It’s been a tough few days. On Friday the Supreme Court told American women that constitutional protections don’t apply to us. It was delivered via an intellectually lazy opinion which carried a strong odor of contempt which made it feel worse.
I understand the sharp rightward shift in the Republican Party and the growing radicalization of the American political and religious rights. I know about the forced birth movement and how angry the widespread use of birth control—which allowed women to delay childbirth and marriage and then to instead get a college education and enter the workforce above the entry level jobs—made extremist white men who felt they were entitled to control the bodies of women.
I know how ascendant rape culture is and how sexual harassment and assault are not considered a big problem by lots of white men in power. I’ve studied the history of women in this country. I’m a woman living in this country.
But I was not prepared for finally understanding how much this country hates women and when the draft opinion was leaked I said as much to my husband. But on Friday morning I said it to him as I cried on his shoulder. It really became something concrete that day. By and large my female friends were equally upset on Friday. It was a pleasant surprise to see that some friends I thought opposed Roe instead shared my anger and disbelief.
It was a different tone at the politics forum I frequent. Just as they did when RBG died, right wing male posters who had scurried away right before the 2020 election returned to gloat about the loss women had sustained. Even as the news that doing so would result in being banned from the forum (the parent forum is a weather forum and those folks can get a little extra about their hobby and rely on a place where they can obsess together), they kept doing it.
The women who post in that political subforum are intelligent and self-confident. Naturally the extremist posters intensely dislike us. Some of them have taken their obsession to real life. They really thought this was something that was going to finally shut all of up. They were confused and angry when none of the women ran and hid and instead stayed and held their ground.
I’m not sure why anyone expects women to run and hide after this ruling. I know there’s a hope that inflation or something else will come along and people move beyond the overturning of Roe on Election Day. That’s not going to happen. None of the women—and men—who saw the extremists in the GOP for who they are will forget what happened on Friday. We won’t forget. And we won’t go back.
Something beautiful to close out for now: