This week Anne of Carversville introduces friends to the three women behind April 28th’s Unite Against the War on Women march for Pennsylvania: Amy Gould Caraballo, Nicole Turman and Lynn Thomas Guidetti.
Anne, along with other Pa citizens, has joined forces with these three busy moms who have strong views about what’s happening to the women of Pennsylvania at the hands of Republican legislators.
For good reason, most AOC writing focuses on the women’s rights assault of the day in America. Just trying to track the legislation is a nightmare. What’s lost in calling out one vaginal probe and personhood bill after another is the personal side of feminism and women’s rights in America.
Furious over Rush Limbaugh’s calling Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute, we want to humanize the pro-woman voices who support women’s rights. Limbaugh calls us ‘feminazis’. But who are we really?
After you’ve finished reading Amy Gould Caraballo’s interview with Anne, please check in at the Unite Against the War on Women national Facebook page and Unite Women’s new website. Follow on Twitter as @NatlWOW.
In Pennsylvania, link here for April 28th’s Unite Against the War on Women Harrisburg march.
Pa Press | If you are a member of the Pa press, Anne is happy to talk to you in her role as media liaison for the Pennsylvania march. Contact her here.
(Anne)Did you know each other before joining forces to organize the We Are Women March - Pennsylvania?
(Amy) Yes, but we’ve never met in person. I met Lynn on an email list that supports Autistic people and families of Autistics. I met Nicole working on educational advocacy, specifically the Gaskin Settlement Agreement that affected special education in Pennsylvania. We also worked together on the Arc of PA’s Early Childhood and Education subcommittee for a few years. It meets by teleconference so Nicole and I have not met in person either.
Do you have a history of being a women’s rights activist? Was feminism a word in your vocabulary growing up? What is your background and relationship with women’s rights issues?
This will be my first official rally for women’s rights. I have had the luxury of rights granted to me by the blood, sweat and tears of those before me. But I have always considered myself to align with feminism, so yes - I have used the word feminist to describe myself. On a personal level, I have fought against the notion that men should any given advantages in the workplace, and life in general. While our strengths differ, women are just as capable and deserve equal treatment in all walks of life. I believe that women are suppressed because we hold so much power - without us, human life ceases to exist.
I’m constantly told that I can’t possibly be a feminist? I like sex and men. Could you define feminism for yourself?
Feminism is a way of thinking - our sexuality, our dreams, our goals are our own. There are no boundaries that cannot be broken. We are powerful people who must be allowed to harness our power. I believe that women can mend most of the world’s problems, given the chance. We are natural-born nurturers and we use this for the good of humankind.
Do you have any opinions on why feminism has struggled to achieve legitimacy in America?
Like everything else in the U.S., fear keeps us in bondage. Fear is a most powerful tool for keeping people powerless. Right now, there are a good percentage of men and women who are fearful of what might happen should women gain more control over our country. Those currently in power who oppress women are generally fearful of losing their power. We are a contender men do not want to compete against.
Do you have children? Do you work with children or young women?
I am a mother to a twelve year old boy. I do not work with children in any official capacity. However, I am a student of psychology and currently provide advocacy services for families whose children struggle with special education problems in our public schools.
Was there a specific trigger that brought you to the national Unite Against the War on Women campaign?
The uproar over birth control pills brought me here. My mother’s generation was the first to have control over their reproductive systems in this way and I am aghast that anyone would take this away. In addition, I have always been pro-choice, although I loathe the stigma associated with it. Pro-choice does not make me pro-abortion much like pro-life does not mean one supports life for all - only fetuses and now apparently zygotes.
Did you have grassroots organizing experience before leading this Pa effort? What gave you the confidence that you could pull off this march on April 28?
I have created movements in the past that were merely “online” efforts. This is a completely different “ballgame” for me - organizing an actual rally where we meet in a public location. I had no idea if this would become anything more than a Facebook group. I am in awe daily how well we are progressing. So my confidence is built by the progress.
Are people eager to get involved?