Everything’s Definitely Not Better in Texas
They like to say that everything is bigger in Texas. Well, there must be some truth in that postulation because if Gov. Greg Abbott and the men in the Texas state legislature think they have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies, they have balls the size of an El Paso steer. The recent abortion bill passed in Texas puts a bounty on women’s heads (or more literally, their wombs) and any potential accessory who aids them in receiving an abortion. They’ll even give you a $10,000 reward for turning in her freakin’ Uber driver, for crying out loud. And with that came the first of what is sure to be an all-out assault on Roe vs Wade and the women’s reproductive rights it’s protected for nearly half a century.
How dare you, Texas? How fucking dare you? Of the 84 Texas State Representatives that voted for this catastrophe, 76 of them were men. Seventy-fucking-six. And of the 18 Senators that passed it, 11 were men. And I don’t need to tell you that Greg Abbott is a man, or at least so he claims to be despite significant indications to the contrary. Where in hell do men get off telling women what they must do in the often emotionally complicated and excruciating decision-making regarding their pregnancy? At no level of this legislation is there accountability for the men who impregnate them. At no level is there even a simple, basic understanding of the plight of women who have been the victim of rape or incest. At no level is there even a recognition of the trials and tribulations of what it means to be a woman, especially in the supposedly great state of Texas, which is beginning to look a lot more like Afghanistan than anything our founding fathers had envisioned.
And it’s not just Texas. Soon, every state south of the ol’ Mason-Dixon Line will pass similar legislation restricting women’s autonomy, in much the same way the religious fundamentalism of Sharia law that they are all so concerned about is indoctrinated in Muslim countries. And why? Because our broken democracy shrugged its shoulders and looked the other way as Republicans literally stole seats on the Supreme Court of the United States. I told you this was going to happen in my column the week after RGB passed, and the hypocritical slime balls on the right side of the Senate changed their own bullshitious rules from just four years before when they refused to even have hearings for Merrick Garland to replace Scalia who died In February only to confirm Amy Comey Barrett just weeks before the November election. They have lied and cheated their way to a 6-3 super majority on the Supreme Court, all despite having lost the popular vote in every single presidential election but one since 1992. This is not how a healthy democracy works, with a corrupt minority imposing their will on others in order to deprive a majority of the population of their rights all in the sanctimonious righteousness of believing they have the God-given right to tell women what they should do with their bodies.
Pro-choice does not mean that you are pro-abortion: it just means that you have enough common sense and decency to know when to mind your own damn business and not interfere in the incredibly difficult choice many pregnant women have to make, a choice the men who voted for this law will never know because while many of these hypocritical assholes may have knocked someone up at some point in their lives, they have never had to be the ones to deal with the repercussions of their own sexual escapades. No, some men seem perfectly content to cast judgment from way on high, all while getting to do whatever the hell they want without any consequences whatsoever. Or as Ophelia so brilliantly suggests to her brother, Laertes, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet:
“Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.”
The fact that this comes from the same crowd who like to tout themselves as the purveyors of freedom when really the only freedom they are interested in is the freedom to tell others what to do is an irony so convoluted that it would indeed be laughable if the consequences were not so profoundly tragic. The fact that it comes from men who have no idea what it means to be pregnant or carry to term a baby you never wanted while the person you had sex with goes about his merry business is an insult to what it means to be a woman.
As a man, I do not even try to claim an understanding of what that must be like, but a dear friend of mine gave me a glimmer of an insight many years ago. A college student in Indiana while I was in grad school at the University of Vermont, she called me in hysterics late one evening after having had an abortion in that conservative state. Already deeply vexed over her decision to end a pregnancy from a one-night stand that he simply walked away from, she recounted to me the horrors of being forced to wade through a sea of Planned Parenthood protestors who screamed obscenities at her filled with moral judgment and aspersions that made her question her very soul. As if that was not enough, she then had to sit down and watch a horrifying video filled with images that still haunt her to this day. I stayed with her on the phone well into the wee hours of the evening, knowing then and there that I would never think to question a woman’s right to make her own agonizing decision.
Even as I sit her now, I cannot imagine the plight many women will face as a bunch of falsely pious old men assert their authority over their reproductive organs. I can only hope women see this for the true power and pussy grab that it really is and stand up to vote every single one of these unconscionable douchebags out of office. Even more so, I hope each and every woman (except my girlfriend, of course) decides to tell men to go fuck themselves, both figuratively and literally. Maybe then, and only then, will they finally learn to keep their lecherous hands to themselves.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com