[Amelia Bonow wrote and published this letter to her private Facebook wall last night. It is reprinted here with her permission. If you're unfamiliar with the #shoutyourabortion movement and the shockwaves it has caused, you might take a look at this and this, then come back and read THIS:]
This is the cover story of today's LA Times. I have a few things to say about it.
First of all, I want you all to know that I have not received any acute, seemingly credible threats. And while all the facts in this article are correct, the overall tone is sensational. It's true that the Daily Caller (Tucker Carlson's online rag) published the name of the apartment building where I live, and there was also an attempt to log into my gmail from somewhere other than my computer—in Seattle. And of course, all the usual stuff on Twitter and in comment threads that Lindy and countless other women who do what she does encounter every single day.
That said, I really wish this was not the headline. It feels like it is simultaneously trying to make me a hero, a victim, and a martyr, and fuck all of that; I am none of those. I was interviewed for 45 minutes and this piece is a splashy reduction. The larger points I made about the vast beauty and potential of this movement were glossed over or skipped entirely.
That said, the reason why #ShoutYourAbortion is so necessary and so long overdue is because the opposition is ideologically grounded in misogyny, and these people are committed to silencing women. All women. Their means range from the strategic institutionalization of shame, to emotional terrorism, to murder. It is absolutely true that I felt deeply spooked every time I walked out of the front door of my apartment when I was in Seattle, and while that was not an unreasonable emotional response, I would like to think I am choosing to be in another city right now because I am choosing to avoid my own fear as opposed to avoiding a credible threat. Does that make sense?
I really reject being cast as the center of all this, or being cast as braver than any woman who has chosen to speak out about their abortion since this all began. This movement is a sea change. It is hundreds of thousands of voices. The power of this thing lies in #ShoutYourAbortion being entirely decentralized. Nobody is speaking for anyone but themselves, although some people are choosing to speak for the first time because they have been emboldened by others. And yes, I'm tough, but I'm not that brave—I did not even choose to put myself in this position. Sure, I'm going to run with it. But I am not an abortion doctor who walks through a crowd of protesters in order to get to work every day, I am not even someone like Lindy who has consciously chosen her career and accepted the risks. The only reason this thing sort of started with me is that i do not really give a fuck, which is not an implicitly righteous ethos. That initial post was just my usual not giving a fuck, and then we all decided to link arms and walk into a culture war together.
I want you to know that I am ok.
I really do not like this article.
My boyfriend just texted me begging me not to read the comments. I am not going to.
"the world loves nothing more than a pretty girl who kind of got a death threat"—collaborative quote from my bf and Ahamefule J. Oluo