Here in Portland, Oregon, we have In Other Words, a Feminist Community Center, which just released a video with the theme “feminism now more than ever” and interviews bunches of people about the need to keep talking, and acting, about feminism. They coincidentally released it the day the senate candidate stated that women can’t get pregnant if they’re raped. What timing! (http://inotherwords.org/)
Later that same week, I heard an activist on NPR who was a rape survivor, who had a baby from the rape, and was later sued by the rapist for sole custody of her child – WHAT!??? How could this happen? She is talking about this because most people don’t know that in 31 states, a rapist can sue for custody if the woman he raped has a child as a result. OMG. Start talking. Keep talking.
The latest YES! magazine is about Our Bodies. Eve Ensler is interviewed – it’s wonderful – go find it…after you finish this please..(also watch a wonderful TED talk by Eve Ensler on YouTube: “Eve Ensler: Suddenly, my body.” It’s really a 12 minute performance poem)….She, like me, urges us to love our bodies, delve into pleasure, love everything….because it’s obviously not working to only put band-aids on the violence. Yes, we need rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters, and self-defense classes, but what can we do that will significantly change the climate of violence?
My answer is: LOVE. Love yourself. Love your body. Love everything and everybody…even the people you can’t stand (like the people who want to control women’s bodies, and value a rapist over the victim — they in fact are fearful to their core; I’ve observed that the more scared a person is, the more dangerous they become).
I also recently read an old book about Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, which reminded me that people have struggled against patriarchy, and the control it is always trying to have over everything, since patriarchy began…we’ve never stopped fighting back. I’d like to stop fighting, cause it’s more of the same energy. How about we try loving instead?

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