Wednesday, October 12, 2011
If I occupy Wall Street will you stop trying to occupy my uterus?
What does Occupy Wall Street have to do with abortion? Nothing! Well, at least that’s what appears on the surface from my two visits down there. My first trip to Wall Street, and more specifically Zuccotti Park where the protesters have camped out, was the first week of the occupation. The crowds were thin and the media hadn’t really picked up on anything yet. My second visit was last Friday, when I visited ostensibly to participate in a Kol Nidre service, which occurs the night before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. It was on this second and most recent visit where I saw the true force of Occupy Wall Street and what it had evolved into.
In the main area of the park there seems to be a fully operational and functional community of sorts. It has been advertised that protestors can access health services, a haircut, library, volunteer sign-up area, massages, life coaches, and a kitchen. Code Pink was down there with signs! There are signs about demanding universal healthcare. There are tons of women! So many signs! Signs with messages about every issue you could think of…except abortion. So where were the signs about abortion? Did I miss them?
How does abortion fit into this protest? Does it need to? Haven’t I said in the past that I see abortion EVERYWHERE??? So of course abortion has to fit in somewhere, right? Wall Street matters...it has to. Not only is this protest about the current state of our economy, government, and politics, but it is about dissent. So many of us who are involved in left-leaning issues have lacked adequate venues to SCREAM CHANT SWEAR SING DANCE VENT COMMUNE about what we’re feeling. As abortioneers, we often hold our feelings in and let them fester. I see Occupy Wall Street as a form of catharsis (at the least) and a significant potential for social change (at the most).
I also think there is potential for abortion to enter the dialogue at these protests. While they are parading around signs that say: “we are the 99%”, what about making some signs that reference “we are the 33%”, which is the percent of women who will have had an abortion by age 45?
Occupy Wall Street has spread to many cities and I’m curious if anyone has seen some awesome abortion or reproductive rights messages at your protests?
And then there are these condoms...
Side note: As you know “vegan” makes up half of this vegan vagina and I was overjoyed to see signs and messages supporting animal rights AND lots of vegan food being donated to those who have camped out. In fact, the protestors are ASKING for vegan/vegetarian food to be delivered!!!