Women’s March, October 2022, Long Beach, CA by Marie Cartier

All photos by the author

Marie Cartier

Continue reading “Women’s March, October 2022, Long Beach, CA by Marie Cartier”

Women’s March in Long Beach, CA by Marie Cartier

Hello FAR family! Here are photos from the October 2nd Women’s March in Long Beach, CA. The Women’s March began after the 2016 “election” and continued through the Trump years, and was not immediately active after Biden won. But after Texas passed it horrific ban on abortions with no exceptions, the Women’s March re-ignited across the nation…  especially in response to the recent Supreme Court  approval of the unconstitutional ruling on abortion in Texas which limits abortion access to 6 weeks of pregnancy – a time span that denies abortion completely as almost all women do not even know they are pregnant within this time, never mind having time to decide if an abortion is their choice. 

Women’s March targets Supreme Court, with abortion on line – ABC News (go.com)  

The Women’s March came together in October in a very short amount of time. For example the Long Beach rally came together in just 10 days. I attended and was one of 500+ (though reports said 200, I was there and we were more!

Click then scroll to see full image…

May the revolution continue! As Hillary Clinton said, “Women’s Rights are human rights.” And my favorite chant throughout the March was, “Who sent us? Ruth sent us!!”


Marie Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University.  She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine.

2020 Women’s March by Marie Cartier

Picture of author, Marie Cartier and her partner, Kimberly.
Photo of the author (left) and her wife Kimberly Esslinger

Here we are at the fourth now annual Women’s March. I have done a photo essay of the March every year for Feminism and Religion (FAR), the first two from the Los Angeles March, and the last two from Orange County.

I’m taking a break this month from the series “In These United States” poems I have been delivering to FAR (back with more poems next month) to showcase some of the activism, commitment, humor, and courage that showed up at the March I attended in Santa Ana in Orange County, California, January 18, 2020.

In this part of these United States the marchers chanted, danced, laughed, and were very serious. Santa Ana is a densely populated city where almost 62% of the population is Mexican. This evidenced itself in the March where for the first time I saw ballet folkloric by a company dressed in traditional folkloric costumes, in suffrage colors. Continue reading “2020 Women’s March by Marie Cartier”

Poem: Make America Kind Again by Marie Cartier

Photo by Marie Cartier

Make America Kind Again was my favorite poster slogan of every Women’s March.

We’ve had three and will have a fourth soon, January 18. I’ll be there and hope I see this sign again.

It’s a sign that maybe it will happen –America will be kind again.

It will be a place where we don’t put kids in cages

Or gouge people’s health care

Or ban Muslims from entering our country

Or kick transgender people out of the military

Or threaten voting rights for Blacks

Or remove registered voters from the polls

Or… fill in the blank


Continue reading “Poem: Make America Kind Again by Marie Cartier”

The Race-ing of Innocence: Calling All Feminists to Converse by Marcia Mount Shoop

mms headshot 2015Well over 100,000 people and counting have read a blog post called “Nothing But the Truth: A Word to White America After the Recent Unpleasantness in Washington DC” that I wrote. Going on 400 commenters have weighed in on my website.  I have not been able to keep up with replying to all the comments, but I have read them all. And a few cluster around the topic of childhood innocence and the role of adults in nurturing/protecting/informing children around the realities of things like racism, sexism, and the ugly layers of American history.

This exploration of the nature of childhood and our culture’s role in nurturing what we value about childhood calls out for feminist reflection.  So, I put this out to the FAR community of conversation for discussion.

Some of the comments that interest me the most are those who gave the young men from Covington Catholic a pass because they are “just kids.” And they felt media and others were being too hard on them to expect them to understand what was going on in front of the Lincoln Memorial when competing narratives about our country converged.

Continue reading “The Race-ing of Innocence: Calling All Feminists to Converse by Marcia Mount Shoop”

Why Are You So Angry? by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente


Please be warned, this post details violence against women.

A new March 8.
Another year protesting
Another evening taking the streets of our cities around the world
In Rome, in Lima and Santander
A new slogan, a new banner, for the same rage

A decent man, one of those who define himself as a good citizen and father stands in front of me asking: “Why are you so angry? …. Why are feminists so angry? I am asking you: Why are you so fucking angry?”

Why are you angry?
Because my friend went to the police to put a complaint that her husband beat her and they did not take the complaint. When she returned home, her husband hit her again.

Why are you angry?
Because I am 16 years old and every day after school, older men shout sexual things to me in the street, they even follow me and when I get upset and tell them not to do it they say that I am being rude … I am afraid to walk in the street. Continue reading “Why Are You So Angry? by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente”

The Protest Goddess by Angela Yarber

I’ve long held that feminism, in order to be true and engaged and practical, must be intersectional. The work of justice for women must also include justice for other marginalized groups. Because many women are also LGBTQ, people of color, people with disabilities, Muslims, immigrants, and others marginalized for identities other than their gender. Paying attention to these intersections—of sexuality, gender, race, class, ability, religion—and acknowledging that many people have multiple intersecting identities for which they are oppressed is vital to the work of justice.

These thoughts remained at the forefront of my mind as I recently marched in one of the sister marches of the Women’s March in my home of Hilo, Hawaii. I heard many straight, white, cisgender women claim that women are not oppressed while mocking the march as irrelevant. I heard some gay men purport that such a march was unnecessary. And I wondered. Are not women of color also women? Muslim women? Immigrant women? Women with disabilities? Queer women? Trans women? Are not our quests for liberation and rights and legal validity interrelated, mutually dependent, might I even say, intersectional? Continue reading “The Protest Goddess by Angela Yarber”

Run Women Run! You Can Do Better than a Mediocre White Man! by Carol P. Christ

When I was in graduate school, I learned to doubt myself. Despite having won Danforth and Woodrow Wilson graduate fellowships that paid for my tuition and living expenses, I was continually told by professors and male students alike that I would not finish my degree and that if I did I would get married, have children, and never use the degree I had earned. I tried hard to maintain my confidence in myself, but it was difficult when I was the only woman in the program. There was one other woman my first year, but she was older than I was, a nun, and I never saw her in class or at social events. My self-esteem was gradually eroded. If I had not had a fellowship, I would probably have dropped out.

Fast forward a few years. There were several more women in the program, but only one in theology, my friend Judith Plaskow, and she too struggled. I was working on my comprehensive exams and wondering if I had what it takes to pass them and then write a Ph.D. thesis. After the initial shock of being treated as if I was not the equal of the male students in the program, I began to look around me. A few of the male students seemed really bright, many of them were average, and some of them were plodders. I hate to admit it, but I looked at the least competent among them and said to myself, “If he can do it, then surely I can.” And I did. I passed my exams. A few years later my Ph.D. thesis was approved.

If contributions to the field are any indication, Judith Plaskow and I were not only as good as the most mediocre men in our graduate program, we smarter than the average ones, and at least as smart as the smartest ones. But we didn’t know that then. Men have been getting degrees and being promoted and moved up that ladder because other men like them, identify with them, feel sorry for them, and for lots of other reasons having nothing to do with excellence, and sometimes not even do do with competence.

Last week I heard Cecile Richards say something to Lawrence O’Donnell that reminded me of this. Speaking of the huge numbers of women who—inspired by the women’s marches–will be voting, registering voters, campaigning, and running for office in 2018 and beyond, she said women “totally understand that they can do better than who’s in office now.”

photo by Marie Cartier

For far too many years women have been held back by lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. We didn’t think we could and we didn’t. We don’t think we can and we don’t. We thought men were smarter than us or had more time or more drive. The founder of the Society of Women Engineers at San Jose State told my classes that women who got even one B+ in an engineering class were likely to drop out of the program, while men graduated who graduated with C averages went on to get great jobs.  Now we see truly mediocre white men holding public office all across the country and in its highest offices. The harm they are doing to women, to children, to the elderly, to people of color, to the environment has been a wake-up call for all of us. There are so many mediocre white men in office that women–of all colors and ethnicities–are realizing that we can do better than that! Once we begin to see what we can do when there are large numbers of us holding office all across the country, there will be no stopping us!


Carol P. Christ is an internationally known feminist writer and educator living in Molivos, Lesbos, who volunteers with Starfish Foundation that helps refugees, assisting with writing and outreach. Carol’s new book written with Judith Plaskow, is Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology. FAR Press recently released A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess. Join Carol  on the life-transforming Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete. Carol’s photo by Michael Honegger.



Photo Report from the 2nd Women’s March, January 20, 2018 by Marie Cartier

You can see my photo report from the last Women’s March 2017 here.

And you can see more of my photos from this 2018 march here, hereand here.

Please enjoy these radical feminist images from 2018! Yours in the struggle FAR family!

All photos by Marie Cartier

Continue reading “Photo Report from the 2nd Women’s March, January 20, 2018 by Marie Cartier”

Happy Anniversary, Women’s March, with love from Madge by Elizabeth Cunningham

Like many in the FAR community, I participated in the world-wide 2017 Women’s March.  So did Madge, the bodacious cartoon character who took me by surprise in 1990 and went on to become the narrative character of The Maeve Chronicles. Her life in print, as the first century Celtic Magdalen, satisfied her until….November 8th, 2016 when Madge returned, mouthy as ever, to rejoin us in our own times.


On the first anniversary of the historic march, I’d like to share a little of Madge’s millennia-spanning story and a few images from her two books of cartoons, now published in one volume.

Madge first appeared to me in 1990 as a line drawing of an ample woman sitting naked at a kitchen table drinking coffee. I had recently finished writing a novel, The Return of the Goddess, A Divine Comedy, and felt I had nothing more to say. I decided to play with magic markers for a while. Madge, as the naked woman introduced herself, was far from done with words. Fleshed out with peach magic marker, Madge told me she wanted “fiery neon orange” for her hair color. She also required speech balloons for her theological queries. (For example: If we are all members of the body of Christ, who is the twelve-year molar, the kneecap, the colon?) Enchanted with her sass, I invited her to be in my next novel. I pitched ideas to her. She rejected them all as too dull and said, “I want my own book of cartoons first.” Continue reading “Happy Anniversary, Women’s March, with love from Madge by Elizabeth Cunningham”

Pride by John Erickson

When we come together, we are the Divine.  I didn’t think I could experience that twice in one year; clearly, I was wrong. 

If you’re anything like me you not only hate opening up your Twitter feed each morning but also feel compelled to in order to make sure you didn’t miss whatever new atrocity to come out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. After the Women’s March, I felt charged. I felt that whatever this administration threw at the proverbial “us,” I knew we could and would overcome it. Although that charge kept me going for a few months, there came a time where I just couldn’t go on anymore and that I was completely drained; then walked in a man named Brian Pendleton.

After the Women’s March on January 21, I didn’t know what to expect. The event was truly so successful that many of the organizers and coordinators were on an activist high as a result of what was a truly magical and divine moment. A few months came and went and the 45th President of the United States continued (much to our surprise) to be as awful as we all knew and expected. However, while I am able to exist in a world, no matter how oppressive, as a cisgendered white male and the full on privilege and power that comes along with that territory, many of the individuals and communities being attacked did not have those same freedoms; and like with the Women’s March and how that all took shape, in walked Brian Pendleton to my life to talk to me about the #ResistMarch.

Cover PhotoAlthough my involvement during the 120 days or more that led up to the #ResistMarch happened in a flash, one thing is for certain: miracles exist not because of divine intervention but because G-d places people on this Earth to make positive impacts. The beauty of the #ResistMarch was not just the passion of the organizers but the beauty of the rainbow that came out in full force on June 11

The strength shown by our community was one that, for all intensive purposes, proves that love does conquer all. RuPaul couldn’t have expressed the common and conquering theme better than when he said: “It’s all about love; giving love and being able to receive love. That’s our secret weapon; that’s the one thing they don’t have: our love and our music. That is our activism. That is what we use and what we always use to fight the ugliness.”

That is the one experience that I took most out of the #ResistMarch: the power of love and friendship; the beauty in the unexpected conversation that leads to changing the world, again.  Thank you, Brian. Thank you, for bringing us all together to resist, recharge, and love.


When we come together, we are the Divine.  I didn’t think I could experience that twice in one year; clearly, I was wrong.

John Erickson is the President of the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women. John is a Ph.D. Candidate in American Religious History at Claremont Graduate University where he is finishing up his dissertation tentatively titled “Step Sons and Step Daughter”: Chosen Communities, Religion, and LGBT Liberation.” John holds a MA in Women’s Studies in Religion; an MA in Applied Women’s Studies; and a BA in English and Women’s Studies. He is the Founding and Past President of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s LGBTQA+ Alumni Association and currently serves as the Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Stonewall Democratic Club, a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow at Claremont Graduate University. He is a permanent contributor to the blog Feminism and Religion, a Co-Founder of the blog The Engaged Gaze, and the Co-Chair of the Queer Studies in Religion Section of the American Academy of Religion’s Western Region, the only regional section of the American Academy of Religion that is dedicated to the exploration of queer studies in religion and other relevant fields in the nation. In April 2017, he was the first openly gay athlete to be inducted into the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Hall of Fame. Most recently, John was one of the coordinators of the Women’s March Los Angeles, which brought together 750,000 people in downtown Los Angeles on January 21, 2017, and a Committee Member for the #ResistMarch, which brought together 100,000 people from Hollywood to West Hollywood in honor of LA Pride on June 11, 2017.






Join the Rebellion by Jessica Bowman

Like many other thousands of Americans, I watched the newest offering from the Star Wars legacy last autumn and was re-inspired to be an active part of the rebellion against oppression. Viewing the movie through my feminist lens I was cheered on by the choice of actors and actresses in lead roles and was reminded of Margaret Mead’s famous quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

It may be easy to compare the new president to Lord Vader because he is an easy target who encourages mockery and ridicule. However, tyranny, violence, and power trips have long been a part of world societies, for centuries.  It is as evident as ever that we must continue to stand against such debilitating realities. We must stand together.

And, like millions of other people across the world, I had the privilege to participate in a Sister March to the Women’s March on Washington; shoulder to shoulder with passionate and caring people determined to make a difference. The experience generated feelings of elation, hope, and unity. I was most impressed by the kindness radiating from every person I came in contact with.  Even though spaces were packed with people the overall atmosphere was conscientious, polite, and caring. Peaceful activism is critical to progress.  

I also listened intently to the speeches made at the marches; especially by the women well known in popular culture. Gloria Steinem, a cornerstone of the modern feminist movement, spoke words that I believe reflect the change in values that I visualize in the form of a river current. “God may be in the details, but the Goddess is in connections. We are at one with each other, we are looking at each other, not up.” Women’s work is the creation of the web; the tapestry of connections between us all and the building of momentum in the stream bed. Continue reading “Join the Rebellion by Jessica Bowman”

Reflections on Trauma, Part I: Pink Pussyhats by Stephanie N. Arel

stephanie-arelI have been thinking frequently about trauma, about what perpetuates suffering and what supports the arduous journey of transforming traumatic experiences, especially in the aftermath of traumas of human design. The violation of bodies lies at the heart of such traumas. Thus, how we practice behaviors that refuse to denigrate bodies are critical and necessary to alleviating suffering and promoting the body’s dignity.

This idea of restoring the body’s dignity after trauma is magnified by the reality that trauma remains, stored in our bodies as a residual reminder of the traumatic event (s). Bessel van der Kolk reminds us, “The body keeps the score.” Continue reading “Reflections on Trauma, Part I: Pink Pussyhats by Stephanie N. Arel”

We the People by Joyce Zonana

jz-headshotDuring the January 21st Women’s March in New York City, I was inspired and delighted by so many of the signs women and men had crafted to express their opposition to the current disastrous regime in the United States: “Grab America Back,” “Support Your Mom,” “Sad!,” “Miss Uterus Strikes Back.”  But one image stood out, mesmerizing me:  that of a woman proudly wearing an American flag as hijab, with a message below—“We The People Are Greater Than Fear.”  For several blocks as we made our way up Fifth Avenue, I walked beside a woman carrying that sign, and it became, for me, the most powerful symbol of the resistance we must all wage during the dark time ahead.

Poster by Shepard Fairey

Munira Ahmed photo by Ridwan Adhami

The image, based on a photograph of Munira Ahmed by Ridwan Adhami, was created for the Women’s March by graphic artist Shepard Fairey (who also designed the iconic image of Barack Obama, “Hope”).  It offers a striking visual challenge to a long-held orthodoxy, now brought to the fore by Donald Trump and his gang:  that Western-style liberal democracy (epitomized by the United States) is incompatible with Islam.  And, perhaps even more specifically, that Islam is incompatible with feminism.

Many Western women—including feminists—are still bound by the Orientalist worldview that encumbered our liberal feminist foremothers.   Continue reading “We the People by Joyce Zonana”

After the WOMEN’S March…What Do We Do Now? by Marie Cartier

Marie & Deb
Marie & Deb

I am sitting here with my friend Deb—and like so many conversations we are all having right now, we ask each other— “…after the March…what do we do now?” Of course, we are speaking of the world-wide Women’s March that happened the day after the inauguration, January 21, 2017. I created a photo essay of the March for my last post here at FAR to document the energy and passion of that day.

The day after the March I was due for a rehearsal for a production in West Hollywood of the Vagina Monologues, a performance by Hollywood NOW that would benefit Planned Parenthood. At that first rehearsal, the entire cast, led by our director, decided that our production would be a response to the question above. In fact, we began the play by marching in from the back with signs from the Women’s March, many of us wearing “pussy hats” we wore in the actual March. Pictures of our amazing event are here.

So…that was February. And now here we are at the end of the month and…as my friend Deb says, “Now what?” Continue reading “After the WOMEN’S March…What Do We Do Now? by Marie Cartier”

Parenting and Politics: How I’m Showing Up by Katey Zeh


When I was ten weeks pregnant I gave an impassioned speech in front of the Supreme Court during the Hobby Lobby hearings about why universal access to contraception was part of my own religious understanding. I’d wanted to share about my own planned pregnancy, but at that point I wasn’t far enough along to feel comfortable telling that in a public way.

I didn’t know it at the time, but that would be my last protest for almost three years. After the birth of my daughter I cut my travel significantly. I spent most of my weekends in the cocoon–or what sometimes felt more like the prison–of our home rather than out in the public square.  As someone deeply ensconced in the activism world this turning inward felt like I was betraying the causes and the people for whom I cared deeply. How could I be an effective advocate if I couldn’t show up?

Over the last few months I’ve done a lot of reflecting on how parenting has shifted the way that I think about myself as an activist. Whether rooted in parental love, self-preservation, or some combination of these two, I’m less willing to put myself in harm’s way than I was before I became a mother. Continue reading “Parenting and Politics: How I’m Showing Up by Katey Zeh”

Welcome to the Resistance by John Erickson

john-womens-marchThere comes a time in all of our lives when we have to make important decisions. What do I believe in? Who do I want to be? What and who will I stand up for? There has been a lot going on in the world lately and a lot of it, sadly, is pretty awful. While people are learning pretty quickly that elections have very real and long-lasting consequences, what is critical to make clear in the next 4 years of this fascist regime isn’t just that we are taking to the streets to make our voices heard, but that we are willing to disrupt society at every turn to make sure that people on the other side of the proverbial political coin know we will not go gently into that good night.

I’ve been questioning G-d a lot lately; wondering what has happened to that shining “City on a hill” that John Winthrop called for in his 1630 sermon “A Model of Christian Charity.” The idea that the United States of America is “G-d’s country” is based in an American exceptionalism based not only the rich bounty of land and resources many would soon benefit from, but also on the potential for a different kind of society that America represented in a world full of monarchs. Continue reading “Welcome to the Resistance by John Erickson”

You Can’t Debate Mutuality by Sara Frykenberg

I use words like “mutuality,” “listening,” and “love,” here as I discuss my understanding of feminist justice-making and eschew debate…I want to make it abundantly clear: I see these as powerful, often forceful and even angry tools. We listen to what oppressors say so that they cannot deceive with their “alternative facts.” We love forcefully…We counter violence—we do not debate it—with anger, humor, creativity and power, in order to redirect its energies into more mutual possibilities.

Sara FrykenbergParticipating in the Women’s March on Jan. 21st in Los Angeles fed my soul deeply. I didn’t realize how much I needed to protest in this way, how stuck I had been in grief and despair after the election, and the way that coming together as a community would help me to mourn. There’s nothing quite like standing together with hundreds of thousands of people who also care deeply with hope, humor, and real power. Marching helped me to find the energy to fight back. It refilled a reservoir, so depleted in 2016, much as the badly needed winter rain in my home state of California has helped to abate the severe drought. Continue reading “You Can’t Debate Mutuality by Sara Frykenberg”

Do You Know Why We Are Marching? by Marcia Mount Shoop

When we got into the car to go, I asked my twelve-year-old daughter, “Do you know why we are marching today?”

“To protest Donald Trump?” she replied.

I explained that some people may be going for that reason, but that was not the reason I was going.

“Are there any positive reasons you can think of for why we are marching?” I asked her.

She went on to name several things Donald Trump had said about women. “I guess those are all still anti-Trump things,” she said.

“I am marching because I am a mother, I am a sister, I am a daughter, I am a wife, and I am a survivor. That’s what I am saying if anyone asks me,” I told her.


I had already thought through this question. As a pastor of a church with people who have diverse political affiliations I am committed to being able to minister to everyone in my congregation. I have served churches in which my political views are in the minority and I have served churches in which my political views are in the majority. Both have challenging aspects, but nothing that I have experienced previously in terms of partisanship feels like it relates to what is happening in the United States right now. Those old partisan dynamics were difficult to navigate—it took discipline, but not one ounce of moral compromise.

The decision to march was not a partisan one, it was a moral one, and it was a spiritual one. If I didn’t march it I would be listening to a frightening interlocutor—and his name is despair.

Party affiliations are not creating the alienation at the root of what is happening. The challenges are much more painful—and if I stay silent or still in the face of this situation I would not be doing my job as a pastor or a mother. Continue reading “Do You Know Why We Are Marching? by Marcia Mount Shoop”

Photo Report from the Woman’s March, Los Angeles by Marie Cartier


All Photos by Marie Cartier

We Are Seeds

Continue reading “Photo Report from the Woman’s March, Los Angeles by Marie Cartier”

Way Too Nice by Esther Nelson

esther-nelsonWhat an honor to have taken part in the Women’s March (Washington DC) last Saturday, January 21, 2017!  The event made visible the enormous number of people willing to give their time and effort to stand up and march for justice in the areas of women’s reproduction, immigration, race relations, LGBTQIA, the environment, and health care.  The most frequently-used chants that I heard during the march were: “Black Lives Matter” and the call and response “My body, my choice. Her body, her choice.”

There were “sister marches” in many cities across the U.S. as well as in cities and countries throughout the world.  And the marches (as far as I know) were all peaceful.  No arrests. Continue reading “Way Too Nice by Esther Nelson”

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