Thursday, March 8, 2012

Not a vessel

It is hard to imagine that on a beautiful morning like this in which the birds are wildly excited, the sun is bright and the mud is thick, that there is a war being waged in this country, the likes of which I have never seen. Here it is, 2012, and quite suddenly, it seems that the G.O.P. has taken it upon itself to use women's health, issues and bodies as trampling ground for a conservative agenda. Just look at the headlines. Every day, it's another Planned Parenthood closed, or another service taken away, or another human being insulted and ridiculed for having a uterus and a voice.

I've had it.

More than half of the voters in this country are women. Women are now the backbone of this economy, the mothers (and fathers!) of millions of children, the mentors to young minds, the steel beams that hold this fragile nation up. I'm serious. Just take a look at the Census if you doubt the role of women in this country and the world. And yet, and yet, funding by the millions is being taken away state by state--funding for breast cancer treatment, ovarian cancer screening, childcare, sick leave, contraception, reproductive health--you name it, it's dissolving under the banner of "God" and "morality." How is leaving more than half of your citizens out in the cold considered morally upright? We are, in essence, no better than the Taliban if this sh*t continues at the rate it's going now. By the time the next election comes, Title X, equal pay, and adequate health care will be completely off the table. Then what?

As if the daily struggle isn't hard enough. I am a woman, I work hard every day, I raise two children, so I can only speak from my own experience, but let me tell you, this ain't no cake walk. Sometimes I can barely contain my rage knowing that still, to this day, with all of my education, my experience and my expenses, a man makes more money than I do, simply for having a penis. Why? Why, when more than 13 million women in this country are raising kids by themselves and responsible for MUCH MORE than their single, male counterparts, are they still making less? It is a muddy pit and there doesn't seem to be enough shovels to get out.

And all of this legislation, and fighting over birth control and contraception is, in my eyes, a veil over a much deeper problem. For some reason, this culture still hates females. Not sure why. We all have mothers and sisters and daughters and we love and respect them in our daily lives. But the culture itself, it seems, does not. I've been on this tirade before, and sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but you would not be here, we would not be here, if it weren't for the power of the women around us. No way, no how. And yet, we are sluts, bitches, prostitutes, drama queens, idiots...AND, women clearly don't know what to do with their bodies, clearly.

I have always been in silent awe (not good awe) of the way that the abortion issue is treated. Even the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are totally ridiculous. What the hell is "pro-life" supposed to mean? I love life, I would never murder someone, the thought that life ends is too sad to endure sometimes. I am totally pro-life. Live it, struggle through it, help others, you bet! I am not pro-control of what people do with their bodies and their lives in order to get through a very tough time. Why aren't pro-lifers standing outside the urlologist's office protesting vasectomies and prostate screening? BECAUSE that's a man's territory. That's why. He's making a responsible decision to stop populating the earth by getting snipped. What's the f*cking difference. Sperm are live, eggs are live--fertilized or unfertilized, the argument doesn't stick.

And as for "pro-choice." What do people think, that making the decision to have an abortion is easy? Are you kidding me? It's not like picking out what color shirt you're gonna wear that morning!!! Yes, there is some choice involved, but it is a choice that comes as a result of simply being a female. Oh shit, I'm pregnant, now I have to make a "choice." More like a gut-wrenching, sleep deprived decision that, either way, will haunt you for the rest of your life. Always.

I am not a vessel for the government, neither is my daughter or my son for that matter. Take your nasty hands off my body, our bodies, and focus on something else, like poverty, or jobs, or this crumbling nightmare of an education system, or hell, equal pay for women. I don't care what "party" you belong to, we all owe it to the women in our lives to stop this hate train before the next pile of coal is loaded into the engine. How would any of us feel, because it's coming, if our daughters, due to this legislation, died of breast cancer because screening was denied? Or if we watched them struggle through the rest of their lives because of a pregnancy that could have been avoided had they been on the pill?

We have to think more locally than this, people. These ARE people we love who will suffer and suffer greatly. All for some strange, elusive ideology that was never right in the first place.

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