Saturday, September 13, 2008

biking down marshall today

i saw a group of kids standing on a corner wearing yellow tshirts holding up "honk for life signs" with a big cowbell they were ringing occasionally.
it saddens and frustrates me that kids are being co-opted into the vicious war between "pro-life" and "pro-choice," and given these terrifying messages about sex and pregnancy and abortion.

The dichotomy between pro-life and pro-choice should be a binary. pro-choice should not mean abortions for everyone, and pro-life should be more inclusive than thinking that no pregnancy should ever be terminated.

It worries me if kids aren't even given an option, if they're just scared into thinking that abortion isn't in option in any circumstance. Part of me wanted to circle back around the block, cross the street and talk to the kids, ask them how they understand pro-life. Who knows, maybe they were really trying to raise awareness about the death penalty. Either way, I wish I would've stopped to talk about them, asked what they were doing and why. And then talk to them about how all the people I know who are pro-choice are also pro-life. We want to get to a point where abortions are no longer necessary, where women aren't raped, forced to become pregnant against their will, where incest doesn't happen, where contraception is available for anyone and is the responsibility of all parties involved in sex.

So the bigger picture now. This kids learn through these messages that, at best, sex is a confusing complicated thing for adults and at worst that sex is scary and bad. Sexuality is taboo, they learn our capacity for sexuality is sin, that we should shut down all those desires. Sexuality is clamped down on, which is incredibly damaging. It causes deep emotional and mental hurt to fracture our sexuality from the rest of ourselves. And it's so hard to unlearn that message, look at the thousands of lgbtqi people who've been told that their sexuality is evil and twisted. That type of mental hurt creates walking wounded who go around hurting others inadvertently or intentionally in their attempt to heal that hurt. I've seen that already in the few weeks I've been at my job. And it's not just restricted to lgbtqi people, though our population has been rejected more fiercely then other forms of sexuality. As a society we need to frame a healthier understanding of sexuality, a sexual ethic that allows us to appreciate and respect those parts of our being.

Well. I kinda went off in another direction on that rant. I think it's partially because the concept of sexual ethics has been kicking around my head lately due to some discussion I've had lately. anyways. tonight is the minnesota gender advocates left out party at pi. should be some good times.

1 comment:

Mugsie said...

Just had a really good discussion with mom about that last night, actually.
Also on the pro-life/choice note, sort of, in case you didn't see when I posted it on facebook, check this out: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2008174176_appalinrapekits.html?syndication=rss
Just inconceivable.
On the religious sexual ethics front - sorry I didn't actually get you my reader. Greg, the fabulous priest friend, gave me a list of people you should check out, but I can't find it right now. I know it included Michael C. Banner. I'm going to email him and ask him for it again.