“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
It’s a saying I see floating around social media and the digital world quite frequently. People break it out at almost any given opportunity, in the face of any adversity. It’s a rallying cry, a call to arms, a mantra that people can mutter under their breath when their views and opinions are being challenged.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with each other. But is it wrong to hope for acceptance of different views? Your beliefs are your choice, just as my beliefs are my choice. But the important part of that is that they are our choice.
As a 30-year-old, white, agnostic, bisexual mother living in England, my human rights are rarely challenged. I enjoy my freedom, I enjoy my independence, I enjoy my choices. But that does not mean that I can’t be upset and scared for other women around the world who have their human rights challenged.
It does not mean that I can’t be upset and scared for anyone, male or female, having their choice be denied them.
There were plenty of men walking in solidarity in the multiple women’s marches around the world. Just as I know there would be plenty of women walking in solidarity, should the need arise for there to be men’s marches around the world.
But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? There is no need for a global men’s march at this moment in time, because it is not a man’s human rights that are being discussed and decided by a group of powerful people.
It doesn’t matter that the person who has signed this bill is Donald Trump. I couldn’t care less who signed it, or how many men stood round that table, or how many women agreed with it being signed. The Mexico City Policy, the Global Gag Order, whatever you want to call it, shouldn’t have been signed at all. And that is what I care about.
Different political parties will have different ideas, different ways of doing things. But why, in 2017, can we not agree that a person should have autonomy over their own body, their own choices? It shouldn’t matter if they are male or female, Muslim or atheist, heterosexual or transgender, or anything in between. What they do to their body and how they use their body should be their choice.
Some people may choose to have 20 children. Some may choose to have 20 abortions. Some may choose to spend 20 years being an alcoholic or drug addict. But those are their choices. And ultimately, if the only person they are hurting is themselves, why should the people in power get to tell them they don’t have a choice? And I know there is an argument that having an abortion means harming the unborn fetus, but what causes more harm: aborting a fetus before it has any feelings or conscious thought—or making a mother out of someone who does not want, and is not ready, to raise a child, and then having that child suffer because of it?
We have laws to look after people. But ultimately, people will do what they want to do regardless of these laws. Because that is their choice. Removing a legal and safe option to end an unwanted pregnancy will lead to more dangerous procedures, which will just lead to more death.
I am pro-choice. Not just on the topic of abortion. I am pro-choice in the sense that I stand with, and support, the people who want to make their own choices about their own bodies. And I will fight for the people who are having their choices denied them. Be it women being stoned to death in the Middle East, men being jailed for being homosexual in Africa, the human-rights violations going on in China, the global sex trade. It doesn’t matter to me who or what you are—I support you and your human rights.
I am raising an intelligent and wildly independent daughter, and I want her to be able to experience and enjoy every freedom I do. But if I let one person in power in one country dictate the choices women are allowed to make, what happens when the next person in power, in the next country, wants to dictate them? What freedoms and choices will be left for my daughter to safely make for herself?
I stand with you. I may not always agree with you. But that is my choice. Just as it is your choice to disagree with me. Either way, I stand with you.
Previously posted: http://www.selfishmother.com/i-stand-with-you/