A post by actor Mark Ruffalo is making the round on Tumblr responding to people who reject feminism…except it’s not written by Ruffalo. He never claimed to write it, but Tumblr being Tumblr, with a dirty-handed assist from 9gag, make it look like he wrote the piece. The real author is a woman from Columbus, Ohio named Libby Anne Bruce, and you’ve seen her before.
Who is Libby Bruce?
Libby first public speaking event was a 2012 Planned Parenthood rally in Columbus. Planned Parenthood Action Fund drove a giant pink bus across America to pump up pro-choice voters. The bus stops were high-energy rallies where PPAF President Cecile Richards would speak along with local activists before sending rally attendees out into neighborhoods to knock on doors of likely pro-choice voters.
The Columbus rally was a complete nightmare. A late refusal by officials at Ohio State forced the rally to an alternate venue — a public park. Anti-choice protesters showed up ready to yell, and Columbus police didn’t attempt to separate the groups. As the rally began, protesters started screaming less than 20 feet from the podium.
Libby had been recruited by local Planned Parenthood organizers because of her story of how Planned Parenthood helped diagnose her endometriosis. Libby credits Planned Parenthood with helping her later have a child. On the day of the rally, she had her daughter Ruby swaddled in a wrap on her chest. Libby and Ruby were together on the podium as she gave her speech while protesters screamed away.
Photo credit: Gabriel Mann for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio
Libby remained calm, cool, and collected. Cleveland columnist Connie Schulz and Cecile Richards followed her on the podium and thanked her afterwards.
Two weeks later, Cecile was speaking at the Democratic National Convention. Each speaker representing a national non-profit, labor union, or veteran’s group would be introduced by a citizen sharing their story about the organization and its role in their lives. Cecile asked Libby to introduce her on national television. Her story was also reprinted by Huffington Post.
Two years later, Libby was still speaking up for women’s rights. Her post “My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….” received wide-spread attention, eventually making it’s way to Ruffalo. Coinciding with his promotion of the Avengers, the actor shared her essay. Many fans unfamiliar with teh internets weren’t aware it’s not his words. The feminist actor continues to receive praise for his views, bringing Libby’s essay along in tow.
My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….
First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”
But here is what I think you should know.
You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.
You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.
You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).
You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.
Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.