February 4, 2003
BARING WITNESS SAYS "WE NEED TO TALK"
Photo: Mark Safron
Women in Mendocino, California spell Salaam (Peace in Arabic), February 1, 2003
Baring Witness is calling on Laura Bush, Cherie Blair, Lynne Cheney and Alma Powell to have a talk with their husbands.
The down-home pro-peace group has become an international movement since November 2002, when 45 West Marin, California women spelled out PEACE with their naked bodies. Dozens of similar actions have taken place and are being planned around the globe.
Donna Sheehan, eco-artist and organizer of Baring Witness, thinks our leaders' wives should either speak out for or against the killing of innocent bystanders or remain silent and take responsibility for their husbands' actions.
"As we see the bloodlust rising," says Sheehan, "we must sit down with our men and say, "Honey, we need to talk". If we cannot deter our men from violent acts, then we have failed as women, as nurturers, as guardians of our families and as voices of reason."
Sheehan sees Baring Witness as a symbol of a redefinition of seduction. "In our society, nakedness is shocking and titillating. We want to stop violent men in their tracks, so they can hear the seductive power of a calm, feminine voice, asking them to act like adults, not schoolyard bullies."
Baring Witness wants men to know they don't have to take sole responsibility for the world - that women want a greater partnership. Men's acts of war are linked to their biological urge to provide for what they think are their women's needs. Women are now ready to be equally responsible for their men's actions.
"In our private lives," Sheehan says, "women make the final decisions, from selecting mates to choosing the dinner menu. We have let men run our public lives and our country has been at war since it was founded. This coming war is really about oil. Women on the home front can lead the way in saving innocent lives by curbing our consumption. Even if it's only turning off lights and heat in empty rooms and planting vegetables in our lawns. Reducing our "wants" while getting our "needs" will give men less reason to be at war."
Baring Witness calls upon our leaders' wives to prevent their husbands from killing for America's deadly luxuries.
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