In case you didn’t know, NOW held their 2013 Conference this past weekend in Chicago. If you didn’t know, it’s not you. It’s not like it got any press.
Their Twitter/Facebook hashtag, #NOW13, hardly made a dent much less a buzz. They barely updated their Facebook page over the entire course of the event. I’ve seen more social media buzz around a one-hour webinar on markup languages. They really (really) need some of those young creative Third Wavers who know their way around social media.
This should have been a huge blow-out. What with Texas. And Ohio. And North Carolina. And Iowa. And Wisconsin. This conference should have been huge. Maybe the program was already set up before the real life events happened.
The conference was live-streamed and you can still catch the recordings here, if you are so inclined.
I watched the Political Roundtable and a bit of the Closing. These were mostly Second Wavers, sharing their stories from the past.
The segment on the Jane Collective, an underground abortion service in Chicago prior to Roe v. Wade, was one of the better parts of the program. If you’re unfamiliar with Jane, the Wikipedia link isn’t bad. There’s also this book by Laura Kaplan.
Other notable moments:
- At about 29 minutes into the Closing, Terry O’Neill paraphrases Hillary on rights.
- At about 30-something minutes into the Closing, Pat Reuss, known as the Godmother of VAWA, got a lifetime achievement award. She was instrumental in the passing of COBRA and asked, “What if everyone who got COBRA sent 5 bucks to NOW—we’d be Effin rich!” She’s worth listening to and watching and not only because she’s wearing a BIG Hillary button front and center on her blouse.
For me, the best speaker was Ellie Smeal (around 20 minutes into the Roundtable). She’s still as fired up as ever.
We’re in the midst of a massive backlash, not only here in the United States but world wide, trying to put women back into a box. We’re not only fighting back. I view it as a last gasp of a patriarchy whose days are numbered.
She closed with: “We are the Majority and we will win!” At that point, the crowd was chanting Ellie! Ellie! Ellie!
I’m wondering what to make of this Tweet:
I am still in awe of these Second Wavers. They took real risks and they achieved tangible results. I have nothing nice to say about the Third Wave. They took their rights for granted and are letting all that hard work whither on the vine.
I partially regret not going. I sent all their invitations to the Deleted Items folder. Had I gone, I’d have been there with a Ready For Hillary T-shirt.