I completely missed Blogging for Choice day, and if I had been aware of it, I most likely would have said, “What else is there to say on the topic?”
Which is at least part of why I was knocked out by Darkdaughta’s post on the topic. I recommend following her plan for reading her site (in the upper right-hand corner). If you don’t do that, you’ll miss her very clear reasons for keeping the site’s look the way it is. Once you’ve done that, try my trick and use your mouse to highlight the text you want to read: it will then show up temporarily in a bright color on a white background, long enough for the impact of her words to get through.
We know the piece is about hard choices long before the issue of women’s bodies ever comes up:
Every morning we take my daughter to school outside our neighbourhood. Our neighbourhood and its schools are too white, too midle-class, too snotty, the neighbourhood schools potential meat grinders for a fragile, African descended child’s consciousness, spirit and self esteem, for us to consider taking her to a school where teachers and students alike will understand her to be fair game at close range.
Conscious choices, consciously carried out.
Next, we have her yelling at anti-choice picketers:
I would carefully roll down the window stick my head out and yell out loudly to the protesters, many of them men standing on the other side of the road. “Shame!” “You don’t know. So, you can’t say!” “Back off!”
One morning they were actually video taping the wimmin as they entered. My very rude yelling rending the fabric of suppressed, polite, white, urban Canada/Toronto, forced them to turn of the camera…at least for a moment.
This is the stuff of canonical pro-choice behavior, good to read about, vanishing shortly into the general atmosphere of my politics, if it wasn’t for what follows, when the 5-year-old daughter in the car starts asking questions.
She is deeply loved, well cared for, raised in a household where questions and conversation abound…She also has a lot of autonomy and voice. So, it wasn’t difficult for her to deal with my raised, Black, female, empowered, passionate voice directed at the people across the street. She wasn’t scared, just intellegent, curious and collecting information as she often does.
I don’t want to excerpt the rest, because it’s too good to chop up. And I don’t want to reprint the whole thing, because I want you to see it in Darkdaughta’s context, not in Laurie’s and mine. So click the link.
The point that Darkdaughta makes so perfectly, and never states in so many words, is that abortion/choice does not exist in a vacuum. If we aren’t talking about women’s rights to our own bodies across the whole spectrum, if we aren’t talking about poverty, and capitalism, and inequality, and racism, we aren’t really talking about choice.
What’s more, it’s perfectly possible to choose to raise a child in such a way that you can talk about choice with her or him at the age of five.