Answering the abortion rights question

January 22nd, 2013

While we’re reminiscing today, the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let’s take a moment to remember what I looked like on Good Friday, 2005, just one of the many days I have honored my commitment to speak out for reproductive rights:

 

 

Back then, my son was a five-year-old preschooler, obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine and the Hardy Boys.  Today my son is almost thirteen, a fan of Katniss Everdeen and dubstep music that makes my head hurt.  He has always been a very curious kid, and now that he is older he is very interested in what I call The Big Questions: life, death, and the tools we use to make sense of what lies in between.

Not long ago he asked me how I felt about abortion. “I think whether or not to have an abortion is a woman’s business and no one else’s,” I replied.

“But don’t you think it’s killing a baby?”

Bam! THE REALLY BIG QUESTION!

Of course this discussion had to happen in the car, so I wasn’t able to whip out the smartphone to add visuals to our conversation.  It took much longer while driving to explain that THIS:

 

 

…or even THIS:

 

 

…is not the same thing as THIS:

 

 

…which is what his sister looked like six months OUTSIDE of my body.

“Some people think that a two-celled zygote is a human life,” I told Elliott.  “Some people think that a four-week zygote is, too.  I saw you on a sonogram only nine weeks after conception, and I saw your little heart fluttering.”

“You did?”  He was impressed.  I was too, back in the summer of 1999, and I wrote about the experience in my book The Radical Housewife.  I shared the excerpt here on Blog For Choice Day 2011:

Lacking the framework of faith, I seek not perfection, but balance. When I looked my blob, I understood him as the culmination of countless events and choices, the sum total of my years on the earth. My years, and no one else’s. I also saw a creature that drew sustenance from me and me alone. He lived on my blood, my nutrients, my oxygen, my energy: all of it mine. If I died, so did he. His tail could not wiggle outside the safety of my womb.

I gave him life. I also gave him meaning.

When does life begin? I suspect it is a process requiring a complex engagement between both the being and its world, much like a story requires a reader. Otherwise, the words remain only a series of unintelligible scratches on a page. If we accept that a story has different meaning for a different reader, we may understand that no person will approach either their soul, or a zygote’s, identically.

The above language is a little fancy for the average 13-year-old, even one as brilliant and handsome as my son, so I tried to craft my feelings about abortion, and life, so that he could understand.

“A woman must have the right to decide what happens to her body.  How I feel about pregnancy, or how you feel, or how the lady next door feels, or the President feels or the Pope feels, can never be more important than the feelings of the woman going through it.  No one can decide but her.”

The backseat was quiet for a moment–a rare thing.  Then he said:

“I get it.”

 

 

 

Agoraphobia triggers, January 2013 edition

January 18th, 2013

 

1. Sandy Hook “Truthers” (also known as Newtown “Truthers” and/or batshit paranoiacs who of course ALL HAVE GUNS!)

 

2. The CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, who thinks that Obamacare is not socialist (Sweden) but fascist (Nazi Germany).  As I commented on HuffPo, I’m glad I know where NOT to buy my bulk quinoa and Rice Dream from now on.

 

3. Suzanne Moore, Julie Burchill, and any other vagina-born person who considers intersectionality a bad thing.  Allow me to introduce them to my new favorite meme, the RadFem Scorpion:

 

 

4. The godawful people who run the NRA.

 

5. Lance Armstrong apologists.  And Lance Armstrong.  Gawd, I can’t stand that guy.

 

6. That dude who thinks that an effective way to shut down the work of a feminist writer is to call her “ugly.” Instead of feeling badly for Jen McCreight, Jessica Valenti, and Sandra Fluke, I have to ask this Mr. Roosh fella: WHY AM I NOT ON THIS LIST?!  I’m a feminist and an atheist, dammit!  Why aren’t you giving me the same blog traffic as Amanda Marcotte?  Do you not love me?  I am a lady, so of course I need your approval.  What can I do to win it?  Are there not enough unflattering pictures of me in the internets?  Here’s one you can use, taken just after I returned from a vacation to Cancun:

 

 

Add your own reasons for staying locked inside your house in the comments section.

 

 

 

 

Abortion rights and the failure of “choice,” revisited

January 15th, 2013

To honor the long-awaited decision of Planned Parenthood to drop the word “pro-choice” in favor of more, er, neutral language (I don’t hear them tooting the “reproductive justice” horn, unfortch), I am sharing these thoughts on the subject, excerpted from my book The Radical Housewife and first posted on this blog in 2011.   Choose to enjoy it!

The late, great Shirley Chisholm wrote the following in her autobiography Unbought & Unbossed, addressing men on her staff who tried to convince her to avoid speaking out in support of abortion rights:

“Women are dying every day, did you know that? They’re being butchered and maimed. No matter what men think, abortion is a fact of life. Women will have them; they always have and always will. Are they going to have good ones or bad ones? Will the good ones be reserved for the rich, while poor women have to go to quacks? Why don’t we talk about real problems instead of phony ones?”*

Rep. Chisholm wrote these words in 1970, three years before Roe v. Wade, when dying from a botched abortion was a very real threat to women across the country, particularly poor women of color. Two generations later, not a lot has changed. Accessing an abortion is easy for well-heeled urban women, the vast majority of whom (as it was in 1970) are white.

In Shirley Chisholm’s day, the term “pro-choice” was used to remind people of the personal matter of the procedure. The “choice” to have the abortion should be the woman’s, centering the debate on the right to individual autonomy, a concept that Republicans claim to embrace. Senator John Kerry declared in a 2004 Presidential debate that having an abortion “is a woman’s choice. It’s between a woman, God, and her doctor.”

Oh, if it were only that easy, John! God and doctors are often in very short supply when they are needed the most. If you get accidentally knocked up in Wyoming or Mississippi, you better pray as hard as you can, because your states have no provider at all.

In fact, a 2008 report funded by the Guttmacher Institute announced that 87 percent of counties in the United States do not have an abortion provider.That’s a big enough number to put in all caps: EIGHTY-SEVEN PERCENT! That makes getting an abortion seem less like a “choice” and more like a forced road trip.

Or a financial ordeal. The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1977 and reauthorized every year since, bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Rep. Chisholm worried that poor women would have to go to quacks; she didn’t realize that when they won the right to access abortions from a trained doctor, they’d have to surrender their rent checks. The Hyde Amendment, predictably, reinforces the idea that wealthy women have the “choice,” but poor women don’t. And lest we forget, the poorest women are the ones who lack access to contraceptive information and services anyway, dammit!

When I demonstrated with over one million other people on the U.S. Capitol Mall in 2004, I wrote the word “choice” on my sign, but the event was officially called the March for Women’s Lives.**

The name, though, made some mainstream feminists cranky. Shouldn’t it be called the March for Choice? Not so fast, declared a coalition of poverty activists and health care groups for women of color. The word “choice” obscures the “real problems” that Rep. Chisholm talked about: racism, poverty, and other forms of pervasive inequality.

I no longer identify as pro-choice. How can I, when Sarah Palin congratulates herself for the “choice” to carry her Down’s Syndrome child to term? Bringing a special needs baby into a tightly-knit, financially stable family that has access to health care and other forms of support is no big whoop, except for the baby in question—Trig Palin is one hell of a lucky kid. So is Tripp Johnston, the child carried to term by Trig’s seventeen-year-old sister. All four of them appeared on a celebrity tabloid in the early days of 2010, declaring “we’re glad we chose life!”

That’s that sneaky, slippery power of language again! Can you imagine a headline that read “we’re so glad we didn’t have abortions!” I can’t either.

Remember chapter one?*** I don’t deserve a medal for surviving life with the colicky, special needs baby I had in the year 2000. Accidents of fortune gave me everything I needed, and my child reaped the benefits.

I don’t care if Sarah and Bristol Palin keep on breeding–that’s their beeswax, not mine. But under Gov. Palin’s leadership, Alaska’s rates of domestic violence and sexual assault were twice the national average.**** When Palin ran for office in 2006, she announced (in so many words) that if her then 14-year-old daughter were raped, she wouldn’t allow the girl to have an abortion—a very likely scenario, considering Palin’s vocal support for parental notification laws. In yet another nimble linguistic twist, Palin averred that the issue was one of “parents’ rights.” Welcome to Palinverse, where a pre-born fetus had greater bodily autonomy than a post-born teen.

Feminists of any/every Wave, listen up: “choice” is over. It’s done. NO MORE.

 

*Oh my gaaaawd, I love Shirley Chisholm so much!!!!!!

**It was awesome.  I can’t wait until Erin Matson’s Feminist Jetpack Factory™ organizes another one. 

***You WILL remember it when you buy your copy from Medusa’s Muse Press this fall!  Woot!

****This statistic was disturbing when I wrote it, but it’s even worse now that Bristol claims her virginity was “stolen” while she was drunk (for a discussion on why Bristol may have resisted calling her experience rape, read this piece at the Daily Beast–as if we needed another reminder of the power of words).

In circles about abortion

January 11th, 2013

 

It’s no secret that reproductive rights activists and the anti-choice crowd read each others’ websites and Twitter feeds.  And by read, I mean parse in ever more minute detail.   Aside from providing insight into the other side’s strategies and tactics, it’s fun!  The circle-jerk that gets going after a blog post responds to a Twitter war kicked off by a online news report is a great way to waste a quiet afternoon.

I’m not going to link you to the site that inspired this post, because I think you should have your own moment of bliss when you are forced to Google “Gloria Steinem abort Erin Matson.”

You all know Erin, right? The former Action Vice President for NOW who spoke to Time magazine for their January 14, 2013 cover story on the reproductive justice movement 40 years after Roe v. Wade?  The woman in the article with the staple in her face?

Photo credit: my crummy Samsung Galaxy

Erin should also be familiar to my regular readers as a longtime friend, one so dear that I would trek from Cub Foods to Walgreens to Rainbow to find a damned copy of the very prominent national magazine with her picture in it AND be pissed to find that there’s a fucking STAPLE in the photo I was going to hang up by my desk!  I didn’t pay five bucks to have a clear picture of Nancy Keenan, I’ll tell you that!

Ooooh, did you catch that thinly veiled jab at the soon-to-be-former president of NARAL?  Look for it to be headline news in the blogosphere tomorrow.

If you performed the aforementioned Google as directed, you went to a site that had a rather snide take on the concerns of Erin, Steph Herold, and other young women in the reproductive rights movement.  If you read closely (as I do whenever I see a piece with Erin’s picture attached), you noticed that the post’s author believes that intergenerational tension is due in no small part to our elders’ subconscious desire to have aborted us.

(Well, not ME.  I was born in 1971, and everyone knows that no abortions occurred before January 22, 1973.)

Yes, folks, it’s true: Gloria Steinem wants to abort Erin.  When Erin told me the story of why she felt she had to leave her job at National NOW, she failed to add that Terry O’Neill, a 60-year-old Second Waver, kept chasing her around the office with a coat hanger.

I realize, of course, that writing a blog post about a blog post about a magazine article (and a blog post) is contributing yet another jerk to this particular circle, but I can’t help myself.  It’s too, too funny!

If I don’t see a response to this post from Lila Rose or the New Wave “Feminists” that in turn inspires a snarky rebuttal from Amanda Marcotte, I will be very disappointed.

 

 

Next big things

January 9th, 2013

 

During January in Minnesota, no one feels big.  The excitement and energy of the holiday season has worn off and we’ve awakened to darkness, cold, and existential despair, which has a way of making you feel very small indeed.

 

My street looks just like this every January 1st, darn it!

 

So it is with some shyness and anxiety that I accepted a challenge from my friend Sonya Huber to participate in a little blog-go-round called Next Big Things.  Sonya, herself the author of two great creative nonfiction books (Opa Nobody and Cover Me), completed these questions at the behest of another author, then she tagged me to do the same.  I, in turn, have to tag some up-and-comers who will complete the circle of Next Big Thinginess.  Look for their names at the end of the post.

 

What is the title of your book?

The Radical Housewife: Redefining Family Values for the 21st Century, but you knew that. I’ve officially resolved to have the editing done and the book in your hot little hands by the end of this year, even if it means I have to step over dead bodies in the snow in my haste to deliver edits to my publisher.  Marge would understand.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

One day my husband said, “Why are you driving yourself nuts writing novels when you are already writing really interesting stuff about your life as the anti-Schlafly?  Why not publish all of that?”  I mulled this over and realized that writing fictionalized versions of my life was quite a lot of work–all those pseudonyms to remember, the hair and eye colors to change!  The essays I was writing for the Minnesota Women’s Press and for my old MySpace blog would be my jumping-off point for a full-length book about the adventures of this feminist activist parent.

In hindsight, I probably should have stuck to just changing all my novel’s characters to vampires and been done with it.

What genre does your book fall under?

One that I invented: Political Momoir.  I thought this was very clever, but industry professionals did not.  How well I remember the exasperation of the editors and agents! “Sometimes it reads like a memoir, sometimes like a polemic,” they’d say.  ”BUT I’M A FEMINIST WHO REJECTS THE RIGIDITY OF BINARIES!” I’d splutter in my politely middle-aged Minnesotan way.

In hindsight, I should have already become famous before I attempted to do anything interesting.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Janeane Garafalo, patron saint of bespectacled white nerd girls everywhere, as The Radical Housewife!

 

 

Jemaine Clement as the handsome and heavily-Kiwi-accented Radical Hubby!

 

Bart & Lisa Simpson as the children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

The Radical Housewife documents ten years in the life of a feminist stay-at-home-mom determined to upend the myth of American “family values” one dirty diaper, clinic picket, and PTA meeting at a time.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Working off a framework provided my blog posts & MWP essays, only about six months for the first bloated draft.  I offered a few chapters up to my friends, who made valuable suggestions, one of which was “you probably shouldn’t curse so much.”  Duly fucking noted.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Remember Matt’s naïve suggestion that I write about my own life for public consumption?  IT’S ALL HIS FAULT.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Ah, the dreaded request for “comp titles.”  From my exhaustive proposal, I came up with PAGES and PAGES of books by  Third Wave feminists, mommybloggers, women’s studies academicians, even jokey lefty books by Al Franken, but no single genre fit me. I saw this as proof beyond a doubt that I am the specialest snowflake in the world and ought to get a contract with a hefty up-front advance.  Didn’t happen.

I think the closest comp titles out there are probably Ariel Gore’s HipMama books: personal, confessional, funny, frustrated, and always aware of how our individual stories and larger political movements are interconnected.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I love the word “pique.” It isn’t used enough.  Neither is “kerfuffle.”

I do think that I present a pretty compelling argument for feminists being more actively concerned with the needs of American families and children than the conservatives who claim to have a monopoly on the subject.  I also have some pretty interesting run-ins with psycho anti-choicers who try to shove fetus photos at my kids, parents at my kids’ school who troll me online because of my political views, and Michele Bachmann BEFORE she became MICHELE BACHMANN!

Who will represent your book?

A wild warrior woman in California with a big heart, a sweet tooth, and snakes where her hair should be: Medusa’s Muse.

In hindsight, signing with her was a great thing to do.  No regrets whatsoever.

Who are your Next Big Things? 

Zoe Ann Nicholson, “The Engaged Heart: An Activist’s Life”

Avital Norman Nathman, “Deconstructing the Myth of the Good Mother”

Robin Marty & Jessica Mason Pieklo, “Crow After Roe”

Erin Matson, who will deny that she is writing a book BUT I KNOW BETTER

 

 

Onward to a Big 2013!

 

 

 

 

Fear

December 18th, 2012

 

Once upon a time, I thought that the opposite of love was hate.  Now that I’ve grown (much) older, I believe that the opposite of love is fear.

Fear prevents us from asking for help when we need it, sometimes desperately.  Fear prevents us from offering help to others when we know, from the gut, that it is desperately needed.

Fear stops us from accessing our own humanity.

Fear sells weapons.

 

 

Fear enforces stereotypes.

Fear tightens, restricts, confines.  Fear obscures our interconnectedness.

Fear hurts.

 

Fear feeds on fear.  Fear snowballs, compounds, multiplies.  Fear makes you type dumb things on Facebook that you would never say to a person’s face, things like “unfriend me now if you don’t do this or that.”

Fear creates an insatiable need to create and assign labels, from “outcast” to “weirdo” to “Trench Coat Mafia” to “mentally ill” to “autistic” to “threat to society” to “gun-worshipping NRA lunatic.”

Fear stigmatizes.  Fear isolates.

Fear kills.

 

Knowing that, what can we do?  Here’s a thought from Pema Chödrön, who has made the study of fear her life’s work:

“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”  

I’m starting to do things differently already–but it’s not easy, and I am afraid.  Are you?

 

 

 

What a “family man” looks like

December 3rd, 2012

Dear New York Times,

I would like to introduce you to a family man who loves football.  His name is Matt, and he is my husband and my kids’ father.

 

New York Times, I know that you will hide behind the fact that your source, Ruben Marshall, is the one who called a man who just committed a domestic homicide  ”a good man. A good, loving father, a family man.”  You will say that you are merely repeating the, er,  ”facts” of the case.

Hmm.

Let’s take a moment and look at the adorable little girl in this photograph, my daughter.  Isn’t she cute?

Back to you, New York Times.  If we move forward with the idea that you presented the story of a murder-suicide in all its complexity, then why didn’t you interview Becky Gonzalez?  You could have asked what she thought about the man who killed her daughter, Kasandra Perkins.  Though Jovan Belcher was the father of Gonzalez’s three-month-old granddaughter, Zoey, I HIGHLY DOUBT she would call Belcher a family man.  She might call him a sick fuck. A perpetrator of domestic violence and terror.  A murderer.

But you didn’t ask her, did you?

I quote my friend, the fab freelance feminist Erin Matson: “Imagine your sister, mom or friend being murdered by her boyfriend with their child in the next room and the newspaper story ending by calling him ‘a family man.’”

Once again, New York Times, I must ask that you look into the eyes of my cute daughter.  Perhaps your perception of any act of violence against her would be colored (pun very much intended) by the fact that she is very young, very blue-eyed blonde, and very much a football fan, not a football girlfriend.

Football girlfriends must subsume their cuteness and vulnerability to the service of their lovers.  Football players are HEROES, amirite?  Which is part of why you used heroic apologetics to describe the football player’s sudden and shocking death as if it were a bizarrely random tragedy, rather than what it really was: part and parcel of the seemingly intractable culture of violence that happens every day, to daughters, mothers and wives from all walks of life.

New York Times, you know that journalism does not occur in a vacuum.  Each writer and editor brings his (YES, HIS) perspective to his writing.  When you trot out “family man” tropes like these about men like Jovan Belcher, you trivialize the seriousness of domestic violence–and worst of all, you erase the stories and voices of women like Kasandra Perkins.  You contribute to the problem.

As a small act of repentance for your part in this culture of silence, I suggest you interview Perkins’ family and friends for their perspectives, then gather your editorial board to issue a strong statement in support of reauthorizing the 1994 Violence Against Women Act. VAWA has stalled in Congress due to political dithering that reflects the cultural myth that domestic violence is something weird, something “other,” something not worthy of our Congress’s time and energy, when the truth is that domestic violence impacts 24 people in the United States every minute. 

And if you need a family man to profile for an upcoming issue of the Sunday magazine, my husband’s schedule is WIDE OPEN.

xoxo,

The Radical Housewife

 

 

In praise of gender warriors

November 27th, 2012

“You’re born naked and the rest is drag.

 

My daughter recently asked me if my favorite television star (that would be Mama Ru, of course, the genius who uttered the quote above) was a man who dressed like a woman.  I said, “no, honey.  RuPaul is a man who dresses like a drag queen.  There’s a big difference.”

“What is the difference?” she wondered.

“Well,” I said, “I’m a woman, and you don’t see me wearing six inch platforms, candy-colored couture gowns, and wigs the size of small dogs, do you?”  She shook her head.  Her mom is so obviously NOT a drag queen!  As I’ve mentioned before, my idea of dressing up is slipping on a pair of new Chuck Taylors.

In fact, I present pretty butch for someone who’s a straight married housewife.  I don’t want to sleep with Rachel Maddow, but I would love it if she’d take me shopping.

 

 

I love that belt.

All this begs the question: do clothes make the wo/man?  You know they don’t, and for that we must be grateful to the gender warriors who have made it okay to play dress-up, including folks like Amelia Bloomer and others in American feminism’s first wave.

That’s what civil rights are about, after all: FREEDOM.  To live life honestly, with dignity and autonomy, with all the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship.  In 21st century America, you might meet women who say they’re not feminists, but you’re not going to find any who think they shouldn’t have the right to vote…or wear pants.

 

We may be in the fourth or fifth wave of feminism nowadays, but  millions still struggle every day against the rigidity of gender conformity.  My friend Andrea wrote a very moving account of the crap that she, as a nonconforming trans person, goes through just to use a public toilet.  We posted it on the Minnesota NOW blog on Transgender Day of Remembrance, because Andrea has justification for her bathroom anxiety–in 2011, a trans woman in Maryland was nearly beaten to death for attempting to enter the McDonald’s restroom door marked with the stick figure in a skirt.  You remember the case because the manager of the restaurant filmed the whole damned thing on his phone.

As Andrea put it, “all this, for a bathroom.”

Gender performance is in the news again today, as Carnival Cruises has just announced that having drag performers IN DRAG on a DRAG-THEMED CRUISE would be a security risk.  Because when a guy puts on a dress, al Qaeda wins!

 

Gender rigidity hurts everyone, on a continuum of hideous violence on one end to incredible annoyance on the other.  The sickening queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” are WERKING to make the world a little safer, and a little saner, for us all.

I hope their fans get their money back.

 

UPDATED: Carnival came to their senses and reversed the drag ban.  Jesus is a biscuit!

 

 

 

 

 

I will survive (maybe)

November 20th, 2012

Before I dig into this post, can I hear from Audre Lorde again, please?  I know it’s a meme we’ve all seen a few different times, including this post from October, but it’s just too good not to repeat.

 

Thank you, Audre, wherever you are.

So it’s the holidaze again, and in anticipation, my clever editors at the Minnesota Women’s Press organized the November issue around the theme of SURVIVAL.  For those who feel sorry for themselves that they have to grit their teeth through a meal with relatives who, like Karl Rove, still don’t quite believe that Mitt Romney lost the election, there is a great article about a woman born in a federal women’s prison who is now an advocate for prison reform.  That is some serious surviving.

The cover of the issue is also brilliant, featuring a photograph by Nicole Houff of a glamorous but dead-eyed vintage Barbie in her candy-colored kitchen, holding aloft a beautifully trussed turkey:

 

 

Despite great gains for women outside the home, what happens inside the home is another story.  I bet that the record twenty women in the United States Senate are still expected to get a damned turkey on the family table next Thursday.  Whether they cook it themselves or grab it from the deli at Whole Foods, it’s still considered a lady’s business to get that shit taken care of.

In case you’re curious: NO, I am not hosting T-day this year. Let’s leave it at that and move on.

My contribution to the November ish is a column called “My Feminist Survival Kit.”  I bare my soul in this one, folks–that is, if there’s one reader out there who would be surprised by the fact that I prefer Sharon Needles and Snooki to Don Draper and Walter White.

While I declare in the column that “burnout is painful but entirely preventable if we have the courage to make our frustrations known,” I regret that I am still more likely to cook you a fabulous turkey feast than tell you what’s really whirling around in my addled mind.  I remain my own harshest critic, unable to extend to myself the compassionate understanding I so willingly offer others.

But it was ever thus, especially when we approach mid-November.  Here in Minnesota, where the sun dips beyond the horizon at 4:30 in the afternoon, everyone is feeling dark.  One e-mail I opened last week revealed that a woman was leaving her husband, perhaps permanently.  Blogs I follow overflow with spilled secrets, deeply felt pain, suicidal ideation.

Allow myself to quote….myself: “as my Internet speed improves, the cacophony amplifies and multiplies, until it threatens to drown everything else in my head. I’m learning that I can write an angry blog post about Todd Akin tomorrow. Today, however, I can turn the computer off.”

Why, I think I’ll do that.

 

 

 

 

 

A survivor’s voice to #PassVAWA2012

November 14th, 2012

 

Originally posted on Minnesota Feminists Speak Out!, the other blog that I feel guilty about neglecting. Har de har.

 

TODAY, November 14,  is the #PassVAWA2012 Day of Action.  Why?

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  You can be forgiven for being “unaware,” for the presidential election seemed to swallow up the world’s attention. The issue of violence against women barely made a ripple in the ocean of campaign ads, debates, and literature, though the reauthorization of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act has been held up in Congress for nearly two years, subject to partisan bickering over what should be a very simple vote in support of fully funding resources to combat violence in our communities across the country.

One woman didn’t forget–she couldn’t.  She is our friend and colleague Laurie Olmon, and she is a survivor.  She made this video to remind us all of what’s at stake.

Please watch and tell others–especially your Senators and Representatives–that domestic violence affects everyone, every day, in every community.

Take action NOW! Join the #PassVAWA2012 Social Media Campaign! 

From our friends at the National Task Force to End Sexual & Domestic Violence Against Women:

Be a part of a ground-breaking campaign to leverage the full power of social media in fighting for the Reauthorization of VAWA! Join the #PassVAWA2012 Facebook Photo Campaign to tell Congress that it’s time to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act!  It’s easy, just snap photos of you, your friends, your colleagues, & sympathetic strangers holding up signs saying why we need to Pass VAWA NOW!  Submit your photos via email to lccref@gmail.com or tweetpic with #PassVAWA2012. 

Join the Task Force at 12:00pm Eastern on Thursday, November 8th for a very important VAWA update and organizing call. Dial-in Number: 1-213-226-0400 Conference Code: 451747

FFI:

Alexandra House, providing support, resources, and advocacy for survivors of violence and the families in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota

National NOW Core Issues: Violence Against Women