I was sitting and waiting for the train to come when something that had been stirring in my brain for nearly a year began to ferment once again. I wasn’t thinking about this “something” at all. Unsurprisingly, I was daydreaming of Emma Goldman and imagining that I might at some point in my life come close to touching upon her sincerity. In Living My Life she tells of one of her first experiences speaking in front of people. She has been strongly influenced by Johann Most and is speaking in Cleveland to a group of animated workers. She gives them a “sarcastic arraignment” and prods them to fight for more than temporary gains. It is then that an old worker rises to speak
“he said that he understood my impatience with such small demands as a few hours less a day, or a few dollars more a week. It was legitimate for young people to take time lightly. But what were men of his age to do? They were not likely to see the ultimate overthrow of the capitalist system. Were they also to forgo the release of perhaps two hours a day from the hated work? That was all they could hope to see realized in their lifetime. Should they deny themselves even that small achievement? Should they never have a little more time for reading or being out in the open? Why not be fair to people chained to the block?”
This was a turning point for Emma that impressed upon her the need for independent thinking. For some reason this particular sentiment hit me when I was tossing around the current Roe vs. Wade situation in my malcontent brain. The thought of losing Roe Vs. Wade with the impending implantation of one more demonic “supreme” court “justice” makes me grimace and choke back vomit. I do not believe in petitioning the state and this leads me to wonder what is the female anarchist role in the struggle to maintain control of our bodies? Those who will suffer from the overturning of Roe vs. Wade more than just ideologically like myself, are the poor, uneducated, people of color, i.e. the same people who always lose under capitalism.
Should I organize demonstrations? Should I implement abortion workshops? Should I tour the poorest areas of every city and town with information? What would be effective?
I am not writing this to supply answers or information but to provoke thought in the hopes that the thought will provoke action, and that action a reaction. I have found that when I have a question it is best to ask it because questions either supply answers or deliberation. Both of which I consider productive. It is from these humble musings that I found myself scratching at the walls of the beast. Perhaps, this particular issue seems too liberal for some. Many, in my experience, see it the way Goldman leered out over the crowd of haggard workers.
It is time that we begin to educate and organize everyone possible, from every angle. The system doesn’t work and there is always a personal connection to that. For womyn, this is a good example. Let us tie every struggle into a knot (also a good birth control method) and point at the big mess of capitalism.
For information on herbal emmenagogues (stimulating menstruation) or herbal abortifacients (encouraging abortion) go to: