Gloria Steinem, Rape, and Why You Should Go Out and VOTE

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Be jealous. I'll understand.

Gloria Steinem wants you to go out and vote.

She's been speaking with and galvanizing people all over the country to get us to RISE UP.

She wants you to speak up and take action to protect women's reproductive rights and fight for social justice for all of us.

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I like this one much better even though we both look red. It's the color of revolution. Deal with it.

I was very excited to meet her last Tuesday at PAX in Miami, FL thanks to the Latina women's health justice nonprofit Mi Lola, who do wonderful work in South Florida.

We had a meet and greet, we played Bingo (you read that right), and we got prizes -- some autographed copies of Steinem's books and plenty of sex toys. I was one of the last winners, so I only got vibrator sleeves. I had my eyes on something much more naughty, but I'll have to buy that myself.

ANYWAY.

Why is Steinem touring the country to galvanize people?

Here's an example [trigger warning]:

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Some of these men actually get to help decide what happens to rape victims. These men shouldn't get to decide anything.

But there is hope.

Women are fighting back.* Society is fighting back, sure. We have Planned Parenthood. We have DrawTheLine.org (go ahead and sign their bill!). The Center for Reproductive Rights. Lots of other excellent groups. Celebrities, intellectuals, certain politicians, and many others are on our side.

But not enough people are outraged, or this crap wouldn't even be part of the conversation.

Women would be universally treated as human beings with agency instead of as fetus-carrying vessels undeserving of respect or basic human rights. Because choosing whether or not to be a mother is a basic human right. Having power over your own body is having power over your life, over your very being, and taking this away is nothing less than barbaric and untenable.

Lori wrote about part of the problem in Feministing:

My question is, why are we still surprised by stuff like this? When a Wisconsin lawmaker says that “some girls rape easy” or a Kansas state rep compares getting pregnant from rape to getting a flat tire, these aren’t silly gaffes or outrageous moments in an otherwise pro-woman political party: they are moments of insight providing a glimpse behind the curtain into the mind of an anti-woman policymaker aka a Republican. I mean seriously, have you checked out their party platform lately? In a politically charged landscape like ours, and with mere weeks to go before the presidential election, the stakes could not be higher for women.

Feminist writer Jessica Valenti takes it further, explaining how it affects 1 out of 6 American women:

Every day, the severity, violence and criminality of what rape is—its very definition—is distorted in a way that makes it more difficult for survivors to come forward and for anti-violence advocates to do their work, while making the world easier for victim-blaming and for rapists themselves.

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks -- and founder of Wolf PAC itself! -- also wrote about part of the problem this week in the Huffington Post:

Republicans so far have referred to legitimate rape, forcible rape, easy rape, honest rape, emergency rape, enjoyable rape and now gift-from-God rape. [...] They're not saying all of this because they just keep slipping up with words. They're stating whole theories on rape. That's not misspeaking; that's accidentally telling us what you really think. Will there be rape panels to decide if someone was actually raped? Someone has to decide if they get the exception or not, right? How will the woman convince the rape panel that she has been raped?

So go ahead and be outraged. It's necessary.

This isn't a joke, it's not meaningless, and it's not going to go away if we just ignore it. This will affect all of us, regardless of gender, sex, class, race, sexual orientation, age, or ability, because even if you are not a woman of reproductive age, you know someone who is, and her life and her rights affect yours. We live in a web of life. We are all connected. And when the rights of some are threatened, the rights of all of us are threatened. 

We cannot stand for this ridiculous injustice.

Be outraged.

Speak up.

Volunteer.

DEFEND WOMEN.

And, whatever you do, don't vote Republican this time and, if you're in FL, vote NO on 6!

*Check out some videos here, here, here, and here for examples.

(All thoughts in this post are mine and do not necessarily represent those of Wolf PAC.)

Do you like this post?

Showing 3 reactions

commented 2012-10-30 20:22:05 -0400 · Flag
Hi, Pete. As I said to you on Facebook and as I wrote in the post, these are all my thoughts and not necessarily Wolf PAC’s. 99% of the time, the blog focuses on money in politics and related issues. Thanks for your input, Pete, and I’m glad that we resolved the matter on Facebook.
commented 2012-10-26 11:58:25 -0400 · Flag
And for the record, I agree with Gloria and we need to vote these crazies out of office but what that has to do with money in politics is beyond me. You continue to fuel the rights fire of thinking this just another lefty, hippy movement to be swept under the rug. If Wolf PAC fails I blame the moderators who blatently chose a side!
commented 2012-10-26 11:51:27 -0400 · Flag
WTF DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MONEY IN POLITICS?! I was right. This is just another leftist movement that is mascarading as bipartisan. I was in Brooklyn with Salim handing out post cards! I believed in the message! But I am now disenfranchised. You have lost a supporter in me today!

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