I worked inside again today, on reception. Don't worry, next week I will be back on the front lines. It was actually a bit crazier today inside than out; I think the weather makes people a bit buggy. It certainly restricted some traffic from Saint John, because the numbers of protesters were way down. Hoorah!
So since I don't really have anything much to write about, I thought I would post a little reflection I was writing in my journal earlier. I was thinking about how I need to write more, but all I can ever think to write about is abortion. Is abortion all I think about?? I mean I know I work in (and volunteer at) a clinic, and also troll a lot of abortion blogs and Facebook message boards like a coke addict in the bathroom at boom!, but it's just weird that abortion takes up so much space in my brain. Especially since I've never had one. So here's what I came up with; enjoy.
Feminism is my curse. It prevents me from watching commercials without cringing, reading magazines without violently flipping through pages of perfumed advertisements, and watching movies without decrying the lack of a strong leading female who does not dress like a crack whore playing beach volleyball. It disrupts my daily life, and yet I love it, I cling to it with the hopeless embrace and vacant stare of an addict. I love you, feminism. You give me life.
Feminism informs my other views. It shapes my socialism, powers my empathy and inspires my quest for social justice. It even contributes, in the sweetest and smallest way, to my vegetarianism. Feminism is not just an “ism” to me. It is who I am.
There is nothing more dangerous than such passion focused on one tiny aspect of our culture. But there is one such aspect where the majority of my feminist energy goes; one area of our society that holds such a deep fascination for me that every time I get on the internet, I am drawn, as if by magic, towards more blogs and message boards whose focus it is. I love it, I am appalled by it and intrigued by it, it is the air I live and breathe. It is the abortion debate.
It is strange that I would hold such stakes in a topic that really should not concern me (except of course in my womanhood and my feminism). I have never had an abortion, nor have I ever been in the situation where I would have to consider it. Neither my mother nor my sister, as far as I know, has had one. None of my close friends have had one, although a few acquaintances have (not that we have ever talked about it). Anyone I know who is directly involved in the abortion debate is someone I met after becoming involved myself. What could attract me to such a divisive, and often explosive (sometimes literally!), debate?
I suppose it is the polar opposition that does it. Once you begin to consider the debate, it is impossible to be on the fence. Either you are for legalized abortion, or you oppose it. There is no middle ground.
How can a debate have no middle ground? How can there be no shades of grey, no room for compromise? Absurd! And yet…I know that some will argue that the two sides do have common goals, but really, in general – have you ever met somebody who was in between pro-choice and pro-life? What would that opinion look like?
And thus I am drawn to my sweet, elusive abortion debate like a vulture to carrion. I love the polarity of it. I love the vitriol that spews from either side, the way that none can convert the other. I love that it incorporates all our favourite vices: sex, religion, politics, death, control, and of course, feminism. I love Dr. Morgentaler; but equally I love the middle-aged men who protest outside our clinic. I love these sweet, ridiculous players in the ongoing play, the battle that will never be won. Because there will always be someone on the other side. We are never going away, and neither are they.
It is silly, this thing that, at first glance, seems so serious. There are so many terrible things going on in the world, and here we are, still struggling to retain this one thing that we thought we had won. Why won’t they let us be complacent? Why can’t we concentrate on more pressing feminist emergencies? Because we live in a silly, topsy-turvy world where the things that should be unimportant are the things that consume our lives. And so I am consumed by this debate, because I have to be. Now that I am directly involved, my feminism won’t let me escape. Damn you, abortion debate! You will never end, and I am stuck in you forever, doomed to reflect upon my own part in this absurdity until the end of time.
Seriously, people. Some days the blog is the only thing keeping me sane.