Feminist Weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized by macktivist on February 23, 2010

This weekend was the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference). I think that the weekend that I had was sufficiently liberal enough to counteract any free-floating conservatism that comes my way.

On Friday I volunteered at the local Roe v. Wade luncheon. The event was to raise money for Planned Parenthood by wooing rich donors, and tickets were seventy-five dollars a pop, so working at it was the only way I was going to get in.

I helped stuff the programs before the guest came, and I then worked at the Planned Parenthood merch table. It’s hard to sell T-Shirts that say things such as “Use Condom Sense” to older rich white people. When people did come over they would make it very clear that they were buying these for the “grand/kids”. It does make one question the idea that matures with age as there were plenty of older people who would nudge their friends and giggle at the condom shirt.  We even had one shirt that said “Republicans Stand Up For Choice!”.  There actually were a two people who bought that shirt, a middle aged white man who -like a ghost- appeared, asked for the shirt, paid, and then disappeared, completely free of chitchat. The second man who bought one was more open about his purchase and told us it was for his conservative, yet pro-choice mother.

The woman who was assigned to the merch table with me was a middle aged woman named Honey. We talked a lot about college, and she told me how she went to BYU- but was quick to point out she wasn’t a Mormon, only got a scholarship there. We also talked about graduate and Law School, as I told her about my primary’s Law School options. One of the keynote speakers, Natasha Bhuyan talked to us before the luncheon started.

All of the volunteers were allowed to go into the luncheon after they had finished their meal and the speaker started to present. There was a speaker from the UA (University of Arizona) who spoke about the pre-Roe v Wade days, and women dying from illegal abortions. There was a speech from the PPAZ (Planned Parenthood Arizona) medical director about the importance of choice. I think that the best speaker was the last one, Natasha Bhuyan (and I’m not just saying that because she stopped to talk to me earlier). She is involved with Medpride and Med Students for Choice at the University and had a great speech about how Med schools need to stop acting like abortion is such a taboo subject that can’t be taught and how the procedure is very simple for one that has been given such an air of taboo.

I was physically exhausted after the luncheon because of all of the work it was, but I also felt extremely pumped. A lot of times when I try to stay current on issues that pertain to choice, it is easy to get depressed because of the onslaught of anti-choice legislation that seems to never end. On Friday they did talk about the negative stuff that anti-choicers are throwing at us, but they focused on the ways in which we can combat, and will in fact WIN. It also made me feel extremely proud to be a feminist, pro-choicer, and activist; as all of these identities tie to me to a rich and vibrant past of fierce advocacy against sexism.

On Saturday I went to the University’s Vagina Warrior’s production of the Vagina Monologues because I love vaginas and a friend of mine was in the cast. I liked the way that they set up the stage, with a clothesline in the back on which there were various items of red clothing. The cast were wearing all black and would take off various pieces of red clothing from the line and wear them during their monologues. The most touching for me was a monologue that wasn’t included in the UA’s performance last year as it was just published in Ensler’s new book. It was about being a modern sex slave in Africa (can’t remember which nation right now, sorry) while being a teenager at the same time. Powerful words.


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