George Tiller, the abortion doctor from Arizona, was shot in the head in church. It’s a story I have heard many times, but there’s a lingering detail that always comes back to me when a new problem breaks out – large or small – on the internet. At his funeral was a wreath that held a banner on which was written Tiller’s personal motto:
That was his guiding principle for working the way he did. He provided a medical service when it was asked of him, because as a doctor he knew how the procedure worked, and the judgement of whether or not the treatment was what that woman did or did not want was up to her.
This past month I have seen numerous women around me treated to abuse, slurs, hate and threats, and one common thread I’ve heard about this is how that didn’t really happen. About events I witnessed, events that transpired in real time in front of me. I’ve seen people claim police reports were doctored, seen people claim that this is not a joke is clearly a sign that a threat was a joke.
This is the world we’ve made, you know. It’s a world where women are told to second-guess what they do, whether they should talk about them, whether they should accept what happens to them even when we wouldn’t. It’s blatant, it’s everywhere, and it’s odious. How about the next time a woman tells you something, you commit an act of rebellion?
(And when we’ve managed that baby step, hey, let’s talk about non-binary genders sometime.)