We get inspiring emails from around the world, but this one stood out to us. It’s from a mother in Birmingham, Alabama, who is looking to start a Hollaback in Birmingham this summer. She writes:
“You are probably familiar with the iconic “southern belles” of movie lore. While this is a stereotype, it is somewhat grounded in truth. In Alabama, most women are taught that our strength lies within our ability to quietly endure whatever befalls us. We are constantly told that we can neutralize the institutional violence against our persons by putting on a friendly face. Not only does this create an unbearable cognitive dissonance (after all, we’re taught that human lives have value, but are asked to devalue our own), it is also a fallacy. Study after study has proven that this response can actually single us out as good victims to predators. I want to inspire other women to stand up for themselves. I want to create solidarity in my city, which has been so scarred by racism, classism, and sexism. It’s time for the women of this community to come together and confront these old fallacies, which have been used to silence us for too long.”
As a fellow southerner, this one gave me chills. This is a sign of good things to come from Birmingham.