I had a great weekend. Mostly I hung out downtown at a local music festival with friends, listened to live bands -- swing, reggae, Indian, rock .... breathed in the mixed and intoxicating smell of fat, sugar and meat cooking over open fires. I volunteered one entire night in the international beer tent. The only thing I'll say about serving beer with 13 other people at a festival is that I prefer to be the tender of my own bar. When I was a bartender, I owned my bar. The people I volunteered with Friday I would have fired within 5 minutes. But they were volunteers and so was I, so I had to put up with them.
Tonight a bunch of us invaded my friend Maria's downtown condo for delicious food and drink, and then stood on her roof in the drizzle to watch the fireworks over the river. It was the perfect vantage point high (OK, 4 stories) above the
|Zombies leaving the fireworks|
Until I came home and fired up my Facebook feed so it could kick me in the taco with some real-life shit. An entire crew of wild-fire fighters killed in Arizona. 19 young men. I cried for them. For their mothers and fathers and wives and children. For all of us who depend on heroes to be there when we need them most.
I read on and learned that Governor Kasich and the Ohio legislature forced their way into my vagina once again by signing into law one of the most restrictive women's reproductive laws in the country -- one the majority of voters do not support. Obviously we are not Texas, because the fuckers sneaked it right into the budget.
Two of my close friends were commenting about how sick they were about this. How the governor and the legislature hurried it through, and we didn't really get a chance to rally. They said they were crying and close to throwing up.
And then a man trolled in and made a comment about all the musicians and artists and gay people who would never be born into this enlightened, liberal world if this bill hadn't been passed. His sarcasm was both unnecessary and cruel.
So my friend, who is one of the sweetest, kindest, most patient people I know, tried in spite of her grief to back him off as nicely as a human possibly can and said she loved and respected him, but she needed to just disagree right now.
So he came back and goaded her again, and tried to engage her in a debate about abortion, which is not entirely what this "budget" is about. Even after she made it clear she couldn't bear to talk about it.
Now we all know the abortion debate isn't one we're going to change anybody's mind about. And some of us know this debate isn't only about abortion. It's about the right of women to own their own bodies. And it's about our access to birth control, and about our choices if we are raped -- because we are raped and we are raped often, both physically and by fucking politicians who think they need to force themselves down our throats and into our vaginas for our own good.*
I digress. So my friend tried again to tell him she was in pain, and she respects him but she can't talk about this with him right now. She obviously was wearing her skin inside out. So am I. So are many of my women friends.
So I posted my own comment. I said, "Sometimes you just have to say shut the fuck up. This is one of those times."
I will probably catch hell for it in the morning. I wasn't nice. I wasn't polite. I didn't respect his opinion. I really don't care what he thinks. I've had it with respecting the other guy's opinion while he plunders my reproductive rights. He can have his opinion as long as he stays out of my vagina.
I might be willing to have this discussion once every single child we've (that means women) given birth to in this country has access to equal health care, a decent education that leads to decent employment, and a full belly at least once a day. You give me that, and then I'll talk to you about reducing funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that has very little to do with abortion and a whole lot to do with making sure women don't ever get to that point.
Oh .... but maybe if we took care of children instead of trying to control women's genitals, we wouldn't even have to have this discussion.
And I might be willing to talk about defunding Planned Parenthood, an organization that helps women through rape and trauma and birth control choices, if men ever stop raping women so we don't need places like Planned Parenthood. That's a novel idea, right?
Oh, but maybe if men stopped raping women and pressuring them to have sex in all the various ways men do that, and if schools started teaching kids about the realities of owning an adult, sexual body, which includes birth control, we wouldn't even need Planned Parenthood.
I might have this discussion if that happened, and if there was still a discussion to be had.*
Until then, I think it's time for a lot of men (and some women) to pipe the fuck down. I mean it. And for those of you who are allies, carry on. I appreciate your support.
For those of you who want to legislate my personal medical business, here's a video for you. And for those of you who are the choir to whom I'm preaching, watch this because it's funny and we all need something funny sometimes.
*(Please note: I haven't given my opinion about abortion here. It doesn't matter what my opinion is. I'm too old to ever get one, and it's not my business if somebody else makes that choice for herself.)