Published 8 March 201126 March 2012 · Main Posts / Culture International Women’s Day: thoughts from the frontline Jacinda Woodhead I’m a woman; here are some things I’m thinking about today: 1. Mary Poppins and that feminist sub-plot: 2. The war being waged on women and their reproductive rights (which, in many countries, like the vote, were won long ago): • In ‘Lucky girl’, Bridget Potter recounts what she went through to get an abortion in 1962: Michael and I checked around for remedies … One night I sat in an extremely hot bath in my walk-up on Waverly Place while Michael fed me a whole quart of gin, jelly jar glass by jelly jar glass. In between my gulps, he refreshed the bath with boiling water from a sauce pan on the crusty old gas stove. I got beet red and nauseous. We waited. I threw up. Nothing more … When my period was a month late I gave up hoping for a false alarm and went to visit Emily Perl’s gynecologist. His ground floor office in a brownstone on a side street on the Upper East Side was genteel but faded. So was he, a short, stern old man with glasses perched on the top of his head and dandruff flakes on his gray suit-jacket. As I explained my problem, he shook his head from side to side in obvious disapproval of the loose behavior that was the cause of my visit. He instructed me to pee in a jar. The test results, he said, would take two weeks. At that time pregnancy testing involved injecting a lab rabbit with human urine and watching for its effects. I waited to hear if the rabbit died. I learned much later that all lab rabbits used for pregnancy tests died, autopsied to see the results. It was code. My rabbit died. • All the proposed laws encroaching on women’s bodies: • And absurd analogies promoted by groups like the American Life League: (Some background.) 3. This statement: ‘You can blame women for not coming out in droves to attack a system that constantly undermines them and their talent or you can change the fucking system.’ 4. The fact that little has changed in a century; the police act the same, as does oppression, and if you want rights, you have to fight for them (watch from 56 seconds): 5. Gig Ryan: I’d shoot the man with things dangling over his creepy chest in the park when I was contemplating the universe I’d shoot the man who can’t look me in the eye who stares at my boobs when we’re talking who rips me off in the milk-bar and smiles his wet purple smile who comments on my clothes. I’m not a fucking painting that needs to be told what it looks like, who tells me where to put my hands, who wrenches me into position like a meccano-set, who drags you round like a war I’d shoot the man who couldn’t live without me I’d shoot the man who thinks it’s his turn to be pretty flashing his skin passively like something I’ve got to step into, the man who says ‘John’s a chemistry PhD and an ace cricketer, Jane’s got rotten legs’ who thinks I’m wearing perfume for him who says ‘Baby you can really drive’ like it’s so complicated male, his fucking highway, 6. All those women who went before. And you? Jacinda Woodhead Jacinda Woodhead is a former editor of Overland and current law student. More by Jacinda Woodhead › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000) Editorial Team Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (that is writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world. In 2023, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland.