Pop quiz: If a complete stranger came up to your family in public and asked your child about yeast infections, and then started screaming “Yeast infections!” repeatedly until everyone left the vicinity, what would you think of that person?
(A) That person needs help.
(B) That person is brave.
The Slate clickbait headline: Brave Portland Woman Breaks Up Planned Parenthood Protest by Chanting “Yeast Infections!”
Years ago, the “brave Portland woman” in question, Mary Numair, received yeast infection treatment from the Planned Parenthood facility in Everett, Washington (which pro-lifers may remember from a botched abortion incident in 2011). Numair concluded from her experience that Planned Parenthood is just the greatest and that the families protesting abortion at the Portland facility needed to be shouted down.
Apparently unaware that measures to defund Planned Parenthood redirect that funding to more deserving women’s health providers, because nobody is pro-yeast-infection, Numair helpfully screamed about yeast infections for half an hour:
“One woman was shaking her head. I knelt down to her kid and said, ‘Do you know about yeast infections?’ ”
Onlookers gave Numair the thumbs-up, and some passing cars honked in support, but she was the only counter-protester on the scene. Still, with a spontaneous chant, she managed to break up the protest in under a half-hour. “I don’t know why I started chanting ‘Yeast infections!’ but it just came out. I have this cold, so it was just this obnoxious squeak, cheerleader-like. And I started doing high kicks, which I don’t normally do, in my skinny jeans.”
I should point out that the cause-and-effect here is doubtful. The protest had already been going on for some time before she showed up, and these events generally only last an hour or two. It may have just been time to go home. If people were really that upset about hearing the phrase “yeast infection,” it wouldn’t have taken them a half hour to disperse.
But I digress. I really love what Numair had to say next:
Numair has never seen protestors at this Planned Parenthood location before, but she thinks the recent right-wing hype around fetal tissue donation and congressional hearings might have given anti-choice activists a new lease on life. “The group last night felt that they were on the winning side of a battle for the first time,” she said. “There was this arrogance and sense of victory—they knew that the defunding is very possible and they have Congress at a standstill.”
Why yes. We DO feel that we’re on the right side of history. And do you know what really solidifies that impression? When our opponents have no better response than to throw childish tantrums.
Though her yeast-infection story is deeply personal, Numair thinks her strategy—chanting reproductive-health terms that embarrass anti-choice protestors—is replicable for other counter-protesters around the country. “I did look at the preacher-pastor guy and said, ‘See you next time!’ and I intend on sticking to that,” she said. She plans on making a bigger sign, too, and perhaps a few props. “If someone wants to help me make a giant wooden labia, that would be great.”
I hate to break it to you, Numair, but the vast majority of pro-lifers have seen labia before. Some of us even have them ourselves! Oh dear, pardon me while I fetch the smelling salts.
In all seriousness, exposing children to sexual imagery is of course wrong. If a man carried a giant wooden penis onto a street where children were gathered, even Portlanders would probably see that as an issue. But because this is particular nutcase supports abortion, her plans are applauded.