My Fellow Virginia NOW Officers & Members,
It is with deep regret that I inform you that my 15-year-relationship with the feminist community has come to an end.
In May of 2018, when the newly elected President and Vice President of Virginia NOW locked me out of the Virginia NOW website (which was my intellectual property as well as Dr. Simone Robert’s and my original creation), the Virginia NOW Facebook Page, my firstname.lastname@example.org email account, and out of Constant Contact – all without informing me of their plans beforehand nor acknowledging my 15 years of service to the organization, I knew I had to act quickly.
On September 1st, I mailed an official cease and desist letter, requesting that all of my content be removed from the website. Many feminists have been in the situation where for one reason or another, they were forced to resign and others took credit and ownership of their work. I was adamant that I would not let this happen to me. So after endless hours on the phone with my lawyer, staying up at night writing drafts, and asking my favorite Virginia NOW president, Diana Egozcue for her help, it finally worked. If you look at www.vanow.org, everything of mine is gone.
It’s painful for me to look at, and I have tears in my eyes because such a huge part of my life is gone now, but I am also so relieved. I am so glad that I stood up for myself and actively opposed this kind of treatment towards women when I could have saved myself an awful lot of time just “letting it go”.
I want to thank Dr. Simone Roberts for working with me for the first three years on the Virginia NOW website, which was such an incredible creation. I thank her for entrusting me with all of her content when she needed to move on from Virginia NOW. A part of me feels like I let her down because I couldn’t keep her beautiful website contributions safe in the exact format they were in, but I will always appreciate her solidarity and her faith in my integrity.
I want to thank Katie Regan, my second Virginia NOW web editor, for sticking with me until the very end.
Most of all, I thank Diana Egozcue, the President of Virginia NOW during my 10 years as Communications Vice President, who will always be Virginia NOW’s President to me. I would not have been able to stand up for my content without her alliance. She spent so much time listening to me and strategizing with me, and in the end, we stood up for something genuine. *huge enormous hug*
I will always be grateful to my years with Virginia NOW and the incredible women and men I met along the way. This has been such an ugly, traumatizing experience that it has pretty much ended my entire relationship with the feminist community, but in a way, that’s a good thing. I have been neglecting my own advancement in life in the dedication of women’s liberation. It is now time for me. I now have the opportunity to put all of that love and energy into my own life, and hopefully, thrive.
I am thankful to all of my fellow officers and members who supported and cheered me on in reclaiming my intellectual property. I will find a way to restore what has been lost, in a bright, new way.
In Love and Revolution,
“If I can’t dance, I’m not coming to your revolution.” – Emma Goldman
♦️ Virginia NOW Communications Vice President (2012-2018)
♦️ Webmistress (2013-2018)
♦️ Virginia Foremothers Oral History Project Founder (2013-Present)