Volunteering at the New York State Fair with Planned Parenthood is something I had been looking forward to since last year. The Fair is a crazy place, filled with every type of New Yorker you can imagine. The Center of Progress (a fitting name to house the PPRSR table) is no different. There are tables selling sheets and jewelry, vendors selling hand lotions and irons, religious groups and politicians, as well as both a pro-life table and ours.
We handed out a bunch of different buttons:
My favorite is definitely "Trust Women." It's so perfect and simple, and yet basically encompasses everything there is about being pro-choice and empowering women.if women were universally trusted to make their own decisions - about their bodies, their babies, their needs and wants, etc - there wouldn't be any pro-life rhetoric.
Strangely enough, that pin illicits the strangest reactions. At least 5 times, a couple walked by, the man picks up the pin, looks at us, and says "Trust women?? Have you ever met this woman?" Some people joke around that it should say "NEVER Trust Women." Har har har, aren't these people funny? We usually responded with something like "Funny! You know, trusting women is actually quite easy!" What did they expect us to say?
Another good pin is "Viva La Vulva." This one is written in the smallest font, so older people kept asking me to read it for them. I probably yelled "It says VIVA la VULVA" 10 times per shift. There were also a surprising number of people who didn't know what a vulva was! We made sure to teach everyone who seemed confused.
The only snag we ran into this year was running out of condoms! Last year, we ran out of pins, so we made sure we had a ton of pins - but this year we didn't have enough condoms! We made a sign and put it at our booth:I can't tell you how many people walked by and reacted to that sign - more than would've reacted to a giant bowl of condoms, for sure. People laughed and pointed, people gasped, people ran and got their friends to take a look - but more than anything, people got out their cell phones and took pictures. I'm waiting for this photo to go viral.
All in all, I had a blast at the PPRSR booth at the Fair. And if you were one of the sad souls that came to the booth too late for free condoms, make sure you take a trip to your local Planned Parenthood to stock up!