Help Joan Jett "get out the vote" for midterm elections!
Did you know that in 2013, there were more laws passed to limit women’s reproductive rights than in the entire previous decade? Yup. How many for men? Zero! In fact, in the entire history of the U.S. there have been NO bills regulating men’s bodies. Plain and simple: if it ain’t your body, it ain’t your decision. I can’t think of a case where this isn’t the truth for women or men.
In addition, many of these laws and sentiments have been framed as women having outrageous, uncontrollable libidos. At its most extreme, the message seems to be: If we want birth control covered by health insurance, it’s because we are easy. If we are raped, we must have been drunk, or wearing something inappropriate. If we need an abortion, we should have thought of the consequences beforehand. This attitude springs from the idea that women may not have sex unless it results in a baby. Yet, it’s becoming increasingly difficult in the U.S. to raise that baby if you aren’t wealthy, privileged and white.
These messages are all so hard to combat because they’re deeply ingrained in our culture. We have millennia of socialization to push back against. As a mother, I beat myself up for blindly slipping into stereotypical parenting roles with my husband, but I try to remind myself this is the ingrained, widely-held belief system of thousands of years. It runs a lot deeper than my and my husband’s arguments over who changed the last diaper.
Here’s what you need to know: The bulk of these anti-women, anti-equality laws are being passed on the state level. This is why the midterms are so important.
This year, the midterm elections are just as important as the Presidential elections. Democratic control of the Senate hangs on OUR VOTES. Ten million more women than men voted in the last election. Women have decided literally every election in our lifetimes, yet, midterm turnout is historically low. LET’S CHANGE THAT!
Many of us may have access to good health care, but our experience being a woman— and our rights—shouldn’t depend on our zip code. Our sisters in Texas, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Ohio, Arkansas, and so many other states don’t have what we have. The most regressive, anti-woman, anti-equality laws are being passed on the state level. This is why the midterms are so important.
A few more facts to know, if you don’t:
- 29 states in America currently allow a rapist to sue a women for custody and/or visitation of the child birthed from that rape.
- 87 percent of all U.S. Counties have no abortion provider.
- 35 percent of American women will have an abortion by the age of 45.
- In 35 percent states, Medicaid recipients do not have abortion coverage.
- In 13 states a pharmacist can legally refuse to disperse birth control, even if you have a prescription.
- 26 states have waiting periods for abortion; only 11 have waiting periods for guns.
- 17 states the government forces women to go to counseling before she can have an abortion.
- In 32 states, terminally ill women are forced to carry a pregnancy to term, regardless of her wishes or her living will.
- 50-plus abortion clinics were shut down from 2010-2013. (For a state-by-state list of anti-women laws go to the nifty state-by-state map at ladypartsjustice.com)
So what can we do about all this? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD. In 2012, artist Maximilla Lucas and I spearheaded a Get Out The Vote effort that had us and our community of women singing “You Don’t Own Me.” This time, working with the Department of Peace, and with the help and blessing of the incredibly badass JOAN JETT, we are asking you to record and submit a video of yourself lip-syncing, dancing and getting loud to “Bad Reputation.”
Here’s what Joan herself has to say about it the campaign:
“If you want to vote for people with backward views on women’s rights this November, I’m asking you to stay home. But if you care about our right to control our own bodies and our own paychecks, then get yourself to the polls and vote on November 4. And bring your friends.”
It is very easy to participate.
All you need to do is one of these things:
More easy-to-follow directions on submitting video are all right here.
We look forward to seeing your submissions! The deadline is Sunday, October 12, 2014.