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Hullabaloo


Friday, December 20, 2013

 
*This post will remain at the top of the page for a while.  Please scroll down for newer material.


The battle of Gilead featuring Sarah Silverman, Lizz Winstead, Lesley Gore and Margaret Atwood.

by digby

Annual fundraiser:


That was the first pop song I ever learned the words to. I wonder why?

You cannot underestimate just how radical that song was for its time. It is even more radical when you know that Lesley Gore is gay ... It was a cris de coeur of the era (even if the teen girls who loved it had no idea) a simple notion that should be laughable today and yet, sadly, is not.

It was the theme song of the recent NY telethon to support women's reproductive rights in Texas.





In case anyone who reads this blog doesn't already know it, there are lots of issues that get my blood up. But there is nothing, nothing, that offends my fundamental belief in human rights and simple justice than the idea that the state has a right to force women to bear children against their will. As my friend DebCoop said so pointedly:
For women ALL Roads to freedom and equality - economic equality and most particularly the ability to avoid poverty START with control of their bodies. If they can't control how they get pregnant and when they will have a child then poverty is the result.

There is theory about something called the Prime Mover - the first action or the first cause. Well for women it IS reproductive rights. It precedes everything. It really is simple. Without the abilty to control your own body then you are a slave to everything else.
I read The Handmaid's Tale when it came out and it completely changed me.  I know that sounds hyperbolic but it's true. I had always had a political bent and was an instinctive civil libertarian. And I'd read all the usual feminist literature of the time and thought I understood the fight for women's rights. But Handmaid's Tale was different. It illustrated the stakes for me in ways I had not previously understood.
“Is that how we lived, then? But we lived as usual. Everyone does, most of the time. Whatever is going on is as usual. Even this is as usual, now.

We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”

Back when I wrote pseudonymously, I worked hard at writing without resorting to authority or personal experience. The greatest challenge was writing about abortion rights. But it was a great exercise in argumentation and gave me a full grounding in why I believed what I believed. And the research I did in writing my posts introduced me to people I never would have known about otherwise. I learned about the "purity balls" in Colorado and the "Sodomized Virgin Exception"  in South Dakota. I realized that the anti-abortion zealots were wily and cunning and were very committed to the long haul. This intense rollback of women's reproductive rights on the state level was just beginning. And it's gaining steam.

Yes, we've recently been able to draw attention to the issue when it became a hot partisan topic. And there are good reasons to believe that women's concerns will remain a matter of interest in electoral campaigns, at least as long as the right continues to run neanderthals for office. But don't ever forget that whenever there is an issue to be "dealt away" in a negotiation (for the good of the "deal") it's the women who are inevitably called upon to sacrifice. After all, that is our traditional role. Mommy eats last.

I'd like to keep writing about this, hammering home the importance of it, pointing out the conservative strategies for undermining human rights and keeping the faith with the many, many men and women who are fighting on the front lines for justice and equality for women everywhere. But I need your support to do it.

If you can spare a couple of bucks for an independent feminist blogger who promises to call it like it is no matter which party or which politician is saying it, I'd be very grateful.





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