Finding hope in a time of regression
I’m Natalie. I helped Anand get The Ink off the ground two summers ago, and now I’m delighted to be its managing editor — all thanks to the support of our subscribers.
A few days ago, we shared this conversation with three women behind the new musical “Suffs,” now showing at the Public Theater in New York. The show throws a lasso around history and pulls it into the present, so younger generations might know the names of the heroines who came before them and their fight (in all of its contours) for the right to vote.
It’s an interesting thing to tell the story of women gaining one fundamental right at the precise moment when another is unraveling. And it’s evident the “Suffs” team sees the connection between suffrage and the present assault on reproductive freedom.
On Tuesday evening, I watched as cast members joined protesters in New York rallying in defense of abortion rights, delivering an a cappella performance of a song from the show, “How Many More?”, just hours before they were due on stage.
It’s a grim question to consider in these times, when “more” is not something the country can afford. This was made clear by one woman in attendance at Tuesday’s rally, carrying a sign reading, “I survived an illegal abortion in Birmingham, Alabama in 1969.” Alabama will likely be among the states to enforce a total ban on abortion, leaving many with no option but to revert to unsafe, back-alley abortions of the kind that were commonplace before Roe.
The reality that the gains of the last 50 years could soon be lost is terrifying and also disempowering. It’s all the more disheartening considering the Democrats seem incapable of protecting us from this fate.
Towards the end of the conversation with the “Suffs” team, the show’s creator, Shaina Taub, asked and answered this question:
How can we not let that defeat us? How can we understand that we're not going to get to the last day? We're not going to get to "Enough is enough" in our lifetime, but that doesn't let us off the hook. We have to push it forward as much as we can. I hope that it galvanizes us to realize the victories.
What do you think? How do we maintain hope in a time of regression?
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