A new battleground has emerged in the culture wars; the religious right's campaign to roll back American's access to contraception. Photographer Mike McGregor and feminist author Cristina Page have teamed up to create a pictorial wall calendar featuring current leaders in the trenches of this escalating culture war working to defend American's access to family planning. Each calendar month features a leader who is protecting and expanding access to birth control; fighting through the state and federal legislatures, the halls of medicine and education, the courts and government agencies. Each subject reenacts a scene from the battlefield: portraying the role they've played in defending family planning and conveying the very real consequences of the victories and losses in this values conflict.
We are raising funds to create the calendar; for the production, design, printing, and distribution. We have already shot 2/3 of the calendar. Some of the images, though not necessarily the final ones, along with descriptions, are below.
This calendar project is part of Womankind: Feminist Leaders in Training Project. Womankind is a summer feminist leadership training program led by Cristina. Seven budding feminist leaders, under Cristina's guidance, helped organize the calendar and, by doing so, learned about the power of crowd-sourcing, while also creating a Reproductive Justice Recommendation Report for the New York City Council, publishing op-eds, organizing rallies, launching feminist social media campaigns -- all part of a skill-building curriculum in well-rounded feminist leadership. We are so grateful for their work and all those who have donated their time and talents to make this happen. We are eager to add you, through your contribution, to this amazing project. Thank you for your support. We look forward to creating for you a vivid artistic portrayal of this intensifying American cultural conflict.
The leaders featured in the calendar that we have already photographed include:
Sandra Fluke: the law student who spoke before a Congressional hearing in 2012 in support of contraception and was the target of a right-wing slander campaign, led by Rush Limbaugh, attempting to demean her for publicly supporting the right of college students to access contraception.
Former Surgeon General Doctor Joycelyn Elders: History has proven Dr. Joycelyn Elders, President Bill Clinton's Surgeon General, right. Dr. Elders has remained a resolute General in the war on sex and contraception, traversing the country speaking out in support of sexual health and rights, ever since she was forced to resign as US Surgeon General in 1994. Her resignation came after her "controversial" comments highlighting research findings which showed teaching teens about masturbation was effective at preventing them from having sex, getting sexually transmitted diseases and unintentionally pregnant.
Bill Baird: The namesake of the 1972 Supreme Court ruling, Baird v Eisenstadt, which granted single people the right to use contraception. Baird is the father of modern courtship; his work has allowed generations of Americans a more lengthy, thoughtful, and sexually playful courtship free of avoidable, unwanted, life-altering consequences.
Pillamina: Planned Parenthood's gigantic birth control pill pack that is stalking anti-contraception candidates on the campaign trail to draw attention to their positions.
Anika Rahman: Former head of Americans for UNFPA and current CEO of the Ms Foundation. During her time at Americans for UNFPA, Rahman broadcast the relationship between increasing access to contraception and reducing maternal death worldwide.
Susan Wood and Kirsten Moore: Susan Wood resigned as Director of the Office of Women's Health of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in protest of George W. Bush's policy regarding the agency's decision to keep emergency contraception from becoming more widely available to minors despite all clinical evidence suggesting it is safe. Kirsten Moore, President of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, organized a national speaking tour for Wood to raise awareness about growing attacks on science and the efforts to keep the most effective contraceptive methods from Americans. Here we re-enact an iconic press photo taken of and released by Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, staging herself being gagging to represent being banned from speaking in Boston about the need for family planning.
Constance Johnson is the Oklahoma State Senator who, this year, introduced a sarcastic amendment in response to her colleagues' bill that attacked contraception. Her amendment would have made it illegal for a man to spill his seed anywhere outside a woman's vagina.
Risks and challenges
The biggest logistical challenge we face is orchestrating photo shoots with the final three most important figures in the war against contraception who live all around North America. We also want the calendar to be available for sale to the general public before the new year and will only have about a month to market the calendar---but we're doing guerilla marketing, getting the word out through the people who care the most (our donors!) which is not only the most effective but the most fun marketing strategy!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)