Friday, October 21, 2011

Tomorrow's Rally and Reproductive Justice

Those of you in Toronto may have heard about the "Defund Abortion" rally being planned for tomorrow at Queen's Park at 1pm. You may have also heard that there is a pro-choice presence/counter-rally being planned; I hope you are planning on attending!

I will be there, as part of the Reproductive Justice Coalition of Toronto. We felt it was important to have a presence there, even though we do talk a lot about the reactive nature of the movement, and how frustrating it sometimes feels to be doing actions like this. Another thing we often discuss is the domination of the movement by the talking points of an older generation, and an older focus. We are pretty tired of talking about "choice", especially since it is most often coming out of whiteness and a more privileged class. That is why I think it is important to note that while the RJT is in solidarity with OCAC and other groups regarding opposition to defunding abortion, we will maintain a distinctive presence at the rally tomorrow (and any like-minded or curious folks are welcome to join us!).

For me, "choice" and the other established goals of the pro-choice movement like access to abortion have become much less important than this more reproductive justice-focused worldview I am slowly learning about and adopting. I love the idea of being radical in the sense of tracing back to the root, and an RJ approach encourages that kind of analysis. What is important to a younger generation of RJ activists is not so much the defunding of abortion as the decolonizing of our bodies, particularly the bodies of racialized women and trans people and other marginalized folks. That is where these contentious issues come from. We also care less about lobbying and legislating than we do about teaching and learning to know and care for our bodies. Sure it worries me that abortion might be made illegal, but quite honestly I'm more worried about how few young women know how to masturbate.

Anyway, I'm just sort of skimming the surface of reproductive justice right now, but it's something I will continue to talk about, for sure. And if you come out to the rally tomorrow you will see from the diversity of our signs that there is a lot more to this than abortion.

If you are interested in being part of the RJT presence, please contact me at pedgehog [at] gmail [dot] com.


Cecilia said...

You're worried that not enough young women know how to mastrubate??? Huh??? I didn't know there was a right and wrong way to do it. Anyway, mastrubation is kinda personal, isn't it? I mean, you don't really have a right to know if someone does or doesn't, let alone how they do it??
In my experience, people want to know about someone's mastrubation habits because they want to molest them. It's either, "what are you complaining about, I'm not doing anything to you that you don't do to yourself": or it's "what!!! You don't!!! Well, let me show you what you're missing." The best way to protect yourself from this is to tell the questioner that it's none of his/her damn business whether or not you mastrubate. Then walk away.
As for you knowing how, you either figure it out when you're alone or you don't care. Either way it's nobody else's business. So stop worrying about it.

The Pedgehog said...

But it's attitudes like this that are the problem. A lot of young women do not, in fact, know how to masturbate - but many of them would like to. However they are afraid to ask because it's such a "personal", shameful topic in our society.

A lot of people think masturbation is a shameful and secret and dirty thing and they avoid doing it because of that. But it can actually be a great way to get to know your body and identify what brings you sexual pleasure, leading to much more satisfying sexual experiences. It can also be a great stress reliever. It's not just that people don't know how to masturbate, it's that they've never been told that it's a good thing to do, that it's not shameful or wrong, and that they are not alone in their desires.

This kind of thing is good: