When I tell you I found the old mushroom-colored sweatshirt which saw us through thick and thin you will know I am talking about the way the Romans used to have it done, long pole, wad of cloth, vinegar soaked as we raise it to the real hero, his naked pain, the way he eschews ordinary safety for a stretched-to-the-limits agony
I take the brush, add the cleanser, wipe it all down with an uneasy litany
It has been 30 years since I made the (not very complicated) decision not to vote for political candidates who support abortion.
Abortion on-demand–at-all-is and will be our generation’s genocide stain. The comparison to other genocidal impulses* is not that difficult to make–
Genocide systematically dehumanizes the victims
Genocide creates words and epithets to divide victims and devalue them from the rest of us
Genocide targets people who are legally exposed, minorities, female, from disenfranchised classes (often created through the repeated use of dehumanizing terms), the medically fragile, people whose basic human rights have been suspended or exempted
Genocide finds ways to stigmatize and blame the victims
Genocide labels victims as “unwanted”
Genocide institutionalizes, regularizes, industrializes, and monetizes mass murder
And many times genocide co-ops scientists and medical professionals by couching the process of mass killing as medically necessary or scientifically interesting
Genocide kills people.
Do you know the statistics for aborted people in your state, country or region? Do you know when it was legalized and who it targets?
We all should.
We will have to make an account for every one.
*for the purpose of cohesion I have not separated out gendercide, femicide, or the systemic killing of disabled people, all of which characterize abortion and have been components of genocide as well.
Years ago a young man I knew asked me how he should treat his prom date. I told him to think about how he would want his sister to be treated. I meant protect.
This admonition came back to haunt me as I learned about many, many people who did not protect family members and strangers in situations of sexual vulnerability.
I asked myself what advice do you give?
Protect is a powerful word. It means if you are the older person, the person in authority, the soberer person, the bystander, it is your job to treat the child, the older person, the person who is not able to consent, or the person who is in your power as off limits sexually. It is your job to keep that person safe, no exceptions.
If you are the kind of person prone to sexual aggression, all this may seem toothless. But I don’t believe it is. I believe that you (whoever you are) really need to assume there is an interventionist God. One who makes no excuses for rape.
I am grateful women are willing to come forward on social media and identify as sexual assault or harassment survivors. The effort is better than silence but not enough.
Not enough because we need to talk about prevention and recovery and limiting or stopping the offenders
Not enough because it still marginalizes male survivors. No one is immune from sexual assault and harassment. Victims of sexual aggression can be young or old and can be male, female, straight, same-sex oriented, bi, trans. Sexual predation can happen to anyone.
If we define #me too only along narrow gender lines, we leave half the victims without a voice. We need to figure out a way to protect all of us from sexual predation.
#me too needs to be a voice for all survivors of sexual predation. All victims deserve to be heard.
We need to make sure #me too makes room for #we too.