I've been stewing on this for a week.
My blog has always been about me and my daily life and my weird sense of humor. Lately, this joint is more quiet than hopping, but it's nice to know I still have a place in The People's Republic of Blogistan where I can let loose.
What has been stewing in my head is all this ruckus about Representative Todd Akin.
I've never been raped. I hope to never go through that one thing that all (and, yes, I mean all) women fear. I hope and pray that my daughter will never have to heal from rape. We all fear many things, but rape is something all us girls think about, whether it's happened to us or not. It's the ultimate defilement of our freedom, our femininity, and our humanity. I walk through a parking lot, keys sticking out from in between my fingers like nasty little Wolverine claws, completely alert to my surroundings. I do this day and night. I check the back seat of my car before I get in, even if the car was locked. I look at every male stranger at the grocery store, every single one walking down the street, each man going past me as a potential rapist.
Oh, wait, you're a man? And you don't like assumptions being made about you? Oh, well then, let me just say welcome to the party because I don't appreciate being treated like a second-class citizen who should be relegated to the kitchen and laundry room while supposedly possessing the powers of a Bene Gesserit witch.
Thus far, I have enjoyed being an American woman in the latter 20th and early 21st centuries. I have the ability to go to the grocery store in my flip flops and shorts in the baking Georgia summer, I can wear a bathing suit on the beach and catch a few rays during a family vacation, I can talk to my husband about financial issues, political opinions, and child-rearing philosophies without getting backhanded, I can go out and find gainful employment (if I could ever write a decent resume), and heck, I can do anything except spontaneously grow a Y-chromosome.
But, and this is a pretty big BUT, when people like Rep. Todd Akin come onto the scene and make statements about "legitimate rape" and that I have such power over my body that I can shut off ovulation at the flip of the switch, I feel all those personal freedoms melt away. I feel like I'm living in a Matrix where I'm being fooled into thinking that I have freedoms when, in fact, maybe I don't. Or I do and they're about to be snatched out from under me like a magician does a table cloth. Except this really nice china grouping is about to be shattered. Because, as we all know, douchebags are everywhere and where there's one Rep. Akin, there's more of him, waiting in line to express the same uneducated, narrow-minded opinion, ready to take away my choice in what I do to my body. Much like the rapist takes away a woman's choice with whom she will share her body.
This isn't a blog post about "vote for The Other Side". This is a blog post about LEAVING ME THE FUCK ALONE. I don't ask for much. I don't ask for federal assistance or state welfare, lowering my taxes or bearing arms. This is a post about personal fucking responsibility.
If you want to make sure your children never have abortions, then teach them about safe sex, saving themselves for their spouses and that abortion will send them to Hell. But, don't presume to do the same for my children. Don't make that decision for me. Because, yes, if (God forbid) my daughter is ever raped, I will take her to the pharmacist for the morning-after pill. And if you take that choice away from me, then I will take her wherever I have to go to make sure she never has the child of someone who tried to take away her freedom. I don't intend to buy condoms for your kids, so don't you dare ever take away my freedom to know, deep down, that I, or even many of our daughters, mothers, wives, or sisters, could not mentally survive pregnancy due to rape.
I don't pass out guns on the street corner and I will only ever use a gun in the defense of me and my family. Don't you dare ever take away my ability to protect myself and my family.
I don't get up in your face with my American flag, waving it around like a cat toy, just to piss you off. Don't you dare ever take away my right to wear said flag on a t-shirt, pledge allegiance to it, or fly it proudly from my house.
I don't market my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) to anyone by knocking on doors or starting conversations about faith at inappropriate places or times. So, stop trying to convert me on my doorstep, while I'm working at a polling precinct, or when I'm trying to scrapbook and socialize at a friend's house.
I don't tell you to shut up when you're defending something that makes me physically ill or when you're showing something on TV that I disagree with. I simply change the channel or walk away. So, stop trying to shut down people when you disagree with them.
I will never tell you who to fall in love with or who you can spend the rest of your life with. Love equals happiness. Why shouldn't we want people to be happy? My sexual orientation is practiced in my bedroom with the blinds closed. Just because someone is gay doesn't mean they do the deed on public park benches or in grocery store aisles. Quit assuming that the sexual orientation of a stranger can destroy your marriage. Only you can do that.
I won't ask you, Rep. Akin, to stop running for re-election and I won't duct tape your mouth shut. I will, though, tell you that you're an asshat who needs to go back to high school-level anatomy and physiology classes and tell you that maybe, from now on, you'll think before you open your uneducated-about-the-female-body mouth. As a representative of the people of the 2nd congressional district of Missouri, you should know better. You should know that rape is something ALL women fear, viscerally, and that you don't get to trivialize it or the need for many victims of it to know they could never survive knowing a physical reminder of said rape exists in the world. Ever.
Let's take responsibility for ourselves and our children. Let's stop trying to control the lives of everyone outside the walls of our home. Let's instead take care of each other. Let's not trivialize a horrendous act in order to forward a political agenda. Instead of shouting at each other and spouting such nonsense as "MY SIDE IS BETTER THAN YOUR SIDE" why not realize that ALL sides are right, for the people defending them, and that we HAVE to compromise. Yes, COMPROMISE. It has to happen or we will fail as a society. You may not agree with what I have to say and I may dislike how you feel, but we have to meet in the middle and walk together or we're just going to stand there, butting heads, getting nowhere.
So, leave abortion alone. Leave rape victims and their subsequent choices alone. The woman who forgot to take her birth control pill and accidentally got pregnant and felt her only option was to have an abortion? Leave her alone, too. And leave alone the odd woman who may be using abortion as a form of birth control. The choices these women make don't affect you in any way. Leave all us gals alone. We can, surprisingly, take care of ourselves. We're a hardy bunch, believe it or not. If there truly is a God, It will judge us as It sees fit. That's not your job.