By Kathryn Reed
“Get Out of My Crotch.”
This book title is exactly what many women want to tell lawmakers. With a cover of the Statue of Liberty holding a sheet of paper covering her crotch, there is little doubt about what this compilation of 21 essays is about.
It’s not a book about abortion. It’s about women, politics, freedom – or the lack of, bodies, and today’s culture.
“Get Out of My Crotch” is rooted in anger.
“I got really mad last spring about hearing about legislation based on menstrual cycles. Every day I would come to work and hear a story about a bill being proposed talking about personhood, or transvaginal ultrasounds, or redefining rape and I could not believe people were not storming the streets,” editor-publisher Kim Wyatt told Lake Tahoe News. “People were talking about this like it was acceptable. I felt like I had to do something.”
The Meyers book publisher created Cherry Bomb Books – an imprint of Bona Fide Books – to be the home of “Get Out of My Crotch”.
“There is great writing in here. There are writers people should know in here … writers people should be reading,” Wyatt said.
The works and writers are:
• “The Alienable Rights of Women” – Roxane Gay
• “Before Roe v. Wade” – Betty MacDonald
• “Remember Savita Halappanavar” – Katha Pollitt
• “Ask an Abortion Provider” – Dolores P.
• “Confessions of a Good Girl” – Sari Botton
• “Three Heresies” – Addy Robinson McCulloch
• “Ripple Effect” – Tara Murtha
• “Lucky Breaks and Little Miracles” – Sarah Mirk
• “A Mile in Their Shoes” – Kari O’Driscoll
• “Knocked Over: On Biology, Magical Thinking, and Choice” – Martha Bayne
• “Endo” – Janet Frishberg
• “Un-Bearing” – Mira Ptacin
• “Grown-Woman Swagger” – J. Victoria Sanders
• “ Justice for All” – s.e. smith
• “The Great Leap Backward” – Camille Hayes
• “Birdsong and Gunshot” – Rebecca K. O’Connor
• “Explicit Violence” – Lidia Yuknavitch
• “Caffeine-Free Rape” – Elissa Bassist
• “I Know Who You Raped Last Summer” – Kevin Sampsell
• “Don’t Know Much About Biology” – Kate Sheppard
• “Binders Full of Women, Episode 1: The Story of Mary and Bill” – Rebecca Cohen.
Botton is the co-editor with Wyatt. She was working on a book about Roe v. Wade when Wyatt came up with her book idea.
While there is a clear audience for the book, Wyatt hopes it will reach younger readers. She wants young women to understand the freedoms they may take for granted are incrementally being taken away at the state level.
“I have lot of young women working here. We talk a lot about politics,” Wyatt said. “Last year they were completely checked out from politics because they didn’t like the BS partisanship. They weren’t paying attention because they were tired of all the chatter.”
She believes this book is for them.
A discussion guide as been created in case educators – more likely college level – would incorporate “Get Out of My Crotch” into their curriculum.
Go online to order a copy of the book.
• Jan. 22, 7pm: Book launch in Portland on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade at Crush, 1412 SE Morrison St. Readers include “Get Out” Portland contributors Sarah Mirk, Kevin Sampsell and Lidia Yukanvitch. A portion of the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.
• Jan. 25, 7pm: Lake Tahoe Community College Writers’ Series hosts a reading of “Get Out of My Crotch” in the library. Short reading and discussion with contributors Janet Frishberg and Camille Hayes, as well as publisher and co-editor Kim Wyatt. Books will be available for purchase.
• March 4, 7-9pm: Bluestockings Bookstore, Cafe, and Activist Center, 172 Allen St., New York. Join editor and contributor Sari Botton and contributors Elissa Bassist, Betty MacDonald, and Mira Ptacin. Books will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds goes to Planned Parenthood.