[for background reading, hit up the fine folks at SCOTUSblog. #teamlyle all the way.]
in a unanimous decision, the nine justices of the united states supreme court struck a blow for that oh-so-endangered concept: the right of angry despicable anti-science bastards to scream at women who have the unmitigated temerity to exercise their constitutionally-protected right to medical care.
and i am angry. i am so, so angry.
i do not believe that human life begins at conception. let’s start there. i do not believe that because that comes from religion. religion is an optional belief structure that people choose to follow because they like it. that does not make it true. but somehow, we’ve allowed people who have chosen an optional set of beliefs to define our reality. we grant an immense amount of respect in this culture to stories told in books that have no provable basis in fact. and that mythology drives what happened today.
the startling naivete of the supreme court in characterizing anti-choice protestors as kind counselors is APPALLING. if you’ve ever gone to a planned parenthood clinic, regardless of what you’ve gone for, you’ve seen their faces. even here in DC, women are set upon by loud shouting: DON’T KILL YOUR BABY! their male companions: REAL MEN DON’T MURDER THEIR CHILDREN! there are gory, blood-spattered images – which have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REALITY OF ABORTION – meant to shock. people drag their children out with duct-tape on their mouths and yell LOOK AT THE LIFE YOU’RE ENDING!
they call you slut. whore. murderer. sinner. kind counseling, that. and that’s if you’re lucky. it can be far, far worse.
and by god, that’s okay with the supremes, it seems. those people’s rights to terrorize are more important than my right to medical care.
we hate the westboro baptist church, as a collective society. we hate those horrible, dour people who yell GOD HATES [other f-word]S and tell people that their kids are going to hell for being killed in war. we decided as a nation that it’s not ok for them to yell things like that at people. but where’s the same respect for women? where are our patriot guard riders, who block out the screams of the despicable, twisted zealots?
nowhere, that’s where. the puritans “founded” north america (read: stole it from the folks who were already here, but you get it), and it shows to this day. no one really wants to stand for sexually active women. no one speaks for us. sexually active women have to follow rules, to be hush-hush about it. we have to deal with the fact that STILL, in 2014, we are living under the shame complex of repressive religious fervor that’s imbedded in america’s DNA so deep i doubt we’ll ever be able to root it out.
and because of that, women who spread their legs will never be fully human, unless those legs are spread in the context of procreative marriage. how dare you demand to utilize science and facts to take charge of your own bodily autonomy, woman? nope. women like us, society says, earn whatever ills befall us in the context of sex.
- if you get raped, you deserve it.
- if you get pregnant, you deserve it.
- if he leaves you, it’s your fault.
and of course, those “kind counselors” are there to point out the error of your ways, daughter of eve.
it really, seriously makes me wonder if women will ever attain full humanity in the eyes of our government. it’s corrosive to wake up in this environment, to know how fully your personhood, to borrow a term from the “kind counselors,” is stolen from you every day under the laws of your own nation. WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOOD GUYS. we denounce islamist regimes for their hideous anti-woman practices, but we do a lot of the same thing with a prettier face on it. we use religion to deny women full humanity. if men could get pregnant, said george carlin, abortion would be a SACRAMENT. he was right.
my own government puts more value in the rights of the zealot to terrorize me under the auspices of his own mythology than it does in my right to control my body. it makes me wonder what part of “the land of the free” actually applies to me. if i wanted to live by the rules of the bible, i’d be a christian. but the separation of church and state is supposed to make it possible for me not to have to live my life under the diktat of a religion that isn’t mine.
not today. not in 2014. maybe not ever.
where’s my protection? where are my rights? when do i matter?