Friday, November 30, 2007
Life, Choice and the Pursuit of Solidarity
I tend to shy away from the overtly personal on here because although I do believe that The Personal is Political, that's not what this platform is for me. However, I think I can make room for exceptions.
It's a rather complicated story, but the long and short of it is that I was going to class yesterday when a beloved classmate of mine told me about this anti-choice demonstration occurring in a very busy area of student traffic on campus. The group was called Lifeline and FeministsforLife (Yeah, their title pisses me right off). We did our best Third Wave feminist move, made up some DIY signs and had our own counter-protest.
Although I've stated my pro-choice standpoint on here many times, I'm not here right now to rant about my absolute disgust at these people. In fact, this particular demonstration saddened me more than anything because it used the "I regret my abortion" tactic. I felt horrible for these womyn (all of whom were older) who were publicly shaming themselves for their so-called cause. They were pathetic in the most heartbreaking way.
All in all, it was an exhausting day, both physically and mentally. However, there was an unexpected joy in all of this.
As I said, this counter-protest began with my classmate and I being angry and wanting our voices heard. With just us two, we ran up to the floor where we work, where we were able to snag writing material from two different sources. Then we spoke to our professor, who gave us permission to not attend class. Then we stood in the room, just her and I with our signs held high versus the anti-choice group of about 10. With a quick cellphone call, one more feminist joined our side. By the end of the day, we were over a dozen womyn (only two of which I had previously known) with just as many signs. People we didn't even know were walking by and asking to join us. In fact, we far outnumbered the anti-choice side. Hey, we even scored a few men on our side for a while!
What's more is that we were brought food by two different groups on campus as well as more writing material for signs. Campus security came to check on our safety and the womyn's group on campus came to ensure that we felt comfortable and not threatened. We received dozens upon dozens of encouraging passerbys, with high fives and thumbs up a plenty.
And so, when I hear that we are living in a post-feminist society, that feminism is no longer needed nor relevant; when I hear that womyn cannot work together because they are too catty, backstabbing and uncooperative, I shake my head.
Feminism is not about division, in-fighting or confrontation. It has been and still is, about building solidarity. And so I raise my fist with all those who understand what the mighty, mighty F-Word is all about.