Restricting women's reproductive rights in any context is ridiculous, but lately American politicians have been putting forth legislation so outrageous it's hard to react. With absurd propositions to repeal abortion rights for women coming being considered across the globe, pro-choice activists have decided to fight bizarre legislation with artistic and ironic protests. An effective ironic pro-choice protest has several different aspects. This guide covers how to:
Make it work
Hold a meeting and start brainstorming, or post online to start a discussion. Be open minded - some ideas are just crazy enough to work. For example, sex strikes have sometimes worked better than hunger strikes in the United States to draw attention to reproductive rights. Women were encouraged to not have sex until their reproductive rights were secured. Think of things with catchy slogans that are easy to publicize with these kinds of campaigns, possible posters and other concrete materials to make an abstract strike accessible.
It can be helpful to target specific MPs who are openly anti-choice with these actions because they are non-violent ways of exposing how inappropriate their views are in Parliament. Some activists have even taken to politicians' Facebook or twitter accounts to post ironic comments.
Great protests that get attention make folks think about how silly a restrictive and misogynistic a piece of legislation is by being equally silly. These also catch on easily because they are fun. Craftivism has been used to get the message across for some pro-choice activists.
Groups have taken to knitting and crocheting plush vaginas and uteruses to send to anti-choice politicians. The message behind the plushie is that if politicians want to control vaginas so badly, they now have their own to do what they want with. These are some great patterns for knitting vaginas.
This kind of coordinated effort is relatively easy to pull off with the help of social media. Starting an online knit-a-long on Facebook acts as a call to action and it's a great way to prepare for a mass delivery of plush uteruses. Reach out to media as much as possible and try to make the delivery public.
Make it work
Being fun and silly can attract a lot of people to a cause they may have just passed by before. Make sure that behind a gimmick, there's still all the same reliable information available. Fact sheets, infographics, zines and comics can communicate statistical realities while still being easy to interact with. Keeping a protest light hearted can also be refreshing for activists and help reduce burnout.
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