Have you ever felt unsafe in a sort of nebulous, widespread way that you couldn’t exactly explain? You go somewhere unfamiliar, look around and know deep in your bones that you are being threatened. There’s nothing to fight and nothing to do except feel that fear. It sours your perception. Lord knows it’s pretty hard to play tourist feeling that way.
The more states that pass bills limiting reproductive freedom, the more I get that feeling any time I leave my ‘safe’ states. Wanda Sykes joked once about how great it would be if you could leave your vagina at home, go out jogging in the dark and when a rapist jumped out of the bushes you could just shrug and say, “Sorry, left it at home.” I’ve been wanting to do that while here in Atlanta but not because I was afraid of being attacked. No, overall I’ve felt physically safe here in downtown Atlanta. Chalk it up to the Skybridges.
I’ve wanted to travel without my vagina so I could comfortably move around here in Georgia and should the topic ever come up I could say, “Sorry, I left what makes me subhuman in your eyes at home.”
I hadn’t thought about it in a while but after a little digging I realized I was in the state where one of its representatives had compared women to pigs and cows. I’d heard that sentiment on the news ages ago and I remember wondering what on earth was wrong with that man. His thought process was that if livestock has to deliver their dead offspring then obviously women should. And doesn’t that just say everything? Women shouldn’t have more rights than livestock. Meaning that we are livestock. At least to this elected representative in the state of Georgia.
In California that kind of talk outrages me but I’ll admit there’s a distance to it. The threat has not come to live with me. Being in Georgia, where that representative’s thinking has real power, imbues me with anxiety. And I’m going to be gone in a day! I can’t imagine living like this, knowing my individual choices about my life and body mean so little.
Unfortunately my imagination has become increasingly more able to picture just such a situation. It’s 2013 and lawmakers in this country are still attacking my rights. Seeing state after state crumble, infringing inch by inch on the rights of women is downright terrifying. And honestly, I have no idea what to do. Aside from voting, that is. I intend to keep voting for the people who will fight for my rights.
This thought may be alarmist but I think it anyway. If they manage to take away a woman’s right to make decisions about her body then when do they try to take away her right to vote?
It’s just another kind of choice.
Cheerier posts later. Needed this out of my system.