SEPTEMBER 1O @ 7PM, TE HOUSE OF TEA!
We, along with Hollaback! Houston, will be presenting a Pay What You Will viewing of the short documentary, The Line.
A one night stand far from home goes terribly wrong. As the filmmaker unravels her experience, she decides to confront her attacker.
Told through a “sex-positive” lens, The Line is a 24 minute documentary about a young woman – the filmmaker- who is raped, but her story isn’t cut and dry. Not a “perfect victim,” the filmmaker confronts her attacker, recording the conversation with a hidden camera. Sex workers, survivors and activists discuss justice, accountability and today’s “rape culture.” The film asks the question: where is the line defining consent? Shown in film festivals around the world, The Line was released in September 2009, and is a top selling film with educational distributor, the Media Education Foundation.
There will be a Q&A session following the film. This will be a great opportunity to bring your questions regarding rape culture and feminism. You will also have an opportunity to mingle with some wonderful activists from the Houston area. (There will also be swing dancing afterwards!)
This should be a great event, tackling many important issues. Keep your eyes open for a follow up blog post!
Can we finally say this out loud? Operation Rescue was pathetic. They declared a “Summer of Mercy 2.0” outside the Germantown, Md., clinic of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, and now, as of late this Monday morning, they have (thankfully) gone home, and now we can tell it like it is.
For those who don’t know, the term “Summer of Mercy” is laden with awful history, referring to a time in 1991 when Operation Rescue shut down the late Dr. George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita, Kan., for weeks on end. Watching video footage from those days you can see anti-abortion rights extremists screaming and crawling on all fours through the streets (culminating in a few thousand arrests). As a friend from Kansas recently told me, “It was hell.”
Scott Roeder, the man convicted of murdering Dr. George Tiller, explained during his trial that while he did not attend that original Summer of Mercy, it did make him “more aware” of Dr. Tiller.
For these reasons and many more, abortion rights and reproductive justice activists around the country took Operation Rescue’s threatened actions in Germantown very seriously. Grassroots activists and organizations poured our time, resources and hearts into supporting a “Summer Celebration of Choice” taking place Sunday, July 31, through Monday, August 8, declared by none other than Dr. LeRoy Carhart himself.
The result was, in a word, awesome. From about 7:00 every morning to 10:00 (or later) every night, activists from 18 states stood out in 100-degree heat, intense pouring rain and everything in between to stand with Dr. Carhart, his excellent staff and the women they serve with dignity, compassion and respect. At many points during those nine days we outnumbered the antis. Members of the community kept stopping by with doughnuts, drinks and thank yous for our service. There was no violence, the clinic stayed open, and we did a great job representing the pro-choice majority in this country in the face of an extreme onslaught of misinformation, lies and hatred.
Here are a few lessons made obvious during the Summer Celebration of Choice:
1. The so-called “pro-life” movement is explicitly or at least implicitly encouraging the killing of abortion providers. From the gentleman spotted wandering around the clinic several days mumbling about a gun, to the “truth truck” with Dr. Carhart’s and Dr. Tiller’s pictures driving around the immediate area, to the offer of $35,000 for anyone with “information” about Dr. Carhart, to the exploding gun chalked on the sidewalk outside the office complex beneath the words “Would it bother us if they use guns?,” not once did we see leaders of Operation Rescue disavow the violent images, words and actions right beside them. It is especially chilling to consider what we saw all week in light of the fact that right after Scott Roeder murdered Dr. Tiller, he climbed into a car with the phone number of Operation Rescue’s policy advisor stuck to the dashboard.
2. Keeping up a peaceful pro-choice presence is not always easy, but it works. Our goal during the week was to not engage at all with the anti-abortion rights extremists surrounding the clinic, and we did a pretty good job. It is not always easy when you are being screamed at, or having a baby thrust in your face with an admonition that you would kill her, or getting frustrated with the police for allowing antis to stand on a portion of the grass inside the sidewalk when the non-violent pro-choice advocates are being shooed away from the same ground. However, by not engaging, we showed the community that the best antidote to fundamentalist prayer and terror truly is peace.
3. Young women are already leading the bulk of today’s boots-on-the-ground movement for abortion rights, in truly intergenerational partnerships with older women. There is a lot of noise made in the news media about younger feminists not existing, not caring about abortion rights, or spending all their time being dismissed by older feminists. It would be nice if the reporters perpetuating that tired old storyline would have come to Germantown, because what they would have seen was obvious: Young women were the vast majority of those standing out in the streets — in leading and not merely supporting roles — in support of Dr. Carhart. It was young women working with feminist women and men of all ages who sent Operation Rescue home.
Activism is what happens when ordinary people stand together to do semi-unconventional things, like standing outside in support of abortion rights for up to sixteen hours straight while bullies yell and scream. As Dr. Carhart noted Monday after they all went home, Operation Rescue prompted pro-choice advocates from around the country to get together and realize how strong we actually are. Indeed, an invaluable realization at a time of unprecedented legislative attacks on a woman’s fundamental right to control whether, when and how she might have children. What we need is to stand together more often, and in the streets.
In solidarity with the SPEAK OUT FIGHT BACK rally in Dallas, TX join us as we make our voices heard regarding the war against women!
Panelists Morgan Hopkins, Sarah Slamen, Andrea Platt, Mike Fitzsimmons, and Tawny Tidwell will be discussing the current state of reproductive justice and the moves that have been made to limit women’s choices.
There will be an open mic and Q&A session after the panelists’ presentations.
– The Houston Feminist Movement
– Student Feminist Organization at UH
– Women’s Studies Student Association at UHCL
– International Socialist Organization
– Harris County Green Party
– Lilith Fund
We ‘re hoping that everyone will join us on Saturday, August 6th at 9:30am for the demonstration against Rick Perry and his partnered prayer event with The AFA.
The Houston Feminist Movement will be meeting at 9:30am at the intersection of Kirby and McNee Rd. to stand in solidarity with other groups and individuals who are against Rick Perry and his ridiculous AFA prayer event, The Response. We will be meeting on Friday, August 5th at 7pm at Te House of Tea for a Sign/T-Shirt Making Party. The message the HFM will be bringing to the event is “Standing for Healthcare for All”. Sign/slogan ideas include:
Praying for HIV Drugs
Praying for safe access to my clinic
Praying for Pap Smears
Praying for Birth Control
Praying for affordable vaccines.
Praying for McKinney, TX Which clinic would Jesus close?