Lately though, it's getting a lot harder to maintain my usual levels of exasperation for humanity. Mostly because of all the ridiculous things being said by people in positions of power, more specifically in reference to women and what they can and cannot do with their bodies. I've been able to blow a lot of it off, to write a good deal of it off as idiocy that is surely dismissed by people with half a brain cell, but lately, I'm beginning to see that it might not be as easy as all that. I had a conversation today with a couple of friends and acquaintances of mine today, and the topic turned to Todd Akin's ridiculous suggestion that victims of 'legitimate rape' can't get pregnant because the female reproductive system shuts itself down when that happens. We were all in vehement agreement that this guy was a huge, stupid, crazily ill-informed asshole, when one of my acquaintances sort of blurts out, "Yeah but I hate it when two people are like, actually together and then have sex and then abort the child."
It got kind of quiet.
Then I blurted out, "Well it's a good thing that's none of your fucking business then, isn't it?"
Then it got really quiet.
From that point on, we were off. The more I had to point out that no one has the right to get into anyone else's personal affairs, and the more she countered with, "Well I personally believe," the angrier and angrier I got. I could feel my face getting hot and my throat closing up and I knew I was mere seconds from waterworks. I finally shut it down, letting her know that while she was entitled to her opinion, I felt like it was wholly unnecessary for her to express it here at this point in time, since the focus was on the bigger issue of a man running for a seat in the U.S. Senate being ignorant and how that affected women as a whole, and she had diverted it to something we weren't discussing at the time. It sounds kind of diplomatic, the way it's written here, but I'm pretty sure what I actually said was more along the lines of, "Who the hell cares what you think?" Maybe I got so heated so fast because the way she said it kind of reminds me how we got to this point in the first place, as if announcing your unsolicited opinions about what you don't or do believe in in lofty tones gives you immediate superiority and ultimate authority on something that is so intimate, so personal.
Maybe I'm in the wrong, maybe it was perfectly reasonable to express her opinion of which kinds of abortions she likes and doesn't like, which ones are acceptable to her and which get a frowny face but my point was that that isn't the point. None of this should be an issue. Absolutely none of it. You do not get to tell anyone what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. You don't get to treat women like they're second-class citizens, like you're allowed to monitor their movements and dictate how they live their lives. We are all human beings, we're all the same. It just pisses me off that there are people out there that don't seem to grasp this.