FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2014
In response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Feminist Archive coordinated a national shop-drop (reverse shop lift) of feminist pamphlets in Hobby Lobby stores across the United States of America. The action took place Friday, July 18, 2014. Feminist tracts were placed in stores in Baltimore, Md., Pittsburgh, Pa., Louisville, Ky., Los Angeles, Calif., Champaign, Ill., Chicago, Ill., Detroit, Mich., Portland, Ore., Boulder, Colo., and Syracuse, N.Y. areas.
The curated pamphlets contain edited, historical and contemporary texts by feminists, activists and writers including: Olympe De Gouges, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Margeret Sanger, Emma Goldman, Audre Lorde and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The pamphlets reflect a long history of activism fighting for women’s rights. The earliest text was written by De Gouges during the French Revolution in 1793. Cady Stanton’s text, the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments, was written in 1848. Gage’s text critiques a long history of suppressing women in organized religion. Goldman and Sanger forcefully argue for birth control and the right for women to control their own bodies. Lorde recognizes the role of the erotic as a source of power. Finally, Ginsburg’s dissent to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., clearly argues for: the need for accessible contraceptives, the danger of granting corporations the rights of personhood and the lack of precedent of for-profit organizations to impose religious values onto its employees.
“Why would you pester Hobby Lobby!?! […],” asks one facebook user. Organizer Joanna Spitzner responds, “We are doing this in Hobby Lobby because they went to court and won rights as a corporation to impose its values over the rights of women. Women should be the only people making decisions about their bodies, regardless of economic class or status, which is what the ACA and the Women’s Health Amendment support—both of which have now been weakened. This is a very important issue in the history and present of feminism.”