To say I’m outraged, to say I’m angry, to say I’m on fire on the inside where apparently fucker-judges can make decisions about my body, my body, my body, the one I’ve cared for and the one that was given to only only me all those years ago, is not strongly worded enough. There are not words that can capture what I’m feeling, the rage and the disappointment and the fear and the fury.
I attended my first women’s march in Washington DC nearly 30 years ago. I bought a shirt that talked about how if we didn’t stand up for each other, then eventually no one would be standing at all, and I wore that shirt all the time. All the time. My college boyfriend would put it on sometimes and wear it too and I loved him for that, for that simple show of confident solidarity. Hands off her body.
Hands off my body.
My body has not always had hands off of it. Of course I’ve been sexually assaulted – twice, by men I knew and thought I knew well, one more than the other. I didn’t talk about it because we didn’t talk about it back then and I’m pretty sure that those two incidents changed my life. Changed the course of my life, changed how I saw my autonomy, or lack thereof, and how my voice felt silenced. Changed what I stood up for when I stood up for myself and changed what I believed I had power to influence.
So maybe my body has never been my own. Maybe it’s always been a trick of the light.
Because it’s not just full sexual assault. It’s also the way that people can say whatever they want. When I was in high school on a choir trip, I remember a car full of guys yelling out such nasty things to me. I was walking with my friends, and I guess we were fair game because we were outside. I guess we should have stayed inside. I guess it was our fault. Oh, boys – they’ll be boys. Won’t they? Aren’t they? They do what they want.
And then we have them grow up into men who do whatever they want.
Not my child. He will not do whatever he wants. He will understand there are limits. I want him to understand that these fights are the fights worth paying attention to, that they are not ever limited to one group of people. Equality that is abbreviated for anyone means that equality is nonexistent. You can’t pick and choose.
What can a doctor refuse, to a man?
Isn’t it clear yet that abortions save lives? Unfortunately I think that is clear. It’s just that women’s lives are not worth saving. Is that what it is? Must be. It’s not a question of children, because it’s pretty clear that this country doesn’t give a damn about children. Otherwise we’d have universal high-quality child care, we’d have good prenatal and postnatal care, we’d fund lunches and breakfasts for all school-aged kids, we’d make sure that child poverty was a thing of the past. We would stop school shootings like other societies have stopped school shootings, by getting rid of the guns that were manufactured only for war.
We are capable of such things. We have sent people to the moon. We can solve these problems on earth but it’s clear that we don’t want to. We don’t want to make our nation stronger and healthier. We don’t want to actually create a world of liberty or of equality.
Make no mistake that there is nothing Christian, or godly, in this decision today – not that it should even be a question, since the separation of church and state is supposedly a founding principle of this country. No god hates people this much.
I think of the young people I’ve worked with over the years. I think of my friends’ kids who are old enough to be sexually active and who have every right to explore and enjoy their sexuality. I think of the women who are now stuck in abusive relationships. I think of the people who now are stuck financially. I think of the people who should be able to make choices over their bodies.
It is our most fundamental right. And it no longer exists.