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The Huntress vs. The Headline: “Anti-Abortion MP Shouted Down By Protester Dressed As Vagina”

March 16, 2013

Happy weekend everyone! Here’s to awkward mornings (beats a boring night!), swift hangover recoveries and another day to do it all over again.

Happy times.

It is with thanks to the wonderful Chris that my attention was brought to today’s headline. But first I must deliver the awards for today’s terrible top three. I was going to run with a drama theme, but in the short period of time I disappeared to the kitchen I came back to some great head-scratchers. Such as “Hold The Bus: It’s The Pope!” (PerthNow), “Who Has Made Stories Up, Minister?” (The Australian) and “Disturbing Truth Behind Disney Stories” (News.com.au). Ok, I confess the last headline has an amusing video attached, but I shall spare you the pain of the article and link straight to the video. Because screw you BP, Prince Ali, beastiality and STDs!

Moving on to todays article. Before I begin I would like to note that the journalist who wrote this article seems to have no idea what a vagina actually is. The correct terminology would have been vulva (external female genitalia), as opposed to vagina (internal female genitalia). I have recently been made aware of the work of Kath Mazzella OAM, a leader on all issues gynae and female sexual health. Part of Ms. Mazzella’s campaign, Viva la Vulva, is to help women become aware of their own anatomy and to encourage exploration of their bodies. As I am now studying sexology (and thoroughly enjoying my studies!) I thought it would be prudent to throw that out there.

“Anti-Abortion MP, Shouted Down By Protester Dressed as VULVA”.

Much more betterer.

Ok, so to the article. Canadian conservative MP, Stephen Woodworth, abruptly ended a lecture after being confronted by student, Ethan Jackson dressed as a vulva, on his staunch anti-abortion stance. Jackson, who fondly refers to his costume as “Vulvetta”, attempted to use satire to educate the MP, as opposed to intimidation, to induce a feeling of discomfort in Woodworth – similar to the discomfort felt by many when they heard that the conservative MP was trying to remove access for women to abortion. Yep, you read that right REMOVE access to abortion.

Last year Woodworth controversially filed a motion to determine when during pregnancy a human being is formed and what the consequences would be if a foetus was to be recognised as a human being prior to exiting the uterus. Current Canadian legislation defines a foetus as being human after it emerges alive from the human body. Thankfully, the motion was defeated 203-91, however many saw the stance as an attempt to reignite the abortion debate in Canada. It is because of this Woodworth was also justly awarded the ‘Kitchener-Waterloo’s Nastiest Misogynist’ award with the following speech:

“In the name of every cunt, we stand here today refusing to let you further devalue the anatomical jewel, and moreover refusing to let you keep talking about removing it. We are the defenders of the cunt. You are threatening the freedom of all cunts while disseminating anti-cunt misinformation in institutions that require academic integrity”.

I don’t have a name for the woman who delivered this speech and awarded Mr. Woodworth with his prize, however I do know she wore a red dress. I like her even more for that.

I’m in a difficult position on this one; while I wholeheartedly stand by the protesters and I will fight for a womans right to access safe abortion (I was heavily involved in the mid/late nineties abortion campaigns in Western Australia, which eventually did achieve some reform), I do believe in an individuals right to freedom of expression. I do wonder, however, where the University of Waterloo stand on the issue as I would have thought it is up to them to choose the standard and quality of speaker presenting at their university. I remember feeling deeply ashamed a few years back when the university I attended for my undergraduate degree allowed Christopher Monckton to speak at their premises. I and many other people appalled by this wrote to the university, but I believe the talk still went ahead. While universities are the place for the fostering of ideas and critical thinking, one would hope that this is done in a progressive, rather than regressive manner. Perhaps it would be ideal if conservatives funded their own university and brewed all their ideas there. It could be called “The Conservatory”, it would be set in the relics of upper middle class buildings and fester ideas that are about as appealling as hothouse fungus. That way we can keep our universities as centres for inovative thought and creativity, the conservatives get to feel like what they say is important and no-one has their freedom of speech stifled! Win/win for all!

I couldn’t find a good picture of Mr. Jackson wearing ‘Vulvetta’, so here are some ladies wearing vulva costumes.

Vulva Costumes

Viva la Vulva!

 

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6 Comments
  1. I think it is an age old debate – to Abort or not to Abort – that has no hope of really being resolved because people are so passionate about it, as there will always be those who value the right to life and those who value the right to freedom from consequences of having sex. I think the use of “regressive” and “progressive” is actually a matter of perspective, depending on which camp you stand in.

    Personally, I am pro–life based on the unique potential in every human being. Seems like a huge waste of humanity to terminate a life before it has had a chance to display it’s potential greatness in life. Even the most deformed child can bring joy to the planet – Nick Vijucic is a tremendous example of this – ‘No Arms, No Limbs, No Worries”. So the question remains…do we terminate the child, or choose better ways to manage avoiding pregnancy in the first place?

    Which is more harmful – to live your whole life with the knowledge you have killed your child and endure the psychological damage it creates or bring that child into the world and struggle to raise it to adulthood? Haven’t met a woman yet who has aborted who is not plagued by sorrow. But we continue to demand the right to bring that kind of long term psychological damage into a woman’s life. On the other hand, parenting is a life time sentence and responsibility. Perhaps better education about how not to get pregnant might help women to avoid pregnancy and the whole abortion debate. Certainly a change in the ‘free sex’ mentality that the 70’s delivered to us might help.

    • Hi, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I have to wonder if the line “those who value the freedom from the consequences of having sex” is a somewhat naive expression to utilise in this debate. Sex is not just for procreation, sex is a means of human expression, a manner of showing intimacy in relationships, for fun and adventure or just for the hell of it. The human species is complex in its sexuality and the right to abortion is far from the right to freedom of consequence.

      I respect people to their pro-life views, but please respect the views of those who are pro-choice. Note the word choice. It’s not about forcing people into a decision that is never easy, it is merely allowing people to make a decision that is best for them at the time, without judgement. As a nurse who has witnessed much life, disability and death I understand the complexities of human life. The joy. The agony. The guilt. The despair. The unconditional love. It’s not my place to tell people how they should or should not feel, nor what they should or should not do. Each individual is the expert of their own life and we should respect their expertise.

      The term “child” in this debate is irrelevant and deliberately used as emotional persuasion. I believe you mean the term foetus, which is the correct medical term.

      Yes, I do believe that we should be looking at the best ways to avoid unwanted pregnany in the first place. Let us educate children and teens. Let us provide easy access to affordable contraception. Let us fund more research into better contraceptive methods. Lets us have better access to family planning information. Let us halt the distribution of information that is not evidence based. It has been proven time and time again that high quality sex education is the key to planning unwanted pregnancy.

      Again, no-one is killing children and I certainly don’t suggest anyone should. If one is considering killing their child I would urge them to stop reading this right now and call LifeLine on 13 11 14 in Australia. You need urgent help. For those who may have terminated a foetus I am sure they have their own feelings and emotions to deal with. To suggest that they don’t would be wildly insensitive. However to suggest that all people who have undergone the procedure are plagued by sorrow is a gross generalisation. Maybe some are, but a large proportion are not. Majority of people going through such a difficult time struggle and think long and hard about their decision, but I would argue that long term psychological damage is stretching it by a lot. Peer-reviewed literature suggests that majority of women move on with their lives and manage to function very well psychologically.

      While I’m not too sure what you mean by a “free sex mentality”, I will agree that better education in schools is a winner in helping to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Coupled with easy, affordable access to contraception we would be on to a winner. Otherwise we will have to agree to disagree.

    • Mandi permalink

      Excuse me fair maiden zealot. One word… Rape! Have you no compassion for those who have suffered enough without your religious prejudice?

  2. In response to your comment about sorrow…I did qualify that to my own personal experience…”Haven’t met a woman yet…”.

    And to Mandi…I would like to know the stats in relation to the number of women who have fallen pregnant in a genuine case of rape as opposed to the number of women who have fallen pregnant through the act of procreation – be it for fun or under duress (as some wives are) or otherwise. I think it is like a card that pro-choice pull out at times of debate and I would be very happy to be proven wrong, but I think the stats of voluntary termination of a feotus (unborn child), would be heavily tipped in favour of women who are choosing not to have a child, as opposed to women choosing to be rid of the consequences of an unsavoury sexual incident.

    I certainly respect women’s right to choose. I just find at times that the information is heavily weighted in the direction of pro-choice, but needing some balance.

    • I’m sorry to hear of your own sorrow. Indeed it’s never an easy decision to make.

      I don’t think downplaying rape is helpful to the abortion debate. Rape is a serious and real dilemma for so many women and regardless of whether it is done by brutal force from a stranger or through coercion and pressure by a womans husband, the choice should still be available. Arguing as to whether a rape is real or not downplays the seriousness of such a crime and detracts from the real issue. Which is easy, discreet and affordable family planning to those in need.

  3. Olympic Cunnilingus champion permalink

    Viva La Vulva indeed! Here Here!!… Preferably with some hair round it please! Cheers.

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