In full transparency, I’ve always been pro-choice but I used to say that abortion was “not my issue”. Gun control always got me more fired up. The increase in mass shootings of late and “active shooter drills” now required even of our youngest children at school makes my blood boil. Still does, obviously. But at the beginning of this year, I decided my word, my mantra would be “conscious”. So after a week of trying to wrap my head around what happened in the Supreme Court I now understand that reproductive justice is very much my issue, our issue.
Our company devoted some time right before the July 4th holiday to venting rage, frustration and confusion around the bitterly ironic removal of the federal guarantee of reproductive rights for women and people that menstruate. We found that many of us have been feeling paralysis and are also hesitant to be around large groups of people to protest. We’ve been making donations but feel unsatisfied.
I asked what we can do, as a female-led (and largely female-powered) organization, and the ideas came pouring in. This idea actually came from one of our guys: we’re going to devote a channel on looklook.app to LookLookForward, where we offer our platform free of charge to non-profit organizations working towards the liberation of women and people that menstruate. Several people on the team rightly pointed out the importance of addressing the needs of women of color and BIPOC individuals that menstruate. Three team members have recently moved to red states and one pointed us to Sister Song, a Southern-based, national organization that works to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.
In the words of Monica Rae Simpson, the Executive Director of Sister Song. “We are seeking liberation. Not a right, not a law, not a piece of legislation. We are seeking to move in this world safely and do what we need to do. We are not asking for anything anymore. Because it’s inherently ours, anyway. Because we are human beings, first and foremost.”
In addition to launching LookLookForward, we are also going to donate 1% of our profits this year to Sister Song.
Simpson’s definition of reproductive justice brilliantly reframes the right to an abortion in a way that I find so compelling and broadly relevant: It is “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy. Have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.”
I am humbled by the empathy of the people that work with me at LookLook that has prodded these actions. I am grateful that empathy drives what we do.
So spread the word if you know an organization that needs to answer burning questions in their effort to liberate women and people that menstruate in this country. Because we want to give them a home on looklook.app – a place where we facilitate powerful conversations, with privacy, respect, and honesty. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.