This Saturday I will be participating in the third annual Charlotte FemmeFest. Last year, 6 months pregnant, I also had the opportunity to share my writing at the festival, which celebrates women in the arts and benefits women in the community, including the “Center for Hope” homeless shelter for women and children.
Choosing what to read at public events is always a kind of game for me: I want to engage my audience, and every audience is slightly different. But more and more, I also want to challenge them. However, I am, by nature, a non-confrontational type of person. I mean, really, I get nauseated at the thought of a face-to-face debate. I feel ill equipped to write (or deliver) anything with a controversial or political charge. So what’s a self-proclaimed pro-life feminist to do?
After mulling it over for the past couple days, I’m pretty sure I’m going to make myself a Feminists For Life inspired t-shirt:
Why wear an FFL shirt and not just a regular pro-life shirt if that’s the message I want to promote. Simple, it’s a festival that celebrates feminism. And I’m sure there will be plenty of women there who feel as conflicted as I had before discovering FFL. I have always been pro-life, but I also identified with feminist philosophy — at least the “old school” variety. What Susan B. Anthony and the other founders of the feminist movement started with fighting for women to have the right to vote was more about giving a voice to the voiceless and empowering the defenseless than anything else.
Anyhow, like I said, I’m the non-confrontational type, and I’m not sure how I’ll be received in my “anti-choice fanatic” garb. So I was still undecided until I read this blog post by Bryan Kemper. If abortion is so “OK,” why would a man have to pressure his wife to get one? If “mainstream feminism” with all the “it’s just a blob of tissue” rhetoric is so “good for women,” why would a woman who has had an abortion be in such heart-wrenching pain?
And that is only one story told among the thousands daily in this country alone. But for that one woman and her alone, I’m ready to make a t-shirt and wear it too.
Oh, what am I reading? I’ll figure that out later. But I can bet it will include something of the joys of motherhood!