Among animals, predators seek the slow, the old, the sick. Among humans, street criminals target the frail, the encumbered, the solitary. Child sexual predators look for the lonely child, the "odd" child, the neglected child. Sexual predators focus on people they figure will be manageable, quiescent, compliant.
In short, predation requires vulnerability.
Of course, all predators make mistakes and take on "prey" who turn out to be stronger, louder, faster, and smarter than they thought. (The Ghomeshi trial comes to mind.)
The spring session of 40 Days of Harassment
is set to begin on February 10. (It took me years to figure out that there are TWO of these bunfests a year. There's another in the fall.)
Organizers target particular abortion facilities (or non-abortion facilities, see Guelph below) for "prayer vigils," which amount to 40 days of non-stop harassment of clients and staff at often already-beleaguered clinics.
Let's call it what it is: bullying.
Let's refine that: it is self-righteous bullies preying on vulnerable people at what may be major crisis points in their lives.
Or in the case of abortion providers, preying on healthcare providers who daily face stalking, surveillance, and violence just for offering a safe, legal, common medical procedure. (See the recently published Living in the Crosshairs
for first-person stories of what these heroic people go through.)
All predators expect a reward. Lions get a meal. Muggers get a wallet. Sexual predators get orgasms.
And anti-abortion predators get what we call martyrgasms. A strange satisfaction from shrieking epithets and threats at ordinary people going about their personal business.
Back in November, I said that here now in Canada we have the perfect opportunity to secure reproductive rights and access once and for all
It seems to me this year's first anti-choice martyr-fest would be a good place to start.
Beginning with social media, let's use the tag #40DaysOfPreyers. (I'm not the coiner of that one; I'll reveal the author after I've gotten permission.) Other suggestions are welcome, like #StayOutOfMyUterus, #HandsOffMyCunt, #NoBullyInMyLadyBits, and the one I and others have been using for years, #40DaysOfHarassment.
Let's take photos of them and their dumb-ass signs and post them on social media and/or dedicate a Tumblr or somesuch to the effort.
Let's counter-demonstrate. I love this story from a couple of years ago about a couple in North Carolina who made witty and weird signs
to mock regular preyers at a local clinic.
In Canada, Campaign Lie
has targetted clinics in nine cities: Edmonton
.a hospital in Guelph
, where apparently no abortions are performed.Oakville
In Saskatoon, they don't seem able to muster 40 days' worth of bullying and so are going for "40 Hours for Life in front of Saskatoon City Hospital."
The times will be from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon Monday to Friday, and 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm every day. Call 1-800-891-2070 for more information.
In the UK in 2011, pro-choice people responded with 40 Days of Treats
. Bring snacks or little gifts to targetted clinics, donate to pro-choice causes. In short, respond to cruelty and bullying with kindness and support.
Let's push back. Let's reveal and mock these bullies for what all bullies are: pathetic losers with a weird hobby.
Who have no damn right to prey on vulnerable people.
DJ! will stay on this for all 40 days. Send photos, links, suggestions for hashtags.