On the morning of October 3, 1991, I woke to the sound of people shouting, “Susan kills babies!” outside our bedroom window. “Susan kills babies!” I heard again. Must be a nightmare, I thought. I’m home. I am not at work. I am in my bed, right next to Randy. But I was awake. I was in my own bed. This was real.
This Common Secret, Susan Wicklund
I remember seeing a video OneThirdGone posted about her group protesting outside a doctor’s home. I rolled my eyes at it and thought of how irritating they were. But after reading about the struggles of Dr. Wicklund and all the harassment she’s endured (and I’m not even halfway through the book yet), anti-choice protestors now make me physically sick.
They barricaded Dr. Wicklund’s home - they brought a mobile home and parked it in front of her driveway, and giant cement-filled barrels blocked the entrance. They stalked her daughter at her school, they posted “Wanted” signs all over their town. They made it nearly impossible for her family to leave their home.
If you think clinic protestors are okay, then I’m going to need you to do some rethinking.
Why do men feel threatened by women?” I asked a male friend of mine. (I love that wonderful rhetorical device, “a male friend of mine.” It’s often used by female journalists when they want to say something particularly bitchy but don’t want to be held responsible for it themselves. It also lets people know that you do have male friends, that you aren’t one of those fire-breathing mythical monsters, The Radical Feminists, who walk around with little pairs of scissors and kick men in the shins if they open doors for you. “A male friend of mine” also gives—let us admit it—a certain weight to the opinions expressed.) So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. “I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.” Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said.
Margaret Atwood, Second Words: Selected Critical Prose (1983), pg. 413.
You’ve probably heard the punchline before, but here’s the full context for the quote. (via muffinw)