Give the people what they want!
That’s what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tried to do this week, as they announced a new category for “outstanding achievement in popular film.” But instead what they learned was that what the people really like is COMPLAINING! And also, hey maybe Black Panther was JUST the best picture this year, no sub: popular category needed! Maybe give the people what they ACTUALLY want and nominate great movies for Best Picture and not just period pieces about white people.
You also have to give the people what they want in terms of reproductive rights, and equal pay and economic opportunity, and quality healthcare—as all that stuff was being DEMANDED by all kinds of people all over this planet. They didn’t get it just yet, but the demands aren’t going to stop. We got shit to straighten out.
Like in Argentina, where we told you how Argentina’s Senate narrowly defeated a bill that would have allowed abortion up until the 14th week of pregnancy. We would be protesting any attempt to REDUCE the window for legal abortion to something as ridiculous as 14 weeks. But 97 percent of the people Latin America live in countries where abortion is virtually banned—so any step forward, or even an attempted step, is welcome. The next step will be to kick down the door.
Speaking of doors that need kicking, this Tuesday was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, meaning a Black woman would have to work all of 2017 AND 2018 up through August 7th, just to make what a typical man would make in 2017 alone. Reproductive rights and economic rights go hand in hand. We know we’ll never be able to guarantee one without having both.
Other stories bubbled up all week that showed how much EVERYBODY’s rights EVERYWHERE are interdependent. Guess what?! Planned Parenthood provides health services for trans people in places where they have no other options. In Russia, the First Lady’s anti-choice campaign included an arbitrary moratorium on abortions. Great—Russia is trying to reverse its declining birthrate with what amounts to enforced pregnancy. It’s the Handmaid’s Tale with fur hats.
The state of New York tried to counter the lies of the “crisis pregnancy centers” while in Indiana, a cat hotel was transformed into a litterbox-of-lies new CPC right across the street from a real clinic. And now whole sections of the anti-choice crowd are masquerading as feminists. It never stops, so we can’t either.
This week you got a real feel for just how interconnected everything is. The fight for abortion rights also takes place in countries that are ruled by autocrats, and in countries ruled by centuries-old religious dogma. And that fight for control of your own womb is intertwined with other fights for equal pay and equal employment opportunity, and with the healthcare rights and needs of trans people.
Fighting for any of that is fighting for all of that. Change takes time, but it’s unstoppable. We CAN have a world of reproductive autonomy and economic justice… where Mama Mia 2 has a real shot at Oscar glory.