Not sure why I’m all-caps serious in the title, but it probably has something to do with not getting enough sleep last night, driving through fuckingawfulawfulawful traffic to get to work and back today (I’m in an audiobook version of a graphic novel that…
TEXAS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!! WIL WHEATON IS ABOUT TO BE ALL UP IN OUR HOUSE!
Thu 10/17: Central Presbyterian Church – Austin, TX - tix: http://bit.ly/WilPSAustin
Fri 10/18: Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX - tix: http://bit.ly/WilPSHouston
Sun 10/20: Granada Theater – Dallas, TX - tix: http://bit.ly/WilPSDallas
I don’t often feel like a member of an oppressed group. I was raised to believe I could go into whatever the heck field I wanted, do whatever I pleased, and be damned good at it because I was smart, and smart counted more than anything else. For a long time now my family’s been a matriarchy, and even before it became one in a literal sense, my mother was our backbone.
I’ve always had access to medical care, have never found myself in a situation where contraception was not readily at my disposal and in my control, and have worked in the arts, where equal pay is not as pressing an issue as is the issue of anyone paying for art at all. Equal representation? Well, that is an issue for another day.
I’m privileged. I would remind you that, strangely enough, it is possible to be both privileged and part of an oppressed group.
In very simple (perhaps overly simplified) terms:
- Legislation that reduces access to any form of medical care for a specific group is oppression.
- Legislation that denies a person self-advocacy is oppression.
- Stringent legislation that targets a specific group and fails to take into account how that group has behaved under stringent regulation in the past, is poor legislation.
Long before Roe v. Wade, long before history was written in a language we could now recognize, women were controlling reproduction. They did it in secret and did it at great personal risk. They did it at the cost of greater society, for we’ll never know how many remarkable women we lost. I myself know a woman who nearly died because she sought care before Roe v. Wade.
Again, quite simply:
- Denying care and access to care does not cause women to be have as you’d like them to.
- Denying care and access to care directly leads to dead women. Not potential life—actual life—women you know.
- When women are not listened to we still do what we need, only in silence and at great cost.
As the gallery in Texas chanted, “Let her speak,” I began to sob. Because it is difficult for women to speak in this society, because we’ve been taught that we will not be listened to (a reality clearly illustrated during yesterday’s filibuster). We’ve been taught to be silent and then do what we must.
I have never had need to exercise the reproductive rights that were being legislated in Texas, but I feel those rights around me around me in every second of my day. It’s a quiet knowledge that should something arise, I have choices—choices that though difficult will not get me killed. The potential that women (not even in my state) nearly had those choices taken from them left me cold, frightened, and a member of a group facing what I could only call oppression.
There is something incredibly powerful in the idea of a single woman standing and speaking for hours on end in the face of those who would shut her down. There is something even more powerful about a gallery of women chanting and demanding her right to do so. This is not about politics; I don’t write about politics. This is about women being silenced. Listening leads to discomfort. Silence leads to death.
There was a reprimand at Wendy Davis having been given a back brace. There was a gallery of women holding her up. There was me, thousands of miles and a time zone away, shouting and crying to hold her up.
Please take a moment and read the f*&#k out of this.
If there is any doubt how far reaching and impactful this has been not just for Texas but for women across the board, one only has to read this.
- 2.1 the magnitude of the explosion in West, Texas on the Richter scale. People living more than 30 miles away felt the “quake”—which was rooted in an explosion at a fertilizer plant. About half the town was evacuated—a level much higher than early reports suggested.
- 100 the number of people injured by the blast; 50-75 buildings were destroyed by the freak incident. source
In our thoughts, West, TX.