This week’s highlights include me managing to keep a straight face as I said “These guys just look ridiculous” while wearing a full-body black-and-white checkered spandex suit, rubber boots, and a hoodie on a street corner in front of 10 intersecting lanes of dense traffic.
It’s awfully strange waking up from a dream about a grocery bag full of snakes and fruit, to then pull on a spandex suit and counter-picket anti-choicers outside an abortion clinic. And I guess the debate between prospective vice presidents happened yesterday, and included some discussion about abortion rights, and I missed it. Therefore cookies. I had plans to attend for one last Saturday, but after today’s demonstration, I was just so zapped, I passed out on my friend’s couch. I’ll take that as my sign to just attend on Fridays from now on.
Today started off with a high note. Literally, someone got so excited to see me out there that she gave me a high five and her phone number. She said to call her if the anti-choicers ever harass someone again. I don’t know where she came from or where she might be if I took her up on that offer, but that is amazingly generous, and makes me feel very fortunate to have been there today. It was a very uplifting gesture. I am also happy to report that for the rest of the two hours, the atmosphere was charged with positivity. Many people today responded to both my attire and the messages on both sides of my sign with affirmative gestures and requests to take my picture (which I am happy to consent to). Multiple people mentioned seeing the ongoing picket outside BC Women’s Hospital, which they generally described almost as if they were detailing a bad taste in their mouths. And many more responded to the anti-choicers themselves by mocking and shaming them.
I also raised a few talking points today: one of the anti-choicers was wearing a sign that declared life is a beautiful choice — the emphasis is mine. Something tells me she fails to recognize the irony of promoting this message as a reflection of her “pro-life” politics. I also mentioned the article about Malala Yousafzai that was recently posted on the CCBR’s blog, and how reading just a snippet of it made me flip my goddamned gourd (I seem to do a lot of that lately). When I said that I actually want an answer to the question of what they think rape is if they really do believe that bodily autonomy is not actually a basic function of liberty, and one of my friends suggested I ask the anti-choicer with hair that wants to be Donald Trump. Quite frankly, that would first require talking to them and then much worse still… listening to them when they talk. Every time I’ve given them even half an ear, they’ve said such fucking random bonkers bullshit that I don’t think I need to put myself through that. I’ll just consider it a rhetorical question, the way I ask a lot of rhetorical questions. Such as “Who is the patron saint of slut-shaming, sexual harassment, and rape culture?”
We were also approached by someone who was filming us and asking a series of questions about why we are demonstrating and why the issue is important. Normally when someone walks up and films us, say, for a publication somewhere, they are inclined to tell each of us who they are before we agree to be filmed and before they begin asking any questions. But since I’ve appeared in erotica before, I don’t have concerns about my face being on a video somewhere. I was asked how important the issue is to me — that I’ve been there for five months already should suggest how important it is. I was also asked to provide a 30-second retort to the anti-choice position, and it was as simple as saying “If you don’t want an abortion, then don’t get one. I support your choice, because that’s what pro-choice means.” And finally, I was asked what struck me as a kind of confusing question that I did my best to answer, but I’m not sure I was able to answer directly even though I have little doubt I was concise and sounded rational. Then the man who was filming and asking questions approached Vancouver’s own Rush Limbaugh (Trump hair), and began questioning him by saying “Excuse me, sir. What does it feel like to be a fetus?” That was satisfying. I hope to see the rest of the video somehow.