"AS GOES MAINE . . ."
Interesting doings along the East Coast lately.
We're really pleased at all the media coverage of the bombing of the New Woman All Women Clinic in Atlanta. Nearly every day there has been some news item concerning the ongoing search for the prime suspect, Eric Robert Rudolph.
Of course we realize that all this media coverage and FBI/police action was not due to it being a Women's Clinic that was bombed. It was mostly due to the fact that an off-duty police officer was killed.
Whatever the reason, there has been a sustained effort to apprehend this individual who is believed to be a soldier in "The Army of God." A side affect of this effort is that attention is being given to the always present threat to women's health clinics.
Whenever the death of the police officer is mentioned, the injured nurse is mentioned and the Women's Clinic is mentioned. So, we don't begrudge the media/police emphasis being on the officer's death but it suggests something to us.
Since law enforcement officers take care of their own, a threat to one is a threat to all.
Perhaps every worker in our health clinics should spend some time establishing credentials in law enforcement. This might tend to make every threat against our clinics important enough for the full court press going on right now.
In contrast to the media hoopla concerning the Atlanta incident, we saw one short report on CNN of an incident in Florida. Most newspapers have been silent on this one except for some local Florida papers.
Dr. Ali Azima, who performs abortions in two Florida county women's clinics, wrote to the sheriff of each county. He reported that he had been threatened, and asked them to enforce the laws relating to threats to women's clinics and harassment at his home.
Lee County Sheriff John McDougall, writing on department stationery, called the doctor a baby-killer in a certified letter response to the doctor.
He wrote: "We will do everything within our power to assist the protesters who wish to protect the misguided mothers who come to your clinic of death."
Sheriff McDougall also commented to the press. "Everyone's worried about the manatees and endangered species, but it's like to hell with the babies."
McDougall is a Republican who was first elected sheriff in 1988 and has been twice re-elected.
We have not as yet heard of any action being taken against him for failing to enforce the laws of the U.S., and his clear abuse of the power and responsibilities of his office.
And did you notice how quietly a whole state lost a ton of dignity and freedom when it's "voters" repealed a law that protected the human rights of lesbians and gay men?
A law that gave them no special rights. It just asserted that people could not be discriminated against because of their sexual preference.
How did this law get rescinded in Maine -- a state that cherishes human rights? Easy answer. The irreligious right and unchristian coalition marshaled their forces and GOT OUT THE VOTE. The free women and men of Maine DIDN'T.
There is a saying: "As goes Maine, so goes the nation."
Now, any woman in Maine, or any other state without equal protection laws, can be fired from her job or lose her apartment, for example, just because someone wants to get rid of her.
We are already so close to losing our reproductive rights and other gains we have made this century that it is scary. So is the following poem, but please read it anyway because it is also thought provoking.
Just remember that portents and prophecies have always been about the concerns of men -- not about men's possessions (like us).
Perhaps now is the time that this was changed. Perhaps now we have seen the power in women's votes. Perhaps now we are beginning to find the courage to shape our own future.
- THE SECOND COMING
- by W. B. Yeats (1926)
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Copyright 1998 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
G e n d e r G a p p e r s T M
Congratulations to all the Olympic athletes with a special, "well done" for the Women's Hockey Teams. We are reminded by Lisa that Sports Illustrated has put forth some issues of a women's sports magazine. To encourage them to continue, please send posts to: email@example.com