My body is my own. I do not have a choice but to live here, thus I must do what I understand to be best.
So, when a controlling jerk (like Mike Pence, one of endless examples) who would limit women’s rights to do that is described as compassionate or “a decent person,” it hits a button. Someone who would rob me of my right to make decisions about my body in a hot minute if they could, legally, is not good.
When asked why the 2nd amendment is more important than the 14th and men stutter for a second before stumbling their way through a response that demonstrates their dissidence for never having considered that point of view, its no longer something that I can let slide. It’s not okay.
Right now, we are governed disproportionately by a class of men who have been handing down traditions through the generations, one of the fundamentals being that its ordained to discount the concerns of women. One woman in their face, like their mother, their wife, their daughter is different. He can put them in their place, make them feel safe, and act the part of the man. But women’s political groups, and even the concerns of women as customers, clients, or patients, rather than family, are often outright dismissed as hysterical, or inconsequential. Even to feminist leaning and pragmatic men, a woman’s right to make choices for her own medical care without the input of her father, husband, employer, or government is not the same level of urgency as the right to own a gun.
The Democratic party is just as complicit, and has shallowly catered to women’s votes but sold them out when it comes to policy (with some exceptions, the ACA being one) since the Equal Rights Amendment failed at the hands of the Religious Right in the 70’s. Things have changed in some ways since then, and many of the ideas that movement feared have come to pass anyway. Women are draft eligible. If Trump decides we’re sending a generation of children to GoFuckYourselfStan, this country’s daughters are going right beside our sons. Marriage equality has come and despite the fears, everyone’s marriages are still valid. It’s almost like clinging to privilege is more of a hindrance than a help for the whole and holds us back as a society or something.
“Women’s problems” are everyone’s problems. Desperate women help create insecure men. Inequality mirrors dysfunction cycles in the home out in wider society by demonstrating that abusive situations are normal. That it is fine for President of the United States to publicly bully a professional journalist about her looks and behavior with complete lies. That a woman legally can’t deny a man his “right” to finish inside her in South Carolina once a sexual act has begun. How women can be allowed to marry before the age of eighteen with parental consent (which in some abusive situations is more like coercion) in many states. How the Senate is looking to destroy the health care of millions of Americans for fun and profit. How the justice system is set to trap the poor to fill private prisons, and the entire economic system is set up to ensure that benefits of labor never actually trickle down fully to those doing the work, who are often people of color.
Equality means that the children are going to get to go with the qualified parent in a split, not the one with the right parts in their pants. It means that opportunity is decided by merit, with everyone truly starting from the same starting line. Like a track event that starts on the curve. It means being aware of what we aren’t aware of, and examining why we think what we think. It means forethought. It means study. It means curiosity and expectation in the best of humanity and for the people around us to be striving for the same ideals.
However, we don’t live in that place right now. We’re divided, and politics is like some sort of NCAA sanctioned version of Red-Rover, under the bright lights and the TV cameras and the harsh scrutiny of prime time. We’re on our respective sides, lobbing ? takes and memes back and forth, trying to break the lines and win the culture wars once and for all.
Unfortunately, a good portion of our legislative leaders are criminally negligent at the very most sugar coated, rainbow colored, glitter pooping best. They are using the chaos created by the executive branch to advance their shortsighted and cruel agenda – one that definitely does not promote equality or freedom in the ways that will help us as humans adapt to our rate of technological innovation and preserve our species. In the end, it’s not the land mass or the money that will matter. The shared human identity will.
All of our bodies are our own. We have to live here. Together.