Just a Thought – Boycott/Girlcott

It’s been a big week for boycotts; not spinning at SoulCycle, not getting prescriptions filled at CVS, not working out at Equinox. There is are so many things we aren’t doing, we might have some free time to think about why we do those things in the first place.

What do you spend money on, and why?

I have always been a big fan of voting by wallet. The number of products I don’t buy, companies I don’t do business with, I’ve got my reasons. I joke with my friends that I am the last person on Earth not doing business with Amazon, and believe me, there are few things more tempting than having books delivered to my door. But I very, very rarely shop online. I like to interact with people, and the kind of shopping I enjoy is live and in person.

When the grocery clerks union went on strike sixteen years ago, I thought I might never see the inside of my local supermarket again. The union has authorized another strike, and while talks are still ongoing, strike could be called any day. It might be time to add to the boycott.

The mass movement against the Equinox/SoulCycle corporation has to do with the owner’s politics, and that makes sense. Why would you support a business that uses it’s profits to do things you disagree with?

CVS has stepped into the “politics as health care” arena by deciding which prescriptions they will deign to fill, and which they won’t. And charge some people more. Because it seems they have issues with whatever your doctor may think is your need for some medication. That is so far outside of what a pharmacy should do, it’s a bit mind boggling. If I did business with them, I’d stop too.

Intriguingly, all three of these businesses have to do with health; wellness, preventative care, healing. I’m thinking looking after the economic factors involved can lead to a reduction of stress, and not doing business with corporations that don’t reflect your interests is – no surprise, really – great for your health.

Ever heard of a Girlcott? It’s where you go out and choose to spend money supporting businesses that reflect your values. Maybe you could drop the SoulCycle and head to CycleBar, or or pass up the ColdStone for some Coolhaus.  Buy some books at Ripped Bodice, get a coffee cup at Lundeen’s, pick out a new outfit at All That & More. Think of what all that economic support could do for locally owned businesses.

Boycotts are a good thing, and a historic tool for change. Girlcotts are just more fun. Perhaps we just need to invest more in the things we want to see succeed.


Judith Martin-Straw

The Actors' Gang

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