Over the past few weeks, I've watched the Harry Potter films a handful of times (the first was binge watching the DVDs while recovering from surgery and since then it's been on Freeform all the time, so of course I keep watching them!). I actually have Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 on in the background as I type this. Judge all you like. You're just jealous because you want to be watching it too.
So, while running away from reality and disappearing to Hogwarts, I'm taking in as much of J.K. Rowling's wisdom as I possibly can. I know the movies aren't strict adaptations of the books, because what movie actually is as good as the book? To Kill a Mockingbird, maybe, but I digress. One line has stood out to me though, amongst the Harry Potter films. Upon the third time watching Order of the Phoenix earlier today, I heard Luna Lovegood's line in a different context than I had before. She's talking to Harry about how her and her father believe him regarding You-Know-Who being back. Harry replies they're probably the only ones, and Luna (being her honest self) replies that's probably what Voldemort wants, for him to be alone. "Well if I were You-Know-Who, I'd want you to feel cut off from everyone else. Because if it's just you alone, you're not as much of a threat."
When I heard that line, I had an image of Colin Kaepernick kneeling by himself and could hear 45 (the other He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, because his name causes me to feel nauseous and makes my blood boil) say, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these N.F.L. owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired!’ ” And then I thought of The Kaepernick Effect taking place, and my eyes welled with tears. 45's words led to a series of protests among the N.F.L. and beyond today, showing that one person can start a movement, but they really need the support of others to keep it going.
I believe it was Martin Luther King, Jr. who said "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." It's true, and I think we're all seeing that now. There's no room to be silent anymore. There's too much at stake. With our health coverage, natural disasters (and people that don't believe in global warming), DACA, and the list goes on and on and on. Silence is no longer an option, and we can't let the world rest on one person's shoulders. We must divide the weight, do our part to make a change, and let others help as well. It's not fair to take on the burden ourselves. We must be leaders and listeners.
I've noticed this with Stories of the Resistance, the fundraiser I'm organizing for Planned Parenthood. I find myself taking on so much and wanting to do everything (it's the recovering perfectionist in me), but then I see the joy other people feel when I ask them for help and it makes it beyond rewarding. Those that I'm reaching out to, they want to make a difference, same as I do, but sometimes a lot of us just don't know where to start. As I mentioned in my previous post, that's how Stories of the Resistance began. With one Facebook status asking if anyone wanted to join in a theatrical fundraiser to talk about health care and reproductive rights. And it's amazing the response it's received. I look at all the stories we're going to share this coming Saturday night, and so many of them are individual struggles dealing with health coverage. People going about things alone with no one helping them, but Planned Parenthood helped them. They were there for them when no one else was, because Planned Parenthood doesn't want you to feel cut off from everyone else. They want to provide you with the appropriate knowledge, resources, and understanding so you can decide what's best for your body.
Because isn't that what we've seen from the men deciding the rights of women's bodies? They're threatened by us and want to control us. Like how Dolores Umbridge tried to control the students at Hogwarts with all her rules. She tried to silence them. She tried to tell them what to believe (cough cough global warming isn't real). She even punished them. But despite her actions, an army was born. Dumbedore's Army, as Neville Longbottom so aptly put, is "supposed to be about doing something real." And despite Harry insisting he go about things alone, Hermione (of course) reminded him: "When are you going to get it into your head? We're in this together!"
Yes, Hermione. We are in fact all in this together.
Last year, around mid-November, I put a call out on social media to see if anyone would be interested in participating in a theatrical fundraiser to benefit Planned Parenthood. A lot of people expressed they wanted to be involved. They wanted to tell their stories. So, this idea grew over time and became a part of my passion project I AM S.H.E (Stories Heard Everywhere). Thanks to the incredible powers of Allie Harris and Tiffany Adeline Cole (amazing queens, friends, and co-founders of I AM S.H.E.), we recently announced our first event! It's titled Stories of the Resistance and will be taking place on September 30th in Los Angeles with another one set for the spring in NYC.
For the LA event, we are striving to raise $2,000 to support Planned Parenthood's commitment to ensuring access to quality health care, education, and information for all individuals and families worldwide. Each of the stories being told are personal accounts relating to reproductive rights, the health care system, and our current political climate. They're incredibly powerful, and I can't wait to share them with the world. The event will be live streamed, so if you're not in the LA area, you can watch it online. More information can be found on our Facebook page and website.
While working on Stories of the Resistance, I've been finding myself extremely overwhelmed by people's generosity to help make it happen. To see so many people jump at the chance to get involved, I'm reminded that there's still hope in the world (look for the helpers!), how we are people making a positive change (be strong and loud!), and that working on something that matters to you is such an amazing feeling (is this what Wonder Woman feels like?).
So I urge you to check out our event, donate what you can to support Planned Parenthood, and ask yourself: are you ready to join the Resistance with us?
Copyright © 2019 Christine Drew Benjamin | All Rights Reserved