I've started a post on my current conundrums regarding the upcoming election, and then deleted it, and started again, and still it sits in my draftbox, unposted, mostly because I start wondering who really cares to read my political opinions (which I answer myself with, "Hey, it's my blog.") but also because I don't enjoy the idea of offending anybody. It's been a lifelong flaw of mine that I care entirely too much of what others think. I like the people around me to be comfortable. I do not like fights - at least, I don't like fights that I am a part of. So really, I said to myself, shouldn't I just leave this alone?
But I can't help it. I want to have the discussion.
I want to talk about abortion.
Let me back up a bit, and give you some brief background. First, I am not religious. In fact, I'm pretty anti-religion. That being said, I'm not anti-faith. And I'm not an atheist. Second, I have, in the past, typically considered myself a Republican. Sure, the Religious Right irritated me, but I was down with what I saw the main tenets of the party's platform to be: fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, less government. Work hard, and deserve what you earn. Help others when they need it. Live a good life, and leave others to do the same. I didn't like the party's attitude toward gay rights or all that school prayer bullshit, but the bigger issues were enough to solidify it for me.
In a few weeks, I'm voting for Barack Obama. Not because I'm now a Democrat - I'm not. I'm not sure I can stress enough how much I'M NOT. But I can't really call myself a Republican anymore, either. Not because I think Obama is going to save us all from our DOOOOOMED future - he's not, partly because he's just a dude, and mostly because we're not doomed. I don't know who's right on the economy - I figure all of our taxes are going to be raised for a while no matter who's in the Oval Office. I finally swung to Obama because I think McCain's wrong on health care and foreign policy. Also, McCain never told the Religious Right to get the hell out of policy and lawmaking, which disappointed me, because I really thought he might be the guy to do it. Then again, Obama never did it either.
But I digress. There have been two main reasons I have been reluctant to vote for Barack Obama. The first is the attitude of many of his supporters. The second is that I'm not interested in siding with the pro-choice movement.
Here's the part where I get kicked out of the slumber party, and dammit, I've never been good at braiding my own hair.
Let me be clear. I'm not ok with the subjugation of women. I don't think we should all be back in the kitchen (though I DO think the feminist movement did a bit too much to give pregnant women in the kitchen a bad rap). I'm all for women - no, EVERYONE, because we want to be seen as equal, don't we? - being able to do whatever the fuck they want to do with their lives, with their bodies, with their minds and spirits. With their hair, and cars, and iPods.
But, wait. Aren't we forgetting something important? Ohhh, that's right. We're not supposed to harm others. Or is it what we're not supposed to harm others, unless those others are ours to harm? Is that how it works? I mean, we passed laws against stealing, and even fucking insider trading, and I'm pretty sure it's illegal to kill others. Except in the case of unborn children, who have the gall to require some support for their first nine months.
Ok. Before I wander too far down the path of sarcastic anger, I really do wish to open this discussion. To present a question to the pro-choicers out there, I know, rampant in the blogiverse. I have been around this and around this in my head. Sometimes I'm ready to throw in the towel and say, "What do I care if other people have abortions? I'm a live-and-let-live girl. Can't I just let it go?". In response, I ask myself two more questions:
- "What do I care if you have trailers parked in your yard, eat different food than me, go to church?" My response: I don't care. Not a bit.
"What do I care if you beat your kid?" My response: Hey, now. Of course I care. Everyone cares.
My point is this: I can't let it go because it's wrong. From all the angles I look at it, it's wrong. And I have to wonder if I'm missing something, some logical link in the argument that all the sisterhood out there understands yet I have not been privy to.
Am I? I truly hope to get some honest and open discussion of this in the comments, if only from one or two people. Or maybe nobody will wish to touch this, and I will be left to alternately rant and flounder all by my lonesome. Either way, this is easily the most serious I've ever gotten on my blog, and I guess that's worth something.
Disclaimer #1: If I get comments that I am planning to respond to, I will probably post those comments and my responses in a new post - unless you ask me not to.
Disclaimer #2: I am not talking about medically necessary abortions. Just so we're clear.