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Herstory 2-Pack

Program #POLK001-SOLR001.

2 CDs

Katha Pollitt -- The Fate of Legal Abortion

There are few issues more divisive than abortion. Vitriolic rhetoric denouncing Planned Parenthood is part of a larger agenda: eliminating legal access to abortion. The historic 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision declared: “We recognize the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwanted government intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the right of a woman to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” Since then there has been a sustained campaign, including threats and attacks on doctors and nurses, the defunding and closing of clinics, to reverse Roe v. Wade. In some states, restrictive legislation has effectively criminalized abortion. What will happen if legal abortions are banned? Women will turn to quacks and the days of back alley abortions, botched procedures and clothes hangars will be back.

Rebecca Solnit -- Making & Breaking Stories

Dominant paradigms, dominant stories, the big picture through which our lives move. How much of it is constructed for us? Most of it. What are the prevailing paradigms and cultural narratives really made of? Words. Language. To coin a phrase, define the terms, frame the issue, to write the story that sticks in the public mind and is constantly repeated, is the business of branding. Powerful institutions work day and night suppressing and spinning stories to legitimize their existence. Their machinations create “official stories” and “public secrets.” Things that everybody knows but nobody says in public. Although our personal stories are assembled and disassembled at the rate of speedy electronic devices, our collective stories move at the rate of tectonic plates. Competing narratives about fracking in Colorado and tar sands in Alberta play out in daily information wars, while substantive structural changes remain nearly indiscernible.  

 

Speaker(s):

Katha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt, an award-winning essayist, poet and critic, is best known for her column “Subject to Debate” in The Nation magazine. She is the author of Virginity or Death! and Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. She is the recipient of a National Book Critics Circle Award for her volume of poetry, Antarctic Traveller.

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