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Dismantle the Patriarchy
Abortion is healthcare and a fundamental right
There are many individual decisions that have brought us to this place—namely, the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the hastily and conservatively restaffed Supreme Court of the United States. Some of those decisions were public and monumental, like Senator Susan Collins’ solemn vote of confidence in Justices Kavanaugh (one of two justices accused of sexual misconduct who actually voted in favor of overturning this precedent) and Gorsuch to abide by principles of stare decisis and not strike down Roe v. Wade. Others were private and innocuous in a vacuum, as with individual voters (and non-voters) in 2016 that led to the election of our 45th president—who, in turn, nominated three judges (some barely qualified) to the highest court in our country. But there are also larger and more distant decisions, like Bush v. Gore (we all know how that turned out, and which justice who penned the majority opinion that leaked yesterday got nominated by the president who won that decision) and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (duh, follow the money) that have moved this court inexorably towards the opinion we read last night.
I tried for a while last night, as I stared at the ceiling of my bedroom, to make sense of all those decisions—to find the ones that really mattered so that I could be proportionally more angry at those, but it just made me angry at everybody in the world (including myself), and I was reminded that these decisions don’t exist in a vacuum. They represent—and emerge from—systems of patriarchy, of white supremacy, of unchecked capitalism. Last night (and this morning, as I was writing the newspaper, evidently), I was focused on the patriarchy, and how it has restructured our society’s view of pregnancy, birth, and abortion. The last of these, Laurea pointed out to me yesterday, was a common and largely accepted form of family planning as far back as the 19th century (talk about “rooted in history”). I have literally grown up in a country where legal abortion was the law of the land, and my friend Jess wrote an excellent newsletter just six days about the fact that this law is perilously close to vanishing. Horrible timing.
In any case, it’s late, and mostly what I wanted to tell you is that we cannot get caught in the details now. We have to fight the systems. That isn’t Kina’s job, it’s ours. Dismantle the patriarchy, and let’s take on the others, too.