Erika Ray Photography » blog

I was going to write about the dismissive articles for International Women’s Day.  I was going to write about how the ones shared and/or written by women were particularly hurtful.

But you know what?

I’m used to it.

We’re used to it.

Women are dismissed because their boobs are too large or too small.  Women are dismissed by their clothing choices.  Women are dismissed because it’s “their time of the month”.  Women are dismissed because their thighs touch.  Women are dismissed because their ribs show.  Women are dismissed because they had a c-section.  Women are dismissed because they don’t have kids.  Women are dismissed because they have too many kids.  Women are dismissed because they’re too emotional.  Women are dismissed if they don’t smile.  Women are dismissed if they have too much.  Women are dismissed if they can’t pay the bills.  Women are dismissed because we have different health issues.

Women are dismissed every single day.  So yeah…  I’m used to being dismissed.

But that’s what the March, Day With No Women, rallies, protests, every call, email and postcard is about.

More women are realizing their dismissal and that scares the hell out of people.

Women are demanding equality.

To say women are equal now is the ultimate dismissal of facts.

 

I want true equality.

I will not be dismissed.

We will not be dismissed.

That shouldn’t be scary.  But if it sounds scary to you…?

I don’t give a shit.

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There’s always a story.

Always. And this one had two: Pro and Counter.
Yes, I heard things being screamed that didn’t sit well with me.

Yes, I’m sure others felt the exact same thing.

Minor scuffles started by both sides, but, I’m guessing each side will blame the opposite.  There were scenes that I couldn’t experience at other marches.  Currently, I’m replaying those scenes in my head.  It’s a loop.  Some left me feeling hopeless and some left me feeling inspired.

But…

“This is what democracy looks like”

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“Take your broken heart, make it into art” -Carrie Fisher

Social media and 24-hour news channels can make the world seem bleak.  What can we do?  Postcards, phone calls, talk to your neighbor, educate your kids, donate.

Repeat the next day.

But one day I hit a wall.

Sweatpants, wine, “Cops” marathon all under the guise of #selfcare.

And then an inner pep-talk happened.  An inner ass-kicking occurred.

“C’mon, Erika. You’ve got skills.  Get up.  Don’t fall for this crap.  Help others.  Do it.  You’re lucky.  Don’t squander your luck.  Remember when Ma said, ‘If you’ve got talents, you have to use them’?  Remember?!  Keep the sweatpants on but do something! Ok, fine…  Finish that glass of wine first.” 

The next day I went to a protest rally with a talented friend.  We marched.  Chanted.  Listened to brave speakers.  And photographed it.

Afterwards, I had several people ask about purchasing a Hi-Res file of a “Love is our Resistance” photo.  “I’ll pay.” they said.  Right now, I’m not interested in profiting.  I’m ready to give.

Some people are new to our country.  They’re starting over.  They need basic necessities.  They need to create a new home.

Let’s remember America’s values.  Let’s remember to love and accept everyone no matter their religion, race or nationality.  Let’s love.  It’s can be that simple.

Let’s give love unselfishly and let’s give it often.

Send a donation via PayPal to:  erika.ray1@gmail.com.  Give whatever you can!  Pick your price!


With your donation, I’ll send a hi-res file of “Love is Our Resistance” photo.  You’ll be able to print up to an 8×10 photo.  If you’d like something larger, please send me a PM and I’ll send the preferred donation amount.  Unless specified, the file will be sent to the email used to donate.

All proceeds will go to CRIS.  It’s a local organization that helps refugees and immigrants reach and self-sufficiency and achieve successful integration in Central Ohio.  Basically CRIS helps refugees and immigrants create a home in Central Ohio.  And trust me, home feels good.

You give.  I’ll give.  We’ll give.

Love.  It’s that simple.

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Dear Ladies…

I just wanted to thank you again for this weekend.  I got home to a super clean house (always a plus) and lots of questions from the boys.  All of a sudden my emotions caught up to me.  My eyes filled with tears.  And this continues to happen when I think about the love, kindness, and power I experienced this weekend.

Truth be told…  I’m not really comfortable with lots of women.  I doubt many would find me a Girl’s girl.  I’m happy with a few strong souls.  This weekend, I rode with and was hosted by those kind of souls.  But also as important, I was surrounded by 500k other strong, beautiful, passionate, and powerful souls. Go on and count the marchers in other cities and countries.  Add those to my list.  Not to mention to touching messages filling our phones from proud family and friends.  We were surrounded by strength.

Prior to this weekend, we weren’t longtime or close friends.  But we shared something that I will always be grateful to have experienced next to you.  For years I will remember our slow and steady steps in an unclear direction.  I will remember losing you in the crowd and the excitement of seeing your faces pop up.  I will remember our first battle cry that was a loud yet shrill “yay!”  And I will remember our decision that a deep “FUCK YEAH!” was more appropriate.  I will remember seeing families march together, sons standing shoulder to shoulder with their mothers.  I will remember the faces of older women asking, “Why am I still fighting for basic rights?”  I will remember the smart woman who came up with a Bathroom Number system, the woman sharing her toilet paper and the odd comfort a Porta-Potty provided.  I will remember the festive after-party hosted with food, drinks, facts, family, and love.  I will remember laughing through podcasts and personal stories about bathroom malfunctions.  I will remember the different view points of topics, but the common thread of compassion, empathy, and strength.  I will remember our conversations about our next steps.

I will remember the moment I decided this wasn’t a party or a weekend thing.

I will remember the moment I knew this was simply the Beginning.
And that I had Sisters standing strongly together to continue the mission.

Sincerely from my heart,

Erika

p.s. first set of photos found here
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  • Carol Sinski - Your photos speak to me. I am partial to the black and white photos, but I always have been. I love the back shot of two women in the pink hats. Could that be done in black and white but the hats in their pink glory. It would be so powerful and warm at the same time. You are truly an insightful and talented artist. Thanks for sharing.January 21, 2017 – 10:09 pmReplyCancel

  • A simple thank you » Erika Ray Photography - […] p.s. first set of photos found here […]January 23, 2017 – 11:32 amReplyCancel

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You’ve been in this tricky position.  I know it.  You’re warming up some soup in the microwave.  The bowl is supposed to be microwave safe, but you know it’s a lie…  But still!  Still?!  You reach to grab your soup and immediately burn your fingers.  Now a Smart Adult would leave the bowl and wait.  But you’re smarter than the average adult.  You’ve got this…

You start the dangerous maneuver of trying to get the scorching hot bowl out of the microwave.  You grab the very top 1/4 inch of the bowl and quickly move to the counter saying, “Hot. Hot.  Hot.  Hot.  Hot.”  You plop it down, fingers on fire, and a smug smile that you didn’t drop it.  But then you realize that you’re an adult and you shouldn’t do that again.

I’ll fix that for you…  I’ll help you become an full-fledged mature adult with fingers intact.  The Microwave Bowl Holder.  Place your bowl of soup in this cozy contraption and begin to warm up your soup.

Could it get any better?!  YES!!

All proceeds will go to a Us Together, Inc.  They work to support and resettle refugees and immigrants.

Save your fingers.  Help some people.  It’s really that easy.

If you’re local,  it’s only $8.  But if I need to ship your order, each will cost $10.

Paypal to erika.ray1@gmail.com  Please send it as a gift and we’ll be able to give more to US Together, Inc.  Include how many and your shipping address.

We’re getting pretty close to the holidays, so while I’d like to guarantee shipping before Christmas…  I’m not sure if that’s possible.  So let’s say I’ll try really hard.

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