It’s actually Empower Ink’s uterus, as some of you might know (though I dearly wish I had thought of this when I had my own hysterectomy last year), and she’s long been contemplating the best political use of her precious but obsolete body part.
But let me quote her directly, from an email she sent me earlier today:
[More after the delicate Kos curlicue.]
I envisioned a countrywide effort of women sending their uteri to Catholic bishops and Repug politicians so that a young uterus could remain free, unfettered by regulations imposed by authoritarians who don’t have the plumbing (nor, most probably, the brains and compassion too) required to create life and nourish healthy growth.
That thinking moved toward the idea that maybe if a male legislator had a uterus of his very own, sitting in a glass jar on a shelf of his office bookcase, maybe, perhaps, if only, that legislator might realize he would do well, as a decent human being, to consider carefully a wider, more inclusive, perspective. Tongue-in-cheek, of course.
As I’ve been musing about all this, I now wonder if that is exactly how these male legislators are treating a uterus already, as if it were already in a bell jar, unattached, with no other variables to consider, except what these male legislators desire for themselves—power and control of women’s (reproductive) decisions, and punishment if their rules are not obeyed.
Of course, the behavior of the Repug legislators in MI, and many other states, is the old paradigm, based on PPFF—power, prestige, fortune and fame. It seems that they are desperately trying to cling to a status quo that society has been moving away from for decades. They may crow over their pitifully twisted manufactured “victories,” and we need to call them out every single time, as Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum did in MI.
Edit--But Wait!! Maybe the little doo-hickey is really a very stylized uterus-fallopian tubes-ovaries!! Can you see it?!?
Now, Empower Ink wants to put her uterus to good use as part of the burgeoning protest against the idiots in the MI legislature. In case you haven't heard, there's an uproar in response to the MI GOP House rushing through several extreme anti-abortion bills. The most recent incident is described briefly here, along with the Vagina Monologues reading being planned for tomorrow night at the State Capitol in support of the Democratic female legislators who have been silenced.
E I has many years of MI residency and at least one degree from a MI institution of higher ed, though she now lives out of state. She and I are both looking to make the biggest impact possible with her precious object.
I'm writing this, with E I's blessing, to ask you for ideas:
Timing--Monday night, Tuesday daytime? Or wait till the Legislature is back in session next fall? Watch for another moment?
Signage, Slogans or talking points--"If you want a uterus so bad, here's one you can keep. Otherwise--hands off!" [More ideas welcome!]
Press and media contacts--I have several on-line ones, but more are also welcome.
Legislative contacts--I'm planning to contact Reps. Brown & Byrum, and Sen. Whitmer, plus Jeff Irwin and Rebekah Warren (the latter two my own state rep and senator, respectively) first thing tomorrow morning. It'd help if we had a focused slogan already. Other ideas for contacts? I’m also hoping to reach Carla Milarch, the Ann Arbor theater impresario who is behind the VM production tomorrow. I don’t know her personally, but I am sure we have friends in common.
I think that this sort of statement needs a clear frame, especially to minimize the eeewww factor that might arise when one is dealing with a preserved body part—especially a preserved LADY part. But what do I know?
I do know that you-all might be willing and eager to make some suggestions, and that if you do they’re likely to be good ones.
So please, have at it. We’re not yet wedded to any particular course of action; we just don’t want to see the opportunity go by IF this is the moment we’ve been waiting for.
Thanks in advance! And of course, please let us know if you’re planning to attend the event tomorrow anyway. It looks like it’s gathering quite a crowd already. We would love to have a defined Kos contingent!