Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sexism and Stupak

You know, over and over, lefties and liberals have told feminists that they have to look beyond sexism and abortion rights. Hell, I've been one of them. I criticized feminists during the primaries who seemed to excuse blatant racism from the Clinton campaign while freaking out about Obama calling a reporter "Sweetie." I've noted that historical feminism was a white middle-class movement with white middle-class goals.

But right now, I'm really, really pissed about this Stupak amendment (as if you couldn't tell). And yes, this is an issue that is personal for me: I'm a cisgender woman, heterosexual and of childbearing age, and I have no desire for kids.

And I'm sick and tired of hearing that I should look at the broader picture, that there are worse issues than sexism, blah blah blah.

I've heard this from well-meaning "liberal" men, but I've also heard it from activists I admire, who are usually RIGHT when they point out the myopia of much of the feminist movement (such as it is).

But this is the thing: millions of poor women, many of them women of color, will be hurt badly if this amendment stays in the bill. Shit, it'll affect me, but I can probably still get an abortion if I need one. This isn't a bourgeois issue and we're not being myopic or selfish assholes to be righteously, ferociously angry and ready to fight this tooth and nail.

This is women's lives. I care about race and class issues, poverty and health care and immigration and transgender people's rights.

There are lots of lines in the sand that I'll draw. One of them has been crossed right now, and yes, it's personal. Because over and over again our issues get written off as things that should be compromised for the greater good, or we're made to feel guilty because we're worrying about something silly when there are worse oppressions out there.

I'm not going to play oppression olympics or other such bullshit. I'm just going to keep fighting this with every breath I've got, and I don't care who you are, if you tell me I'm wrong for that, you can kiss my ass.