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 this nationwide assault on women’s bodies, we want to humanize the pro-woman voices who support women’s rights. Limbaugh calls us ‘feminazis’. But who are we really? Are what are we doing to each other — woman to woman.
After you’ve finished reading Nicole Turman’s interview with Anne, meet previously published Amy Gould Caraballo, then 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?
(Nicole) I know Amy. Amy knows Lynn. So, Amy has been the connection that resulted in the three of us together. I think that helps immensely as we get this moving forward – there is familiarity, and trust. We know the reasons we are here and we can get down to work.
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?
I participated in the March for Women’s Lives in March 1986. That was my first, I was 20 years old then, but feminism has been a part of who I have always been. I was raised by parents that always supported me – believed in my strengths. Who taught me to QUESTION, to think for myself, stand up for myself and what I believe in. Who told me to never believe someone who says, “you can’t” – not for any reason. They taught me to be strong in the face of adversity and how to do so with grace and with dignity.
I was the young child who stood up for others on the playground. Those high school years were awkward, as they are for many. I really found myself again when I went off to college. It was there that I became actively involved in women’s movement activities. Eleanor Smeal, then president of NOW presented a lecture on campus and it was standing room only. We were relatively close to DC and it was easy to get there and participate in marches, rallies and activities.
I’m constantly told that I can’t possibly be a feminist? I like sex and men. Could you define feminism for yourself?
What feminism is!! It is not about sexual orientation, it is not about abortion. Feminism, to me, is about self-determination. It is about respect and equality. It about the belief that equal access and equal protection mean just that –but, at the same time, understanding that those terms do not necessarily mean the same thing to – to men and women, to black and white, to disabled and non-disabled.
When we consider, for example, access to preventative healthcare, equality cannot be defined in the same way for men and women. By nature of biology, we have to look at different issues – BOTH are preventative healthcare and BOTH must be considered.
Feminism means not having double-standards whereby it is acceptable for men to be sexual and interested in sex and that is admired, but women — well, women who are interested in sex and sexuality are sluts, promiscuous, prostitutes. It means that family planning and family leave should apply to BOTH parents.
Feminism means that I believe that WOMEN and women alone have dominion over their own bodies. It means recognizing that we are a diverse world, where what makes us all one is the conjoining of those differences and by recognizing, respecting, and working from that mindset means we live, interact and engage in a manner that affords ALL have access to those inalienable rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Do you have any opinions on why feminism has struggled to achieve legitimacy in America?
I am a woman who has faith, yet, I still believe that the struggle of feminism in America relates to religion in America. That is not to say that there are not feminist women of faith. What I mean is far-reaching fundamentalist underpinning where women are seen, through centuries of religious indoctrination, as less than the ‘male’ god. Why do so many include the right of baptism for babies? To cleanse the infant’s soul from Eve’s original sin? Seriously, my baby has to be cleansed of a ‘sin’ committed by a character in a book written by men to perpetuate their own authority over women? I think that the undertones of religion have had a tremendous impact on the subconscious of America and it has impeded feminism’s legitimacy in America.
Do you have children? Do you work with children or young women?
Both. I have a son. I do work with children.
Was there a specific trigger that brought you to the national Unite Against the War on Women campaign?