I didn't want to start this conversation with what could be construed as the opening of a screaming match. Even if it is on a virtual page, when a woman is perceived as raising her Internet voice, she is accused of being hysterical, overreactive, agitating, bitchy, bossy, pushy, too assertive, too much or, gasp, un-ladylike. But here we are in 2014 in Colorado, doing battle with people who think women should not have body autonomy -- and it makes me want to scream.
Yup, it's election season and the latest incarnation of that cockroach of a concept that will never die, "personhood," is back, this time in the form of Amendment 67. Amendment 67 wants to criminalize women (and the health-care providers who currently offer safe, legal health care to those women) for making choices about their own bodies.
To echo the many female-identified folks who have fought this fight before me, all I can say is this: I cannot believe I still have to protest this shit.
Each year, the "personhood" people have to get more creative in their fight against women's rights. In 2014, it comes in the form of Amendment 67, known to Personhood types as "A Voice For Brady." But not for one second do I believe that this argument and vaguely worded amendment are meant to do anything other criminalize abortion. As it stands in Colorado, abortion is a safe and legal procedure. Amendment 67 passing wouldn't end abortion; it would end safe abortions. Access to safe abortions keeps women alive.
My concern for maintaining women's rights doesn't stop with Amendment 67. There's another important issue on the ballot this midterm election, and that is who we choose to represent us in the U.S. Senate. I went to a Mark Udall rally last week at Exdo Events Center (please, let me know when the next Republican rally is held at an LGBTQIA events center, because I'm guessing that will be never) to see Michelle Obama speak. What I'm saying is, Michelle Obama came to Denver to stump for Mark Udall. That's how important this Senate seat is.
I like Udall because he treats female-identified people as people. To me, it feels like GOP candidate Cory Gardner sees us as a special-interest group. The dude who supported personhood bills since 2006 magically changed his tune this year when he realized he had to cater to our special-interest group in order to win. He has also has taken to waving a proud flag of support for making birth control available over-the-counter.
I'm calling bullshit on that stance, too. By making some forms of birth control available over-the-counter, this potentially means it won't be covered by insurance. It also could mean other non-pill forms of birth control (which often cost more and definitely require doctor's office visits) could have problems in terms of coverage, affordability and availability. As a person who has used multiple forms of birth control for multiple reasons, I can safely say that no one method works for everybody. We need access to all forms and it needs to be safe, affordable. Mark Udall supports that without question.
I would like to say in a nice, kind, warm and congenial voice that of you haven't voted yet, please do so. Or if you plan on going to the polls the day of the election to vote in person, make good on that plan. But what I really want to do is shout this: Even if you aren't a female-identified person or don't feel "affected" by issues like the potential danger of Amendment 67 passing or Cory Gardner being elected, just remember that someone you know will be. One of the greatest things we can do as humans is step into the shoes of other humans who may not seem anything like us and try to see the world through their eyes. When we can think of others as important and in the same way we think of ourselves, we can do a lot of good.
So please, get out there and rock the vote or turn out for what or whatever you want to call it. Just fucking do it. Vote your ass off. Colorado, if we think we're so progressive and cool for making weed legal, why shouldn't women be legal, too? After all, girls just wanna have fundamental human rights.
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Be my voyeur (or better yet, let me stalk you) on Twitter: @cocodavies