Women To GOP: We Hear You Knocking But You Can’t Come In
by Kimberley Johnson
Sixty-seven percent of single women voted for Obama and made a huge impact on the outcome of the 2012 election.
The reason is pretty simple. The Teapublicans wanted (and still want) to regulate our vaginas and take us back to when women had no rights, no access to birth control and no choice. That in and of itself seems like a 21st century nightmare, but then the rape dudes came along and proclaimed that women’s bodies had a natural way of shutting a rape pregnancy down and if we did get pregnant from rape, we should consider it a gift from God. What’s worse is the rapist still can SUE his victim for custody and visitation rights in thirty-one states. So, the single gals showed up to the polls and made sure the GOP and their Neanderthal beliefs were the ones who were shut down. Boooo-ya!
The House of Representatives gained a Republican majority in the 2010 midterm elections. Midterms usually experience a lower voter turnout and in this case, Americans were disappointed that Obama didn’t have a magic wand and couldn’t immediately fix the free-falling economy—that took eight years for the Bush Administration to get us into. The apathy and impatience worked against us. John Boehner took over as Speaker of the House and the lunacy started. It didn’t take lawmakers very long to start the obsession with women’s reproductive issues. In fact, it was only a matter of months before we were inundated with anti-women legislation.
The epithet ‘Slut’ also took on a new meaning thanks to Rush Limbaugh. Evidently, women who have sex for pleasure—married or not—are sluts. We are called sluts because we want to be able to make our own choices about our bodies. Republican politicians seemed to be on fire about it too. As infuriating as it was to be deluged with all of their insulting efforts, their actions proved to be the main reason why the majority of them lost.
The Slut fiasco afforded me the opportunity to be named the spokeswoman for Rock The Slut Vote, founded by Susan McMillan Emry. The idea was that women banded together (and we still do) to reclaim the word, much like our founding fathers did with the term ‘Yankee.’ Humor is used to counter the anger and both genders hopped on board to fight the GOP in their efforts to bully and subjugate women. RTSV gave me the experience of a lifetime and I spoke at the We Are Woman March in Washington D.C. on the west lawn of the Capitol Building.
It was there that I met actress and activist Kamala Lopez while she was filming a documentary about the failure of the ERA to be ratified. Approximately seventy percent of women are not even aware of the failure. Sadly, I fell into that percentage. Lopez is busy working to change this and her website ERA Education Project has a plethora of information.
Another notable incident involved Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown. She was banned by Majority Floor Leader Jim Stama and House Republicans for using the word “vagina” during an abortion bill debate. She said, “I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours? And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no’.” Just days after the incident, 2,500 people gathered outside Michigan’s Capitol Building for a performance of The Vagina Monologues in an effort to highlight the inequality women face on a daily basis.
UniteWomen.org was founded in February 2012. At a woman’s conference in Salinas California this September, Karen Teegarden, President and CEO, explained that the thousands of pieces of anti-woman legislation introduced by the House Republicans and Limbaugh’s buffoonery made her feel like she needed to be proactive. She created a Facebook group one evening after venting with a friend in New York and upon waking the following morning, she found almost five hundred people had joined. Within a week, that number grew to 12,000. It became clear UniteWomen.org had tapped into the frustration and anger felt by tens of thousands of women. By April, UniteWomen.org organized 55 rallies in 45 States. I had the pleasure of speaking for RTSV at the Sacramento event. UniteWomen.org has grown substantially and the Facebook page alone is now at almost 56 thousand “likes” with a reach of over 17 million. There are groups in every state where volunteers are working on specific state actions and implementing national programs and actions. Volunteers can join their state group to help with plans for 2013, which include ratification of the ERA. Currently they are launching an intense campaign to get the Violence Against Women Act passed. More 2013 plans will be announced soon.
UniteWomen has over 250 Facebook groups where they do most of their organizing and work. The groups include 50 state community groups, 50 state core-organizing groups, an online graphics team, research teams, collegiate division, monthly task force planning groups and many more. They hold regular meetings on Google Hangout and are able to turn many ideas to action within hours. Volunteers are empowered to get involved, whether it’s through direct actions or online activism, helping with research or creating graphics. You can “like” their Facebook page HERE and find your state or international group in the “about” section. Please check them out if you want to get involved!
2014 is the next step. The GOP is still trying to squash women’s rights. Are you going to allow that?
To the women who call us ‘harpies’ and say that all we want is free birth control, I leave you with these words: There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women. ~Madeleine K. Albright
Kimberley A. Johnson – A.K.A. The Anti Coulter is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or friend her on FB HERE . Visit ARKStories to check out all of her books