Feminist Federal Advocacy

A part of being a feminist psychologist entails not only the creation of research informed by social justice principles, but also direct engagement in advocating for the creation and enforcement of fair of policies. This past year, the Society for the Psychology of Women, revived its Federal Advocacy efforts. The new leader of this initiative is Dr. Vanessa Nyborg. In coordination with APA’s Public Interest Directorate, the members of Division 35 have taken steps in support of the following initiatives:

  • Advocated for the support of media literacy programs with attention to depiction of girls and women in the media. (H.R. 4925 would authorize grants to promote media literacy and youth empowerment programs, to authorize research on the role and impact of depictions of girls and women in the media, to provide for the establishment of a National Task Force on Girls and Women in the Media.)
  • Joined APA’s campaign to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (S. 3454) currently contains language that would repeal the Department of Defense policy mandating the discharge of openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual service members, also referred to as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. )
  • Contacted our representatives in support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. (The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) of 2009 (H.R. 3017/S. 1584) would end workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.)
  • Encouraged our members to attend/support a program to combat the sexualization of girls. (SPARK – Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge – a day to speak out and push back on the sexualization of girls, while igniting a movement for girls’ rights to healthy sexuality. In response to the American Psychological Association’s Task Force Report on Sexualization of Girls, the most downloaded documented in the history of the APA’s website, the SPARK Summit will engage girls to be part of the solution rather than to protect them from the problem, to give them the tools they need to become activists, organizers, researchers, policy influencers, and media makers. The Summit will jumpstart the community building that will continue on- and off-line that will challenge the belief that “it’s just the way things are” and demonstrate what the alternatives can be.)


Psychology of Women Quarterly