Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Madness of Pedgehog

Today the city was like a skating rink. Seriously, if you had seen me walking from my door to the sidewalk, you would have thought I was a ninety-year-old woman who had lost her walker. Or some kind of demented penguin. The only way to move forward is to stretch both arms out (for balance, you know) and shuffle forward, one step at a time. It made me all nostalgic for my broomball days.

Something I don't think I'll ever be nostalgic for is Earpiece Charlie's face. Yes, the Saint John crew looks to be back for good, and everybody's favourite anti-choicer had himself camped in front of my window for a large part of the morning. JB closed her blinds in her office so Charlie and his sign couldn't stare in at patients while they made their payments, so instead he stands outside my window, staring in at me and the plant (I don't know if he realizes none of the patients can see him from the waiting room).

SL likes to sort of tease Charlie, by staring back at him or giving him a big grin and a thumbs up, but I don't really know how to deal with him. I find the other protesters amusing, but Charlie just makes me so ANGRY. He must know how threatening he looks - how dare he use that against women, to shame them? I try to be a non-violent person (in thought and action), but I just want to grab his stupid fucking sign and pummel him with it. Sometimes it is very difficult for me to forgive people for being so ignorant.

And that brings me to what I have been thinking about today, which is religious people. There are a couple prejudices I have about certain categories of people, and when I happen to meet someone who falls in one of those categories, I find it difficult to know how to talk to them. An example would be people who met their SO through online dating. This is entirely a fault of mine, and something I need to work on. I'm just trying to explain where I'm coming from.

Another of these prejudices is people who are really into their religion. I'm talking here about people who treat their religion as anything else but personal beliefs that they have. I can't handle it when people try to push their religion on to others, however they try to do that. This includes otherwise charitable "missionary work". I don't think it's good to try and "save" others. I think it's ignorant, colonialist and patronizing. This prejudice comes in no small part from some personal family issues I have inherited, which I am obviously not going to get into here.

I think that when people fail to "save" people (ie make everyone believe what they believe), they resort to using their own moral standards to make other people feel inferior. This is, obviously, where the protesters come in. I'm trying so hard not to judge them as people, but instead judge their actions - it's so difficult. I would like to quote from the Office: "I hate so much about what you choose to be". That's about where I'm at. But with less laughter.

I just think it's either terribly ignorant, or terribly judgmental, to call someone out for doing something that YOU believe is wrong. And yes, I realize I'm an extreme hypocrite because I'm doing the same thing right now. It's like one of those pictures of a picture of a picture of a picture, etc. I know there's a way I could express these feelings more articulately, and more kindly, but this is the effect the protesters have on people who value women as people. It makes us so angry we can't even speak. It makes us want to take a permanent marker and write "ASSHOLE" in big red letters across the foreheads of these middle-aged white men who DARE to judge us and our decisions. It makes us, in other words, want to stoop to their level. It is a difficult internal struggle, let me tell you.

I guess that's a little insight into why I blog - because without at least this one outlet, I would probably be running away from a red-festooned protester right now, with the marker in my hand, laughing maniacally. We who fight such ignorance and appalling abuses of logic have to find some way to keep ourselves sane.


E said...

I get the sense that he gets off on it, in some sense, the idea that he can make young women pay attention to him, be scared of him, react. He reminds me of a backstreet flasher.

Religious conservatives don't own morality. I don't actually have any problem calling people out for doing things I believe are wrong or imposing my moral beliefs on others. Of course, one of those beliefs is that it's wrong to try to interfere with other people's private medical decisions.

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on my favourite anti-feminist, Margaret Somerville. She is the worst kind of anti-feminist because she pretends not to be an anti-feminist. I also dislike the way in which she makes up things about history, imagining what families and women were like in the past, namely nuclear and subservient.

punkysockmonkey said...

There are such things as absolute truths, one of them is that no one has the right to interfere with the body of an adult. The protesters are trying to violate that truth, and you are justifiably pissed.

Demirep said...

I always find it infuriating that people think that because women have a uterus they should be able to tell them how to use it. I mean, if I went up to an adult male and told him that he couldn't ejaculate, lest he waste precious sperm (because of the life-forming potential) I'm pretty sure he would laugh in my face. However, when a woman laughs in the face of people who try and impress their own moral-medical discourses onto their bodies, we are bitches and we are ruining family values. Hm.

I always advocate people flipping the scenario around to see how they would react if it were reversed. In this case there is a definite lack of logic and a huge disconnect.

Thanks for the post; great blog generally!

Independent said...

"Sometimes it is very difficult for me to forgive people for being so ignorant."

If you look at it from the other side, they probably feel the same way about you. That man cannot for the life of him imagine why you'd help a woman kill her baby. I'm not saying he's right, or that you're right, but it helps to see things the way others do.

If you label the other side as "ignorant" or "judgemental" for their dogmatic beliefs, while holding your own beliefs as absolute truths, there is a measure of hypocrisy in the air. The good thing is that you're willing to admit it =).