What’s Scarier than Planned Parenthood?
In the mid-1990s Planned Parenthood was a crazy place. An anti-abortionist had gunned down the Brookline, MA office, killing two, injuring another and the anti-abortion protests were becoming so plentiful and frequent – they would often shut down the street. And of course, I was right there living in the middle of it all. Everyday I had to walk by grotesque imagery of charred and mangled fetuses held by an angry mob. Because of the recent killings, the city posted an officer to watch over the chaos. I asked the officer if he could enforce some dignity and get the protesters to take down their horrific signs. After all, this was a public place and children often walked this route to school. He rolled his eyes and replied “Free speech“.
So I stepped into a convenience store, purchased a Hustler magazine, and re-emerged in the middle of the mob holding the wide open centerfold, featuring a well-groomed totally-in-your-face close-up, high above my head. The protesters, confused and upset by human biology, quickly moved away, to distance their signs from mine. Of course I followed. The officer approached, angry, and he ordered me to “Drop the Hustler magazine!“. Of course I didn’t. Instead, I simply said: “Free speech.”
The weary-looking officer retreated to his vehicle, picked up his radio, and after a few moments returned. This time he asked everyone to leave. And the protesters with their horrific signs were never a problem for me again.
Free speech indeed.
But what does it say about our society when a picture of a woman’s healthy vagina is scarier than images of mutilation? What does it say when Anti-abortion activists have gripped law enforcement so tightly by the balls that that grip in itself could serve as birth control? And how can we be so fervently obsessed with controlling a woman’s womb, but when a happy vagina hops onto the scene, everyone runs away?
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I am clearly not above exploiting the fear of the VAGINA.
Vagina fear is real; just bring up your fully functioning uterus if you ever want to clear out a room.
So I suppose I can understand how a police officer could be cool with horrific, bloody images intended to incite outrage while simultaneously getting his panties in a bunch about a grown woman showing off her immaculately primped vagina – we’re talking a precision-trimmed landing strip, people. But I digress.
What I don’t understand is why protesters were at Planned Parenthood anyway. Abortion is legal. And at Planned Parenthood, abortion is safe. If you want it to become illegal, protest at the state house – not the healthcare facility. I don’t see the folks who want gun control protesting at gun stores (or Walmart), holding up pictures of Sandy Hook aftermath – that wouldn’t make much sense.
It is almost as if the protesters who stood outside Planned Parenthood that day were getting off on scaring, intimidating and flaunting their power over women who were at a vulnerable time in their lives. Women who were seeking safe, legal and affordable health services. Huh.
In fact, after the murders that took place at Planned Parenthood, it almost seemed as if saving lives was not as important to the protesters as keeping women in their place. It is hard to climb the corporate ladder and challenge those at the top, or start a revolution, or even write a freaking blog – when you are also raising children. Huh.
There is a lot to think about, but one thing is certain: if you want to stop bullies who believe women have no jurisdiction over their own bodies, scare them with vaginas. Lots of vaginas. Running wild and free. Stampeding across the plains.
The word is out people. Help me spread it like a centerfold.