Sunday, February 26, 2012

Party of Woodstock

Seriously. Rick Santorum has called the Democratic Party the "Party of Woodstock." I'm trying to picture President Obama jamming in the mud to "Purple Haze." Ooops! Fail.

I'm old enough to remember Woodstock, and truth be told, much more has been made of it in the ensuing years than was made of it at the time. I do know that the televised images of young people cavorting in the rain, in various states of undress and in various states of altered consciousness, scared the crap out of Middle America. But it took a while for that to happen.

Actually, the fact that we aren't a Woodstock generation should say it all. A true Party of Woodstock would be way left of center, we would have legalized weed, and corporations would be required to smile on their brothers, everybody get together, gotta love one another right now. Does that sound like America to you?

Let me tell Moron Rick and all you young whippersnappers what life was like in the years immediately after Woodstock.

In public school health class, segregated by gender, we girls were told exactly how to prevent pregnancy. We were shown all the different ways it could be done. The teacher passed around an unopened package of birth control pills and told us where to go to get them for free. We passed around a diaphragm and saw a film on how an IUD worked. Many of my friends promptly went to the state-funded free clinic and got their pills. They didn't need to tell a parent about the appointment or the pills.

I had plenty of high school classmates who were sexually active. No one got pregnant.

When I went into college, still in the 1970s, I got free pills from the state-funded dispensary too. I used them. I never got pregnant until I wanted to. One of my friends was not so lucky. Friend's mom found Friend's pills in the medicine cabinet (while snooping) and demanded Friend stop taking them immediately. Within three months, Friend had to get an abortion, which she had to hide from her family. She got it without question (and without ultrasound) at a state-funded clinic.

Why are we going backwards on this? Who are these people, and why do they care what women do with their lives? I don't understand it at all.

You know what I think? I think we need a Party of Woodstock. If I could get family planning classes in 1975, and now I can go to my 35th anniversary class reunion and see photos of plump, smiling grandchildren, I don't think anyone got harmed by learning how to prevent pregnancy.

If there are any young gals reading this here Pagan diary, let me just say that I feel sorry for you. What was easy for my generation has become a struggle for you ... and it looks to get worse before it gets better.

I'll do my part to put things back on track. But girls: It's really up to you. Vote for your autonomy. And above all else, act responsibly ... no matter how hard it is to find those pills these days.

5 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hear, hear!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, ditto.
--Kim

Anonymous said...

We don't have those things because a lot of people were mad and scared at them and the self-interested moneyed class figured out they could get those people to vote for their own immiseration by promising to do something about it all. Now that that horse has run away with them, the moguls are in a panic. Rodger C

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

wow..I can totally see President Obama getting down to Purple Haze..

Anonymous said...

Damn straight we need a party of Woodstock! The party of Jimi and Janis!

We're going backwards because we've become a nation ruled by fear and mediocrity. Ethnic minorities, gays, and women have worked hard as hell to make good lives for themselves despite the bullshit, and now are "threats" to the mediocre, narrow-minded dullards who never got over the 60s.

Yeah, I'm angry and bitter at what's happened. I too feel bad for the younger generation. But no matter our age, none of us who believe in freedom and progress can afford to be complacent.

So thanks for writing this post and doing your part. I do the same. This is going to be my most politically active year. The fact that someone like Santorum has come as far as he has in this race sickens and alarms me.