Silencing is NOT What We Need

Silencing is NOT What We Need November 10, 2016

IMG_2996Stop policing people’s expressions of anguish. Stop telling people – and especially women – to shut up. To seek unity. To let it go. To move on.

I am afraid for and in my queer AF, female assigned at birth, gender nonconforming body. I am afraid in and for this body. AND afraid for my trans kid and my daughter – who may have to undergo an illegal abortion in her lifetime because OUR bodies – the bodies of women and the bodies of queers – are on the line.

The bodies of #yesallwomen – and especially the bodies, as always, of Women of Color, trans women, queer women. But, #yesallwomen.

I totally get that my vantage is flavored by white privilege. And this does not remove the fact that this body – my body – is currently at risk too. The rights of ALL WOMEN and queers are newly – AGAIN – under open fire. Again. (And again, and as always, it is Women of Color, queer Women of Color, queer trans Women of Color who are most at risk. And Muslim women. And women who are not able bodied. And women who are poor. And women who are homeless, or drug addicted, or neurodivergent. And again, most at risk are the most marginalized. Women of Color, who are Muslim, trans, homeless, neurodivergent.)

I am looking at the areas where recent hard-won victories in gay rights and trans rights, and at the constant battle around reproductive rights and reproductive justice, and I am painfully, shakingly aware of the work we are going to need to shore up, defend, and re-do.

It’s overwhelming. It’s undeniable.

THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS IT EVER WAS. This is NOT business as usual. This is something that is different than it was a few days ago. It is not “status quo;” it’s a roll-back. And it’s real. Those are the actual words that man used. “Roll back gay rights.” “Overturn Roe v. Wade.” These are things we would not be expecting if she had won. This is a true loss. This is frightening.

And it’s breaking my heart, and shaking my spirit. For all of us. Because the days ahead are uncertain. For me. For mine. For us. And I am steeling myself for them.

Anguish is an understandable response. Perhaps even a necessary response. May our anguish lead to action.

It’s time to pull out Our Bodies, Ourselves, and remind ourselves of our herstories of resistance. Time to relearn self-administered gyn health care. Time to secure long term birth control – maybe even if it’s not ideal.

And there is an unconscious/semi-conscious move to silence women. As always, people are telling women what to say and what not say, how to say it, what’s permissible. There is lateral aggression and blame and shaming and pointing of fingers.

Silencing is NOT what we need. Not now. Not ever. (Calling in, yes. But not silencing.) Right now, more than anything, we need to rise up in voice, in thought, in deed. We need to raise our voices not as a unified front even, but as a multiplicity of voices from a multitude of positions. We need to be seen and we need to be heard and we need to start looking for the actionable common ground.

#yesallwomen #anguish #fear

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