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Inside This Issue:

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Things Women Say

I try really hard to be non-judgmental. Being curious and compassionate in my interactions with others (which gets harder and harder as time goes on – an outcome of both my maturity and the increasingly divided climate in which we live) is really important to me.

Yet, I find myself cringing when I hear women say things like:

  • "My husband is babysitting"

  • "I just vote for whoever my husband votes for"

  • "It's so cute when he [does something violent or abusive]"

While these seem, to me, to have been derived from some dystopian science fiction piece, they are things that I have actually heard women say. And not so long ago.

Patriarchy isn't just something created by and for the benefit of men, it is a complex phenomenon in which we are all, to some extent, complicit (for some because we are trapped within it, for others because we do not notice that entanglement). This does not negate the fact that many men actively patrol and reproduce patriarchy (more on that below).

What are some things you have heard women say?


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Friday, March 8 is International Women's Day

What She Said

Language policing feels like it’s doing something important but is sometimes unintelligible even to the people we're trying to support. This behavior is often a situation of unverifiable harm through which trauma is weaponized. It’s more a powerplay rather than substantive changes in oppressive structures. ...many people who believe they are genuinely progressive also think they are acting appropriately as language supervisors, establishing rigid guardrails against harm caused by people who are insufficiently au courant. It has become a form of virtue signaling one’s political purity much more than it indicates a desire to be kind and inclusive.

Loretta J. Ross, Activist, National Women's Hall of Fame Inductee, author, teacher, and advocate for calling in.


I'm So Offended! Creative Ways to Express Disgust

Being intentional about the words we use is important. Power dynamics are neatly encapsulated in our language. We can make people feel welcome, excluded, respected, traumatized, and so many other things based on the words we choose.

Our language use should demonstrate respect and empathy, creating space for compassion as people learn and make mistakes. At the same time, we also need to create and maintain boundaries to prevent harm and facilitate a nurturing climate.

Often our gut reaction to hearing something that ruffles our feathers is something like, 'that's so offensive.' While I have definitely used this language more than a time or two, it reflects a dogmatic, judgmental, condemning position that limits possibilities for learning and transformation. In other words, it reflects and maintains the status quo.

Here are a few things we can say instead, depending on the circumstances (not necessarily when someone is overly using harmful language): 

  • I never thought about it that way before. Tell me more!

  • I disagree, here are a few reasons why.

  • How interesting, I wonder why you think or feel that way.

  • There are lots of different ways to look at this situation. This is what I think...

  • It's important to me that we understand each other. Let's talk more.

  • I'm curious how you came to that conclusion. Tell me what you're thinking.


Scotland has published a very easy to understand guide to their feminist approach to international relations

Catalyst published 33 ways to address DEI backlash with links to lots of helpful resources from infographics to research reports.

The Sustained Dialogue Campus Network has issued a response guide for facilitating college campus' response to what is happening in Palestine; it contains helpful tools that could be used for other groups as well.

Building Movement Project and Muslims for Just Futures have published 100 Days of Building Solidarity and Power: Observations and Recommendations about Immediate and Long-Term Infrastructure Needs of Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab Groups in the US.

The Center for Third World Organizing's recent Living Liberation Conference was AMAZING. If you missed it, you can view the sessions on YouTube.

UN Women published a list of Gender Equality Accelerators to address the root causes of gender inequities.

Being bullied at work is traumatizing; I speak from experience. This article has some suggestions to identify and address workplace bullying.

Bioneers offers Indigeneity Curriculum resources with lesson plans, videos, discussion guides, and other resources. One of the units is about the flowering ceremony for young women in the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

Jennifer Hoffman, organizer of the Americans of Conscience Checklist, offers a pay what you can Activist Self Care class.

Learn how to make creativity a habit.


An article on the AARP website shows how music is beneficial for older adults.

Building Movement Project published a report showing the continued decline in interest in nonprofit leadership positions.

I just have to say, I love, love, love the editorial direction of Nonprofit Quarterly over the past few years. It's like the realization of a dream. This quick video shares guidance about community listening sessions. Speaking of love, check out Cyndi Suarez's Love as Social Order.

Curiosity leads to more happiness. Learn why (and how!) in this podcast from the Greater Good Science Center.

From the 1619 project, a list of the top 10 resources from 2023

Find out how many people in your state's legislature are women using this map from Ms.

Unity Effect is offering a Planning Engaging Online Events and Workshops resource through Network Weaver.

The Spatial Futures Initiative launched with Grounding Justice: Toward Spatial Futures in Land and Housing.

Not sure how to talk about gender-based violence? Use this resource from Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence.

Dream Defenders is offering a Black and Palestinian Solidarity Organizing Toolkit.


Rise: A Feminist Book Project for Ages 0-18 has published a list of book recommendations from 2023 broken down by age group.

Jessica's Bookshelf


Some old and new books that I have loved or can't wait to read [again].


The Black Feminist Symposium will be hosted by University of Cincinnati on March 1.

You can post your International Women's Day event at this website (thanks for sharing, Bonnie!).

The Paglees, a feminist art collective, have an exhibit at the South Asia Institute in Chicago.

Save the date: The Black Cooperative Agenda National Conference will be June 13-15 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Thank you to Lilith & Jane, sponsor of this month's Fruition Journal.

Leadership Wisdom from Octavia Butler

"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.

To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.

To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.

To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.

To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.

To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery."

Do femnist foreign policies in the Global North reify the hegemony of privileged nations? Find out more in this article in Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

Gen Z boys and men have more negative attitudes toward feminism than baby boomer men, according to recent research. In fact, about 20% of Americans think feminism is a negative thing. The good news about the younger generations (I'm sure this isn't the only good news) is that they are visiting libraries more frequently than GenX+.

So often in activist circles, we lament. A new study demonstrates that sharing our good news contributes to feelings of gratitude which can strengthen social bonds. 

Did you know that you don’t have to go searching and scrambling the American Community Survey data you need because the U.S. Census Bureau publishes a list of all of their tables? Here it is!

Dr. Janine Mixon's 2023 dissertation identifies effective mentoring strategies for Black women in higher education leadership.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study demonstrates the arts positive impact on children.

Ever wonder why people are complicit or don't speak out against atrocities, large and small? This article explains the role of moral courage.

While people may be generally more tolerant (and in some cases accepting and welcoming, research published in Harvard Business review shows a rise in implicit weight bias.

Is it the chicken or the egg? Some leadership development programs without recognizing that women and girls have low self-esteem because they are excluded from leadership opportunities.

Living to 100 is becoming much more common. Explore the implications in this report from Stanford Center on Longevity.

Learn about decolonizing data from Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA.


Things Misogynists Say

I've been paying attention to feminist backlash, which seems to be continually triggered by everything from benign pop culture events like the Barbie movie to the real progress being made by feminists and others working toward collective human liberation every day. Here are a few headlines that recently came across my feed (intentionally not linked) that I found a bit scary:

"Protecting Our Sons: Navigating a Radical Feminist Culture"

"When Did Women Become Such Wimps? So Many Self-Described Feminist are Easily-Offended, Trans-Pandering Pushovers."

"Has Feminism Contributed to Obesity?"


Vital Voices is accepting applications for its 2024 VV Visionaries program, which provides access to professional development and networking opportunities, through March 8.

Applications are open for the African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Program through the  the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Registration is open for the Othering & Belonging Conference, which will be held in Oakland, CA in April. OBI also offers many free online classes.

Building Movement Project is hiring an Executive Director or Co-Executive Directors.

Stir to Action's ABCs festival will be this July in Bristol, UK and tickets are available now.

Leadership Learning Community is offering a Mending series beginning on March 11.

The 26th annual International Leadership Association conference will be this November in Chicago.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) begins on March 11.

The Association of Leadership Educators Conference will be in Minneapolis this July.

Windcall Institute is accepting residency applications through March 27.

Gather at Highlander in April to discuss Reckoning with White Femininity and Anti-Blackness.

MFABoston is hosting a lecture on Jewish Feminism: Transforming Ritual Practice on March 13.

Highlander is accepting applications for Train the Trainers.

Center for Third World Organizing announced their Spring 2024 training dates.


Who to Call When You Need Help

Bookmark this page from Cybersmile Foundation.

Women in Rajathan are protesting gender inequities in water distribution and access.

I have known three women who were murdered by a close family member - one by her son and two by their husbands. There have been 16 cases of femicide in Kenya since the beginning of the year, and women protested at a Dark Valentine event. You can read some of their stores in this article in The East African.

UN Women issued a statement for the International Day for Women and Girls in Science.

Global Fund for Women has released their 2024-2026 strategic plan.

National Alliance to End Homelessness issued a statement in response to the supreme court's hearing related to homelessness, the first in its kind for 40 years.

Center for Constitutional Rights issued a statement on the genocide in Gaza.


Fruition Journal is free for everyone!

You can help to sustain and improve this publication with a voluntary monthly payment.

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