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April 30, 2013

BEAM: The lady doth protest too little

Social advocacy is hard work. Just look at Gandhi forgoing food during his hunger strikes or Nelson Mandela serving 27 years in a South African prison. 

Biography.com actually has a list of important activists through the ages: Elizabeth Caddy Stanton, Princess Diana, Aung San Suu Kyi and, yes, even Pamela Anderson. 

OK, so maybe it’s not as difficult to be considered an activist as I first thought. 

Regardless, I personally dove into the realm of social activism this week, a new thing for me. You will be relieved to hear that I kept on all my clothes, unlike dear Pamela in her PETA ads. Well, except for one instance, but that was really beyond my control as you’ll see later. 

For a small-town girl, options are limited on how to change the world. While being arrested would afford me a little time away from the kids, which all mothers need, I don’t look good in orange. And we all know looking good is one of the key elements to great media coverage. Just ask any of the female Fox News anchors. 

Hunger strikes for women can be too easily confused with eating disorders, so that’s obviously out. 

Likewise, I’d hate to do a true demonstration. Back when I belonged to a certain political party, I did a counter-protest in front of at-the-time Gov. George W. Bush’s residence in Austin, Texas, during the 2000 election. As Young Republicans, we held signs that decried hanging chads and blamed the state of Florida for the whole debacle. 

While the Texas Rangers were quite nice and some hot chocolate was provided, walking around a mansion in freezing rain wasn’t my cup of tea and certainly wasn’t a party. Our washable markers ran down the poster board, forming red and blue puddles underneath our canvas sneakers. The other real protesters wore boots or European-looking dress shoes as they sprayed us with the colored water. Lesson learned, men in olive Army coats. Lesson learned. 

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