You can be anything you want to be. Don’t let people tell you what to do. You can be smart and independent and make your own decisions.
Girls all over the country are told different variations on these types of things. Schools across the country have self-esteem workshops and healthy self-image initiatives. Except for some of the very radical far right the concept of women having choices and power in society is something you want to tell you daughter. Even Glenn Beck realizes there is something a little messed up about a newly elected congressman addressing his daughters who have stood by him and been supportive throughout his campaign as though the only thing that matters is that they are available.
As girls, we are taught to dream big and that we are in control of our destinies. However, as we mature we learn that this is not really true. There are some things we can control but the most important of those can be taken from us: our bodies.
I have never been pregnant, either by accident or by intention. I have friends who have had both and they have all dealt with it in different ways. What I can say about all of these women: They made the right decision for themselves. I am thankful that my friends were able to make that choice and sad for those women who don’t have the opportunity. They don’t have the opportunity because of finances or pressure from others or from lack of knowledge or from the gov’t passing laws to set up roadblocks in their way.
Everyday women wake up and go about their lives and make decisions that affect them in small and large ways. Some of their decisions may affect others some may not but the fact of the matter is it’s their decision to make. Women are smart and aware and strong even when we appear dumb, out of it and weak because no one can tell a woman who she truly is and what she truly needs other than herself. We trust women because if we didn’t we couldn’t trust ourselves or anyone. We trust women because to not do so means hatred and control. To not trust women means a breakdown of society. to not trust women means invalidating the experiences and feelings of over half the population. Dr. Tiller trusted women, he trusted that they knew what was best for them and trusted that they understood what they were doing. He trusted them with control of their bodies and their lives.
He trusted them because he saw what happened when others didn’t. He saw the anguish on their faces after being yelled at from protesters. He saw evidence of back alley abortions gone wrong. He saw the fear that came from knowing that others wouldn’t understand or accept what they needed to do. He saw the anger at being jerked around by hospitals and insurance companies and different state guidelines that were put in place because other people did not trust women. He saw the trauma of a women who had already had her body taken away from her through rape and again through the anti-choice laws of her state. He realized that if we wanted to live in a world where all of the platitudes we tell to our young girls our true we need to do the basics: trust women with their bodies and their lives.