Thursday, October 13, 2016

Abortion and the 2016 US Presidential Race

I've been trying to pay more attention this week to what conservative women are saying. I've been really trying to understand why they still might vote for Trump. A few keep throwing out the "well, look what Bill did” and “she bullied his victims" statements. I could write a book on why I think the situations are different, but I can't prove a negative. But the other statement I keep seeing is related to abortion. I know there's no need for me to refer those women to the fact-checkers regarding Clinton’s position on late-term abortions, because I believe at these women's core, they simply view abortion as "murder". I believe they sincerely feel this way. I don't agree with them, but that is irrelevant. Nothing I can say will change their view about this. Nothing anyone can say will change their minds about abortion until they or someone they deeply love is in a situation where abortion is their DIFFICULT but LEGAL choice.

But think about this...think about this, please, especially if you are one of the pro-lifers who does not even approve of choice for victims of rape. Abortion became legal in 1973, while Richard Nixon was President. Since then we have had 4 additional Republican presidents and 3 Democrat. Abortion is still LEGAL. That is not going to change, regardless of who wins this election. At least not anytime soon. What might change is the nation's attitude towards women. We've made a lot of progress, but I know that women, along with African Americans and other minorities in our country, still face an uphill battle. We have challenges that white men simply do not face. And if we allow our progress to be hindered, rape culture is not going to improve. It's going to get worse. A lot of other things are going to be simply awful as well, but if abortion is your "make or break" issue, please take a little time to think about which president is more likely to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

 Do you think it's the misogynist who feels entitled to take whatever he wants, whenever he wants? Or is the woman who has spent her life fighting for women and children, and sacrificing to gain the political experience necessary to run our country? Is it the bully who thinks it is okay to grab a kiss, or anything else, from a woman without her consent? Or is it the woman who completely understands how it feels to be violated by a man? (To clarify, the only thing I think we know for sure about Bill's ‘abuse’ of women is that he cheated on Hillary - no other charges have ever been proven, and he certainly has not been caught on tape bragging about his power over women. But I believe that women, and men, whose partners have cheated, feel extremely violated.) Do you want the man who has changed his position on abortion, who has cheated on and divorced previous wives to marry the “other woman”, who for that matter has changed which political agenda he has backed financially depending on how he thought HE could benefit at the time, or do you want the woman who has learned how to work for a better world, even when it meant forgiving her greatest hurts and negotiating with her greatest adversaries?

 It's an easy choice for me, but I understand it's not for everyone. I just, I BEG, that if you are making this decision based on your position about abortion, that you take some time to really think about your other issues. I plan to keep observing your posts and comments in the next few weeks, so maybe another blog post will emerge…don’t count on it, though, since this is my first in literally YEARS!

One more thing, for any guys thinking about arguing with me about this post…you just shouldn’t. And to the great many men I’ve seen posting their enthusiastic support and empathy for women, a tremendous thank you!