So when I thought that I would refrain from commenting on something, I pretty much figured that was that. A done deal. While yes, as the title of this blog would accurately suggest, I lack it in deciding what to put in my pie hole, but in general, I've got the willpower of Zeus over most things. 99.44% of the time once I've set my mind on something it's exactly what I'm going to do it. (...And yes, this is precisely why I don't set my mind to too much.) But lemme back up and bring everyone up to speed...
Depending on how you landed here, this post is completely out of left field, or an elaboration of a Facebook post. I try not to be that girl who posts everything backing her political views that she sees on her Facebook page morning 'til night. (You know that girl [or guy]
Generally, I make it a habit to refrain from making comment on them once posted. I feel that while I may have helped start a conversation, it's not my place to try to shape or control the conversation, especially considering I've made my point (or position), with the meme itself.
I read this comment: "This is sick and pathetic that this kind of fearmongering is being used. Shows how desperate and the lack of respect for women that whomever posted this ad has."
...That was my, 'crime-- boy, I don't know...' moment. (For those non-West Wing fans, the moment I changed my mind.)
Open Letter to JS:
I couldn't agree more. This is sick. And pathetic. I'd contend it's supremely disturbing, stomach churning and even tear inducing. Frankly, I don't think those words do the horrific nature of these images justice. I thought long and hard about using them. I didn't take including such graphic photos lightly. You see JS, I knew that many women who were going to see that meme would be survivors of such an event. Not solely based on the fact that I'm aware of the statistics that 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of a rape or attempted rape and not based on the fact that a rape occurs every 2 minutes, but because I've sat and held the hands and wiped the tears of women who have just had such atrocious and debasing crime inflicted on them. I've walked beside women who are trying to take the very first uneasy steps of regaining some semblance of control and order after both (and more) have been stolen from their bodies and souls. I assure you in no way did I superfluously or cavalierly piece this together.
I will grant you that I am indeed desperate. I am desperate to keep women who's experiences are reminiscent of those images (as well as scar less survivors) from being forced by somone elses mandate to have to endure a pregnancy and give birth to a child, as if a baby should be a GOP rape parting gift in the event of such an crime and situation. If I'm being truth-y, I'm desperate to keep abortion legal on demand. As I've noted before, (in my Religion, Politics & Abortion post - click) I believe the only thing denying access to legal abortion stops is women dying in back alleys. Like it or not, terminating pregnancies has always been a part of the human condition. And like other things 'we' don't like, don't approve of or are morally put off by-- it will not cease to exist even if legislated against. People didn't stop drinking during Prohibition. They did start dyin' from drinking illegal, unregulated and unsanitary bathtub hooch. The alternative to taking abortion away as a procedure preformed by medical professionals that any woman can obtain, isn't, in fact, the cessation of abortions, it simply creates a reality where women in the 21st century are relegated to exercising dangerous options of bygone eras like coat hangers, or the time honored tradition of throwing of oneself down a flight or two of stairs. Or an overdose of the pills she was able to get her hands on because death seemed like the only other option available to her.
I am desperate to prevent people, like you, JS, thinking they have the right to enforce their beliefs on abortion, and others from actually doing so. Lemme be very clear: Either way one chooses to live their lives is perfectly fine with me. If you're pro-life. Super. Don't have an abortion. Run your uterus and your house by those rules. If you're pro-choice and you find yourself in a situation where you would choose to exercise such an option. Fine. I've got no problem with that either. For either position, I feel that's between the woman, her conscience, her God, (if that's her belief system), her partner (if applicable in the situation) and her doctor. It's not my business or concern. Nor should it be yours or anyone else's. It has no impact on me. It has no impact on you or anyone who isn't directly (read: sperm contributing wise) involved. Much like I know what's best for me, I expect that ALL grown ups know what's best for them. Whether they do or not is debatable, but their right to exercise their in-chargeness of themselves isn't.
But that's not the mantra of the GOP these days.
Obviously, the plethora of candidates who hold such beliefs and intend on governing their constituency in accordance with this bullshit mindset aren't representative of all the whole of the GOP. However, on a certain level you are the company you keep.
|I also made this. I doubt you'll like it either...|
It is an uber graphic depiction. But it's one that simply holds a mirror to an unfolding story within the ranks of the GOP. Clearly, not one you agree with, as is your right. Not agreeing with something, however, doesn't make it untrue.
The point I take the biggest issue with is saying that I lack respect for for women, which couldn't be a more off base assessment. On the contrary. I respect them enough that I am actively invested in ensuring that they are cognizant that a party that they may otherwise, or in other instances be representative of some of their views, is in this aspect actively working against their best interest-- their fundamental right to manage their bodies as they see fit, not as some politician who can't discern the difference between magic beans and fallopian tubes sees fit. And not by people who believe that there is such a thing as 'legitamate rape', when there's not a thinking person alive who doesn't understand that rape is rape. Period. End of fucking story. Nor by people who would dane to tell a woman who had survived sexual violence that if she became pregnant as a result that she would be forced to allow cells to multiply until she delivers a baby. I respect women enough to believe that each individual one should be making her own decisions on how she manages her uterus based on her own beliefs, not mine. Or yours. Can you say the same? If not, then guess what? It's not me who lacks respect for women.
There were, obviously, other comments that took issue with the meme. Although, they paled in comparison to those in support of it. I found much of the feedback touching, thoughtful and compelling, not surprising considering the gravitas of the subject. A few things, however, did catch me off guard. I knew this would resonate with women. I am not the only chick who has held hands and wiped the tears of someone in their lives who has be violated in such an extremely ugly way. What I didn't anticipate was that so many men would have shared and commented in support. Listen. I'm not one of those girls who stereotypically holds poor views on guys. I know Mandom is filled with a host of wonderful, thoughtful, caring and supportive men. I have always been a girl who digs guys, but reading these made me love some of you men all the more;
"Speaking as a man with daughters, I am appalled by this idiot Murdoch's comments. Speaking as a former cop, the graphic is not graphic enough. I saw some that would tear away the very sanity from you. Rape is not a joke, a political football or a sexual preference. It's a violent act committed by a coward that hides behind many excuses. A woman has to have the same freedom and liberty as any other citizen to make life choices about her body. If not, all our daughters are not safe..."
If you are unsettled by this or find this disturbing... point made. Complaining about the use of graphic images... b****, please... you do NOT want to go there. If the outcome was intended then the act itself was also intended. I don't think that anyone's God would promote rape... so, it doesn't make sense regardless. It's just another way to control women."
"These guys are still trying to dictate healthcare for women. Last time I looked it is my body not theirs. If this is compassionate conservatism saying "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen." You can have it. It was never said by a woman who had just been raped."
I didn't have that much room to write on the meme, but I couldn't have said anything better than that.