Saturday, June 29, 2013

Under the Issue

Earlier on Facebook, I saw a comment posted by a young woman on a picture of Leticia Van de Putte, Wendy Davis, Senfronia Thompson, and Jessica Farrar. The comment said, "I have sex willingly and I don't need abortions. It's called responsibility." I sighed. You see a lot of this kind of commentary in these kinds of conversations, and while part of me just wants to write it off as trolling, I have no doubt that she really believes that to be a logical argument against the need for safe, legal abortions.

I kinda wanted to comment simply, "...yet," but I find it's best not to get into it with people who post glib comments about complex political issues. That's an instance in which someone could justifiably accuse me of asking for it.

When you're talking about politics -- when you're considering your political stance -- you're talking about the governance of a group of people, not just yourself. I have sex willingly, too. My husband and I are really, really diligent in our condom use. I'm hopeful that I won't ever again need an abortion. But even if I never do, other women might, and that's why I oppose the abortion legislation that's about to be reconsidered in a second special session in Texas. Because it's not all about me.

It's very easy to take a position of looking down on people you do not feel are like yourself. A friend was recently telling me about someone she knows who posted some disparaging remarks about LGBT people in the wake of the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions -- a person who lives in a different kind of glass house and should probably not be throwing stones. But she's not gay, and so it simply feels good to look down on "those people." It's always easier to do what feels good than it is to do what's right -- and it's very easy to convince oneself that looking down on others is right. It's so sneaky, and sometimes, even when we're doing what's right, we're only doing in wherein it might directly effect us.

I just read another quote from a white gay man who said, "Now that we have gay marriage there is nothing else to fight for." At an event for gay undocumented immigrants. There's a little bit of this stuff inside all of us, not just the Rick Perrys of the world. 

I have very strong views on the abortion issue and what's happening in Texas. I'm speaking up and out and showing up and calling my Senator. I'm not here to say, "OMG GUYS CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!" Mostly I'm just thinking about the instinct to base beliefs only on one's own experiences and how dangerous this kind of thing can be. Throughout the course of the special session, I'm likely to run into more comments like the one at the beginning of this post -- comments that don't bring any compassion, factual information, or consideration to an issue that is extremely complex and even emotional.

I just hope I can refrain from driving myself crazy arguing with them.

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