While fooling around — erhem, doing research — for my novels, I wandered across findings that conclude many well-off white guys want equality and equity for all. The problem is, since they don’t see it regarding them, their time is all full up with making and enjoying their inherent privileges.
“Humans are rational; we rationalize whatever we want,” or something to that effect, is how noted historian Howard Zinn summed it up.
What sound sleep such people must enjoy! No sweating over transgressions. No tossing over un-involvement with non-blood relatives, people different from them, or who don’t live right next door and aren’t knocking.
To further rile me the other day, when the subject of abortion came up within a group, someone asked whether others cared. To them, it was understandable that anyone who’s had all their kids, better still if they bore only sons and they were post-menopausal, not concern themselves.
Make no mistake, I don’t pretend to be a heroine who devotes every waking moment to bettering the world — but how do people justify take, take, taking, and never lifting a finger?
A breath of fresh air, blogger/novelist/environmental lawyer Pam Lazos is not a “don’t even try” sort. Visit her blog for info on her eco thriller, novellas, beekeeping, and daily laughter practice. Here she describes how, for her, abortion rights are personal…
Evolve or Revolve by Pam Lazos
Let me start by saying this is not my fight in the sense that I, personally, have something at stake. I am past child-bearing years so the overturning of Roe v. Wade and all the restrictions on a woman’s reproductive system that come with it will not effect me, but if you are like me, let’s not make the mistake of thinking this mess is not going to impact our lives because failure to fight such moral turpitude is complacent, and complacency is how the world goes dark. If history has taught us anything, complacent people get kicked to the curb because they don’t think the world is coming for them until it’s too late. Just ask any one of the 6.6 million people living in refugee camps.
Barring divine intervention — like Zechariah getting the nod from Archangel Gabriel about his elderly wife, Elizabeth, and her pregnancy with John the Baptist — that ship has sailed for me, but not for my daughters, and for them, and every other woman I love, I can never stop fighting until, and this is the tricky part, we EVOLVE into the amazing race of humans we were destined to be, not this crazy, tribal, hunkered-down caricature version of ourselves we have become.
Imagine living in Texas right now, having a miscarriage, and being too afraid to tell anyone because you think they might arrest you and send you to jail, leaving the kids you have at home to grow up motherless. Under the Texas abortion ban laws, you experience one of the most crushing moments of your life and rather than being able to look to your friends and community for support in dealing with such an unmooring personal tragedy, you are forced to hide your pain or risk the tragedy becoming public and you being incarcerated. Don’t think this is just conjecture. As Brian Stevenson chronicled in Just Mercy, Marsha Colbey spent five years in prison after the state of Alabama determined she was liable for her stillborn child’s death. With that in mind, the overturning of Roe v. Wade feels like a witch trial where the rules are rigged from the start (ever watch Monty Python’s idea of the “scientific method”?).
I had two miscarriages as a married woman after trying for years to have a baby. If I had those miscarriages today, living in Texas, I may have ended up in jail. So I ask all the whack-a-mole legislators in all the states that wrote such disgusting, anti-woman, anti-family, anti-society laws, why do you hate women, and why is your most fervent desire to see us fail? Why do you want to see us busted, broke, and broken, without choice, but for those you make for us; pathless, but for those you set our feet upon; and penniless, but for those few coins you’ll throw our way for household items (and then complain because too much money is being spent on household items). Are we destined to go back to the early 20th century, or will this time around be more insidiously like The Handmaid’s Tale? Another thing: once you’re done legislating what we can and can’t do with our bodies, do you think any one of us will want to have anything to do with any one of you?
Why is it only the men who get to exercise their free will? How about all you chivalrous dudes who seem to think women need champions (we do, but not in the way you think); protectors (we do, but not in the way you think); and role models (we do, but boy, are there too few of those around); how about you take the hit on this? If life starts at conception and you are so hell-bent on saving every last zygote — it takes until approximately the 11th week of pregnancy to become a fetus — let’s solve the problem by assuring those little eggs do not get fertilized until everyone is in agreement about having a live baby. You can get a fully reversible vasectomy while we’ll enjoy a brief respite from our birth control dilemma that is never 100% effective — another bonus provided by vasectomies!
You squeamish? Try walking a hot minute in our shoes. Do you think anyone who has actually had to get an abortion wants it? No. Nadie. I’d wager in 99% of cases, a woman would have preferred avoiding it altogether (using 99% to account for statistical anomalies). Further, it’s inconceivable to me that there is not one, but two potential sexual predators sitting on the Supreme Court right now, and until Biden was elected president, we had one in the White House, too. Imagine our joy! And while the MINORITY of ultra conservatives are all high-fiving each other over Alito’s successful, strident, downright diabolical ruling, God is shedding ginormous tears at how satanic you all look to him right now. The Supreme Court has decided to shove conservatism and Christianity down America’s throat while not one thing they’ve done in the last month looks like anything Jesus would do. Paid parental leave? Nah. Post-natal and educational services for the child? Fogetaboutit. Worker training for the mother. What are you nuts?
The most vexing thing to me: why, when we are on the precipice of a sixth mass extinction, are we bringing more babies into the world? You would think tapping the brakes on overpopulation is a good thing, possibly buying us a few more decades until we sort this climate change mess out — something we’ve only recently decided to take seriously. While you were busy thinking about how to unravel 50 years of stare decisis, Supreme Court, Mother Nature has been busy plotting her revenge and no amount of judicial reasoning or false piety will save you when the real apocalypse arrives so if you were thinking you could hide behind the robes, think again.
I don’t want to be the last generation on a dying planet, I want to be the first generation on an enlightened one. How I long for this fight to be over, yet, I think it’s barely started. So many of my perceived longings are because I think, “when I have xx, I will be happy,” when the truth is, I don’t even know if I want xx anymore, or if I even ever wanted it, I just want to be happy. Most others want the same, but no one can be happy if everyone else is telling them what to do with their bodies — NO ONE — not even the ones doing the telling. In order to be happy, we must go directly to the source of light. Reflections of someone else’s light don’t count, and legislation which curtails a woman’s light, by curtailing her right, is the worst kind of reflection because it reflects someone else views onto us, leaving our own somewhere around our feet, or shoved into a closet with the stuff we don’t want anymore but don’t have the heart to throw away.
It’s the 4th of July, a holiday to celebrate independence, but in America today, independence is now only afforded to the the pale, male, stale variety who mostly write the laws. To be fair, I know plenty of men who are not of this variety, and to them I say, THANK YOU. We women need you in this fight and it is the one small ray of light that has sprung from all this chaos: women and their men are coming together in droves to SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER, something that doesn’t happen too often in America these days.
There are a few things too important to leave to the states: the environment, civil rights, education, and a woman’s reproductive rights, to name a few, and we all — at least the ones of us who are still thinking clearly — need to get in there and make sure we keep those rights.
Today I feel worse about our country than I have ever felt in my adult life. I don’t know how we get back to center where most of us thrive other than for women of all walks and stripes to get out there and not just vote, but run, RUN, for local, state and federal legislative and executive positions, heck, you can run for dog catcher if it’s going to make all our lives better. We need our voices to be heard and the time has passed to let the men do it for us. It’s not going to be easy, and it will take heart and strength and courage, but we can do it — together.
Remember: no man has ever experienced the pain of childbirth so they have no idea what we are capable of withstanding. And for all those men who think women should be relegated to the back of the bus, just wait until we find our voices — the concussive effect will be staggering. If we stand together, we can not only find our way back to the reflection of our own pure light, we can be unstoppable.
Time to show them, Ladies.
Trick question: Do abortion rights involve you?