Out there in the nether regions of Facebook there’s a grass-roots movement called Periods for Pence. The group was one woman’s response to Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s decision to sign into law the most restrictive abortion regulations to date. Under this law, (since blocked by a federal judge as unconstitutional), women of Indiana would be required–among other things–to bury or cremate all fetal remains, whether aborted or miscarried, no matter how far along the ‘pregnancy’. At their own expense of course. Following the letter of the law, that means any menstrual period, by virtue of the fact that it could contain an embryo, would have to be cremated or buried.
The anonymous founder began the page as a way for Indiana women to voice their anger and displeasure with the law. For months they’ve been tying up the phone lines of the Governor’s office to report on possible legal violations every time a Hoosier woman got her period. Women wrote testimonials and transcripts of their messages. And since Governor Pence seemed so concerned about their female health, was so interested in their female anatomy, they phoned in with concerns about menstruation and vaginas in general.
Now that Governor Pence is on the Republican ticket and there’s a chance he could become the next vice-president of the good, old U.S. of A., the site is picking up steam across the country.
It is, in every sense of the word, hysterical.
The site and the women (and men) who frequent it have been called ridiculous, silly, immature, and juvenile. But don’t be fooled. It may be satirical in nature, but the truth behind the page and those who contribute is anything but silly or juvenile.
The water simmering under the pot that is Periods for Pence, indeed under many American women themselves, has been on a slow simmer for years. With the announcement of Mike Pence for Vice-President, it may have just started to boil over.
Well, we ARE DONE.
Personally I am so fucking done that the little buzzer that pops to tell me so is broken from overuse.
The Periods for Pence women, like me, are done apologizing for being women. We are done fighting for rights which are, at best, loosely guaranteed. We’re done begging for those rights when they are routinely stripped and limited and oppressed and denied.
Some of us are done explaining to you why we are fans of Hillary Clinton.
A lot of us are done explaining to you why it is ok to vote for her just because she’s a woman.
We’re done explaining to men–who don’t bear the physical, psychological or financial* responsibility for bearing and raising children—why abortion is not up to them. Or how restricting abortion is in no way helping women, nor is it going to make it go away.
We’re done explaining that having an abortion doesn’t mean carrying a lifelong scar or stigma or guilty conscience. Done explaining that sometimes it is a tough choice, but sometimes it’s not. And we’re done explaining over and over again that this issue was settled more than 40 years ago. We’ve moved on. We’re done.
We’re done trying to peacefully and logically explain why we still need feminism, trying to politely explain how sexism is still rampant, because if we are anything but polite, we’re accused of being hysterical and irrational.
We are DONE justifying our personal experiences of sexism to men who deny it, done listening to men tell us sexism doesn’t exist, as if the long-fought battle for voting enfranchisement ended everything and in now in the land of unicorns and rainbows everyone is equal.
We’re done explaining.
We’re done listening to presumptions that our votes shouldn’t count as much because they are coming from women, as if the only votes that truly matter, the ones that really count, are those of men (and predominantly old, white men).
This year’s spectacular mindfuck of a GOP ticket isn’t even bothering to court our votes at all, seeming to work under the false pretense that we don’t matter, we’ll go along with the tide, or they don’t need us anyway.
We’re done with half-assed laws which take away health care, screenings and funding. We’re done with unconstitutional laws which assume and assert we can’t make decisions about our own health, which refuse to allow us to make decisions about our own bodies.
We are done being told, in so many words, that the folks elected by women and minorities don’t count as much, because they’re not white men and therefore their abilities and achievements are somehow lessened through the filter of their very being.
We are done with apologizing and explaining.
But make no mistake, it is so much more than that.
It is rallying the troops. It is making plans. It is getting ready to protest and demand and to vote.
Because if there is a bloody revolution coming? There’s a good chance it will be uterized.
*the financial burden of males is a choice–that is not to say it isn’t taken on happily by most men, but it is a choice.