I’m Just Saying

Contributed by Courtney Martin.
As you might imagine, when I interviewed Gloria Feldt, former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and current independent writer/speaker, I heard some pretty amazing stories in her still slightly detectable Texan accent. Gloria was behind planning the largest march in history on the Washington Mall in April 2004.
But what stuck with me most profoundly is what she told me about the moment her own life became, well, her own. In her young twenties, struggling with three kids, she had almost given up ever pursuing her own goals…and then she discovered contraception. The pill was approved for contraceptive use by the FDA in 1960 and the whole frickin’ world changed.
I recently read artist Ann Fessler’s amazing book, The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade and it got me thinking all over again about how amazingly blessed I feel that, at 27, I have access to contraception—and as a result—access to my fullest life. I want to have children some day, but in the meantime, I’ve got a lot of shit I want to change in the world, a lot of stories I want to tell, and a lot of props to dish out. Thank you Margaret Sanger and Gloria Feldt and Estelle Griswold and William Baird and countless nameless others.

Join the Conversation

  • EG

    Hmm. You forgot the corrollary to number 3, which is that if we all just accepted our roles as wives and mothers, we’d be happy, and the world would be a better place, and the mass ingestion of valium by white housewives in the 1950s never really happened after all. But that it’s also a good thing we don’t, because, as you point out in number 3, we’d suck at it.

  • http://www.mamacitaonline.com Mamacita

    Whoa. I got distracted from your post by all the illogical vitriol in the comments by “Denise.” And btw,I think you guys get to ban someone who’s just taking up your bandwith.
    Anyway, I just stopped by to say I loved your post, Jessica. You said it beautifully and simply. You’re on a roll, an excellent piece I read by you about the “feminist sorority” today.

  • http://lawfairy.blogspot.com The Law Fairy

    In Soviet Russia, Teh Sex has YOU!
    I am in such a weird mood today…

  • sojourner

    Prarielily,
    Here is some you forgot (though some of them may not apply to Denise):
    8- If women are men’s equals as you say they shouldn’t be whining all the time about rape and domestic violence and the glass ceiling (which don’t really exist), and except Big Brother to take care of them with quotas and VAWA and prosecuting rapists, and giving EC to rape victims. Grow up and stop being sissies! Feminists of my generation fought for equality, but now feminism has made wussy little girls out of women. Go become the next president or the first person to land on Mars. Nothing is stopping you (remember that one?).
    9- You can’t criticize [ ] (some sexist movie or advertisement campaign, etc. ) because it is protected by the first amendment.
    10- You should chill out ( in response to some sexist movie or advertisement campaign, etc. ) and get a sense of humor. You shrill bitches!
    11- If you care about equality, what about the men? How come you didn’t all get riled up about those poor little white boys in the Duke rape case, being falsely accused? Shame on you hypocrites!
    12- If you care about equality how come you don’t support the war on Iraq? Don’t you care about all those women that our president is liberating? Shame on you hypocrites!

  • donna darko

    8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are great, sojourner. these trolls know we’re onto them now and are getting desperate. they have to call out our names and make up shit just to get us to respond. i did not asked him to be banned, i don’t have a husbands and sons – egad – and i think people agree with me. everyone be on the lookout for trolls who usually question the basis for feminism, the need for feminism, the need for women’s spaces, act like they have good intentions, start arguments, invite flaming, waste lots of time, etc. when you spot a troll, just say don’t feed the troll and the trolls will go away.

  • http://abstractnonsense.wordpress.com Alon Levy

    Shorter Denise: Everyone who disagrees with me is psychologically disturbed, especially people who question my assessment of them as psychologically disturbed.

  • sojourner

    “i did not asked him to be banned, i don’t have a husbands and sonsâ€?
    I know! *I* asked for him to be banned; I think he got that all mixed up.
    But you’re absolutely right it does everyone good to ignore trolls. I really like it here without them.

  • EG

    Oh God, yes. Remember hujo?

  • donna darko

    All the feminist and progressive blogs should ignore trolls. It makes less work for the bloggers too. They don’t have to ban all the time. It’s so tempting though when they say something really dumb.

  • roymacIII

    That’s okay LF, Vervain beat me to the “Hitler’s blog” comment.
    Do my self-hatred, distrust of and hatred of men stem from my thoughts that men are always the enemy, you think?
    I guess it’s true, I really am my own worst enemy. =P