Saturday, August 25, 2012


I've been "undecided" or "unsure" of who I was going to vote for in the upcoming election. I'm usually not someone who likes to get into a debate about politics or ideologies. Given the ideas expressed in my last post, I'm sure most of you might see why. I was "undecided" because I wanted to listen to both sides and do a little research. In every single election since I've gotten the right to vote, I have voted for candidates that represent a political party that won't receive my support in this election. At this point, I'm not sure that they'll ever receive my support again.

Growing up, I remember how our church perpetuated the idea that Planned Parenthood was "evil." I didn't understand why, I just knew to "stay away" from the one in the shopping center off of 35th Avenue. When my doctor offered to put me on birth control pills as a teen because my menstrual cycle had been irregular for years and my mother refused, I didn't understand "why." I was 13, I couldn't make those decisions on my own. What right did I have to question my parents' authority? It was drilled into me that being homosexual was a "choice," abortion was "murder" and "safe sex" was somehow unnecessary.

I suppose it is this same ideology that allowed me to wonder as a 13,14,15, almost 16-year old girl, if it would be safe to walk in my own house everyday. Would I be groped today? Would my ass be grabbed as I walked down the stairs or to the refrigerator? Would my female development be the topic of conversation? Would my nightgown be ripped near my arm or my chest? Would I have to hear lewd comments again? Would today be the day that I would be raped, as the comments continued to threaten? And if I was raped, would my pregnancy be blamed on my promiscuity? On the temptations that my developing body obviously wanted to participate in and invited? If my body hadn't been able to "shut it down," would any of this have been "legitimate"? Of course, I was 15 and a female. Nothing I said or felt was "legitimate" anyway. I must have been mistaken. I must have misunderstood. I must have "imagined" it all. I eventually said I did because somehow I still had compassion. For my father. My mother. My family. I would take the blame (again) because that was my role. And it was one that I had become so accustomed to playing that Oscar-level recognition would have been a no-brainer.

I suppose it is this same ideology that made some of my male peers think it was okay to hold me down on the grass in my own backyard and try to rip off my pants, to shove their hands onto my breasts and into my underwear when all I wanted to do was watch a movie with some friends. Of course I wanted to become a nun because I didn't want to have sex with someone I wasn't attracted to. Of course I must have liked it since I didn't feel I had the voice or the right to complain.

I'm sorry. But I cannot play this role anymore. Anyone (and I mean anyone, regardless of party affiliation, label, gender, religion, etc.) who perpetuates the idea that all members of humanity are not equal and do not deserve the same rights, does not have enough compassion to be in a position of leadership and power. Anyone who thinks that they "know" the mind and intent of a supreme being is arrogant. I do not think that a god who is supposed to be full of compassion for humanity would perpetuate a level of hate and ignorance that says it is "ok" for women to be raped, for women to be denied a choice, for women to be denied a voice, for Caucasions to rule over all other races, homosexuals to be denied basic rights and be fired from their jobs, immigrants to be denied the choice of freedom, and hard workers to be taken advantage of by the wealthy few.

I read a quote somewhere that says "the day we recognize our interdependency, and accept and embrace the oneness of humanity, is the day of resurrection for humanity." It saddens and enrages me that many of us do not get this. Many of us do not see. Many of us have thrown away the ideas and values of being a decent human being and having compassion in favor of maintaining the ideas and values of supremacy and social privileges for a choice few. What saddens and enrages me more is the fact that many do not even take the time to question and investigate what they are supporting. They blindly accept that due to a certain "label" this is the best person to represent their values. They blindly accept ideas that science refutes and use the idea of a supreme being to force it onto everyone else as "truth."

A lack of compassion is not "truth." A desire to dehumanize certain members of society is not "truth." It is about control. It is about power. And most of all, it is about fear. A fear that you may not have the answers, let alone the "right" ones. And a fear that you may have to share. You may have to become interdependent. You may have to become compassionately HUMAN.

1 comment:

  1. First, I'm sorry for those awful things that have happened to you, Elizabeth. Like you, I'm frustrated by the voters who don't make the effort to educate themselves on both sides of the issues before blindly accepting the view of one side. And in my opinion, until we can get organized religion OUT of our political process, we'll be having these ridiculous debates about abortion, birth control, and women's rights over and over again. Lately I find myself listening to John Lennon's song "Imagine" often -- the lyrics really speak to me:

    "Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

    You may say
    I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the world will be as one."

    Yeah, really, imagine that world....