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To read more about Episode 246, visit the main episode page.
Michael Moore [00:00:19] This is an Emergency Podcast System edition of Rumble with Michael Moore. I’m Michael Moore. Minutes ago, the United States Supreme Court issued one of the most appalling anti-democracy rulings in the history of this country. A crime against humanity has taken place with this ruling. And all of us, all of us need to rise up right now nonviolently to bring an end to this brutal assault against women who’ve had their God-given rights to control their own bodies seized from them just minutes ago. Stolen. Taken by a group of thieves known as the U.S. Supreme Court, who have forced once again women in this country into second-class citizenship, a class they have held since the founders wrote that “all men are created equal.” But even that wasn’t true because to be considered equal back then, you had to own property and you had to be white.
[00:01:34] It’s always been a lie. And the lie was just confirmed again today. Just now. I’m so upset. We knew this was coming. The ruling was leaked a couple of months ago. Probably many of us were hoping against hope that the outcry over this would have forced these justices, or at least some of them, to change their minds, to understand that the majority of the American people do not agree with making abortion illegal. Well over 70% of this country in the last few months has made it clear that they not only want abortion to remain legal and available, they are appalled that this court hasn’t even carved out an exemption for women who are raped, victims of incest, or, in the case of if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Over 90% of Americans favor legal abortion if it means that the mother may lose her life. Of course! But that is not how the court has ruled today. This court, one-third Trump appointed, two-thirds raised Catholic, has imposed Trump’s hatred and treatment of women on the entire nation with this ruling. And worse than that, in a nation founded on the principle of separation of church and state, this court has adopted the belief systems of a religion and now imposed it on the entire nation. Every citizen of this country has just been told by the U.S. Supreme Court that we will now be forced to follow the edicts and the orders of the Catholic Church, which has told a lie for decades that a fertilized egg is an actual human being. And the born again Protestants have clung right on to the same lie.
[00:03:44] Why do they think they can get away with this? Because they want a legal way to control women. That’s what it comes down to. It’s about the entire life of this country wanting to keep women in their place, not give them the vote, make them servants of who they’re married to, not let them own property, not let them take a loan out from the bank — I mean, this has just gone on since the beginning. And it’s all come down to one issue: control. Control women. And they’ve been told today by this court that they will no longer be in charge of their own selves. This ruling says that if you get pregnant, you will give birth. If you become pregnant by accident — it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You will be forced into motherhood against your will. This is the court literally tying women down and forcing them to bring a fertilized egg and a fetus to term, and birth that baby. Unbelievable. The men who have run this lie, the men on this court, what they all have known for a very long time, is that if you can control women’s bodies, you can control their lives.
[00:05:19] Who the fuck do they think they are? And who are we if we allow this to continue? Who are we?
Michael Moore [00:05:40] A couple of days ago, I had this idea. I came across this incredible document that I’d read years ago. I’d forgotten about it. It’s really considered the first feminist documents long before the word feminist even existed from the 1700s. It was written by a French woman during around the time of the French Revolution. She was a very active participant and a hero of the French Revolution. And in 1791, what she saw happening as the people were winning the revolution, that the men in the revolution were going to form a new government, a new country of France, where men would call the shots. Men would be in charge. Women would be second-class citizens, would not have a say. And she was so appalled that she and other women had risked their lives to bring down the king, and now to be told, as women, to shut up, step aside. And she would have none of it. And so she wrote this incredible document. You’ve probably heard of this — the Declaration of the Rights of Women. This was written in 1791. The woman’s name was Olympe de Gouges. She was well known. She was beloved. She was a fighter. And she’d seen enough. This Declaration of the Rights of Women became so popular among the women in the revolution in France, and women started demanding their equal rights. And the men were so frightened of this, they had Olympe de Gouges arrested for writing something so outrageous. And they gave her a very quick trial, and then they took her to the guillotine, and beheaded her. This person who’s considered the original feminist in the world, she risked her life to write these words and ended up losing her life because of what she wrote — demanding that women be treated equally. And when you read it, you think, oh my God, 230 years later and we’re talking about the same stuff? So I had this idea to ask a few friends of mine who are women if they would like to read this Declaration of the Rights of Women and that I would post it when the Supreme Court announced their decision to remind us of how long this struggle has been. And to let our generation now take the stand that needs to be taken and end this discrimination, this hatred of women, once and for all. And so a few of my friends, they recorded this in their own voice. The one you’re going to hear now is the reading by Francesca Fiorentini, who is a journalist, a comedian, and you know her from her own podcast, which is an incredible podcast, it’s called The Bitchuation Room. So give a listen. And remember, you’re listening to words that were written in 1791. I’m going to turn this over now. This is my friend Francesca Fiorentini.
Francesca Fiorentini reciting Rumble’s edited translation of the “Declaration of the Rights of Women” by Olympe de Gouges [00:09:10]
Declaration of the Rights of Women
Written by: Olympe de Gouges, Hero of the French Revolution, 1791.
Men, are you capable of being fair? A woman is asking: at least you will allow her that right. Tell me, what gave you the sovereign right to oppress my sex? Your strength? Your talents? Observe the creator, examine nature in all its grandeur, and give me, if you dare, a pattern for this tyrannical power.
Reconsider animals, consult the elements, study plants. Search, excavate and discover, if you can, sexual characteristics in the workings of nature: everywhere you will find them intermingled, everywhere cooperating harmoniously within this immortal masterpiece.
Only man has cobbled together a rule to exclude himself from this system. Bizarre, blind, puffed up with the crassest ignorance, he wants to command, like a dictator, a sex that is blessed with every intellectual faculty; he feigns to rejoice in the revolution and demands its equal rights — and then to say nothing more.
THIS IS OUR DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND THE FEMALE CITIZEN
Mothers, daughters, sisters, representatives of the Nation all demand to be constituted into a national assembly. Given that ignorance, disregard or the disdain of the rights of women are the only causes of public misfortune and the corruption of governments, we have decided to make known in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable and sacred rights of women; from this day forth, the sex that is superior in beauty as it is in courage during the pains of childbirth recognises and declares, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following Rights of Women and the Female Citizen.
Women are born free and remain the equal of men in rights.
The purpose of all political organizations must be the protection of the natural and unchallengeable rights of Woman and Man: these rights are liberty, property, security and above all the right to resist oppression.
The principle of sovereignty is vested primarily in the Nation, which is but the union of Women and Men: no body, no individual, can exercise authority that does not explicitly emanate from it.
Liberty and justice exist to render unto others what is theirs; therefore the only limit preventing women from exercising their natural rights is the perpetual tyranny of men that opposes it. These limits must be reformed by the laws of nature and reason.
The law must embody the will of the majority.
All Female and all Male citizens, being equal in law, must be equally entitled to all public honours, positions and employment according to their capacities and with no other distinctions than those based solely on talent and virtue.
Women and men are subject to the same rule of law, and if accused of a crime, are entitled to the same due process of law.
None must fear expressing their opinions however fundamental.
The free expression of thoughts and opinions is one of the most precious rights of women. Any Female citizen can therefore freely, and truthfully declare ‘I am the mother of your child’ without a barbarous prejudice forcing them to hide the truth.
Guaranteeing the rights of women and the female citizen will be a great benefit: this guarantee must be instituted for the good of all and not just to the benefit of those individuals to whom it is entrusted.
Property belongs to both sexes, united or separated; for each it is an absolute and sacred right.
All tax-paying citizens have the right to hold accountable every public agent of the administration.
No society can have a constitution if rights are not guaranteed, or the separation of powers not determined; the constitution is worthless if the majority that make up the Nation — women! — have not participated in its drafting.
We women Declare this on this date, the 15th of September, in this Year of Our Lord, 1791.
Michael Moore [00:15:04] The fact that we are still dealing with this, it’s shameful and it’s an outrage. This is one of the worst abominations ever committed by this country — right after the genocide of the native people where we stole this country, after the enslavement of black human beings that built this country. Today to declare that women are not equal citizens. They don’t have equal protection. Men get to have control over their bodies, but women don’t simply because they’re women? No way. No way.
Michael Moore [00:15:58] We all need to be out in the streets today. There’s so much stuff going on here in the last few minutes. Everybody’s online. Everybody’s talking to everybody else about what we’ve got to do today. Tonight. There’s a place called WeWontGoBack.com. All you do is type in your zip code. You don’t have to sign up for damn thing. Just type in your zip code and it will tell you what’s happening near you. You can also go to PlannedParenthood.org and get updates on what they’ve been calling Decision Day Events because they’ve been planning for this day now for some time. And any of these organizations I’ve just mentioned or links for them, I will try to post as many of them as I can right here on my podcast page. But you, all of you, please be there, go there. It may be a few hours from now when everybody’s gathering, but whenever it is, make your voice heard. They need to see a response the likes of which they have not seen in a very long time. And if we don’t do that, if we do not respond immediately today, tonight, the rest of this week and month and however long it takes to let them know that we, the majority of Americans — somewhere between 70-80% of us — disagree with this ruling. There are people calling for a general women’s strike, that women simply shut the country down. Don’t go to work. Don’t participate. Think of what would happen to the economy if even just a small percentage of women refuse to show up and participate? As Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “take your boot off our necks.” And once again, that boot has been put there. And if we stand by and say nothing and do nothing — well, then who are we? Whoever that is. I don’t want to be part of it. I won’t be part of it. And I know millions of you feel the same way. We will not let this stand. That’s it. I’m heading out of the house here to raise some hell. Over to you, Beyoncé.
[ MUSIC: “Run The World (Girls)” — by Beyonce ]