During my travels to Imperial Valley I was shocked to hear some of the sex “tactics” young men were using on the young womyn for sex (for the purposes of this post we’ll call them Billy and Janet) . A couple left the party to get it on and before intercourse Janet asked Bill if he had a condom. Bill did not have one but suggested that he pull out. I am happy to report that Janet had enough smarts to say, “Um… no that’s stupid and I never want to hear you tell another womyn that again.” Billy complained and tried to tell Janet it would be fine but she stood by her guns and said, “no.” Thankfully the couple went back the the party where Billy asked a friend for a condom and the couple had safe sex. [Read more...]
My posting intentions this week were seriously sidetracked late last night when I received a startling text message from a friend. The text message included an attached photo [inset] with the simple words: “I don’t know what to do. Should I call the police? I’m scared.”
I was floored. There seems to be a blatant increase of gay-bashing/LGBT-based hate crime incidents as of late and it is, in my opinion, not surprising considering the overall atmosphere that we are living in now. Hell I was the victim of a verbal assault twice over the past 2 weeks and I have heard others citing similar accounts all over this “great nation.” [Read more...]
Guest writer Jonathan Grindell is an activist from Long Island, New York. He is a committed pro-choice advocate who attended the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC. These are his words . . .
I am pro-choice because as an anarcha-feminist who society has forcibly identified as a male, there is no other way! I believe in autonomy and solidarity, thus nothing encompasses these qualities as much as identifying myself as a pro-choice “dude”. I am challenging my male privilege by not being a part of the majority of anti-choice dudes, as most of them readily identify as male, without having a second thought, and threaten womyn during the most stressful time of their lives. Hey, it’s not my body and I will not force others into such a decision. I am not a hypocrite who thinks the biological mother, under any and all circumstances, must birth the potential baby yet refuse to care about the mother or baby’s situation after birth. Nor am I a hypocrite by lobbying for the state to cage and murder individuals accused of breaking laws that were put on the books by elitists seeking to profit off of the working class. As an animal liberationist, I am aware of the massive suffering caused by the overpopulation of felines and canines. Imagine if we didn’t decide to make the humane choice to alleviate some of their future suffering. I refuse to take part in suffering and death to non-humyn animals, so I am vegan.
The recent assassination of Dr. Tiller, proves that anti-choice extremists are serious about waging murder. They feel validated as fundamentalists and the state does the bare minimum to stop them, as they ignored proven reason to believe that this would take place. Contrast that with animal and earth liberationists who protect tortured, sentient beings, thus causing no harm to life, yet they are considered terrorists and get the substantial prison sentences to prove it. The folks from Operation Rescue pose no economic threats nor do they promote any revolutionary changes to the system, so they are treated with kid gloves. Don’t wait for the government protect you! I support a womyn’s right to choose, regardless of anything else. [Read more...]
I recently opened dialogue with like-minded Dudes for Choice (DfC) with the hope of piecing together common threads that bring us together as a united political voice. This brief entry will serve to open that ongoing dialogue and encourage other DfC to jump in on this discussion.
This week’s topic: privilege. In discussing feminist politics with 15 DfC the idea of male privilege surfaced more frequently than any other. Indeed, one of the primary reasons that I am pro-choice has to do with my ability to challenge my male privilege.
Too often we forget that there is a tremendous amount to be learned through the personal experiences of people at the frontlines. The doctors who exist in a constant state of precarity to the violent behavior of the anti-choice right, the activists who time after time face verbal abuse by the religious right as they raise awareness on self-determination, and the stigmitization of women who face such difficult decisions about the future of their own bodies. There is something to be learned from people in their every day struggles for justice. Listening to their narratives and carrying those intimate stories of liberation into our own activist work is so vital to achieving our goals.
I stumbled across a beautiful site the other day that was established as a memorial to the life work of Dr. George Tiller. The site consists of anonymous narratives that are submitted in honor of the work that Dr. Tiller did for women all over the country. It embarks on an investigation, at a conceptual level, of everyday practices by which people constantly shape and reshape their environment.
I read some of these stories and they honestly brought me to tears. Something that I found particularly interesting is the way that each narrative exists behind a level of anonymity. It provides a safe space for the powerful work of men and women every day without placing them in even more danger then they already exist.
As the initial reactions to George Tiller’s death taper off, I find it time to re-focus our feminist lenses and to remain well aware of what could be slipping by.
While rightist (pro-life) publications continue to denounce the actions of Scott Roeder (Tiller’s charged murderer) leftist (pro-choice) publications continue to develop and frame an argument more akin to a nationalist, heteropatriarchal agenda that appears supportive of violence, heterosexism, racism, and a general tightening on reproductive freedom.
In his article, “Slam Bill O’ Reilly for His Jihad Against Dr. George Tiller,” Isaac Fitzgerald proffers an argument that frames O’ Reilly (and by proxy Fox News and conservatives pro-lifers) as a terrorist. Fitzgerald’s strategic use of ‘jihad’ in his article’s title suggests his specific framing of O’ Reilly as a Muslim extremist/radical terrorist—who else has the power to demand jihad?! Fitzgerald further refers to Tiller’s murder as an “act of domestic terrorism,” which is merely a flag for 911 all over again. The tactics used by Fitzgerald (and by similar commentators) are bland at most and pathetic at the least.
The pro-choice movement took a devastating blow this morning with news that George Tiller, a passionate advocate for abortion rights and reproductive health care, was murdered. Feminists all over the country are identifying this as an act of terrorism, and in my honest opinion, rightfully so. It is a politically motivated act of violence against both an individual and in a broader sense, the pro-choice movement.
As a little background, George Tiller was a physician in Wichita Kansas that worked tirelessly as the medical director of Women’s Health Care Services, an abortion clinic that specialized in late-term procedures. George lived a life of activism through his medical assistance to women in Kansas and his services are very few and far between, particularly in the midwest.
He was shot at 10am this morning as he was entering the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita. Although police have someone in custody, they have yet to reveal his name.
The entire situation just angers me. It brings light to the fact that pro-life advocates, such as Operation Rescue, will stop at nothing to achieve their political agenda. Although the perpetrator has yet to be revealed, it is extremist groups like this that fuel egregious acts of violence. In fact, Randal Terry, founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, said in a statement that “George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God.”