I swear I’ve written a blog like this before. Oh, that’s right, I have. Yet here we go again. In 2019, I wrote the blog “My Body, My Choice, Your Body, Your Choice.” In that I talked about what would happen if Roe v. Wade was overturned, well, here we are 2022, and guess what, it’s no longer a discussion, it’s our reality.
As I’m sure many of you know, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last Friday.
This caused a huge ripple effect across the nation. Some states had trigger laws and after the overturn, those trigger laws went into place which banned abortions. Abortion clinics across the nation in those states have had to tell women who come in for an abortion that they can’t do it. That they’ll have to go to another state.
There is such anger right now in the world. You can sense it. You can feel it in the air. It’s all over and I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon. Women are furious at this overturn. And you know what?
They have every damn right to be angry.
I’m angry too.
I’ve never been one to get too involved in politics. I vote. I pay attention to the news enough to be in the know so I don’t put my foot in my mouth. So I am not completely ignorant to what’s happening in the world. Now? Well, I want to organize a protest. I want to find a way to get more involved in politics because this is ridiculous. I want to go all-in because the overturn of Roe v. Wade is just the beginning. And if you think it’s not, then you haven’t been paying attention.
This isn’t about babies or abortion. Not really. If it was then there would be more talk about fixing the foster care system and making it easier to adopt children. There would be talks about better health care and mental health. And oh, I don’t know, there would be laws that would prevent our children from being shot up at their school (Blog post: “19”).
What kind of bullshit nation do we live in where a woman can’t control her own body but heaven forbid that we have gun regulations to prevent more mass shootings. If it was about babies, how about protecting them from gun violence? Pro-lifers care about protecting lives until it means that their gun rights are threatened.
Or I don’t know. How about let’s not yank children out of their parents’ arms and throw them in detention centers? How about that?
Pro-lifers care about babies until that baby is poor, disabled, Mexican, black, LGBTQ+, etc. They don’t care. Not really. It’s not about saving lives. It’s about controlling women.
The 50s called. Why are we going backward? Seriously. How are we going backward as a nation? How does that make a lick of sense?
You think this is it? It’s not. This is only just the beginning. We’re just getting started on this.
Some states are in talks about banning contraceptives. Yes, because that makes sense. Let’s ban birth control pills and shots and what have you. You know, the stuff that helps prevent pregnancies! If it was really about preventing more abortions, then maybe make it easier to get contraceptives?
But wait no.
That’s not happening. Because it’s not about that at all. Oh, and just so you know, contraceptives include condoms. Men won’t be able to wrap it before they tap it OR even have consensual sex since chances are their little fellas would impregnate a woman would go.
Roe v. Wade meant that we had something that guaranteed we could do what we needed to do. That it was our choice. Our choice. Not the government’s.
Men don’t get to be told what they can do with their bodies but women do. We are told what we can and can not do. Women are. This affects women, and honestly if you’re a woman, and this doesn’t make you angry. . .I can’t even.
I had to get off Facebook yesterday because the comments were making me angry. I’m not the one who comments and starts an argument on social media, but yesterday. Oh boy. It was bad.
One said that if a woman doesn’t want to get pregnant then she should keep her legs closed.
Yeah. You heard that right.
If women don’t want to get pregnant then they shouldn’t have sex.
How about you teach your “boys” to use protection? How about men learn to not pressure women into sex? Or pressure them into not using a condom because the rubber makes it not feel as good? You think that’s not a problem? I’ve been pressured into sex. I’ve said “No” or “I’m not in the mood” and the guy was like “Oh, you’re not serious” and then kept pushing it. I gave in to make him happy, to make him shut up because I didn’t want to be the “bad guy” withholding sex. How about you teach your “boys” not to do that, huh? I thought I had to. I’ve been pressured into having sex without a condom because the poor little baby didn’t like the feel of it. In fact, half the time, I had to make sure we had condoms because the guy couldn’t be bothered. You think I’m the only one who has gone through that? I bet plenty of women have done the same exact things.
Why don’t you tell the guys to not have sex if they don’t want to be a daddy? But wait, guys mature slower than girls. Boys will be boys. We have to take that into consideration when it comes to punishing “boys” for their “mistakes” whereas for girls, the girl is automatically the problem. It is the girl’s fault for wearing a short skirt or acting provocatively. She should’ve been more considerate of the boys. Hide those shoulders. They send the wrong message.
I hate that phrase so much. “Boys will be boys.” Fuck you. No. Just no.
Why is all on the women? Why is that the woman has to keep her legs closed? Why is that men get to walk away? Sure they might have to pay child support but that doesn’t mean they’ll be in the kid’s life. There’s no guarantee.
How about you tell guys to keep their dick in their pants? That abstinence is the best way to not be a daddy? Oh, wait. No. We don’t hold men accountable. Not at all. I mean, it only takes two to tango and create a baby, but it’s the woman’s fault. That makes so much sense.
Another comment that had me seeing red was about how if a woman is the victim of incest or rape, that it is “God’s will” for her to have that baby.
So you are telling me that if a little twelve-year-old is not only raped, but violated by her dad/uncle/grandfather, that not only does she have to work through that trauma, that you’re going to force her to have that baby? You are going to further traumatize her because it’s “God’s will.”
Let me tell you, fuck your god. That is complete and utter nonsense. A poor traumatized twelve year old is going to be able to handle that. Hell no. Just why?
Even if you take out the incest and rape, if a woman gets an abortion, it’s her business. It is her decision. Not yours. It is her body. Not yours. What right do you have to tell her what she can and can not do with HER body? And even if abortion goes against your religion, your religion does NOT get to dictate what another person can and can not do.
I bet we if told men that they couldn’t have sex unless they had a vasectomy or used a condom, they’d throw a damn fit. They’d scream about their rights.
Hello, what about our rights? Also, if you don’t have a uterus, why do you get to tell us what to do?
The man is not held accountable. Ever. And it’s complete utter bullshit.
Overturning it isn’t going to prevent abortion. It means that now women will die doing unsafe abortions because they’re desperate. That is what this means.
Apparently, you’ve all forgotten how Baby in Dirty Dancing became a dancer. Let me remind you.
Penny, Johnny’s dance partner, has sex with Robbie the sleazebag waiter/womanizer. Penny gets pregnant and Robbie refuses to pay for an abortion. Keep in mind that in 1963, where this movie takes place, abortion was illegal. This movie was released in 1987 but it still was pretty revolutionary for even having this plot.
Now Baby wants to help. She gets money from her dad without telling him what it’s for and tells Penny she’ll fill in while she (Penny) has the operation. Penny has the operation and it goes horribly wrong. Baby has no choice but to get her dad because Penny is seriously injured and he’s a doctor.
The point is, the entire reason why Baby becomes a dancer is because of Penny needing an abortion.
Thanks to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, this will happen again. Women are going to die because of botched abortions. Women are going to die because it is no longer her choice what she does to her body. Women are going to die because the life of a fetus is more important than the life of the woman carrying said fetus. Making abortions illegal, or rather leaving it in the hands of states who have made it illegal, will not prevent abortions from occurring. It just prevents safe abortions from occurring. It means that if a woman is desperate, that she will either go to another state for an abortion, or if she can’t do that, she’ll find some back-alley place to do the procedure, or she’ll even try to do it herself. Both of those last ones can cause her death.
By Roe v. Wade being overturned, women are seen as simply a womb, an incubator. They don’t matter. Their lives don’t matter. That is tragic. Women do matter. Their lives do matter. This is such a huge step backward for our nation, and it’s not the end. No. It is not the end. That is terrifying for me. It should be terrifying for you as well. This is only the start.
Want proof? Let’s take a look at The Handmaid’s Tale.
The Handmaid’s Tale is a book written by Margaret Atwood. It was released in 1985. I haven’t read the book, but from what I have heard, the show follows the novel pretty well. Hulu released the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale in 2017, and in September of this year, the fifth season will be out.
The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of a woman named June or “Offred” who is a Handmaid in the nation of Gilead. After a civil war, Gilead took over most of the united states and established a new regime. Since the fertility rate was incredibly low, they decided to have fertile women act as incubators. Sorry, Handmaids. Handmaids are assigned to a family, a Wife and a Commander, who then participate in a ritual once a month where the Commander has sex with the Handmaid while the Wife is behind the Handmaid, holding their wrists.
Yeah, I know, right? It’s awful.
Let’s be clear. These women have no rights. They don’t get to say no. Their entire purpose is to make babies. They can’t consent. Every month they go through this “ritual.” You know what? Let’s call it what it is. They go through rape. And it’s painted as “for the better of Gilead.” The women are trying to survive. If they get pregnant, they might have a slightly better life for nine months. The society doesn’t care about the mother unless she’s pregnant.
In one scene June is getting beaten and the Wife, Selena Joy yells “She’s pregnant!” and it’s immediately halted. Now June wasn’t pregnant but what does it say that that is the only thing that keeps June from being beaten to death.
The women don’t matter. Not to this society. They care about the baby. That’s it.
We get flashbacks of how this started. How the fertility rates were going down. How women ended up losing their jobs, how their bank accounts got closed, and how they couldn’t get abortions. It started with controlling them, and ended with this.
You have the Wives, the trophy women of the Commanders. They have no rights either. They can’t read. They have no say in the society. I wouldn’t say they have it easy. I’m sure they have it rough too. After all, Selena Joy, who is half the reason why Gilead exists, gets beaten by her husband, Fred, and a finger cut off. She is the one who wrote a book about women should be at home with their children and not working and honor their husbands and honor “God.” A woman is the cause of this society. Keep that in mind. A woman did this to other women.
The Handmaids are alone. They can’t even trust each other because they are all just trying to survive. They want to live. So they do what they have to do in order to survive. Yes, eventually, they do sort of become a group. They realize that the only person who has their backs is the one who wears the same color as them.
“They should have never given us uniforms if they didn’t want us to be an army.” Offred in “Night” (Episode 1.10) of The Handmaid’s Tale
These are women from all sorts of life. June was an editor at a magazine I believe. She was considered an adulteress because her husband was married before and they dated when he was still married. Their child Hannah was taken away to be raised by a proper family. If you refuse to be a Handmaid, then your other choices are to go to the colonies where you’ll die a slow death because of the poisoned fields or to be a Jezebel, aka, a prostitute.
The Aunts are the enforcers of the Handmaids. Aunt Lydia is an Aunt who is seen throughout the show. She bothers me. I think she actually cares about the Handmaids and tries to help them but at the same time, she also hurts them. She’s so blinded by her devotion that she can’t see the harm she is doing to them. She’s just as awful as the Commanders.
Then you have the Marthas who are servants. These women could have been doctors in their previous lives but now, they are servants. The Marthas have a network and are a big part of Mayday, a group of resistances. A few times in the series, June is saved because of a Martha. They help her a lot.
Oh, and by the way, most of the Marthas are ethnic. Most of the Handmaids and even the Wives and Commanders are white. So not only are they sexist, they are racist as well.
For a further breakdown of the types of women in Gilead, read the article below.
Those who are LGBTQ+ are treated unfairly as well. They are seen as “unwomen” or “a traitor to their gender” if they are lesbian or bisexual or transgender. It is the same with the men. They are either executed or sent to the colonies. If the women are fertile they might be spared but that’s not a guarantee. Emily, one of the Handmaids, is caught with a Martha. The Martha is hung. Emily undergoes a forced clitoridectomy. Yes, that’s right, female genital mutilation. That’s a thing in this society.
Also is cutting off a woman’s finger for reading, plucking out her eye for disobedience, beating a woman for not listening to their husbands, drowning them for infidelity, and trust me, it gets worse.
The title of this blog comes from The Handmaid’s Tale. It comes from the Latin phrase Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, which roughly translates to “don’t let the bastards grind you down.” It’s not a real Latin phrase, but it still becomes relevant in the show. June finds it etched into the wall and it becomes a mantra for her. She reminds herself that yes, she’s in an awful situation. Yes, it seems hopeless, but she has to keep going. Not just for her, but for the other Handmaids, for her daughters, for her husband, for her best friend. She can’t let them (them being Gilead) win.
It’s difficult for me to watch this show now. We started it from the beginning and it’s difficult to watch because it’s so real and you know what? It shouldn’t be real. This shouldn’t be our reality. I should be able to watch a show without thinking to myself “Fuck. What if this happens to me? To my sister? To my cousins? To my friends?” I am watching it though because it is relevant.
In the show, it’s clearly shown through flashbacks that it started off slow. It started off with little hints.
Guess what? These are not small hints. These are HUGE hints. There is a giant, flashing neon. You think we aren’t heading towards this? We are. Roe v. Wade is only the beginning. Then it’s contraceptives. It will keep going. Gay rights? Gone. Interracial marriages? Gone. Women’s right to vote? To own property? To own a credit card? Gone. Equals rights for LGBTQ+? Gone. It’s all going to be gone.
And I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’m going to: The Handmaid’s Tale is NOT an instruction manual.
This book is not your damn Bible. It is not the “how-to” on how to oppress women and all others who are not some white CIS man. Because let’s be real. That’s the people who are making these rules. Those are the people who are trying to suppress women and control them. White CIS men and religious zealots. And you know what? There are women who believe that abortion is murder.
It’s not. What do you think? That the baby is yanked out of the mouth at nine months? No. That’s not how that works. Maybe check your facts before talking out of your ass.
Pro-choice doesn’t necessarily mean that they will get an abortion. It means that it is HER CHOICE. I don’t know why that’s so damn hard to understand. It is her choice. She doesn’t have to explain why she’s getting an abortion.
Maybe she’s a college student who is in medical school and can’t afford a baby right now.
Maybe she’s an older woman who was told that she couldn’t carry to full term.
Maybe she’s got a health condition and her being pregnant risks her life.
Maybe she’s a sixteen-year-old girl who is not ready to be a mom.
Maybe this, maybe that.
Either way, it’s none of your business why she is getting an abortion. You don’t believe in abortions? Fine. Then don’t get one. But that doesn’t give you any damn right to take away another women’s right to get one. Women shouldn’t have to justify their reasons. Women shouldn’t have to fight for the rights of their body. It’s their body! Do you see men fighting to defend their rights to their body? NO. They’ve never had too! Not like we have had to since the moment we’ve existed.
Now is not the time to be silent. It is not the time to tuck your head in the sand and let the world continue on. If you are a woman, you should be pissed. You should want to grab your shields and swords and rage at this unjust. If you are a man and you have women in your life, you should be furious on their behalf. It’s not time to ignore the problem, because guess what? The problem isn’t going away. This is only the beginning. Keep that in mind.
This is only the beginning.
I want you to remember that.
I’m going to be involved because it is important to me. It affects me. It affects my friends, my cousins, my sisters, so many people. I’m not ignoring the problem. Neither should you. I’m going to find ways to be involved. Yesterday I went to a protest in front of the Saline County courthouse. There were probably over 75 people there and more were coming when I left. Below are some pictures from it.
And I will be going to others if I hear about them.
I don’t want to be a Handmaid. Do you?