have affordable access to health care. Because most of the implementation of this law falls to the states, we have a tremendous opportunity to turn New York’s program into a model for other states. New York has about 2.7 million uninsured right now, of whom about 2 million will be insured once the law takes effect.

Kinda Serafi discussed the advantages of this law for many people who currently are uninsured. One of the challenges will be to make application for these programs accessible for all. Currently, Medicaid applications can be so long and daunting, or stigmatizing, that many New Yorkers who qualify do not apply. On implementation, the best case scenario would be to create a system accessible to everyone, by phone, mail, internet, or in person, that could help individuals and families determine what plans they’re eligible for, how much they will cost, and other details. Although this would require an extensive overhaul of the Medicaid eligibility system, which is currently quite antiquated, but would be well worth the investment.

Dr. Bill Jordan spoke about the challenges posed to the health care workforce by this law. As it is, there aren’t enough primary care doctors to meet demand. When millions more people flow into the system with their new health coverage, we need to make sure there are enough doctors to care for them. To help with this, the PPACA increases loan repayment for primary care providers, redistributes residency training slots to favor primary care sites and rural, underserved areas, and also redirects training funds to increase the supply of general surgeons.

Jenny Rejeske discussed the impact of the law on immigrants. As a group, many immigrants have much to gain from this law. Some immigrants, those who are undocumented, are left behind. The majority of immigrants will benefit as the most are here with legal status, either as residents or as naturalized citizens. The key will be to ensure that those eligible for Medicaid and other subsidies are aware that these programs are available to them. In addition, we need to ensure that undocumented immigrants are connected to the health care services available to them, including patient financial assistance at all hospitals that accept federal funds, as well as community health centers and HHC clinics and hospitals for those living in New York City.

Lois Uttley finished up by talking about women’s health. In terms of women’s health, there are great gains for most women, in that maternity care will be a mandated service starting in 2014, and preventive services must be provided without a deductible for new insurance plans starting this year (meaning mammograms, pap smears, and STI testing are now free to all women regardless of which insurance plan they use). The negative for women will be the restrictions on abortion coverage for all new insurances bought through the exchange, as well as a likely similar effect even on those who have insurance now. The law states that each state has the right to limit, prohibit, or restrict coverage abortion in all insurances sold on the exchange (14 states have already taken advantage of this). Even where abortion coverage is allowed, participants in those plans have to write 2 separate checks to the company, one to cover abortion and one for everything else.

Attendance at the event was impressive at 115. Audience members asked important questions to clarify the impact of the law on immigrants and children, as well as the future structure of the health care system.

Thanks to all the co-sponsors, panel members, and attendees!

**Co-sponsors of this event were: Long Island University School of Health Professions, AARP-NY, PHANYC, Children's Defense Fund-NY, Community Service Society, Committee for Interns and Residents - SEIU, Health Care for All New York, Health Care Leaders of New York, New York Immigration Coalition, National Organization for Women - New York State,
 and Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need

CALLING ALL YOUNG FEMINISTS! Join a Diverse Group to Work for Women's Equality


·         If you care about:
ü  Women's rights,
ü  Ending rape, domestic violence and other forms of gender violence,
ü  Reproductive Justice,
ü  Pay Equity and
ü  LGBTQ rights.
·         If you are age 35 or under,
·         If you live in New York State, and
·         If you want to belong to a group that has become a feminist safe haven and extended family for many of us.

Please join The Young Feminist Task Force of the National Organization for Women, NY State. http://youngfeministtaskforce.blogspot.com

If interested, please contact youngfeminists@gmail.com

About the taskforce:
Currently, we are compromised of 25 women, men and queer-identified feminists. We reside all across the state. Our ages range from teenager to 30s. We come from diverse backgrounds: Immigrant/Muslim/Jewish/Atheist/etc. We are diverse professionals from corporate jobs to artists.

We may or may not have different priorities within feminism from reproductive justice to engaging new media for the movement

What We Do/Have Done:
1.      Go undercover to expose "crisis pregnancy centers" who tell women condoms do not protect against STI's and abortion causes breast cancer
2.      Work with various organizations like SAFER to create and or implement sexual-assault policies on campus
3.      Work on healthcare reform
4.      Marches/rallies/protests
5.      We attend and present workshops at Feminist Conferences and events
6.      Use social media to spread the feminist word (Twitter: @NOWYoungFems)
7.      Monthly potluck to get together and relax/vent/cause feminist trouble in a safe space

Our next event:
Mon, Nov 29: Join us for Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) Outreach Work Party!
What: SAFER Outreach Work Party!
When: Monday, November 29th from 6-9pm
Where: 32 Broadway, Suite 1801
New York, NY 10004
We are looking for volunteers to join us for a one night work party! Meet the faces behind SAFER and help us gather contact information of schools missing from our national anti-violence initiative, the Campus Accountability Project.

If interested, please contact youngfeminists@gmail.com

In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Political Action Committee
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

Thu, Nov 11: FREE Feminist Art Showcase, Poetry, Music & Dance: Lucid Dreaming: Havest Season for the Soul


Any event where Liz Abzug speaks is guaranteed to be a star-studded gathering, with influential activists from across genres.  For added bonus, Layla's artwork is pleasing to the most discerning critiques.  You do not want to miss this event.

I will attend the following with my husband and fellow NOW-NY-State-Young-Feminist-Task-Force member, Micah Bochart.  Hope you can join us.

Time: Thursday, November 11 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: Atelier 635 West 42nd Street. New York, New York.
Contact: luciddreamingart@gmail.com

Introduction: by Activist, Mentor and Teacher Liz Abzug www.apbspeakers.com/speaker/liz-abzug
Paintings: by Giorgio Casu. http://www.giorgiocasu.com/
Photography: by Layla Love. www.lovephotography.org
Poetry reading: by Anthony Haden-Guest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Haden-Guest

TAGS:    installation, digital, photography, conceptual, painting
COST:    Free
Dear Artists & Art Lovers,

This is an invitation...
To spark the fires of your dreams...
Step into a world where the lucid dream is in 3D all around you...

In living the life of our dreams we create...
For this exhibition we have created a collection of Portraits of Women Who Dare to Awaken.

Each photograph & painting invokes the magic of these powerful goddess warriors...
This moment & these art-alters  are dedicated to the women who have sparked dreams amongst the collective we have discovered so many jewels of wisdom within their offerings...
This exhibit is a treasure map...
Please come see what you can find between the dancers, the music & the poetry...
We have sweet strawberries & wine to indulge all of your senses.

Harvest season is in full bloom.*
Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board
National NOW Political Action Committee
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, ChairNational Organization for Women (NOW)
Twitter: JerinNOW

The National Organization for Women is the nation's largest organization working to advance women's rights and improve women's lives.

Board Member
Bella Abzug Leadership Institute

NOW-NYS PAC endorsed Pro-Choice candidate, Amy Paulin, needs your help


NOW-NYS PAC  has endorsed Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D)-Westchester in a hotly contested race. Amy has championed dozens of NOW-backed bills, including ending the statute of limitations on rape, enacting the nation's strongest law on human trafficking, and extending health and dental coverage to impoverished children. 
Amy is facing her most challenging re-election race in a long time. Her opponent is a well-funded Republican who is an anti-choice extremist (opposing abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or the health or life of the mother). In this election year when choice is under siege, here is a race where our help can really make a difference. Amy Needs Your Vote!

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IN WESTCHESTER to help get-out-the-vote for Amy Paulin in this tough re-election battle.

Sunday Oct. 31 
Monday Nov. 1 
Tuesday Nov. 2
For more information, please call NOW-NYS at 1-518-452-3944. 

1. Go to the NOW-NYS web site (http://www.nownys.org/)  and click on the "PAC"  link. There you will see a link to donate to the NOW-NYS PAC.  If you want your donation to go directly to Amy Paulin, send us a note in the "message box" in the donation form.    OR

2. Write a check to NOW-NYS PAC and let us know you want your donation to go to Amy Paulin's campaign.  Send checks to NOW-NYS PAC, 1500 Central Avenue, Albany, NY  12205.

To volunteer for Amy's campaign, click on this link.  http://www.amypaulin.com/
In Sisterhood,
Marcia Pappas, President of NOW-NYS PAC

Albany, Oct 16 & 17: National Organization for Women NY State Convention


*2010 Convention information (October 16-17) Albany, NY*
Check out the NOW-NYS newsletter on-line and see full list of exciting speakers.
Register  for the convention on line at www.nownys.org