We are witnessing the patriarchy’s last gasp, and it’s not going down without a fight. Using legislation, language, and women’s own silence, it seeks to return us to a time when choice and self-determination were not options.
In this collection, twenty-one fearless writers examine reproductive rights, access to health care, violence against women, and the rise of rape apologists in the twenty-first-century United States. Illuminating intersections of gender, class, and race, these stories speak to the challenges women routinely face, the attempts to undermine their rights, and the deliberate, systemic erosion of their agency and existence as equals.
It’s time to revisit what’s at stake, what could still be lost, and why we must continually fight for equality and freedom for all.
Roxane Gay • Betty MacDonald • Katha Pollitt • Dolores P • Sari Botton • Addy Robinson McCulloch •Tara Murtha • Sarah Mirk • Kari O'Driscoll • Martha Bayne • Janet Frishberg • Mira Ptacin • J. Victoria Sanders • s.e. smith • Camille Hayes • Rebecca K. O' Connor • Lidia Yuknavitch • Elissa Bassist • Kevin Sampsell • Kate Sheppard • Rebecca Cohen
Kim Wyatt is the publisher of Bona Fide Books and Cherry Bomb Books. Kim has worked in most facets of publishing, including journalism, textbook development, manuscript evaluation, and as managing editor at print and online publications. Kim holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Bona Fide Books is the convergence of her lifelong love of literature and commitment to community. She founded its imprint, Cherry Bomb Books, in 2012 to right wrongs.
Full disclosure: My daughter is the author of a chapter in this book. This is a collection of chapters by 21 authors on the theme captured in the subtitle, "respond to America's War On Women's Rights and Reproductive Health." If you don't currently subscribe to the notion that there is a war, this volume may convince you to reconsider.
If you're someone who came to consciousness after Roe v. Wade (1973) (or whose context is outside of the US), much of the history reviewed in several of the chapters may be fresh. For me it was a refresher, and familiar. The framing of the story however, may be new. For example, the opening chapter includes the reminder that "debates about birth control and reproductive freedom continually force the female body into being a legislative matter" and attributes this fact to the lack of responsibility for birth control assumed by men. The male body is inalienable, argues Roxane Gay. Many of the chapters, but not all, focus on abortion, its availability and legal status both in the US and elsewhere, the decreasing opportunity for training for health care professionals as a device to limit abortion, as well as the increasing rules and regulations put on the procedure by individual states.
Several of the chapters refer to ignorance on the part of legislators and even medical professionals about women's reproductive health, such as Todd Akin (R-MO)'s comment from August 2012 about "legitimate rape," and the implications of this ignorance in the framing of health policies, insurance coverage and statutes (Violence Against Women Act, for example). And at the same time they personalize stories of rape, abortion, birth and contraception.
s.e. smith's chapter on "Justice for All" reminds us to attend to class and race as well as sex and gender in discussions of reproductive health. LGBTQ individuals and families need a wide variety of medical and health services and yet may be denied by virtue of stereotypes and assumptions.
While some authors chose a formal academic or journalistic style, others write with humor, in comix, or as lyrical autobiography. Worth a read and worth sharing with young adults of all stripes whose reproductive rights are in jeopardy.
A great collection of essays about reproductive rights and a variety of other issues adjacent to reproductive rights (such as family composition and child custody). It even comes with a guide of discussion questions, making it a great book for classes or clubs that would like to broach the topic(s) but don't really know how.
With a title like "Get Out of My Crotch!" it's not surprising that reading this collection made me (a)question my own tepid brand of feminism , (b) much less complacent about the status quo of women's reproductive rights, and (c) mad as hell. This is a fast, entertaining--yes, even the essays that were difficult to read because of subject matter (rape, violence against women) were page-turners--and highly informative collection that gets to the core of the last few decades' increase in legislation and popular sentiment that is both anti-women's reproductive rights and anti-woman. The anthology's essayists describe visiting pro-life clinics, making sense of their own abortions, a woman dying due to not receiving a medically-necessary abortion, and what it's like now to be an abortion provider. This collection will raise your consciousness and rattle any comfortable notions you might have that things haven't gotten that bad. They have, and the authors of these essays raise the banner for a new fight against any more erosion of woman's right of control over her own body. "Get Out of My Crotch!" is not the book to read just before settling in for the night because it will probably have you thinking hard about the topics it raises; however, it's a perfect book as call to action. Read it and be prepared to think carefully about the implications of women losing ground and sometimes paying the price with their lives.
This book is very hard to rate because as a prolifer, I disagree with many of the opinions as well as some of the facts presented in it. I did feel it was powerful and well written though. The chapters on sexual abuse and rape were extremely poignant and moving. I liked the fact that the authors were diverse and came from all kinds of different backgrounds, and that they covered a range of topics and not just abortion. It was a book worth reading, though its hard for me to give a really good rating to something that spreads a message I am in opposition of. Despite my differences with some of the authors, I found myself drawn into some of the essays (mainly those about surviving in a violent world where men are sometimes abusers) and feeling as if they spoke for me as well. This was only a passing feeling as I did oppose the pro-abortion aspects of the book.
This is an important book. 21 different topical essays on the subject of women's reproductive freedom. Some essays are achingly personal. Some are academically political. All are fascinating and well written. All drive home the message loud and clear that our right to control our bodies is very much at stake. I think this book is a must for high school and college curriculums. I highly recommend it, to both men and women who care about reproductive freedom. I recommend it even more highly as an education for those who would deny us these freedoms.
A good read that is a must for informed citizens (or not). Some may find some of these essays shocking. After working in public health and as a woman's health care provider/CNM, there were not too many shockers for me. The war on women is active in the year 2014.