Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I have a Bad Feminist, No Biscuit confession to make.

For the past day or so, I've been experiencing these odd flashes of wanting-to-claw-out-of-my-skin anger and nausea and body hatred. I'd love to say that it's been since Akin opened his mouth and the reports/reactions started to show up everywhere, so that I couldn't look at Facebook or Blogger or Livejournal or turn on the TV or the car radio or have a phone conversation with in-laws or old friends without the subject coming up, but it's not that, precisely, which set me off. It's the e-mails.

I think every women's rights organization and liberal politician and advocacy group in America sent out an e-mail because "if you haven't heard by now, this will shock you," to quote Nancy Pelosi in hers. Followed by a demand for money to put a stop to Akin, Ryan, and their ilk. The underlying implication, not even subtle from the Democrats or PFAW, a bit more so from women's organizations -- has very strongly been, IF YOU DO NOT GIVE MONEY NOW, YOU'LL KNOW WHO TO BLAME IF YOU GET RAPED AND IMPREGNATED AND THE LAW NO LONGER PROTECTS YOU.

Somehow this enrages me almost as much as Akin's comments. Everywhere I look, I am reassured that my loathing and rage at Akin is justified, that even his own party finds him embarrassing and excessive despite their underhanded plans to pass laws that will have exactly the same effect as the ones he proposes. But I'm not supposed to be livid at Pelosi. It isn't as if she's the one who politicized the issue. It's not fair to blame the Democrats when they're absolutely right that something must be done and it takes money to do it.

And yet I feel like I'm being blamed -- for being broke, for being disempowered, in some ways for being female and not shouldering my share of the burden for making sure Akin et al are silenced, since it's true that, as a woman, I will be much more directly affected if Ryan's proposed life-begins-when-a-sperm-swims-by-an-egg legislation gets passed.

I have no idea why this is bothering me so much, why it feels so triggery to me. I've never been raped, I've never personally been denied reproductive rights, I've never had a pregnancy that made me want to kill myself rather than face the prospect that continuing it. I know people who have experienced all those things but that's not remotely the same thing as living through them.

So why today do I dread opening my e-mail and delete anything that's news-related, politics-related, or feminist-related without looking at it?

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