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Ripe opportunity, but only alternative media cares

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 14:12 EDT
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As I expected, the American Life League coming clean about their desires to ban the birth control pill with their “Pill Kills” campaign has had the intended effect of making it easier for those of us who’ve been busting our asses trying to get out the word that the anti-choice community is not all that worried about fetal life, and far more concerned about returning women to a life where the threat of unplanned pregnancy hangs over our heads day and night. Like Dr. Dana Stone wrote in her guest post at Feministing:

Call it nostalgia for the good old days, when men were men, sex was unspeakable, and women lived in fear of unintended pregnancies.

Well, sex was unspeakable to women, and I suspect that’s because it was largely viewed as something degrading you do to women, even as some people privately experienced it as a fun “couples’ activity”. As I mention in this week’s podcast, I was impressed by Rick Perlstein’s descriptions in Nixonland of the sex panic that ensued when comprehensive sex education became a staple in many schools. One man bragged about how he had never spoken of sex to his wife in 17 years of marriage. I suppose the nightly wife degradations were something that they pretended didn’t happen? Related in the book: Laws against pornography in many states had an exception for stag parties, where men got together in woman-free environments like the Lion’s Club to watch pornographic films together. Hearings against pornography back then usually featured an opportunity for congressmen to get together to watch the films and hoot and have a good time. That speaks volumes, I think, about the world that anti-choicers want back.

It’s a ripe opportunity to get out the truth about the anti-choice movement and their desires to disempower women from our ability to prevent pregnancy as well as terminate it. Dan Savage mentioned it on his podcast, as a reminder to straight people that the same assholes who want to ban gay marriage aren’t letting you off the hook because you mix and match. Unfortunately, the mainstream media hasn’t run with this story. The Chicago Tribune allowed Katha Pollitt to talk about it,* but I didn’t see much else. The protest day is June 7th, so maybe there will be an uptick? I’m not holding my breath, though. One of my biggest frustrations is the media blackout on the basic facts about the anti-choice movement. I suspect they’re scared of being accused of being in the pocket of the feminazi conspiracy if they don’t agree to keep the campaign against birth control on the down low.

*You can read the two of us go back and forth on feminism and politics from the link on this page all week.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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