Yesterday was an empowering day for many folks as the 1 in 3 Campaign hosted an eight-hour speak out, during which more than one hundred women shared their abortion stories, and countless more spoke out online about their own.
The day was centered around shattering stigma and shame and the socially-enforced silencing of women.
It was powerful.
And, predictably, it was hijacked by hate-filled enthusiasts, claiming to love “life” while spewing inflammatory and derogatory comments at anyone who dared tell a story, or those who spoke up in solidarity.
I don’t want to give the haters more of a platform, but I think it’s telling to look at some examples of the common themes that echoed out of the camp that day.
It’s telling because on a day centered around the power of women and their stories, the Shame-as-a-Social-Good-Police were out in full force.
Here’s a snippet of #howwehatewomen:
Interestingly, a lot of the stories that were shared told of an unwanted pregnancy that resulted from failed birth control. I’m shocked. It seems like they weren’t actually listening.
Three holes. Yes. This is a good solution. And it feels good to be a Paternalist and smack folks around with your words, too.
Coming onto a story-sharing forum to degrade and harass women, however….
Share!! Share your bodies! You selfish twats.
And if all else fails, just tell those women to die. (That one was aimed at me for my tweet, “Abortion costs upward of $500 and is often not covered by insurance.”)
In the end, women were absolutely heard.
Their voices were loud, and clear, and calm. I felt so proud to stand in solidarity with those who were able to keep their cool amongst some of the most vile shit I’ve heard lobbed at others.
Of course, the loud, oppressive voices of those who have worked so hard to silence and shame women were also heard.
But, mostly their presence was displayed as a giant, angry temper tantrum, with the maturity of a toddler flailing on the floor in aisle 2.
It was intense, and often frustrating.
It was shocking and sometimes scary.
But I think it was useful.
It’s important to showcase the hatred that is spewed at folks with a uterus in so many ways and in so many circumstances.
Especially in the way society wants to reduce us to indentured, sacrificial vessels.
Who’s story gets to drive this narrative?
Stories are powerful.
Stories break down stereotypes.
Stories smash rhetorical lies.
Stories reveal the opposition’s agenda.
It’s time for women to aggressively shove their way into the driver’s seat in this conversation about their bodies.
Move over. This is OUR story.
A number of us are exploring the intricacies of finding and owning your voice. Our voices that are continually fighting against being silenced. Check out membership to see if it’s right for you. We’d love to have you join us in talking about how gender-based oppression fuels the injustice in reproductive freedom and birth.