Many platforms, including the Broad, have published articles in the wake of the abortion laws passed in Alabama and Georgia. When deciding whether to write my own article on the same topic, I was hesitant on the basis of repetition but resolutely compelled. Repetition is important; mass appeal for attention and resolution forms the basis of progression. A single voice in a crowd of many is undoubtably less powerful than a chorus. On such a topic which I am so passionate about, the fact that my point has already been said becomes negligible. So, while I apologise for an article which may be less appealing to those who have read a similar incarnation, I won’t refrain from writing it.
When I read the initial articles and the multitude of Republican quotes, I cried. Very few things in the news have enough power to make me feel, quite honestly, heartbroken. It wasn’t anger or even sadness, but it was an overwhelming feeling of helplessness, as if in one instant I was made vividly aware of how unheard or ignored the voices of women are. The laws passed not only function as a regression, an attack on women’s rights, but are also a declaration of male power and a means of robbing women of any sense of hope. How can we retain any optimism or faith in a world in which America, so-called land of the free, continues to become a symbol of oppression and discrimination?
I refuse to feel lucky that I have the option for abortion if I need one. I refuse to be grateful for the privilege of a choice, for free healthcare, the right to vote, the opportunity to have a career, the fact that I am white, straight and therefore not facing social discrimination. I am tired of moulding my behaviour and appearance to a way which is acceptable to a patriarchal and prejudicial society, which pigeonholes me as a means to belittle my opinions. I refuse to minimise my anger or sadness in an effort to avoid being labelled as aggressive or a ‘bitch’ to those who have adopted a victim complex to avoid facing reality. There is no attack on privilege or those who are inherently more advantaged, simply a plea to those who are in power to enact change. The attack is on society, to those who ignore the voices of many, who are asked to bend a small amount to allow for equality. The Alabama laws are effectively dangerous, representing a regression and acting as a declaration of war against feminism. While I sympathise with those who feel as though we are fighting a lost cause, I urge us all to let this be a reminder of our passion, rather than letting it stamp on our fire.