“Choice Words” is not just a book about reproductive rights; it’s an abortion bible. As long as the world we inhabit remains patriarchal, the “right to choose” will always be hard fought. Nevertheless, “Choice Words” solidifies the fact that it is, and if necessary, will be once again—hard won.
Although we cannot separate ourselves from our own culturally-limiting, physical embodiments of “female,” we can reveal, reject and resist every sexist misappropriation of ourselves. We can create a world for our daughters where female bodies no longer subject them to a gendered hell, but where all women reclaim their bodies for themselves.
The problem is not women’s bodies, or the mere sight of them. The problem is a culture that judges women primarily by how they look, or what they wear or don’t wear, and constantly cuts them down to size through a cruel and fatal combination of diet culture and unrealistic, unattainable standards of female beauty.
The human toll of reduced reproductive justice seems of little consequence to those advancing the modern anti-abortion agenda. Instead, they seem more concerned with availing themselves of the one tool in the patriarchal toolkit that never fails to put women “back in their place” whenever we come too close to gender equity for their comfort—our bodies.
“Sticks and stones,” we’re told. What’s worse, we’re frequently faced with the suggestion that perhaps we might have “misunderstood” what a boy said, or met with the idea that he “didn’t mean it that way.”