Do we have to spell it out for you? Fine.
The death this week of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin reminds us of what LPJL, and the fight for repro rights, and the whole feminist movement are all about. RESPECT… and more than just a little bit, if you don’t mind.
Aretha Franklin so made that song her own that today many people don’t know that it was written by Otis Redding, who already had a hit with it when Aretha laid down her version on Valentine’s Day in 1967. And that’s only righteous, because she did a lot more than just cover that song. She transformed it from the simple complaint of a guy who doesn’t want any trouble from his woman to what President Obama called “a rallying cry for African Americans and women and anyone else who felt marginalized because of what they looked like, who they loved.”
And she transformed it with more than just her legendary voice. Her subtle changes to the lyrics made it an anthem for both the civil rights and feminist movements. She and her sisters Carolyn and Erma juiced up the arrangement with interplay between her and them as the backup singers. “Sock it to me!” (That’s her on piano on the track too, BTW.) And then she added that bridge that literally spelled it out for anyone listening. R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
The demand for RESPECT is what we’ve been talking about this week and every week. The RESPECT that’s missing when the fraudsters at FAKE clinics value their own bogus “free speech” over the health needs of people who they’ve duped into coming to them for care.
And it hit us how eerily similar those fake clinics are to entire FAKE HOSPITALS that we told you about on Monday. The difference there is that you’re being disrespected by real doctors, but ones who just refuse to do certain perfectly accepted and standard medical procedures because they cross some kind of line laid down in a middle-eastern desert 3,000 years ago.
Here’s a question for Catholic hospitals—if there’s so much hospital stuff that you can’t do, why go into the hospital biz? There must be something you’re good at—although you should definitely stay away from childcare, as we found out this week with YET ANOTHER child abuse scandal in the church—while good churchgoers are too busy protesting women’s health clinics to address priestly pedophilia or families being ripped apart at the border or poverty, or anything else.
And most fittingly this week, we took another look at how totally intertwined reproductive freedom is with economic freedom, which brings us back to the Queen. When she cleverly transformed the words of the song “Respect,” Aretha came up with…
Ooo, your kisses / Sweeter than honey / And guess what? / So is my money
… One of the rare times in popular song up until that point that a woman sang about HER money. Access to equal economic opportunity and to reproductive care are both part of RESPECT.
Aretha added one more thing to that song—right at the end of the bridge she sings “TCB!” which was shorthand in the Black community for “Take Care of Business.” That’s how you get RESPECT, friends. And that’s what we intend to keep on doing at LPJL, out of RESPECT for Aretha Franklin and everybody else in the struggle.