by Kaci Beeler
Beeler is an Austin-based artist, designer, and actor. You can find out more about her and her work at http://www.kacibeeler.com.
I started this event (a silent protest at the Texas State Capitol) because I was tired of sitting around being frustrated with each and every news piece about restrictive and harmful policy regarding women’s reproductive health. After reading about the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling over the funding of Planned Parenthood in Texas, something in me broke. I felt such deep sadness, such distrust, and I knew others felt that way. I wanted to stand with them, not whining, not screaming, but just recognizing this feeling together. This feeling of being targeted. This feeling of being wronged, just as we are.
The idea of a silent protest with targets pinned to our bodies came to me as a clear visual in my mind. It felt like the right thing to do and the right time to do it, and so I moved from there into making a Facebook event. And then it began to spread.
The protest is silent in part because I think words can cloud things up. I don’t know if we could ever succinctly say everything we want to or need to about this. Words aren’t always easily understood, and many of us don’t even know how to verbalize what we are feeling. Plus, people react poorly to be shouted at.
I’m no professor, doctor, scholar, or even an avid activist. But I am a woman and I don’t want to feel ashamed of it. I don’t want to see people hurt because someone who doesn’t even know them or their life made a big decision for them.
Honestly, I was tired of doing nothing, so now I’m doing something.
For more information:
- The Facebook event page for the silent protest
- The Austin Chronicle: Texas Women Are Targeted at the Capitol on Saturday
- Austin Culture Map: Austin women prepare for Silent Rally on State Capitol steps to combat the War on Women
[Editor's note: more people than just cis women need and want access to reproductive health care.]