Maybe the reason that it seems like so many more people are willing to declare themselves anti-choice than pro-choice has nothing to do with what is and is not socially acceptable. Perhaps it’s not about religion or politics at all.
Maybe it’s about the swag. That’s right – the anti-choice movement began monetizing their agenda a long time ago. They have online storefronts with names like “Pro Life World” offering both pamphlets explaining how to convert non-believers to their agendas and accessories to tell the world that yes, you are in fact, “pro-life.” Want to cement your street cred with your kid’s piano teacher or the guy who mows the lawn? Be sure to purchase the anti-choice checks with little fetuses smiling angelically up at the payee. Not sure if your office co-workers know that you can be a cool feminist? Get yourself a mug picturing Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as anti-choice fanatics, complete with quotes!
Sure, you could bring just any ornament to your new mother-in-law’s for Christmas eve, but if you want to be memorable, buy an “egg baby” ornament from the CafePress shop dedicated to meeting the high level of demand for anti-choice paraphernalia. Need to cover up that dent in your rear bumper? You could to go an auto body shop but for just a few dollars, slap on a bumper sticker asking the guy in back of you if he’s glad his mother was pro-life. For the more subtle anti-choicer, how about a rose shaped sticker? Yes, apparently the anti-choice market has spread so far as to usurp the rose – once the symbol tattooed on condemned women in revolutionary France – as somehow indicative of anti-choice leanings.
So how does the pro-choice movement get in on the action? Because clearly what’s most important here isn’t whether women should have basic rights to their own bodies or anything as minute as that. Oh no – it appears that what matters most to the anti-choice and those they recruit is who has the best “stuff.” Like high school students whooping it up at the college admissions fair, the anti-choice seem to put more focus on having “pro-life cupcake day” and printing rolls of stickers with cutesy phrases and pictures of babies than considering the effects of their anti-choice agenda. So, I propose that since we can’t beat them without joining them in pandering to the lowest level of intelligence with promotional t-shirts and free pens and stickers that border on graffiti, we join them.
How about pro-choice gum – because really, is there anything more abortion-like than chewing up a chiclet with a baby printed on it? Oh but wait – the anti-choice stores already sell exactly that. However creepy eating something shaped like a baby was as a pro-choice statement, it goes double for someone who proclaims to be “pro-life” … and minty breath, of course. Aside from bumper stickers that say, “Keep your laws off my body” – one of which proudly adorned my beloved first car, and t-shirts quotingCheris Kramerae‘s infamous line, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings,” there isn’t much out there for the undecided. So instead of spending our time, energy, and money on helping women gain access to birth control, abortions, counseling, and other medical care, let’s focus on what really matters – some clever license plate frames, a design for checks and return address labels to further communicate to the world how cool being pro-choice really is, designating our own dessert day (if they can have cupcakes then I say let’s take ice cream sundaes as ours! Nothing says choice like a sundae bar!) and printing our new logos and quips on as many promotional items as possible.
Because, clearly, in the anti-choice world, that’s what matters.