by Jenny Brown, Iguana Editor Emeritus
The feminist groups National Women’s Liberation and Redstockings have been getting lots of press—as far away as India—for vintage stickers they’re distributing that keep appearing on sexist ads in New York. Women are sick of being bombarded with advertisements that depict women only as sexual objects,” Erin Mahoney of National Women’s Liberation told The Huffington Post. “That use our bodies to sell products. That embolden men to disrespect us. That tell us we are not worthy unless we conform to unrealistic, sexist, racist, and unhealthy beauty standards.”
The campaign has its roots in some Gainesville history: During the founding years of the Women’s Liberation movement in the late 1960s, there was a close collaboration between Gainesville Women’s Liberation and Redstockings. The two groups started working together again in the 1980s to distribute the Redstockings Women’s Liberation Archives for Action.
BY ARUPA FREEMAN
It is impossible to live on this planet and be entirely unaware of the freak show that is passing for a presidential campaign in this year 2012. Lately I have been drawn into the insane fulminations and strategies to oppose any health insurance plan that allows women to receive contraceptives. How can people be against abortion AND against contraception? Do they want to go back to the world of my childhood where women had eight kids, three teeth, and worked 18 hours a day seven days a week? What is wrong with these idiots!
I find myself remembering a heroic woman named Gertrude Neilson, a retired medical doctor who, at age 75, ran an illegal womans health care clinic in her home on the edge of the University of Oklahoma campus. In Oklahoma in the 1960s it was a felony to sell or otherwise provide contraceptive devices to any unmarried person below the age of 21. There were a few gas stations around town where the men’s room had a machine that sold Trojans at three for a quarter. At that price they were famous for breaking, in flagrante delicto. There were folk remedies involving coke cola and saran wrap. And there was trying to jump out of a 4th story window, as one my dorm mates, who found herself pregnant and disowned by her religious fanatic parents, tried to do.