Thursday, June 27, 2019

Let’s Talk: Let’s talk about Alabama

June 12, 2019 by Katy Weicker, staff writer

As the writer of a column about women’s issues, one would think that I’d be sitting at my keyboard with bated breath, fingers feverously clicking across the keys as I express my views on everything going on in the southern states right now. 

But in reality, I’ve been dreading writing a column for this issue. I’ve asked multiple people for something, ANYTHING to write about other than this topic. Highlights include me egging on a male acquaintance when he said something along the lines of “You know how women are,” and how my friend’s wife found a sundress with pockets, which led into a 20-minute discussion about how a lack of pockets in women’s clothing is the patriarchy at work—the conversation was passionate and I could already see the column forming in my mind. But then I came home, opened my Word document, and stared at the blank screen with tears in my eyes. Because I realized I couldn’t do it. I had to talk about Alabama, but how could I articulate everything that needs to be said?

Let’s Talk? is a column exploring women’s rights issues; it’s in every issue of Nexus.

How can I express the sick heartache and rage I feel whenever there’s a CNN update on the issue? How I couldn’t focus on a conversation with a co-worker because a newscast about it playing on her phone was filling me with rage? And how I wanted to ask her to turn it off because I wanted to avoid that feeling?

How I can’t help but feel there is a certain element of “we’ll give you something to cry about” in the votes as a reaction to how far women’s rights have come since the birth of #metoo? How a little part of me has a “preach” reaction when I hear people say, “This is about controlling women, not about protecting babies”? How I want to cry every time I see someone bravely bare their soul about their painful decision to terminate a pregnancy in hopes of highlighting how common it is? How nurses write passionate pleas about all the circumstances in which they’ve had to help a woman who very much wanted her pregnancy but, for medical reasons, had to terminate it because it was not viable?

How mental health, education, poverty, life goals, and a million other things go into the decision? How I’m overwhelmed by how triggered people are by this topic, and how all I want to say is the right thing but it feels impossible?

One in four women chooses to terminate a pregnancy, and the reasons behind it are as unique and complex as the woman herself. And it breaks my heart that there is nothing I can say to change the minds of people who are hell-bent on taking that right away. So, I guess all I can say is: I’m sorry. I’m sorry to everyone suffering because of this. I’m sorry I can’t write a brilliant opus to all the brave souls faced with this decision.

You are not alone. If nothing else, know that.  

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