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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Shannon Watts

I am recently retired, I joined our local Moms Demand action group, I plan to get more evolved as I get more free time. I help, 3 elderly relatives and my two daughters with their children. I guess what is on my mind is my concern for our country and how it will effect my grandchildren. I am 65 and I never thought there would be so much violence and hate. Since the election of Trump, I am so afraid and anxious. I donate money and try to keep myself informed but it just doesn’t seem like I am doing enough, podcasts about activism/politics would be helpful. Betsy

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Very excited about this community and learning more from your experience, Shannon! I'm a former elite gymnast and college cheerleader who is still battling the physical and emotional trauma of a youth spent as a gym rat. As I've seen friends with kids as well as my own nieces and nephew navigate the youth athletics environment, I'm shocked at the lack of protections that kids (and parents) have in this highly monetized, unregulated, and hyper-competitive world. I'm looking for ideas of how to wrap my head around the value chain/economics, motivations/stakes, consequences, etc. of youth sports in order to create an advocacy platform for youth & adults that leads to safer youth sports environments. I'd love more specific guidance on research, identifying stakeholders & partners, creating a platform, communication strategies, leveraging personal stories, managing your own mental health as an advocate, etc. Thank you!

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Oct 1, 2023Liked by Shannon Watts

I thought, ya know, I am going to write to Shannon Watts! She said she reads these notes and wants to hear from her supporters. So I started this a month or so ago and I am someone who is not great at writing but figured who cares right…so here is my rough draft note to you! Every time you send out a sub-stack, I think. “OMG, every time she writes this stuff I can relate! “ I’m 45, so the perimenopause piece resonated so much and then the piece on Where are all the Men hits at me because a large reason I got divorced in 2018 was that my spouse was not a big enough cheer leader of my advocacy or just caring about anything going on in the community. Ok..so here are a few journal type entered and thought I’d share.

September 1st ish:

Your marriage piece was fantastic. I met a great guy in Oregon while I was a nurse in Portland. After dating for a few years, I encouraged him to go to trade school for something he was passionate about…gunsmithing. He had never left his small home town in Oregon and finally had the confidence to go further his education. We moved to Denver together and he did school while I was a nurse on a Pediatric Floor in Denver.

I viewed his skills as a type of art and admired him for the artistic side of gunsmithing and he viewed hunting as his sacred place and a sacred time. Loves it so much that you can’t but help think of the lineage to that strong Hunter/Gather instinct. I admired that even though I had no interest in hunting. We moved to Montana in 2007 where my family lived and I grew up. He got a job at a sketchy gun manufacturing place…owners not paying their taxes type stuff going on. He later got a job at a different firearms manufacturing company with owners of whom I became close with ( The wife despised Trump, a progressive/liberal even though she co-owned a firearms manufacturing company.) 2009& 2011 I had children. 2012 Sandyhook. 2015 Trump running for President. At the Woman’s March in 2016 in my town of Kalispell….I saw some gals in Puffy jackets with red shirts over the puff. They had clipboards. That was the moment. I had to get out of my comfort zone of privileged white woman and go do something! For the first time in my life I felt as if as a woman I was a second class citizen when Americas electoral college decided that Trump, a bully and misogynist, was who should be in charge of our country. ( enter privilege here) So I started attending meetings and soon moved in to the Local Group Lead role. I was outraged. So at this point I was super naive and thought that my husband’s gun company would be an ally or at least he would be supportive of my new volunteer role. I’ve always felt your spouse should be your biggest cheerleader. Well…this was not the case. He just let it be…no bad talk but no support either. I later found out that he voted for Trump. My heart broke in half. How could someone vote for a human who mocks a disabled man, who say they can grab women by the pussy? Who does that? The final straw was when I was watching the Blassey Ford testimony and I was bawling. I tried to have a discussion about it with him and he stated, “ Well how do you know she is telling the truth”. I had finally come to terms that we were not each others cheerleaders and we would be best not to be together anymore. In April 2018 our divorce was final. I could breathe. I was heartbroken, but knew I couldn’t be my authentic self and have my spouse continue to not be supportive. He continues to be a responsible gun owner and continues to work at a firearms manufacturing company whose guns sell for thousands of dollars. He does marketing now for the company. He is a good dad to our kids. My son enjoys hunting and my daughter has no interest.

At this years GSU, I presented a case study on a safe storage initiative a fellow RN and I ( both MOMS) started in our Pediatric Unit. In a super red community. The fact I could stand up and do do this is a true testament to how Moms Demand has helped shape me as an advocate. Doing things I never thought I would or should be doing. Surrounding yourself with community centered humans and survivors will make you feel as if you can change the world for the better.

Anyhow, this verbal diarrhea shows that journaling or therapy would do wonders for me😂...but it also show how much we as women in this setting have in common. Please keep going because when concepts are articulated well and topics are thought through out loud it helps people like me process better. It’s helps me move through things with greater understanding.

#keepgoing will always be the most inspirational hashtag to me♥️

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Oooooh I loved this. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m also cheering for you to find your cheerleader.📣❤️💕

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