This is How We Do It: Celebrating Some Feminist Victories

Teresa Tanzi,  a state legislator in Rhode Island, recently disclosed about fellow lawmakers’ sexual harassment of her. This led  party Vice Chair Joe DeLorenzo to  make sexist and offensive comments. As the Democratic Women’s Caucus hustled to call an emergency meeting to oust DeLorenzo, he resigned

The news is definitely not all good. But here and there, victories are being won for women and girls. This past week in my home state of Li’l Rhody, we saw a sexual harassment scandal in the state capital blossom into a resignation of an offensive ranking Democratic party official, Joe DeLorenzo. As representative Teresa Tanzi said on Facebook regarding DeLorenzo’s resignation: “This is how we do it. Stand up, speak up and do so relentlessly. And unapologetically.”

And then there is the matter of the New Republic’s thirty-year veteran Literary Editor, Leon Weiseltier, who we now know delighted in sexually humiliating women on a daily basis. Thanks to Laurene Powell Jobs, Mr. Weiseltier will no longer be pioneering a new publication called Ideas, since it appears his sexist and misogynist ideas and behavior are part of the problem.

Neither of these are huge wins, but they signify strength coming from the grassroots of women’s voices being heard, and society deciding to take action. I don’t mean to suggest that feminists are winning the war on women’s bodies, minds, and hearts, but these two episodes represent ways that power can be shifted when women are “woke” to their role in speaking out and supporting each other. I hope we see more of these kinds of wins, and larger ones too, in the future.

Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work in Cranston, Rhode Island, and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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