Monday, February 02, 2009
Sewing the Scarlet Letter on my blog...
I have to admit I'm a little nervous about this endeavor. A lot of people who know me, know I'm vehemently pro-choice, and I don't usually back down from a discussion on the topic if the topic presents itself, but I censor myself more than I should.
Most of my friends are peeps from church. Once, birth control came up when one of my church friends and I were in the parking lot of a karaoke bar. Let me make sure the picture is painted clearly here: 2:00 am. At a bar. Where there was drinking (okay -- we're Lutherans, so the drinking thing is not that huge a "Wow!"). And smoking (on her part). So, we were already doing lots of things that generally are not "approved" by church-types. And we were talking about birth control.
She approved of birth control, and used it (so, yes, we can add "pre-marital sex" to the list). But she, like many people, said she was not pro-choice, because she did not "believe" in abortion. (I'm not going to go off on this tangent today, but I will tomorrow or the next day. Trying to stay on task here...)
It's perfectly socially acceptable to say you're against abortion. But it's not perfectly acceptable to say that you support a woman's right to choose. And it's DEFINITELY not okay to say you have actually had an abortion. (Even though one in three women has! But, again, trying to stay on topic here...)
This was my best friend. She was one of my bridesmaids at my wedding. But I couldn't bring myself to tell her that I did support a woman's right to choose, and that I had had to make that choice myself.
If you're "pro-life," you're a "good" person. That's the "nice" thing to do. If you're pro-choice, you're a baby-killer. (Which is ridiculous: babies are extra-uterine beings.)
No one would bat an eye if I had an anti-choice bumper sticker on my car. But my "You can't trust me with a choice, but you can trust me with a child?" bumper sticker is up on my refrigerator (help there with a "2 teach is 2 touch lives 4ever" magnet. Quaint, huh?), nice and inconspicuous. I really wanted to put it on my last car, but do you think I could have gotten away with that, driving into the teacher parking lot of an elementary school every day?
Maybe it's all in my head.
But I don't think so.
There's a double-standard that really bugs me. And it really bugs me that I cave into it.
The only reason I told my family I'd had an abortion was because that was pretty much the central theme of my first NaNoWriMo novel. I made such a big brouhaha about NaNoing that they all wanted to read my novel... so I sent out an email confessing my transgression. And now they know.
I've written about abortion on this blog before, and mentioned that I've had one. So it's not like I'm hiding it... but I still bite my tongue more than I wish I did.
Part of the reason why I bite my tongue is because of my mother-in-law. She had a stillborn child, WHICH IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THING THAN WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, but the way she sees it (according to Freddy), a fetus is a "child" so abortion is bad. (I will address this issue in future posts as well... steady the course!)
A post here and there alluding to the fact is different than dedicating an entire month, posting every single day, to the topic, and openly confessing that I wear this scarlet letter on my chest.
What will friends (those who don't already know) think? What will Freddy's mom and sister think? What will prospective employers think? What will prospective publishers think (while LIFE CHOICES is adult, my other novels are YA)? Will publishing LIFE CHOICES hurt my chances of publishing YA? (Yes, I know I'm getting a wee bit ahead of myself here... but still.)
Maybe the times, they are a'changing, and people will not care. Maybe the more of us who stand up and speak out, the less this will be a taboo. The more we will be able to talk about the issues, all levels and facets of them, and fully understand the issues as well.
I'm still scared. I'm still worried. But I'm still going to do it.
at 6:58 PM