It is no longer deniable by anyone paying attention, that we are living through an all out war on women's lives, women's rights, and women's futures. This is not a minor matter; women are half of humanity. Defeating this war is everybody's responsibility.
This is why this Saturday at noon I will be out in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City with a rowdy band of others screaming at the top of my lungs. This is the home of Timothy Dolan who spearheaded the recent attacks on birth control, which come on top of decades of attacks on abortion. Nearly 90% of counties now lack an abortion provider.
From there, we will march to the porn stores in Times Square and once again scream at the tops of our lungs. We will protest these stores because pornography has become more violent, more humiliating, and more cruel towards women -- even as it has become more mainstream.
In reality, there is no meaningful difference between the Bible's view of women and pornography's view of women. Both reduce women to "things" to be controlled by men. The church reduces women to breeders. Porn reduces women to sex objects to be brutalized and degraded. We are neither. Women are human beings. On Saturday, we are shaking off any remnants of our own passivity and launching a new movement that will not stop until the full humanity of all women is recognized throughout society and throughout the world.
By taking to the streets in protest, we are not appealing to those in power, neither to the politicians who are either outright attacking women's lives nor with those who are "just" seeking "common ground" with and conciliating to those attacks. We are calling out the millions of people who are horrified by this relentlessness but who are sitting paralyzed on the sidelines. We are also calling out to those who have become so acclimated to the unceasing violence and disrespect of women that they aren't even angry.
Our message: IF WE WANT THINGS TO CHANGE -- WE MUST ACT! We must rely on ourselves. We must do more than click an online petition or send money to some politician, we must get out in the streets, we must make our voices heard, we must confront the woman-haters and we must create through this protest a taste of the future we want.
For too long, those who attack women have felt free to do so at the tops of their lungs and with the backing of the state. Rush Limbaugh can call a thirty year old woman who uses birth control a "slut" and monopolize headlines for days. Timothy Dolan can revolt against birth control and get a personal phone call trying to appease him from President Obama. Porn producers can speak openly, as Bill Margold does here, about their desire to portray violence against women, "I'd like to really show what I believe the men want to see: violence against women... The most violent we can get is the cum shot in the face. Men get off behind that because they get even with the women they can't have."
Meanwhile, women tell us the stories of their rapes, the obstacles and shame they've encountered seeking abortions, the humiliation they've experienced from boyfriends who take their cues from pornography in whispers and through tears.
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