Women Unite for Equal Rights JC Coccoli

When women take the time to unite it’s truly a beautiful thing. For realzies, it’s kind of the best. Second to gourmet cheese and a toasted baguette, it doesn’t really get any better. What am I yammering about? Let me explain…

A few months ago, Occupy Wall Street came along and changed a friend of mine’s life. That friend is Hellogiggles contributor and overall fantastic human being Melissa Stephens.  She quickly learned about the poor decisions of this country and decided that she didn’t want her well-being left up to complete strangers appointed to office. Now, don’t panic, this is for women to unite, so stay with me. Stay with me.

She got involved in Occupy and began to listen, read and take notice. In her opinion, it was exciting.  She realized that she had a voice and a desire to have it heard.   A few months ago, when news stories began to surface about women’s health care rights — something she took for granted because she always had the luxury of having it — she got angry, hurt and mostly, let down. She heard murmurs of men talking about what she could or couldn’t do for her body and legitimately became terrified enough to make a difference.

In the last few months, she got involved in Unite Against the War on Women. Soon after, many other women just like her (myself included, along with UCB Corps) became addicted to letting our voices be heard for a proper cause. This past weekend there was National March and Rally across the country. For Los Angeles, it was held in Pershing Square in Downtown, LA and I had the exceptional honor of hosting a number of speakers, activists and comedians in a rally to promote education for women’s rights.

Melissa had contacted HelloGiggles because as an empowering female website, she knew they would care.  And without hesitation, co-founders Sophia Rossi and Molly McAleer were there to support and speak on behalf of a site dedicated to the positivity in women. They joined comedian Sarah Silverman, Jan Perry, comedian Zach Galifinakis, Councilman Jerry Tetalman, Planned Parenthood and many personal stories from the people of the community who took the streets for something bigger than themselves. The In From Out of Towners, a local band featuring Rosa Pullman and Mitch Grainger with special guest Maesa Pullman (greatest folk band to ever live), entertained the crowd as food trucks kept the guests happy and filled with love. This is not where the rally ends, so anytime you want to educate yourself on the cause and get involved feel free to visit the Facebook event page for more details.

The second we all began to get involved the passion and enthusiasm for what was right for women couldn’t be denied. From our Funny or Die video starring Susan Sarandon that Melissa and I wrote, to the hysterical sign making in order to our point across, to intense home videos used merely to get the facts straight from comedian @JoseylnHughes and company, we let people know that if there was/is a War on Women, those whom have declared it will in fact lose… and we will do it in kitten heels and gel tips.  Be well everyone, you look adorable today.

If you are a woman, a girl, a husband, a partner, a friend or just a human being that wants to get involved, contact your local movement for the next time around which can be found at Unitewomen.org. Also, you can follow them on twitter at @WOWCALI and @NatlWOW.

Video is not exclusive to HelloGiggles

Images via unitewomen; via Kulap

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  1. Thanks for understanding Marie. I agree with the stereotypes bit, for me I know that I don’t fit in to the typical male stereotype in the sense that I’m not ‘macho’, I don’t like sports and I’m not in to adrenaline pumping action films (give me a Pixar film and I’m happy!) So stereotypes are not compulsary, they’re there to be broken. So with that in mind, some men don’t think that they’re better than women. Infact most men I know don’t see women as inferior and don’t use phrases like ‘you throw like a girl’ or ‘stop acting like a girl’ because it’s just so unnecessary to say that these days, I can’t even remember a time when I used one of those phrases.

    Thanks for being understanding too Elle. I’m glad you see that sexism isn’t a one way street, it goes both ways. I’m afraid I don’t know too much about Shari Law either so I wouldn’t want to say anything about it.

  2. Thanks for the great article JC! Let’s talk details of the War on Women:

    *Nine States allow doctors to with hold the diagnosis of fetal birth defects from expecting parents — and the doctors are protected from being sued
    *2011 – Topeka, KS decriminalized domestic violence to help balance their budget
    *HR 358 – “Let Women Die” bill passed by the House of Representatives – would allow ER docs to refuse to provide life saving abortions
    *April 2011 – Congress defunds Planned Parenthood the day they fund contraceptives for wild horses
    *2012 – Georgia & other states pass a 20 week abortion ban without exception for the viability of the fetus. This means women must carry stillborns.
    *2012 – mandated ultrasounds for medically necessary abortions – puts women through HELL by forcing them to look at an ultrasound when they are already either having to get an abortion for medical reasons, or have made this decision privately
    *2012 – Arizona’s House votes to fire women for using birth control.
    *Insurance plans deny coverage of birth control in 22 states. Viagra is covered by insurance plans in all 50 states.

    These laws literally put women’s lives at risk.

    The regressive attacks on women’s sovereignty, our inherent right to the Bill of Rights isn’t cultural insensitivity, it’s 100% bullshit. Lawmakers are abusing their power. I encourage you all to spread the word and get the facts out there. http://www.unitewomen.org

  3. Exactly. Though I won’t deny that men can face discrimination for not acting a certain way, it all stems from misogyny. And right now, its not mens rights that are being threatened. Actual women’s rights, as in the ones written down on paper and passed into law, are being threatened by old, white men who have absolutely no idea what its like to be a woman and apparently don’t care about the well-being and happiness of their female family and friends enough to learn. This is alarming on so many levels, and quite frankly, stupid as well. We are half the population, and we span races, ages, cultures, sexual orientation, etc. We are everywhere, and we are not going to take this sitting down.

  4. The fact that women still have to fight for equal rights and social justice speaks of the misogynistic nature of far too many men. This is a black eye on any polite society.

  5. Really Robert? Is someone trying to tell you what you can or can’t do with your uterus? Is the health care “industry” trying to tell you they won’t fund tests and treatment specific to your gender? No this isn’t about equality. It is about a war on women.

    • Robert is correct to the extent that gender stereotyping and inequality effect men and women. But the reason it is a war on women, is that we live in a culture where women, and the feminine in general are secondary to masculine traits. Masculinity is valued in our society. We tell people to “act like a man” or “man up” when we want them to be better. And we use sayings such as “stop acting like a girl” or even “you throw like a girl” to connote negative traits. The reason feminism has fem in it is not that only women are bound by gender stereotyping, but that as a society we systematically view feminine traits as less than. And when men act feminine, they are called homophobic slurs, because in our culture being feminine is a put down. That’s why it’s a war on women Robert, because being a strong, liberated woman is still a radical notion on 2012.

    • Thanks for your reply Kathy. I’m sorry I upset you that wasn’t my intention, I didn’t want to cause conflict especially on the internet (infact I wanted to delete my comment before, but I don’t know how to) Maybe I am un-educated about the ‘ war on women’ mainly because I haven’t heard about it in the UK. I think what I was trying to say is that they’re mens right issues as well as womens but perhaps this wasn’t the right time to bring it up. Again, sorry, I really don’t want to come off as ignorant.

  6. I’m all for women’s rights—but you’ve got to wonder….. who will speak for those who can’t yet??

  7. What an upsetting comment above me. I was worried when such a small percentage of the women who read this site asked for more articles about politics, so this is a welcome piece. Thank you. I hope a few of the women in denial of the current danger we all face were made more aware today.

    • Apologies Theresa, I shouldn’t have been so abrupt with my comment I should’ve thought about the subject before commenting, I wanted to delete it but you can’t for some reason. As I said to Kathy, I’m from the UK and haven’t heard of this ‘war on women’ I’ve tried researching but I still don’t understand it 100%. I’m not in any way against womens rights (or anyone’s right for that matter), and I think that abortion should be a choice. Sorry again, I really didn’t want to upset you.

  8. I totally understand what you’re saying, but if you’re talking about ‘equality’ or ‘equal rights’ then surely it should be BOTH genders?

    • P.S. And I’m sure there are things that specifically target men that you had in mind too :)

    • Hi Robert,

      It’s all about equity for both genders. There is no doubt sexism is destructive to men. We’re addressing the specific laws and budget cuts passed over the past year where lawmakers are trying to take the rights of women’s bodies for themselves. These laws affect men, affect the entire country. When women can’t access birth control, men can’t access birth control. These are laws that don’t affect just women, they affect all of humanity — so I appreciate your challenge to the wording. My feeling is they directly target my body & I encourage men to get involved because it directly affects his life too. These legislators are malicious folks. Hence the call to UNITE!

      I’m sure you see similar things in the UK with Sharia Courts.

  9. I’m super excited that HelloGiggles is involved in this. Are there videos anywhere of the speeches?

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