I don’t usually write about politics. If I do, it’s folded into a post about something else. Make no mistake. As a feminist, political consciousness and activism are very important to me. I just don’t think writing on policy and legislation is something I do well. I tend to forget representatives’ names and feel I lack the rhetorical nuance to report on issues the way I write about, say, Odd Future’s problematic cultural ascendancy. I provide commentary. I follow and contend in-depth analysis from folks like LaToya Peterson, s.e. smith, Everett Maroon, Amanda Marcotte, Melissa McEwan, Katherine Haenschen, and Rachel Maddow, and check in with Slate, Salon, NPR, the Guardian, Racialicious, Tiger Beatdown, and ColorLines like a good liberal. I also have friends who commit their lives to politics. I try to absorb as much of what they have to say as possible while parsing out what party ideology jibes with my own beliefs.
Where possible, I do like to take political action. I believe my work with Girls Rock Camp Austin is political in nature. If I lived in Wisconsin, I’d be picketing with the students and police officers. Matter of fact, there’s a distinct chance I’ll be marching with them soon enough if Scott Walker continues to sell out his constituents. Once I know where I’ll be next fall, I’d like to get back to volunteering. I don’t make a lot of money at my job, but I donate some of my earnings to organizations like OutYouth. I recently attended Austin’s Walk for Choice and proudly hoisted a sign I got from the March for Women’s Lives, which I participated in during college. I believe civic action is important. That is why I’m bowling with Lilith Fund in the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon. It’s also why I’m taking time out to ask that you sponsor my team.
I don’t ask for money very often. I took a telemarketer job for six months in college and it was pretty degrading. I’ve never set up a PayPal or a Kickstarter account for this blog. Instead, I rely on downloading, review copies, and promo CDs to keep overhead low. As I’d love to revamp this blog and start recording podcasts for it, I may solicit at a later date. I also don’t want to perpetuate the idea that feminists of my generation come down from the mountain only when our reproductive rights are in jeopardy. There are a lot of issues that affect women and girls that we should be fighting for. Prison and education reform, equal pay, trans rights, eradicating human trafficking and child abuse, comprehensive sex education, dismantling rape culture and institutional racism, same-sex adoption and partner benefits, universal health care, and closing the technology gap most immediately come to mind.
But preserving reproductive choice is also of integral importance to me. I have always believed that giving women and girls the right to choose to enter into motherhood rather than foist it upon them improves the quality of life for all involved parties. I believe allowing abortion as an option following conception from traumatic experiences like rape and incest is a necessity we have to protect. I believe providing women and girls with autonomy by providing them education about sexual health and contraception will make the world a better place.
However, I’m not just bowling so that more girls and women have access to abortion. Anti-choice folks tend to think all we’re concerned about is making sure women and girls can get abortions. They also believe we come to our decision to have them in a cavalier manner. The former assumption simplifies a complex, interrelated set of issues into one watch word. The latter myth is just stupid and insulting. Organizations like Lilith Fund work toward providing information, counseling, and resources to their community. Facilities like Planned Parenthood provide folks with birth control and information on family planning, as well as administer pap smears and other standard procedures to guarantee women’s health. This is especially important at a time when proposed legislation is getting scary on a medieval level. Georgia state rep Bobby Franklin wants expectant mothers to prove their miscarriages occured naturally (read this great Crunk Feminist Collective enumerating recent attacks on reproductive justice). My own governor Rick Perry (who I’ve never voted for) wants me to look at a sonogram before going through with a termination. This is at a time when abortion providers are becoming an endangered species and access to contraception continues to be compromised.
It’s not a game. It’s about livelihood. I’m willing to do many things, including bowl for it. I hope you’ll support me and my team (seriously, just click on the link and provide us with whatever you can spare), as well as take personal action.
Last month, I mentioned that I started taking guitar lessons and hoped to incorporate my experience in chorus into a project that better reflected my interests in dance and post-punk. The Knife have recently expanded how I hear opera. But imagine my surprise when I was perusing this piece from The Guardian about the supposed lack of angry female music stars and read about an all-female British punk choir named GAGGLE. And I thought discovering post-punk female percussion ensemble like Pulsallama was exciting.
Amazing! I don’t know if this 22-piece ensemble has any inclinations to cross the pond, but I hope they make a stop in Austin.