Growing up, I always loved to think about the future:
What I wanted to look like, who I wanted to marry, the job that I wanted to have, and what I hoped to earn.
I was a smart kid and I knew the world wasn’t perfect. I knew that women earned less than men, were less safe walking down the street, and even had to defend their use of South Park references from time to time to ignorant teenage boys.
Or maybe that was just me.
Needless to say, I knew the world was getting better. I knew that progress was inevitable and it was only a matter of time before my sisters and I could get that metaphorical corner office and “have it all.” The First Wives Club was a favorite flick of mine and if Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, and Goldie Hawn could recognize that the patriarchy didn’t “own them,” then so I could I.*
And I did. Until I turned 23 and realized that I only had three years left of my father’s health insurance. Only three years left having the assurance that I can afford a gynecologist.
Only three years left of not needing Planned Parenthood as an affordable option for female healthcare. Of having $20 copays, free birth control, and the safe feeling of knowing that my decisions as a responsible female adult aren’t punishable by death.
Or at least, subject to incredibly hostile twitter rants.
You see as society progresses, the Fearful fight harder to keep things the same. To dial it back to a simpler time before gender was fluid, non-satirical race jokes weren’t racist, and women were getting black market abortions and dying from complications.
I guess it’s selective memory that made America “great.”
If I sound angry it’s because I’m scared shitless and being scared shitless doesn’t warrant a pleasant “feminine” response.
It doesn’t warrant electing leaders who defend terrorists. It doesn’t excuse consumers who can’t tell the difference between a doctored video and actual news.
It doesn’t stop people from having daughters/mothers/girlfriends/wives who might someday need assistance from Planned Parenthood if they don’t already.
It shouldn’t change your priorities as a decent person because it doesn’t change mine.
And I’ve never been to a Planned Parenthood.
*Reference to the scene and Lesley Gore song that made me a baby feminist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_oFL_b719g