That’s what a young woman said to her friend with wonder in her voice after encountering the #Stop Patriarchy booth at Warped Tour. She was pro-choice and wanted an #Abortion on Demand & Without Apology sticker but she had obviously never heard anyone talk positively about abortion. We mentioned how important and liberating the right to abortion is for all women, and how we need to fight for it this summer on the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride. It wasn’t long before she told us that she had had an abortion and wasn’t sorry she did, but also felt bad about it. We answered very supportively that abortion is a responsible choice, she obviously did the right thing for her, and she absolutely did not do anything wrong, period - so there’s no reason she should have to feel bad about it for the rest of her life. When her friend ran up behind her and got filled in about the conversation, she put her arm around her and gave her a kiss on the cheek and said, “You shouldn’t feel bad about your abortion.” The young woman smiled and you could literally see her shoulders relax.
This needs to happen many times over and on a much larger scale throughout society. 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion by age 45. Think about how many teens and grown women are held back and held down by a burden of shame and stigma! This is totally unnecessary and should not be tolerated by anyone who cares about women or what kind of world we live in.
This summer, Stop Patriarchy and all the people who will be joining us on the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride are setting out to change this! Imagine what it would look like, this new force on the scene, if everywhere the Freedom Ride travels, to all five states with only one clinic left, hundreds of girls and women, wave after wave, throw off the burden of shame and stigma and begin to proudly and defiantly fight to determine their own destinies and turn the tide for abortion rights. All this is tangible and possible.
This Freedom Ride is happening. Join it, Support it, Tell people about it. Donate at stoppatriarchy.org
Here is a clip of Obama answering the question, “Why do you support a woman’s right to abortion?”:
He is clearly struggling with how to carefully hold a pro-choice position (e.g. fetus vs. child) while pandering to the religious right, and ultimate reinforcing patriarchy. Well, he fucks up the fetus/child bit, to kick off the train wreck. Then he says before getting an abortion, instead of having the government tell her what to do with her body (ahem, morning after pill, coughcough), a woman should “consult with her conscience, her doctor, her minister, and her family.” Dude you are automatically disqualified. Saying she should “consult with her conscience” is in its essence a condemnation. Who needs to consult with their conscience before going to the dentist?? And her family (husband or father?) and her MINISTER? Yeah I wonder what the minister will have to say!!
These two young women living in Bayview/Hunter’s Point in San Francisco, through their involvement with Stop Patriarchy!, decided to take a stand against porn and rape culture:
One of them said, “I’m not gonna lie, I’ve watched porn. And I’m always like, ‘Why does the woman look like she’s dying’??” After having engaged with Sunsara Taylor’s talk, “From the Expanding Porn Industry to the Aggressive Religious Patriarchs: Stop the War on Women!”, and with a good sense of the relationship between porn as an industry that enslaves women, and the objectifying and dehumanizing impact it has on broader society, they went out after school to spread it around! Here’s some of what that looked like:
These youth in Hunter’s Point are surrounded at every turn by porn culture that celebrates pimping and has turned the more-accessible-than-ever internet into an avalanche of sexualized torture, the “dog-eat-dog” poison of individualism, and the aggressive campaigns of the anti-abortion movement. Many of them, upon engaging with Stop Patriarchy!, are acting out against all that in different ways, and some of them will join us this summer on Stop Patriarchy’s Abortion Rights Freedom Ride.
In this moment, when the system is doing everything it can to make sure this generation thinks that they should just be grateful for what they do have — and that real, radical change is either unnecessary or impossible — there is a real basis for this message of liberation and open condemnation of patriarchy and this whole capitalist system, to puncture the stifling atmosphere of acceptance, and give young people who have a hunch that the way things are right now is UNACCEPTABLE, a vehicle through which to ACT and CHANGE the world!
To find out more about building the Liberation Generation, a new generation of youth ready and willing to STAND UP to END PATRIARCHY, the enslavement and degradation of women, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Abortion is an issue that divides this country. This is no accident. How one thinks and feels about abortion flows fundamentally from how one views women.”
CLICK HERE to…
Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement.
Fetuses are NOT babies. Women are NOT incubators. Abortion is NOT murder.
Abortion on Demand & Without Apology! For EVERY woman in EVERY state, the reversal of abortion and birth control rights must stop NOW.
Shout out to Black Skeptics for blogging about our statement: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology, For Every Woman in Every State. The Reversal of Abortion and Birth Control Rights Must Stop Now! -
At the festival yesterday after the SF Walk Against Rape. Cards: If you can’t imagine sex without porn… you’re fucked. Sign: FUCK RAPE CULTURE.
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Criminalization of Anti-Porn Position at “Social Justice” Conference
Stop Patriarchy! went to the 27th annual conference at Hampshire College, hosted by CLPP (Civil Liberties and Public Policy): “From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom” and on the second day, we were escorted out by police.
How did this happen??
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA: At CLPP* Conference:
From Abortion Rights to Social Justice; Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom
CLPP Called on Police to escort StopPatriarchy.org
organizers out of conference under threat of arrest.
THIS DECISION MUST BE REVERSED AND REPUDIATED!
On the evening of Saturday, April 13 at the CLPP (Civil Liberties & Public Policy ) conference, several conference attendees approached the StopPatriarchy.org table with our Call to Action in hand to argue against our condemnation of the sex industry and pornography. We welcomed this argument and got into a lively debate. However, instead of engaging our critique of the social harm caused by pornography and the selling of women’s bodies for sex (how reducing women to sex objects through porn is the “mirror opposite” of reducing women to breeders through denying abortion), these people took offense to the fact that we dared to make this analysis.
If they didn’t want to hear this critique, they were free to leave our table. They chose not to simply do this. Instead, they went to the CLPP organizers and complained that they felt the conference was no longer a “safe space” for them – merely because a table existed putting forward (and advocating to those who visited it), the position that the sex industry and pornography are horrifically harmful to women and humanity as a whole.
Outrageously, CLPP organizers did not investigate or ask a single organizer from StopPatriarchy.org – or others who had witnessed the debate – about what had happened. Nor did they attempt to facilitate principled participation and dialogue between people with divergent viewpoints. Instead, they showed up within minutes with campus police and insisted that StopPatriarchy.org immediately leave the campus under threat of arrest.
In any serious movement against oppression, it is essential that there be the broadest unity among people from different understandings, backgrounds and perspectives. This requires space for principled and substantive debate over the source of the problems and the necessary solutions.
As a basic and bedrock principle: IT IS ALWAYS WRONG FOR PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE FIGHTERS AGAINST OPPRESSION TO RELY ON THE POLICE AND OTHER FORCES OF THE STATE TO REPRESS AND PHYSICALLY THREATEN OTHERS WHO ARE FIGHTING FOR LIBERATION.
This decision by CLPP organizers must be broadly and widely condemned by conference-goers and others, and it must be reversed by conference organizers. (Contact us at email below.) It is an unacceptable precedent for a conference which is looked to as – and which claims to be – a space of inclusivity in the fight against oppression and injustice to render a critique of the sex industry “beyond the pale” and to utilize the repressive organs of the state to enforce this policing.
Any movement that is serious about ending the enslavement and degradation of women must confront – or at minimum engage and include a critique of – the horrifically violent, degrading, enslaving and oppressive institutions of pornography and the sex industry and their devastating effects on women. Every person who takes seriously both the liberation of women and the maintaining of basic standards in movements of opposition must take the time to read for themselves the Call to Action from StopPatriarchy.org which CLPP has officially censored. It is attached.
I am not a follower of the television show Law & Order: SVU (Special Victims Unit.) There’s something about the glorified police brutality and the idea of people’s trauma as entertainment that turns my stomach. Then I heard they did an episode called “Legitimate Rape.” The title is a play on the outrageous comments made by Todd Akin, a Republican candidate for a Senate seat in Missouri last August claiming victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant. I became curious about how they took this on, and figured it was worth watching, just this once.