A Room of One's Own
August 17, 2019 4:03 PM   Subscribe

"In 1976 Adrienne Rich wrote, “We need to imagine a world in which every woman is the presiding genius of her own body. In such a world. . .sexuality, politics, intelligence, power, motherhood, work, community, intimacy, will develop new meanings; thinking itself will be transformed.” The fight for abortion rights is a fight not only for women’s bodily needs, but for their creative power."
posted by Lycaste (2 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I loved this bit:
In 1964, when Le Guin told her doctor she wanted a more reliable method to prevent another pregnancy, he asked her in surprised condescension, “What do you want, 100 percent certainty?”

“I looked at him,” Le Guin relates, “and said, ‘of course.’ I didn’t say, ‘you asshole.’”
If I only had a nickel for everytime I've had to bite my tongue to refrain from adding "you asshole" to my answer to the latest assholish remark from some asshole (often male) doctor...
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:55 PM on August 17, 2019 [18 favorites]

I will cite the entire poem here since it's short; this is a poem from the Spoon River Anthology, which is a series of poems by Edgar Lee Masters. The idea is that each poem in the anthology is the beyond-the-grave testimony of someone buried in the cemetery in Spoon River, a small (fictional) town in Illinois circa 1916. this is the testimony of a woman named Margaret Fuller Slack. (The "Penniwit" that this poem refers to is the town photographer.)
I would have been as great as George Eliot
But for an untoward fate.
For look at the photograph of me made by Penniwit,
Chin resting on hand, and deep-set eyes—
Gray, too, and far-searching.
But there was the old, old problem:
Should it be celibacy, matrimony or unchastity?
Then John Slack, the rich druggist, wooed me,
Luring me with the promise of leisure for my novel,
And I married him, giving birth to eight children,
And had no time to write.
It was all over with me, anyway,
When I ran the needle in my hand
While washing the baby’s things,
And died from lock-jaw, an ironical death.
Hear me, ambitious souls,
Sex is the curse of life!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:07 PM on August 17, 2019 [15 favorites]

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