Since the beginning of time, women have had to fight for rights that the male gender has never had taken and could never be taken from them. A society that has continuously controlled women and will try to keep it that way. As a young girl growing up in the 21st century, I have not personally seen the depths that this control has gone too. However, I have some knowledge of the history between men’s rights and women’s rights and the weight that they held in their time. Starting with marriage, women could not own anything, could not handle their own money, and did not have to consent to sexual occurrences for them to happen. Women were not able to buy land, or own anything in their name unless widowed. Voting was also another right that women did not have until late 1919 and in some places, not untill1940. Now in the present day after massive success in the Roe v. Wade case, women are under attack again. Men in Alabama and several other states, as previously mentioned in other blogs, have put forth heartbeat bills or overall abortion ban bills. This law also involves the criminalization of women who attempt to have an abortion, as well if there is suspicion of forced miscarriage. This criminalization will be the death penalty.
The events that have been happening and will continue to happen seem oddly familiar to a famous book and now show called The Handmaid’s Tale. In this series, women are held against their will for their services such as reproductive organs, cooking, and cleaning. Not only is this how women have been looked at for a long time, but it is chilling how realistic this dystopian society is in comparison to ours. Men in the book and show are the leaders, rule makers, sexual abusers, physical abusers, and mental abusers. There is a sequel to the book The Handmaid’s Tale coming out soon, and season 3 just started. I believe it could not have happened at a better time to show our society just how close we are to Gilead. Praise be.
I would like to first start with contradicting the title of this. With all of the debates currently going on in the western world about the abortion ban laws, I would bring my perspective to the growing conversation. Right now, if I am not mistaken Alabama, Ohio, Missouri, and Georgia are trying to get a bill passed to make abortions illegal, as soon as they can detect a heartbeat which can be as early as four weeks, and criminalize women who seek them out. Currently, Missippi was denied on their heartbeat bill; however, the rest of the states have not been and are pushing hard for it. So to get back to contradicting my title Pro-Choice or Life I want to point out that firstly, you do not necessarily need to be either. If you are pro-life, you can be for yourself, your family, and maybe even some of the people you decide to hang out with, however, you can respect others beliefs and rights to their own body like many other rights. I don’t need to believe in your religion to respect that you believe in it, and I don’t need to be gay to accept, nor do I need to be a scientist to respect that you didn’t want to be a doctor. Respecting what someone else is doing does not mean that you want it for yourself, but it is allowing others their personal freedom to do what they believe in for them. Secondly, though abortions can affect men, it does not affect them as much as it does to women in terms of their body changes, and the primary responsibility of childbearing is on her. Men should not be deciding what women can do with their body even if it can affect them. I believe this conversation carries so much stigma from religion and different viewpoints that give a lot of judgment to either side. I think if we could come together and respect all people and their decisions to do what they believe is best for themselves and no one else this would be easier to talk about, because if I respect you enough not to tell you what to do with your body then respect me too and show me the same.
Today I met some of my mothers, biological family. I met my aunt Karen, uncle John, and cousin Mike. Though my family life has been far less than average throughout my life, it is still something I value dearly and hold close to my heart. Growing up, I always felt a bit left out of society because this idea of what a family was, was not how identified with my own family. As I have gotten older that has changed even more, however, I have made it work to the best of my abilities and am very close with of few of my immediate and extended family. Now meeting family, I knew existed but thought I would never meet is astonishing. My mother is adopted, and though I love her family, I have always been curious as to who her biological family is. I had no idea about going into today what to expect, but all my expectations exceeded my thoughts, and I left very happy. It was so absurd to me that I felt so close to people I just met, and that I could talk to them better than some people I have known my whole life. My mom and her sister looked so alike it was so weird for me to see her with a family member who resembled her because I am not used to it at all. My aunt says she feels like we have so much missed time, but I do not see it that way. I see it as now we have all of this new time together, as well as more cousins who I will continue to know forever as well. Family isn’t always blood-related, some times they are, some times you have known them forever, and sometimes you’ll meet new ones you never knew you had.
The next federal election feels like it’s coming up soon. This coming October we will vote to have a new prime minister in office. A new person will be running our country and having the power to make extensive changes within our society — control over our rights, our rules, our lives. I have already started to read about the candidates because I want my vote to be educated and not pressured or influenced by my family, friends, or the media. This election is significant to me because it is the first federal election that I will be participating. I feel a lot of pressure to vote because I believe everyone should since we have the right, but I also feel the pressure to vote the right way…. what? What does that even mean to vote right? It means to sway with the masses and create the least amount of waves in the political pool. I want to change what that means to vote right. I want it to define it as if you feel that your decision will do the maximum good for our society, then it is right.
Who are you? Who do you feel like? What does that person feel like doing? Are there only one of you? Two? Maybe even more? Who am I? Most days, I know the answer. Most days, I have two answers. One that is the right answer, and the other I know is the wrong answer. I feel like I am split right down the middle, one side of me wants to follow the road society and my parents have laid out for me. The other half of me wants to say f*** that and go completely off the road at a 180-degree turn. These two roads are parallel to each other, so close that at any moment I could jump over to the other one. When traveling the most socially acceptable path, I am ever so tempted to jump over to the one that is not. However, I feel the same when I am on a route that will not be approved. One is more tempting the other, but that one is worse for me. Maybe that’s why society deems it unacceptable. Most days, I agree. I find that I am only tempted to go to the dark side when I am also feeling in a dark place. It seems like I can escape anything when I hide over there. Society doesn’t want me when I am there, and I don’t want me when I am there, my family, and my friends. I am left to self destruct.
That’s why I stay traveling the path that remains in the light. I stay where society can see me so that I can hold myself to their standards.
Let me start my saying mom, don’t bother reading this one.
Now that she’s probably still reading I’ll begin anyway. What is dissociating you may wonder? The disconnection or separation of something from something else or the state of being disconnected. The state of being disconnected. I’m not sure why this is so appealing to me, or why it has been for so many years. Even when I think about that phrase ‘the state of being disconnected’ I feel so at ease. Since a young age clearing my mind to the point of no thought has been easy, and something I enjoyed often doing. Not long after it happened without even trying. I would be in class and would completely dissociate not realizing until my friends would nudge me. Soon it became comfortable and easier to do it on command, even affecting my vision. As I got older, this state became increasingly comforting to me. I started to crave being in a dissociative state all the time. I wanted to find a balance between being engaged in my surroundings but also entirely out of it. With already being in a troubled friend group accessing substances to help me accomplish my goal was not difficult for me. Emotional trauma in my life started to lead me there, my friends helped me stay there, and more trauma kept me there. I slowly crept out of a life of partying as a distraction, however, substance abuse still followed me just not as close and not as hard. Cigarettes became another form of oxygen and one of the most durable coping methods I have ever come across. They were also the hardest to quit. After moving to a new school for a year, I became more in touch with myself. My health took a turn for the better, but my want for a dissociative state was still stronger than ever. I had stopped all drugs that were considered ‘hard’ and really wanted to do well for myself. That’s what I did, and I did it well. Now here we are two years later, and I still partake in substances that allow me to dissociate with ease. Maybe one day I won’t. But like I said even when I think about that phrase ‘the state of being disconnected’ I feel so at ease.
Something I used to love doing. Something I used to do with my eyes open and closed. Now I dread my dreams, and I pray I don’t have them or remember them. When my loved ones tell me their dreams, and I try my best to be happy for them and listen like I actually even want to. In reality, I am filled with envy. Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Fear. Why? Somewhere along the line, my dreams stopped being happy. They started being an accumulation of my fears, traumas, and most profound thoughts I never choose to think of. Maybe it’s because when unconscious you have no choice, you deal with what you’re given. One day I hope to enjoy my dreams, or at maybe at the least enjoy others.