What quote am I vibing? "Oh my God! Jane Fonda is not a bitch!" Me, after seeing her on the Daily Show on September 9, 2020
Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild since Last Post: 37
Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild in 2020: 802
All-Time Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild: 1326
My heart is pounding writing this blog post, because I feel that it may be a bit controversial, or that I will receive some angry feedback, and yet - it is true. Jane Fonda is not a bitch. Apologies for the language, but this was something I read on my uncle's bumper sticker as a child - "Jane Fonda. UnAmerican, Traitor, Bitch." The message struck me and stayed with me because it was so aggressive, and I knew what a curse word was, even at a young age - of course!
This is a reflection of how the opinions of adults, whether wrong or right, can stay with us throughout our lives, shaping us in ways we don't realize. I have gone my whole life recoiling at the name "Jane Fonda" because of something I had no idea about, and something that, frankly, isn't true. I am not going to get too far into it, and rest assured, I have great respect for veterans - if you don't believe me, check my license plate. Or my heart. If you don't know about the "Hanoi Jane" incident and all the controversy surrounding it, the falsification of other events that happened when Jane was in Vietnam, or her lifetime of apologizing and trying to make up for what has been perceived as her disrespect to our American troops, I invite you to read more about it. I have done my research, and I am at peace with my change in heart regarding this passionate and thoughtful woman.
After seeing Jane speak with great knowledge and emotion about climate change on The Daily Show, I downloaded her new audiobook - What Can I Do? The chapters discuss topics of great importance to me - Climate Change and Women, CC and Oceans, CC and Water, Environmental Justice, Plastics, and much more. Each chapter includes actionable items that any of us can do to get involved, or feel like we are doing something to help.
Most of all, Jane encourages us to become part of something greater than ourselves. I have, do, and will probably continue to struggle with this part - I am a lone wolf, typically, when it comes to my cleanups. I am not an organizer or a planner - I am a do-er. A clean-er. But I SEE the impact when someone joins me. I see the HUGE impact when I am part of a group cleanup. I will continue to try to be better with this part, while keeping some cleanings all to myself as they are a meditative time for me.
Jane and Annie Leonard of Greenpeace's description of civil disobedience as a tool to raise awareness, and "align your body with your values" seems to have sparked a flame in me - for months I have dreamed of being arrested for doing something in service to the environment. The women of this book made it seem like a possibility for me. Maybe not soon, but don't be surprised if you see a photo of me smiling in police custody in the future.
We are our voice, and we are our future. Jane Fonda is not a bitch, but a passionate activist who cares very much about the future of humanity and our planet - she is someone I strive to be like. I am glad that I learned that, and I am glad that I have the capacity to change.