The other day, a cousin of mine said she was finished with arguing politics online. Done with trying to explain facts to people who did not want to hear them. I don’t blame her. But in the week before the election, I become even more concerned about what these finals days and hours mean. My support of the reelection of President Obama is not solely based on my rights as a woman, but I consider it the greatest personal risk in this election.
I don’t blog about my opinions on the Middle East and other foreign policy issues, and have only touched on the economy, employment and social welfare programs, even though all of these things matter to me. A lot.
I write about the War on Women because it is the one aspect of the current campaign that is so intensely personal it makes my skin crawl. I am afraid of what will happen if President Obama is not reelected. For various reasons, but especially this one.
It’s infuriating that yesterday I sat reading an article in the paper about the ways we could have to pay for our contraception outside of insurance if Romney is elected while in the background on TV I hear offers to send men free trials of Cialis. If men were in the position I am in right now – no, wait. Men have never been in that position. And never will be. Oh, the pharmaceutical irony.
I’m reading an incredible anthology called Dancing At The Shame Prom. I have so much to say about this book, and will, in a post very soon. And I highly recommend you check it out because there is an extraordinary amount of power in the words bound in those pages. As I read, I am regularly thinking of the election. Amongst the 27 stories there are memoirs of sexual abuse and assault and abortion. Each of these writers is letting go the shame they have carried. And I wonder how people can let go of shame if our country is to reframe policy so that it essentially tells women that they are shameful.
The redefintion of rape that Paul Ryan supports is the sort of conversation I only thought happened amongst drunken frat boys. It makes me physically ill. I don’t remember in my 16 years as a voter ever feeling such a reaction to a campaign. I’ve disagreed, I’ve had passionate opinions, but I have never been so…sad.
And so, I write and I volunteer and I stand up and refuse to feel any shame about my rights to my body.
In the spring, I walked at the War on Women rally, which I wrote about here. I walked with my mother, my aunts, and friends. I found out about the walk through a friend of my aunt’s, a founder of A is For.
A is For is doing this fabulous video series leading up to the election and the latest features one of the family friends I walked with at the rally, Shannon (the photo above of is me with two of my aunts and Shannon that day). I think what she has to say is worth passing on. So, please watch and share. And please, VOTE. Our lives depend on it.
A is for Alex, who supports President Obama because he supports my right to decide what happens to my body and when.