by The Editors

“The Day After” refers, of course, to a real-time event: the presidential election. The dizzying buzz and swirl of the campaign and the selection of the White House occupant make distraction all too easy. But feminists and progressives know that they need to keep their eyes on core issues no matter what — before, during and after the election cycle. These enduring values are catalysts for future activism and the subjects of The Day After.

On wide-ranging issues — the economy to the environment, reproductive freedom to voting freedom, sexuality to media representation — our writers, artists and thinkers in The Day After remind us to extend our vision beyond the ballot box to where we need to place our energies, build our muscles and put our feet on the ground every day of the year.

Feminist economist Susan F. Feiner asks what a truly fair economy would look like, demonstrating how women and people of color are still trying to secure their pieces of the pie under 1940s protections — the ones that conservatives are now trying to dismantle — in Living Up to the New Deal. Eleanor Bader takes us straight to nurses who are using their efforts to organize better healthcare protections for all people, while improving working conditions for their members in Nurses Unionize to Heal the System.

Tanya Melich, known for her astute work in sounding an early alarm to the Republican war against women, urges new feminist attention to frightening efforts to disenfranchise voters in Broken Politics: Republicans Assail Suffrage Itself. In order to save reproductive rights from ever-escalating assaults by reactionary forces, longtime pro-choice analyst Susan Yanow insists that now, more than ever, reproductive freedom organizers need to link arms with a broad range of allies in Silos No More: Building Alliances for Reproductive Justice, while Nick Van der Graaf gives us a glimpse at how continuous pro-choice consciousness-building in Canada has made even conservative politicians watch their step in The Abortion Rights Looking Glass: Canada Reflects Women First.

Overarching environmental health concerns pose dangers regardless of the ballot box. In Fracking’s Health Calamities Left to Fester, journalist Jan Goodwin exposes and explains in clear language how natural gas drilling threatens our water and health. And as the world faces ongoing radiation releases from Japan’s nuclear power meltdowns, activist Kimberly Roberson speaks out against bipartisan blind spots in Fukushima’s Hot Water: Now Fallout in Our Kitchens?

Safety and security are prime issues for women. Juhu Thukral talks about the need for passionate leadership at the top in protecting women and sexual minorities from violence in Victims of Gender Violence Find Solutions Slipping Away, while Jamie Hagan explains important efforts by women around the world to make sure that all populations are included in peacebuilding in Global “Security” Equals Human Security and Gender Rights.

Amanda Marcotte looks around the culture wars today and finds that they add up to one thing: a reactionary freak-out on sexual freedom in No Dancing: The Right Aims to Take Down Sexual Liberation. And ColorofChange commentator Dani McClain looks at the black community and gay marriage, wondering if it isn’t time to come out and support single people, especially women, in Can Black Women Lead the Way in Redefining Marriage?

How women’s issues fare in the world is intricately tied to the media, writes Jennifer L. Pozner in Our Feminist Media Road Trip: Time to Take The Wheel, as she looks at stalled progress for women in media representation and suggests future activism. Media inequity also joins other cultural and social factors causing lopsided political leadership, writes Diane Vacca in Getting Closer to the Levers of Power, while Mary E. Plouffe urges a four-step plan of continuous, active engagement to keep feminists moving forward in Standing Our Ground: Beyond Maslow’s Basic Needs.

Feminist books and media are always a part of our world. Samuel Huber and The Feminist Press offer six titles to inspire readers in The Book Corner: Women Define the Agenda, Find the Power, while Elizabeth Black surveys the feminist landscape and responses to a curious phenomenon in 50 Shades of Grey, Erotica and the Bondage Craze.

As with every edition of On The Issues Magazine, poetry and art add to the contours of our thinking. In The Day After, Art Editor Linda Stein features a mini-retrospective of works and installations by Kate Millett, artist, social activist and author of Sexual Politics in The Art Perspective. Exciting works by another dozen artists are portrayed throughout the edition. Poetry Co-Editor Sarah Browning also shares the work of four poets who write of timeless mysteries and dreams — Zohra Saed, Janice Lynch Schuster, Sonja de Vries and Linda Hogan — in The Poet’s Eye.

In the viewing category, we feature a feminist who spoke loudly and carried a big hat in Bella Abzug: In Her Own Words. And archives from our online (2008-on) and print (1983-1999) editions are chock full of provocative feminist and progressive ideas for The Day After: a sampling and their links are in From Our Archives: Related Stories.

We continue the conversation on The Day After in our unique Café feature, where you can always get a good read by accessing it on the top bar on the Home Page and the steaming coffee cup at the bottom. Our first entry is by former TV anchorperson Carol Jenkins on the exceptional economic and educational challenges facing working families today. And we bring new issues to the fore in Hot Topics, such as Jennifer Baumgardner’s tribute to the author of The Dialectic of Sex in Shulamith Firestone and Me.

And we welcome your voice, as well, in the comments section at the bottom of every story, a letter to the editor or a Cafe submission ([email protected]) of your own. You can also sign up on our home page for our updates, which are delivered in an e-newsletter every two weeks.

We hope you’ll share these powerful ideas — and our firm resolve to carry on, no matter what — with your friends and colleagues. Find us on Facebook and Twitter. We have a special hash tag for this issue, too — #thedayafter.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

The Editors

Also see: The Poet’s Eye curated by Poetry Co-Editor Sarah Browning in this edition of On The Issues Magazine

Also see: RELATED STORIES: The DAY AFTER in On The Issues Magazine in this edition of On The Issues Magazine

Read the Cafe for new and updated stories.