Saturday, January 28, 2017
Shortly after Donald Trump was elected you had the people he was surrounding himself with making decisions that seems antiquated and unfair. Talks of overturning Roe v Wade, de-funding Planned Parenthood, and spreading the thought and feelings that all immigrants were terrorists. The White House website completely changed. There was no mention of resources for the LGBTQ community. To my conservative and religious friends- this part is specifically for you.
I am a Christian. I am Mormon. I am straight. I am white. I am a woman.
I have never had an abortion nor have I ever been in a situation where that has been a choice I had to make. I have never been in a position where I needed birth control and could not afford it. I have never been in a position where my abilities or status were judged prematurely based on the color of my skin. I have never been hurt or taunted because I was gay.
I have however experienced men saying vile, sexually aggressive things to me simply because I have a vagina. I have been whistled at. I have been called a stuck up bitch because I did not reciprocate those feelings or find them flattering. I have heard comments in church alluding to the fact that men can't help it if they have so many women to choose from and another woman's feelings get hurt because of it. I have heard other comments in church stating that it must be the woman's fault that she is not married. There must be something wrong with her. I have held a friend while she cried after being raped by a guy who she thought loved her. I have held that same friend after she was told by police there was not much they could do and asking her point blank is she was "sure she said no". Have you ever heard anyone ask someone who has just been shot "are you sure you told them not to shoot you?"
1. Legally you are correct. Men and women LEGALLY have the exact same rights. But how about the female nurses I know with years of experience getting paid less than male nurses that have just graduated nursing school? How about the fact that this week SEVEN men were in the oval office making executive decisions (including decisions about women's reproductive rights) and that would never be seven women in a room deciding men's reproductive rights (or any rights for that matter). How about the fact that I have seen articles calling slut-shaming and cat calling "trivial" problems. How about the fact that rape is the only crime for which the excuse that the temptation to commit it was too powerful is considered a DEFENSE when in any other crime it would be considered an admission of guilt. How about the fact that telling women to quit whining and we must just want free manicures and pedicures is executing the reason for the march flawlessly.
2. I think the terms "pro life" and "pro choice" are antiquated terms based on what they are currently representing. Pro life is the term for being anti-abortion. And that seems to be about it. We are demanding that women have babies but what about after the baby is born? How are we supporting these women who have had these babies because we told them they have to? Because we sure as hell don't want to help them with welfare either. So we wonder why our homeless population and crime rates escalate? I personally have religious and personal beliefs that would prevent me from having an abortion personally. HOWEVER - my church (yes Mormon friends I'm looking at you) is in fact ROOTED in the concept of PRO CHOICE. Free agency. The right for us all to choose. Do WE believe in abortion? No. But demanding that someone makes a decision based on our personal beliefs is wrong. If you are truly truly "pro life" (in the terms that anti-abortionists use it) then be all pro life. Be pro welfare. Be pro public funding for programs that help these women raise children. Make adoption more accessible. Otherwise this is what you sound like "Why would a crack whore have a baby??? She can't even take care of it! A child shouldn't be raised in that environment! Oh a gay couple wants to adopt that baby? No. No no no we can't do that. That's wrong too". MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS.
3. I have seen a lot of people post about the women in the streets who were using vulgar language "more than Donald Trump ever did". Once again. The problem with Trump was not the term he used. It was the aggressive use of the words around it. These women took these disgusting terms and used them instead. You want to say you'll grab my pussy? How about I make a "pussycat" hat and march against you? (Because once again the hat was NOT A VAGINA. THE HAT HAD CAT EARS. LIKE "PUSSY" CAT.) You want to call a woman "nasty". I'll call myself nasty all day. Because the only crime you could accuse a "nasty woman" of was just being a woman. And I am in fact a woman.
4. The march was not in ANY way shape or form a pro-abortion march. This march included men and women. Gay and straight. Atheist and Christian. Muslim. Buddhist. Pro life and pro choice (don't get me started on the people saying pro life people were not welcome....it was one group. Please stop). White, Black, Hispanic, Asian.
This was more of a march for those who were worried about their rights being taken away than anything else. This was a march for my friends who are now even more scared to be black because of the racist comments the POTUS has made. This was a march for my friends who are now even more scared to be gay because of the bigoted comments the VP has made. This was a march for anyone scared that their access to free birth control, other contraceptive, STD and cancer screenings were in jeopardy because of the comments Paul Ryan made.
5. Please stop talking about the march in broad terms Were there some women who were being more vulgar than others? Yes. Were there some people making inappropriate comments about burning down the white house? (Madonna....girl....I'm looking at you) Yes. Were there some who made a bigger statement about abortion than anything else? Yes. Nobody is perfect. Women are just as imperfect as everyone else. But if I were to judge you based solely on the banana balls crazy statements made by people such as Ann Coulter....I don't think you'd be very happy with me. And PLEASE stop saying that women asking for equal rights is women acting like victims. None of the women I know who have been through horrific things view themselves as a "victim" of anything. We are strong. Compassionate. Outspoken. Powerful. We are not victims and I see no behavior that justifies the word victim for women who are fighting for equality. Also please make note of the word "equality"....people like to say women want to be more than men or greater than or cut men down. Nope. Just equal. I saw one sign that said "men of quality do not fear equality"....that's pretty much all we're going for here guys.
All of this is to say, I don't remember an America more angry, more divided, or more hateful than I have in the last 6 months. What happened to love thy neighbor? What happened to everyone matters? What happened to bring me your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the homeless, the tempest tossed. I feel the hatred and anger surrounding the women's march and to be honest, anyone with a differing opinion than Donald Trump - goes against every religious and personal belief I have. I was taught by my church and my parents to speak against things that were wrong. Where do you think the Savior would be if He were here today. Who were the first people he went to during His ministry. The poor. The hungry. The needy. The outcasts. The adulterers. The prostitutes. The imperfect. He chose to lead with love. Teach by example. He never let His differing feelings or opinions cause him to look at anyone any differently. I don't like Trump's America. I don't think we are making anything great. We are building walls around our country and around our hearts. We are forgetting to help those who need us.
I was taught with love that we all have the right to choose. I respect your right to choose to support Donald Trump. That doesn't mean I have to. That doesn't mean I have to agree with everything he says or does. I respect a woman's right to choose what is best for her life and her body. That doesn't mean you have to. But would you force someone to eat cake just because you like it? Do we force people to join our church just because we know it's the only way to true happiness. No.
So...can we please spread a little more kindness. A little more listening and talking instead of arguing and spreading hatred (it CAN happen....if you question that....message me and I'll link you to a healthy conversation I had with people about the wall along the Mexican border. It was healthy and enlightening). Can we brainstorm better solutions and use our voices to truly make America great? I think that's the America our dear Lady Liberty would want. The America that we were always supposed to have. The one we can have. Because kindness is magic and human beings are magic if we let ourselves be.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
When things got hard in my family I got resentful and angry. And can you guess who I took all that anger and resentment out on? My mom. It wasn't fair and I'm sure Freud would have something to say about it but I did it nonetheless.
So here I am 30 years from my birth and 20 something years from ceasing to feel like I needed my mom and yet if there is one person I need more than anyone else on the earth...it's her.
So what changes? Maturity I suppose. Life experiences definitely. Calling your mom from Target having a Level 5 meltdown because you don't know what kind of jam to buy can humble you a bit too. With maturity and life experiences comes reflection. And as I've reflected...this is what I've realized
- The woman who drove me to school and dance lessons was my mom
- The woman who calmed me down after a yelling match with my dad about homework was my mom
- The woman who would make every single holiday feel special was my mom (seriously...even Valentine's Day you guys)
- The woman who had huge dreams and the talent to make them come true but sacrificed all of that for a family was my mom
- The woman who lost her daughter and her mother within 2 years of each other and still forged ahead was my mom
- The woman who would answer the phone every day I called from college crying was my mom (this was the first time I was in college...we'll get to nursing school in a minute)
- The woman who can make you laugh until you pee your pants is my mom
- The woman who would still get up early in the morning so you don't have to walk in the cold and snow is my mom
- The woman who will answer the phone even though she's in bed and listen to me vent about hurt feelings is my mom
- The woman who would defend her children until her last breath is my mom
- The woman who passionately encourages me to pursue my dream of being a nurse is my mom
- The woman who believes in me is my mom
- The woman who taught me to value myself is my mom
- The woman who loves me even though I am still stubborn, fiercely independent, and a know-it-all is my mom
- The woman who thinks I'm wonderful even though I am terribly flawed is my mom
I wish all the time these days that I could see myself through my mom's eyes. Moms have a special way of seeing their children. A special way of knowing just what to say and just when to say it. A way to keep the entire family together. Dads are cool but moms hold it all together. Even if you may not have your mom in your life for whatever reason...chances are....you know a mom. And I would bet everything I have (it's not much..don't get excited) they posses these same qualities. They will listen to you when you're elated or when your heart is breaking. They would fight for you. They would help you any way they could. They would defend you and love you so much you don't know what to do with it all.
Because moms are magic. My mom is magic. I don't know much...but I know that.