the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.
It’s not summer here yet. We had a few nice days, even a 3-day “heat wave” I barely noticed, but today was just as chilly and rainy as winter. Good thing, though, really. I might have had to resort to watering for the first time. The maple trees are down with powdery mildew. The roses toss in their yearly extravaganza. The clematis beam their flat-petalled joy. The delphs are stunning, rising in their blue and purple spires.
The stories re: Roe v Wade are dunning. This sadistic ruling by the so-called Supremes in the US will push us toward fascism faster than any other single decision. Already a child has been refused an abortion following rape (any sex with a child is rape) and forced into another state. States are planning to let ectopic pregnancies or incomplete pregnancies end in death. It’s becoming illegal to cross state lines. Bounty hunters are being let loose.
They’ve wrecked themselves, of course.
I had a hard lesson to learn this week about ethics, or the lack thereof.
And day surgery, from which I am trying to recover.
My hope for you this week is that you grab rays of hope wherever you can.
How could this week be about anything but the erasure of of half the US population’s bodily autonomy, and how the populace is angry, rattled and terrified for their own and others’ futures, including their children’s?
I’ve been around long enough that I was a teen before restrictions on abortions began to ease in Canada, replaced by a Draconian system where someone had to petition three (white male) doctors and say they’d kill themselves, and then their “case” would go before a hospital board. Needless to say, all these stalling tactics often meant second trimester abortions, through no delay on the pregnant person’s part. Later, Canada repealed this dangerous nonsense, and we now have no law at all. Abortion is provided piecemeal by hospital boards–or often not. In my opinion, our right to it needs to be codified by legislation and enshrined by our Supreme Court. The legislature could ask questions of the court to make this happen.
Canada too has taken and is taking a frightening turn to fascism. We need to be alert and wary and start fighting back–hard–against misinformation and lies propagated by the right. People are, as we’ve seen during the pandemic, repulsively swayable toward doing to wrong thing.
This week we writers are sharpening our pens so they can do double-duty as alphabet-daggers. I send heartfelt warmth and wishes for safety to the USians dealing with this appalling situation. It’s a little like sending throughts and prayers after a school shooting–useless–but so it’s on the record: I will always support your fight for justice.
People will know me as half American in my heart, since I was once a permanent resident there, and that’s where I went to university and learned about literature. Watching the Supreme Court steal rights from half the population in the leaked draft decision overturning Roe, and reading their appalling and ludicrous basis for the decision (citing a dude who burned witches at the stake? saying we owe the country an increase in adoptable babies?) has been soul-crushing, and while I am worried and anxious about climate change, about the war and its deathly abuses, about violence against women and children, about justice, about transphobia and homophobia, about ableism, about racism, about the young people and children of today who need to be able to find homes, I am freaked the eff out about what’s happening. Yes, I can trace the white bread crumbs back to the seventies and see the GOP’s long-game, and I know the GOP is where grown-up bullies go to toy with new victims, but even so the sadism of this surprises me.
I grew up during the times of back alley abortions, which thankfully had mostly vanished by the time I was a late teen. Still, even then, abortion was only legal if the health of the mother was threatened, which wasn’t good enough. Three doctors (white men) had to agree and then the matter went before a hospital board.
And nor do I think Canada’s position on abortion, modernized since then so that we have no law at all, is by any means secure. It only allowed the right-wing to take over hospital boards, who rule access, and remove it where they can. Even while abortion remains legal, access continually dwindles and the threat of violence against people seeking procedures remains heightened.
We live in perilous times. But I always stop to remember that if you are Indigenous or Black or Latinx or Asian you have always lived in perilous times. Maternal deaths from childbirth in Black communities are high. In Canada, on the regular and in current times, Indigenous babies are ripped from parental arms for no reason beyond racism.
That supply of adoptable babies, again.
So, yes, I have been writing, and, yes, I have been painting, and, yes, I have been spring cleaning, but more I’ve been staving off depression because I cannot bear what’s happening.
I hope you’re doing a fair sight better than I am.