About five minutes into watching the North Carolina General Assembly banter about House Bill 695, my stomach knots up.
As has become routine with women’s rights issues, old white men are debating over the same anatomical parts from whence their devoutly Christian, heteronormative family sprung. But in multiple ironic turns, they completely disrespect the women that have given them, and their lovely offspring, life and make misogynistic allusions to “our women” as chattel. And all to honor His name and the preservation of “real life”–that sweet imbalance of power grafted from the 1950’s and stitched into the lives of twenty-first century women.
Why has it become so necessary to toxify women’s health debates with illogical, fallacious assertions and statistics from conservative think tanks–the ultimate political oxymorons–and thus endanger them through unnecessarily heightened restrictions on life-sustaining care, all in the name of theocratic ideals that allegedly value life as a gift from God?
Do these egocentric, bumbling buffoons not return home every single day and forget how critically important the women in their lives are to them–how their spouse, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, or friend has had their back, supported them, or taken one for the team to cover their stupid, ball-bearing self?
I, for one, have a litany of reasons why I owe the women in my life so incredibly much, and would never be so presumptuous as to think that I–a man!–possess some innate, superior knowledge to decide how and when and why my mother, sister, grandmother, aunts, cousins, or friends can seek medical treatment.
Methinks these politicians haven’t perused their family albums lately.
But I’ll never forget the hospital photos of me all blood-covered and cradled in my mother’s arms.
Nor do I forget how my sister has always had my back.
How my grandmother was my right-hand gal during the tumultuous high school years and never once questioned why I preferred hanging out with her instead of other boys my age.
How my gal pals have lifted me up over the years, and have talked me off the proverbial ledge on more than one occasion.
So, as culturally-insensitive remarks fly and conservatives wield religious beliefs like scalpels–excising another slew of women’s rights from established policies–I can only remind myself of why we left and how absurdly tragic North Carolina’s fall from grace has been under the current administration.
And how terribly self-loathing these men must be to disenfranchise the very people who will always be the reasons why we’re all here today.