Yesterday, I walked out of my divorce workshop with Legal Aid completely numb. I went through the machinations of the help session and then that was it. A 15-year relationship simply rubbed away with a notary’s signature.
On the drive home, while I was processing that little death, I ruminated on the three people on the periphery of my life that died this week too.
And then the death of a women’s right to her own body sent me to bed when I got home. I never go to my bed and just lay. It’s not something I do. I might sit down on my recliner for a few minutes and talk to my dog, but being sideswiped by life and rendered immobile isn’t a regular occurrence. Damn.
What kept popping up for me over the last few days was anger. So much anger and disappointment. I watched the barbaric anti-abortion legislation being signed in by Georgia, Alabama and Missouri. I considered the consequences of the legislation.
It makes me sick to think of the horrors we are going to witness as a result. Especially with social media and how it will all play out online. Oh, don’t be fooled. We are going to see some foul stuff happen. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter aren’t always perfect pictures of women holding colorful balloons in front of the Eiffel Tower.
I thought of the demise of Planned Parenthood and how the torches and pitchforks have set it alight and is almost destroyed. Planned Parenthood is a safe place for women and families not only to prevent unplanned pregnancies but to foster healthy, safe environments for expecting parents. The hypocrisy of it all.
And then I thought of that scene from the movie Dirty Dancing where Penny had to suffer through a botched abortion.
And then I thought of the criminalization of abortion in Northern Ireland and then the loophole where a women from Northern Ireland can get free abortion care in England and Wales under the National Health Service…and I grabbed a ray of hope.
I scrabbled around to try and figure out why this is happening? We are backsliding. Ten years ago, people were talking about our nation backsliding and I waved it away, counting on legislation somehow getting killed in one house or the other. Today, the bills are passing and I’m alarmed.
I vividly remember marching on the Mall in DC at the National Organization for Women March for Women’s Lives in the early 90’s. What a day. I’ve never seen so many people in one place supporting a cause. Not for one millisecond did I entertain the idea that I would have to do it again. I found myself wondering what I can do?
All this bullshit and for what? Because we spoke up. We put our foot down and said, “No more!” We came out in droves and told our stories. We rose. We revealed the beasts around us.
The result…a women gets raped by a man and is criminalized for taking action and the victim receives a harsher penalty than the rapist.
No wonder I took to my bed. No wonder I’m mad. We all need to get mad. Will our anger make a difference? I’m not certain, but we can’t sit and watch and pretend it’s OK.
We just can’t.