Come and Take It

One day, after dropping my first grader off at school, I followed a particularly large vehicle out of the parking lot. The olive green, Titan pickup truck displayed three neatly-placed bumper stickers prominently in my field of view. They were: an NRA member sticker, “The American Dream isn’t a Handout”, and this one:

From this, I interpreted this was a person who is passionate about the second amendment, who clearly feels strongly about it enough to want to display it on their vehicle, and who likely has an empowered sense of ownership about their guns and their right to use them in accordance with the law. I gathered it also represented something of their point of view about freedom, liberty, self-determination, independence, and security. I took all of that in, then paused for a moment and wondered: If this imagery and message speaks to him/her, maybe other images could convey a similar idea.

And I imagined these:

I reasoned if the image and message of the gun evoked a deeper understanding of rights and liberty, freedom, ownership, and self-determination for some, perhaps these images could effectively communicate the same feelings women have about contraception, their health, their bodies and their rights as well. And, perhaps, other people would stop and notice, as I did, and draw a connection between their own passionate beliefs and support for their raison d’etre and someone else’s passion for their own. Images sometimes have the power to do that.

So I had these made into bumper stickers in order to convey my point. They are available here along with other items here.

I hope they will be effective.

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The phrase, “Come and Take It” originates with the The Ancient Greek phrase Molon Labe from the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BCE) when King Leonidas I of Sparta refused to lay down his weapons in response to a surrender demand from Xerxes I of Persia. On this continent, it was used by the leader of the American troops
in a confrontation during the American Revolution with British forces in 1778 at Fort Morris in Georgia. And was revived again in 1835 during the Texas Revolution when Mexican forces demanded the return of a canon and the Texicans responded by issuing instead a challenge: Come and take it. Immortalized on a flag bearing the image of a cannon with a five pointed black star above and the defiant phrase below, it has come to symbolize the resolve of those protecting their territory, their freedom and, indeed, their very lives.

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The birth control pill became legal in 1960. Prior to this there was no reliable, easy to use, female controlled form of contraception. It’s why so many of our mothers and grandmothers had nine and twelve and fourteen kids.

As Loretta Lynn’s song, The Pill, so aptly captures in verse:

“This incubator is overused because you’ve kept it filled

The feeling good comes easy now since I’ve got the pill
There’s gonna be some changes made right here on Nursery Hill

You’ve set this chicken your last time ’cause now I’ve got the pill”*

(To listen to this song click here.)

The frustration of the revival of an issue we thought was settled by our mother’s generation is captured well in one woman’s protest sign: “I can’t believe we still have to protest this crap.”

Let’s not take a step backward on the issue of women’s reproductive rights and contraception. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has produced an informative educational video that outlines the economic and personal impact of affordable and accessible birth control for women around the world. It explains that for every one dollar invested in family planning six dollars are saved in costs for housing, healthcare and public services. I hope you will take the time to watch it here.

Let’s insure we keep contraception and women’s healthcare legal and accessible.

Don’t try to take it from us.

Copyright © 2012. Christy Caine. All rights reserved.

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My deepest thanks to Dan Wilkinson for creating the Pill and Uterus Come and Take it images. He’s an incredible web developer and all around awesome guy. Please check out his site.

And also to friend Mike Patrick of Patrick Solutions for helping me tweak it a little more.

* The Pill, written by Lorene Allen, Don McHan, and T. D. Bayless, recorded in 1972 by Loreta Lynn on MCA records and produced by Owen Bradley was released in 1975. Lynn said in a magazine interview she had received messages of gratitude from rural doctors telling her how her song had done more positive marketing for contraception to their patient population than any of their own education efforts. This is the power of media.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 at 9:09 am and is filed under American Revolution, Birth Control, Colorado Shooting, Come and Take It, Contraception, Fort Morris, History, James Holmes, Second Amendment, Texas Revolution, The Pill, Uterus, War on Women, Women's Health, Women's Rights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Comments

  1. scott says:

    Very nicely said. I love the perspective and hope that it can serve as a bridge to help others see through there own eyes and opinions the strength of conviction and importance others have.

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  2. Shoma says:

    Wow Christy! What a powerful connection you have made. I think your rework of the bumper sticker is highly effective with its familiar words and unmistakable image. Love it!

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  3. Elizabeth says:

    It’s a beautiful connection you made, between the NRA bumper sticker and a woman’s right to choose. In our current political climate, it’s easy to forget the war on women. Guns sell newspapers. Women ‘just’ raise children and average 77 cents on dollar in the workplace.

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  4. Michelle says:

    Fabulous!

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  5. Lisa says:

    Love the images! Very powerful and thought-provoking!

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  6. Karen says:

    I can’t help noticing the irony that exists when a voter, while fighting tooth and nail to protect his citizens rights as an individual is just as busy trying to deny me that same priviledge.

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  7. Christy Caine says:

    Aye, Karen, there’s the rub. That’s why I thought these images might help some draw a connection that would lead them to being able to see beyond their own self-interest.

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  8. Timmay says:

    I really like your bumper sticker ideas. But as a gun owning liberal (yes, we exist) I’d like to offer two corrections:

    1. The AR15 is not an “assault” weapon. It’s a semi-automatic rifle. An “assault rifle” is a fully automatic machine gun and they are expensive and rare.

    2. “Come and Take It” in the gun community is usually phrased as “Molon Labe” and is from much earlier than 1778. “It is a classical expression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army’s demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molon_labe

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  9. Christy Caine says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I’m happy to make the correction.

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  10. Lisa Buie-Collard says:

    Oh yes. This is a great post. I bought 4 stickers! Oh, and I don’t care if the gun wasn’t an “assault” weapon. Look what it was used for. Haven’t seen one of those being used to kill animals the admittedly few times I’ve gone hunting…
    I really liked the history lesson from Timmay.

    ... on July September 13th, 2012
  11. Come and Take it « One Inch Tall says:

    [...] She had some pretty awesome bumper stickers made. Check it out. [...]

    ... on July September 13th, 2012

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