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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Out of the Back Alley and Into the Street! More Acting Up for Choice

Last week, I proposed that pro-choice forces would do well to eschew their long infatuation with the ineffectual nicey-nice coddling of the death-dealing "pro-life" (you know, the kind of life loving that loves fetuses but hates childcare and education, that loves executing people, that loves war-making, that loves guns in the streets, that loves people dying of easily treatable conditions so that rich people can skim more money from for-profit insurance companies, that kind of life-loving, you know, pro-death "life-loving"), and shift to the sort of public, energized, dramatic exposures of hypocrisy, absurdity, and ugliness that suffused the decade of in your face Queer Nation, Act Up, Riot Grrrl politics that set the table for the civil rights accomplishments we are now celebrating.

The occasion for that little burst of enthusiasm was Virginia state senator Janet's Howells explosively parodic proposal of an amendment to an intrusive paternalistic anti-women's health bill that would require women to pay for an impertinent, costly ultrasound before they can have a wanted abortion, proposing that men undergo a rectal exam before they can be prescribed medication for erectile dysfunction.

I am thrilled to hear still more Acting Up for Choice is already in evidence. In response to the latest effort of the "Pro-Life" Army of Death, another of the so far serially failing "Personhood Initiatives" pretending fertilized eggs are indistinguishable from legal adults (these are Republicans, after all, so the levels of brain development involved might suggest a whiff of plausibility), this time in Oklahoma, insisting "the unborn child at every stage of development (has) all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state," state senator Constance Johnson of Oklahoma City proposed her own amendment declaring:
any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman's vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.
Righteous hilarity immediately ensued. Rose Kennedy, mother of JFK and RFK, once wrote that "If men got pregnant abortion would be sacrament." The arrant absurdity of anti-woman anti-abortion patriarchal pricks suggests the proper path of resistance: relentless ridicule and remorseless demolition. Of course everybody knows how traumatic even wanted abortions can be, of course everybody knows that the Constitution guarantees people can practice their own faiths on whatever terms they prefer so long as these do not interfere with the equal rights of others, of course everybody knows that anyone who wanted to minimize the number of abortion procedures performed would become a towering advocate for family planning and not a champion of "abstinence" fantasies, public "slut"-shaming, interference with doctor patient relations, and efforts to reduce women to incubators at gunpoint. Of course everybody know all this. But what everybody also should know by now, anti-choice anti-abortion patriarchal pricks aren't conscientious, reasonable, spiritually inspired people ready to have such a conversation. Stop trying. Expose their absurdity, heartlessness, backwardness, marginalize them with righteous ridicule into harmlessness.

Women's Bodies Under Attack! What Do We Do? Act Up, Fight Back!

1 comment:

jollyspaniard said...

One of the more intelligent things that Eddie Murphy said was that getting people to laugh along with you was the most effective way of getting them to realize that they agree with you.