From the Stop Patriarchy blog

Scientific Sex Ed

August 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


While talking to people in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas a man started yelling at us from across the street, “Close your legs! Close your legs! Close your legs!” …..this is not the first time we have heard this sentiment, and these kind of comments. Across the country, from NYC, to Wichita, and now in Texas, we’ve heard this kind of argument against abortion. Things like “Women gotta be ready to have the baby every time they have sex” or “If you make a mistake, if you have sex, you have to suffer the consequences!”

FUCK all that. What kind of logic denies women their full humanity through shaming their sexuality? What kind of morality is it that wants women to not have sex, unless procreation is involved? This idea that women should not have the right to any kind of sexuality or sexual pleasure outside of their usefulness to breeding children is an outdated and backwards notion. This outlook rests on thousands of years of patriarchy, and the continuation of that—right down to today.

First off, look at the world we live in, and let’s get real about how sex happens! We are immersed in a culture that is deeply influenced by mainstream and degrading pornography, a culture where even if women are not outright raped, they are often persuaded, coerced, or peer pressured into having sex before they feel ready. And it’s not only abortion rights that have been under attack, it’s also scientific sex education, so young people that are curious about sex are turning to Internet porn to learn about sex…which has very very little to do with women freely exploring their sexuality, and much to do with how women are humiliated, degraded, and subordinated by the men in porn. So women get extremely contradictory messages about how to behave. You either are the virgin, or a whore, and many times women are expected to be both.

Furthermore, humanity now has science to understand and explain natural phenomena, and part of what science has learned is basic biology, human reproduction, and sexual pleasure—including female sexual pleasure. If women are going to be treated as full human beings, then women need the right, and should demand the right, to sexual education and exploration free of shame and stigma, and free of the consequences of forced motherhood. Too often, women are kept in ignorance of their bodies, their bodies are acted upon, they are treated as objects; either through being seen as incubators or objectified and used as sexual tools for the pleasure of men. How many women understand the difference between and know the location of their cervix, their vaginal canal, their labia, their urethra, and the (oh so important) clitoris?

It is also scientific to recognize that women are sentient human beings, and fetuses are not, and that at any point in a pregnancy the fetus is a subordinate part of a woman’s body! And all of this scientific understanding should be readily available to women—Sex Ed: On Demand, and Without Apology!!

Under this current and intensifying War On Women, women are treated as less than human, massive crimes are committed against them, and then they are blamed for their own oppression. This is BULLSHIT. The oppression of women needs to end at the earliest possible date, and we all should want to make real the vision of a world without rape, without sexual assault, and a world where women have the ability to say HELL NO, rather than “not now, maybe later.” And where women have the right to scream “OH YES!” to exploring what gives them sexual pleasure, and to having sex. No shame, no stigma, and no “consequences!”

The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride has been at the courthouse in Austin every single day that court was in session since August 4—abortion providers are challenging provision of HB2 which looms over Texas and threatens to close all but six abortion clinics in this state of 26 million people. Damage has already been done by HB2 and similar laws passed across the country, and the last provision, to go into effect on September 1st, could do even more.

On the day of closing arguments, we left the courthouse and went to the Governor's mansion. Texas Governor Rick Perry has stated the goal of making abortion "a thing of the past." That means no exceptions. That means a nightmare for women and frankly, for society. Rick Perry called a special session to ram HB2 into law last year, in smug disregard for the thousands of people who righteously stood up at the filibuster at the Capitol, and in smug disregard for the millions of women whose lives this will affect.

Women are not incubators. This was our message to the world as we marched out across 11th Street on August 13, holding the pictures of women who have died from illegal abortions, and pointing coat hangers at Perry's mansion. These are the new terms that everyone who cares about the future of women should be fighting for, society-wide. We are sick to death of seeing women mutilated, forced to bear children that are the product of rape, left to die on Catholic hospital beds, and shamed and terrorized outside of clinics. When it comes to abortion, there is only one moral question: Will women be forced to have children against their will or will they be treated as full human beings which means being able to decide for themselves when and whether to be a mother?

So we stood there, uncompromising, we blocked traffic, and we were arrested. A crowd gathered and many people contributed in very positive ways. When the police dragged us off, they lifted a teenager by her nose, suffocating her and causing tears to stream down her face. Another teenager was yanked up and off the street, tearing a ligament in her shoulder. She was then incarcerated and put on suicide watch, in a solitary cell, forced to take off her underwear and wear nothing but a long tank top made of stiff padding and sit on a concrete slab, for hours. Another of us was isolated in a solitary cell, told she would not be allowed to talk to a lawyer, and that she would be in that cell for three days before being shipped off to a penitentiary indefinitely.

Twelve hours later, we had done more time for standing up for the future of women than Rick Perry has, and the blood of women is on his hands. We did more time than the Pope has, and the blood of women is on his hands. We did more time than the cop that killed Michael Brown! But we are undeterred. We chanted in their faces, we supported each other, we defied them repeatedly and refused to answer their hateful, homophobic, loaded questions, and we knew all along we had a movement at our backs working to get us out. We knew all along that what we were doing was exactly what is needed right now, all across this country. Now, for the same reason, we are calling on you.  


Join in a Week of Defiance August 25 – September 1.  Join us in Austin, or claim your own space wherever you live:

Converge daily 4pm-6pm at Gov. Rick Perry's mansion at 101 Colorado St. in Austin, TX. Bring your body, your art, your voice, your friends, and your determination to reshape the future.

Around the country: go in public and represent for abortion on demand and without apology. Send your messages, art, and donations down to Texas.

Send a message to the Abortion Rights Freedom Riders in Texas.

Contact today with your ideas and your intentions. We will have your back no matter where you are. If you have already reached out, expect a call from us this week. We know this system has never gifted oppressed people with liberation, and you are urgently needed to be part of the kind of mass movement that is the only way that the course of history has ever changed.

Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement.
Abortion on Demand & Without Apology!

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