[personal profile] littlereview
People in London -- please post two words ("I'm fine") if you can, in your own journal so everyone can see it. My good friend who writes for The Guardian is, thank god...I walked by that spot near Russell Square with her earlier this year.

I would have missed the latest excruciating misogynistic idiocy from Rick Santorum had it not been for [livejournal.com profile] vertigo66. How can this man's electorate not be ashamed to say they voted for this man?

Oh wait, wait, that's right, it's because of our CULTURE OF LIFE. So now the Republicans want to speed up the death penalty, possibly killing innocent people and certainly killing a disproportionate number of minorities and poor people. They're spearheaded by that hypocrite Senator Kyl, who has voted yes on all the anti-abortion bills and has a 0% rating from NARAL -- what a right-to-lifer, so long as you're a fetus and not a woman or a man who can't afford a lawyer.

Have I mentioned yet this month my utter lack of respect for the anti-choice, anti-human rights movement in the U.S.? And oh, yes, please unfriend me over that statement if it offends you, because I am sure that when I get going on Supreme Court appointees, it will only upset you further. This is the last time I am going to try to explain this. But just to make it absolutely clear, so certain people and their little friends can stop sending me harrassing e-mails under the pretense that they can't post them in my journal and defend themselves, even though the posts in question are unlocked and absolutely anyone can post a reply anonymously or publicly:

A few weeks ago I announced that I was going to unfriend anyone who posted anti-choice rants because I don't want to read those things. This is something very different than censorship. Censorship requires me to be in a position of authority to stop those people from posting things in their own private journals or in public forums. "I don't want to read this crap on my own friends list" is not censorship, but the exact same exercise of my right to free expression as it is anyone else's right to express anti-choice sentiments in their own journals. Saying "I don't want to read you, and I don't want anyone reading my friends list to be subjected to your rants there" has nothing whatsoever in common with censorship.

I'm not unfriending people who are anti-abortion and say so. I'm not unfriending people for reading or talking to people who are anti-abortion. I am unfriending people who post about their desire to change the laws of the United States to restrict reproductive freedoms.

That said, I did not go on a hunt across 500+ journals to ferret out anti-choice posters. I did not ask anyone to come clean in my journal and tell me that they once posted something anti-choice or they might one day post something anti-choice; odds are good any given week that I'll be too busy to read some of them if they do. Anyone who objected to my initial post saying I would unfriend people for anti-choice rants could have unfriended me the instant they read it, before I had any idea of their position.

But if people volunteered such information, particularly in a context that sounded to me like they were being deliberately provocative and using words like "murder," I responded in exactly the manner I had said I would and took them off my friends list. (There were a grand total of three, out of nearly 600.) If those same people in parting shots accused me of being narrow-minded or discourteous for saying that I did not want to read their proselytizing on my friends list, I let them know exactly how discourteous I find it to tell women of their demands for laws that may bring about those women's deaths. But I did not go into anyone else's journal and pick a fight about reproductive rights. Anyone could have ignored me at any time.

It is outrageous for certain people to keep harrassing me about how I am rude or insensitive for not giving my opponents a chance to respond fully. First of all, I don't give a flying fuck what anyone's reasons are for opposing reproductive choice, which is why I said I'd unfriend in the first place -- I'm nearly 40 years old, I've been involved in women's groups and reproductive issues since college, and I haven't heard a new argument in twenty years. I just get angrier at the contempt and condescension the more anyone tries to explain to me the reasons women should not be allowed to make their own reproductive decisions...and I am a hundred times less tolerant of men trying to dictate legal policy concerning women's health, be those men straight, gay or transgender. If you take that to mean that I am disrespectful of men's involvement in women's health issues, by god, yes, I am: I am EXTREMELY disrespectful of men who are anti-choice. I will put that on a button if you wish and wear it anywhere, like [livejournal.com profile] gblvr's button about how 77% of those who oppose abortion rights are men and 100% of them will never be pregnant.

I am not going to protest, "But I was so CIVIL AND RESPECTFUL in debating with you!" as certain others have done. You cannot tell me that you consider women murderers for exercising reproductive choice, that you support laws that would deny women control over their own bodies and that you believe your personal beliefs are more important under US law than mine and those of everyone in my religious group and numerous others, and then insist that you are being civil and respectful to me. There is no way to tell a woman that she should be forced to bear a child she does not want and claim that you are being respectful or civil. You are threatening her body, her autonomy and her life -- or I should say MY body, MY autonomy and MY life.

I'd rather have fifty people on my friends list having a fandom kerfluffle than one anti-choice person sweetly and politely outlining the reasons he or she believes women should be denied legal reproductive rights. I will readily concede to being a bitch, because "nice" doesn't save women's lives. Barricades and counter-protests and putting bodies on the line to keep doctors and clinics safe are what's been necessary in this war.

I can't make this any clearer. Don't like the policy, or just don't like that I won't promise to be "nice" and "respectful"? Then unfriend me. Because I sure as hell am NOT going to promise to be "respectful" to anyone threatening my life or my personhood on my friends list.

Quote my uncle sent me from last Sunday's Portland Oregonian: "Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, I think the Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives."

And what a fun time to be a journalist, with freedom of the press under unprecedented attack. Woodward and Bernstein would probably go to jail if they were investigating Watergate today. And the really scary thing is that Nixon's crimes don't even seem all that heinous compared to what's going on now.

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June 2017

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