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Mary Grabar

Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in Atlanta. She is organizing the Resistance to the Re-Education of America at www.dissidentprof.com. Her writing can be found at www.marygrabar.com. Subscribe to dispatches here.
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Georgia ‘War on Women’ Rally a Flashback to the ’70s

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 - by Mary Grabar

Although Democrats have officially declared the War on Terror over, there is a War on Women, according to UniteWomen.org, who claim to be non-partisan.  According to them, it is being waged exclusively by Republicans, who seem to have replaced real terrorists.  That was the message ultimately of the War on Women rally on Saturday, April 28, in front of the Georgia State Capitol, part of a nationwide event.

Perhaps it was the hot Georgia sun and the singing of Helen Reddy’s 1971 feminist anthem ”I Am Woman” that led to overheated rhetoric.  What each speaker, like the leader of Black Women for Obama, various Georgia Democratic candidates, Georgia Democratic elected officials, a representative of MoveOn.org, and a “women’s political coach,” did was present a picture of life under Republican dominion in Georgia that rivaled life as presented in The Handmaid’s Tale.  Children would be carrying guns to school, welfare recipients would have to pay for their own drug testing, women would not be able to use state health insurance for abortions, and women more than 20 weeks in life-threatening pregnancies would have to face death and their doctors prison if they defied state’s orders to let their pregnant patients die, as will be the case when HB 954 goes into effect.

Some t-shirts even predicted public stonings as the next step.  Georgia Republicans, “irrational,” “mean-spirited,” and “insane,” were accused of waging war on women to create a wedge issue and for their own national political ambitions.  Speakers wanted to take them to the woodshed, abort their legislation, and, in the case of George W. Bush, “leave him to shrivel in the hot Texas sun” (quoting the late Texas Governor Ann Richards).

Following are some video highlights of the festivities, including the rallying Helen Reddy song (snippets only; we spared you).  Also included is my interview with Eva Voris Avery, media liaison for Unite Women (www.unitewomen.org). Did she read the abortion bill, HB 954, now on Governor Nathan Deal’s desk for signature?  We’ll let you decide.  And finally a recap of the event from me.

Here, in part 1, it’s almost like it’s 1971 again with the rousing rendition of Helen Reddy’s hit.  Many of the speakers commented that they remembered the song, but bemoaned the fact that Georgia Republicans have thrown women back into those dark ages, hence the ballad’s appropriateness to the occasion.

Then a sampling of outrages against women in terms of the inequities in health care and by “W,” according to an activist-speaker.

We’re nonpartisan but support pro-women candidates, says this activist, as she introduces J.C. Cunningham, who is running for Georgia House District seat 175 in Valdosta. He presented himself as a staunch supporter of women and is running against Amy Carter (a woman), a former Democrat, but described now as a “GOP Tea Party person.”  You can hear the boos. How far one falls from the privileged womyn position to the genderless “person” when she picks the GOP!

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