Cougar fights for women’s rights

Frustrated with recent legislation, like the mandatory sonogram bill, alumna Reesa Graham decided to create an event, “Wear White For Women’s Rights,” which will take place Monday.

The purpose of the event is to encourage people to stay informed, talk about issues and vote.

“The real goals of this movement are empowerment, education, motivation and change. I want us all, average citizen and lawmaker alike, to remember who has ultimate control over this — and that’s us — the voters,” Graham said. “I know our political system is far from perfect, but if we don’t speak up when it matters, then it will never get any better.”

Graham, who currently lives in New York City, said she never considered herself political until recent events “forced” her to pay attention.

“This whole thing started because I was so frustrated at what was happening in the world around me,” she said. “I was home on a Saturday evening, reading yet another article about yet another crazy bill that impeded on women’s rights. This particular one was the one in which a Georgia Senator compared women to livestock. And reading the comments that people had written (online) as well, the outrage that people had.”

Graham said on that evening she came across Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee’s nonviolent protest for women’s rights in Liberia. Gbowee inspired Graham to start her own movement.

“There is so much outrage online, but no one does anything with it. We make our comments on bulletin boards and articles and then walk away,” Graham said.

“I wanted to find a way that the average American could support this movement — Americans who may not have the resources to travel or even the ability to take the time off work.”

As far as her critics go, she said what is most important to her is that she and her board respond to any feedback by being polite and civil.

“I am tired of politics being about who can out-rude the other.

“No one learns anything that way; people spend too much time defending against the attack,” Graham said

Graham asks people to wear all white or a white shirt with pink “I support women’s rights” on it Monday to remind those who write and pass bills to think twice about the laws they are trying to pass.

“I want everyone to have a voice, and I want to find a way in which all those voices are heard,” Graham said. “Restrictions or laws that effect only on a single subset of people — in this case, women — is discrimination, pure and simple. Discrimination, in all its forms, should be fought against at all times and by all people.”

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  • All people should have equal access to privilege and resources. Women are no different. The right to choose is simply a natural outcome. I am impressed and supportive of Reesa Graham's efforts to speak up and move in a direction to help resolve a social injustice.

    • Completely agreed. Every time I think there is full equality in America, I look at women and the LGBT community and am disgusted at how far we haven't come. Furthermore, the majority of people making and passing the laws regarding women's rights are not women. How does that make sense? I am a man, and am not saying that any man who passes a law regarding women is going to make a wrong one, but we can at least consult experts on the matter-women.

  • Thank you both so much for your lovely comments. I am one of the organizers under Reesa Graham, and your support for this movement is invaluable. We hope you will wear white on the 2nd, that you will invite your friends to do so, and that you will make some noise! Call your representative, explain to people why these laws are wrong, and stand up for our rights!

  • This video covers the breast feeding dilemma that occurred at Target in a quite humorous manner, but offers some good insight – how that’s an issue, but fat, hairy men walking around shirtless is not? Worth a watch for sure.

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