This entry is dedicated to Maureen.
Yesterday afternoon, I once again counter-picketed pro-lifers. I took my zombie high priest costume and a really (truly) excellent pair of sunglasses to the corner across the street from an abortion clinic. My sign said “Who is the patron saint of misogyny?”
They didn’t get the joke, but just about everybody else did.
I was joined by a single other pro-choicer, and we had a delightful time. I maintained silence from the moment I assumed a position next to the man with Donald Trump hair, who quickly became uncomfortable and somehow thought that standing on the very edge of the sidewalk would deter me from standing right next to him. He was wrong.
An important thing about these demonstrations is that every one of the pro-life protesters has been previously trained to a) not smile or laugh, because what they are doing is very serious work; b) not occupy their time with idle chatter, because they are there for a Higher Cause; and c) now allow themselves to get angry or agitated, because that’s what they are supposed to be inducing in other people. And an equally important observation I’ve made is that every single one of the pro-life protesters I picketed there yesterday violated every single one of these points in their own protocol.
I circulated about their gathering on just the one corner, making sure that at various times throughout the nearly two hours, I was standing next to different protesters. After an hour, I began silently pointing at them from across the street, while traffic was stopped and they stood with their sandwich boards facing the public, trying to shame women for having rights. Many people took my picture as I stood next to the man with the Donald Trump hair. Lots of people got angry at the people in sandwich boards, and lots of people smiled, laughed, or thanked my companion and I for being there.
In all the silence, I realized why I worked through my instinctual belief late last year, that the pro-life movement has something to do with white supremacy. However, racism is just one side of it, as it is an explicitly colonial dialogue in the larger scale. Alliance with the pro-life movement leads enormous masses of individual voters to cast their ballots in favour of white male, middle- or upper-class, culturally chauvinistic leadership candidates. Those very same candidates promote colonial war, wage-slavery, loosening gun control laws, de-funding important social programs and public education, and letting the poorest in the country simply starve to death. Alliance with the pro-life movement also leads those same enormous masses of individual people to accumulate as much wealth as they can get their hands on while freely giving a cut of it to the Catholic church every pay cheque. And what does the Catholic church do with that money? It spiritually colonizes other countries, tells millions of devouts that misogyny and homophobia are legitimate expressions of their faith, and hoards whatever amount it can spare from the budget.
It’s only logical that those millions of people would then campaign the government to deprive gays and women of as many rights as possible; that is, when they aren’t busy either lining up around the block to throw more of their money at an already gigantic corporation (that relies entirely on wage-slavery) when it is nationally exposed for its homophobic policies, or filling the streets outside an abortion clinic with rape-apologetics and other misogynistic propaganda. For any freedom afforded to the colonized stands to threaten the continuation of colonialism — and what would it even mean if people no longer aspired towards accumulation of wealth?
What’s fascinating to me is the sheer magnitude of cognitive dissonance it requires for someone to wish upon future generations, that they be born into this system of oppression. Especially when this system of oppression is here, largely due to the fact that it was once overseas, and people ran for their lives from it when beheading their leadership wasn’t enough to eradicate it there.
How sincerely can any pro-lifer actually say that they value all human life, when their political leanings and decisions directly promote and perpetuate widespread slavery, genocide, and ecocide that threatens future generations yet to be conceived?
How sincerely can any individual pro-lifer hold themselves to the believe that a single abortion is an act of murder (or even genocide), when everything they stand for perpetuates the very same atrocities against millions of people, that they are fighting to stop against a single individual for a mere nine months?
Some of these individuals have even told me to my face that they are out on that street corner, passing out pamphlets in their sandwich boards, making up excuses for why rape and incest are OK (or even a gift from God) if it results in a pregnancy, and shaming all women for even having rights, out of compassion for the women accessing services at the clinic. Meanwhile, in privacy, they campaign the government through phone calls, letter-writing, and who they hand their money and their vote over to, for the end goal of taking women’s rights away.
When confronted with facts about miscarriage — such as that it is responsible for more missed abortions than successful pregnancies — they pretend it either doesn’t happen or that it’s somehow the expectant mother’s fault (even if she didn’t know she was pregnant, because the fertilized embryo had not successfully adhered to the rich lining of her uterus). They do nothing to prevent or even research what is surely, in their framework, a horrible and unnecessary atrocity, because God meant for it to happen. Just like God wanted some women to be raped. I guess God wanted men to hate women, women to hate each other, and all his wealthy, pale-skinned Creation (a relatively small proportion of the human race) to enslave and murder the darker-skinned and impoverished majority of his Creation (who all became poor by virtue of slavery and genocide).
No, pro-lifers, you are not “pro-life”. You are a hate movement.