My phone has been blowing up with texts since Friday afternoon when the news came out about the US Supreme Court overturning Roe, and I suspect yours has been too.
Here are some of the texts I have gotten over the last two days:
“hi thinking of you today, hope you’re hanging in there as world events implode”
“Numb, sad, angry over here. Anyone need anything?”
“Also furious and had a good cry last night”
“Sasha, have you heard the terrible news about Roe? I want to scream at the top of my lungs.”
“Our foremothers gave us Roe with their blood, sweat, and tears. They wanted it to be our birthright.”
“Hi. Hope you are ok. This is horseshit.”
Yup. This is horseshit. Two months ago when the draft of the Roe opinion by Alito was leaked, I wrote this blog post, “I’m feeling numb, how are you doing?”
Now that the actual opinion has come down, I feel more angry than numb. How about you? I think that’s how it works with feelings. We have to feel each and every one of them to get to the next one.
I heard something beautiful on the radio this weekend from Jenny Slate, an actor and comedian being interviewed on NPR about her new film, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.” She said, “…as a creative person that, you know, it’s heartbreaking and terrifying what the Supreme Court has decided. A lot of artists say, you know, you have to create the world that you want to live in.”
We do have to create the world we want to live in, and that’s what I am going to be doing over here – inviting you all to join me in creating the world we want to live in.
I also was moved by something that Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez shared in an email from her Instagram. She was asked about hope, and the very simple, wonderfully blunt question, “Are we screwed?”
She wrote something so beautiful and true in response that I want to share it here.
“My honest view is that things are likely to get harder before they get better, and we will need to stick together.
What is important in moments like these is not to think in binaries. Good/bad, screwed/not screwed. There is no doubt that things are bad. Some things, really bad. And they may likely get worse. But that does not preclude the fact that slowly but surely, some good can be growing as other things fall apart. This is not some syrupy, sweet silver-lining case for optimism. Rather, it is about a choice all of us have to make in life, either consciously or unconsciously: will I be a person who is safe and creates good for others? Will I be a person who stands up? Will I be a person who primarily minds my own business and serves myself or try to be part of something bigger? Or will I be just a passive, “neutral” observer of it all?
What I sometimes tell my staff is that the world we are fighting for is already here. It exists in small spaces, places, and communities. We don’t have to deal with the insurmountable problem of coming up with novel solutions to all the world’s problems. Much of our work is about scaling existing solutions, many created by small, committed groups of people, that others haven’t seen or don’t even know are around the corner.
So while we can’t change the world in a day, we CAN and do have the power to make our own world without our four walls, or our own blocks. We can grow from there with the faith that somewhere out there, everywhere, others are doing the same.”
I decided to take the teaching of pussywalking online after I worked through my own feelings of numbness, because I knew that this day was coming, and that seemed like a contribution I could make to others if I could break through my own fears of teaching such a taboo thing to a larger group of women around the world.
I definitely don’t want to appear to be using this tragedy as a marketing opportunity, but in fact, the truth is that the anticipation of finding ourselves in this unthinkable moment is what pushed me to bring the teaching of pussywalking online to reach more women. I really believe these workshops can be one of the small spaces that AOC is talking about that can empower us to do good in our own lives and to make this world a better place.
The patriarchy does not want women to control their bodies or prioritize their own pleasure. It is precisely this trinity of power, pleasure, and the female body that the mostly old white men on the Supreme Court, and the patriarchy in general, are so afraid of. It’s the subtext beneath overturning Roe. Our connection with our own pleasure, even subtle pleasure, is a source of power. Reclaiming our bodies, and our joy, helps us to physically engage with the world.
We are doing the first live, online pussywalking workshop Tuesday night.
If you would like to join us, there are a few spots left. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, so if you can’t afford the cost, and want to come, then send an email.
And, it’s just good to be in the company of other women right now. And men, thanks for supporting us. This is not just a woman’s issue. Obviously pregnancy itself takes place because of the participation of men, and women.
Hope to see you there!
P.S. I also got this beautiful text message from a European reader:
“I read the news on Facebook. Women’s rights on abortion have gone [in the US]. But we are Diana, Artemis, Venus, and Penelope. We have to fight for a better world.”
It’s so sad to me that no one considers the life of the unborn child in these situations. I used to work OBGYN. It’s not “tissue” or a “fetus”, it’s a child, and in all other cases it’s said that it’s the mother’s job to protect her children… what about now? Abortion is not birth control! And being pregnant is not a “life sentence” to those selfish woman who want pleasure but no responsibility. There are thousands of couples that cannot have children, and would be thrilled to take the “inconvenience and burden” away from those that don’t want to be bothered by rearing a child.
So, that being said, I’m now unsubscribing to your emails, because I cannot stand where you stand on this issue. I pray God might open your eyes, and I would hope you could one day see a child as a blessing, and not a problem to just be dealt with.
Lara, it’s sad to me that you don’t see women’s rights as human rights. You are welcome to unsubscribe, and to come back if you have a change of heart and mind. I certainly won’t silence myself to keep you happy.