My friend (a dear friend, who I love to the moon and back) posted this status on Facebook:
The abortion debate puzzles me. Guess when it comes up? Every four years—essentially every election cycle—and guess what? That law will never get overturned, people. If you are getting fired up (on either side of the argument) well congratulations on being just as easily manipulated as the media has decreed. It’s a non issue that’s highly manufactured to tug at your emotions and distract you from far more pressing issues. If you disagree, by all means keep wasting your time and energy on something that will never go backwards policy-wise. Sorry, dudes.
And my brain exploded.
I wanted to scream.
I wanted to punch someone in the throat.
I wanted to shake the country by its shoulders until their collective teeth rattled.
It’s not the abortion debate- at least that’s not the crux of the issue for me.
It’s watching the Republican party (who, let’s be honest, consist mostly of rich, white men) arrogantly proclaim that they know what’s best for me and my daughter.
It’s having the governor of my state enact a law that makes it legal for physicians to withhold information about a fetus so that women won’t choose to abort if there are genetic issues.
It’s having knowledge (re: power) being legally denied to me for no other reason than because I AM A WOMAN.
It’s me, my daughter, my friends, and my mother being marginalized, trivialized, and condescended to simply because we lack a penis.
It’s being told I “don’t understand [insert terribly tricky concept my female brain simply can’t process]” when the fact is, I understand just fine. Republicans don’t appreciate my dissenting opinion, therefore I must be deficient and/or overly emotional.
It’s knowing that there are men that view some forms of rape as legitimate, inevitable (“just lie back and enjoy it”), and probably my fault (for being drunk, dressing immodestly, being too flirtatious, etc.).
It’s knowing that I’m only worth 77% of my male counterparts- and that’s okay with most of the country.
It’s being viewed as less of a person because I am a woman.
It’s knowing that there are people who make the laws in this country who think I should be little more than a baby making machine.
It’s knowing that if my daughter were raped and impregnated, a cluster of cells has more value than HER LIFE and emotional well-being.
It’s having to consciously teach my sons how NOT to be tools of the patriarchy because misogyny is practically a subject in school.
Am I wasting my energy? Sometimes it feels that way. Women have been battling for almost a hundred years to just stand on equal ground with men. How much longer until we stop being viewed as a demographic that needs to be “handled”? From my perspective, that’s all women are to most politicians: a demographic that needs to be exploited (“Tell them what they want to hear! They’re too dim to know the difference!”) because that’s how they’ll get the female vote.
If you’re buying into the notion that abortion is the sole reason women are up in arms, and not because of the bigger issues facing women today…well then congrats for being manipulated by a well-oiled, male-controlled politics machine. You’re the kind of voter that they just love.