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Archive for the ‘Speakin Out’ Category

Choice = Voice

I think there’s a women’s movement going on! Everywhere I look, us gals are banning together. And it’s about time. (again).

I just started watching Mad Men. And then I got really thankful for the women before me who have paved the way. I enjoyed this article about being a gal in a guys’ club. And I’ve been enjoying the Gorgeous Women of Comedy blog, bringing together all the lady comedians of NYC.

And then there’s the whole Planned Parenthood thingy. You know, Congress taking away funds from Planned Parenthood, providers of affordable health care, contraceptives, HIV testing, and yes, abortions to women. I posted this link on Facebook. It was a little scary. This is a touchy issue! Both sides believe quite passionately in their side of the debate! I’m going to guesstimate that 20 to 25% of my Facebook friends are pro-life, and this is low-balling it. And here’s why: there’s not a lot of room within the realms of non-denominational or evangelical Christianity to NOT be pro-life. Whereas my more liberal Presbyterians friends where more apt to “like” my post, my non-denominational friends did not so much like it. One was bold enough to voice her thoughts on her liberal New Yorker friend’s page. This debate is not an easy one to have. How do you talk either side out of something so connected to their core values?

Let’s get persynal. During my days as a very strong Christian lady (oh, an article i have been meddling with for some time), I didn’t give much thought to the pro-choice side of the conversation. I mean, for me, having sex before marraige was W R O N G. It was hurting my future husband and our perfect, perfect marraige. Having sex before marraige would hurt my future sex life! So of course, once I was married to my true love, whatever children we had would be blessings from God. And, considering that God has a will for each of us, who would I be to mess with that!

When I lived in New York, and had my first biggie boyfriend, and was slowly exploring life outside of the church, and decided… I am doing it dammit !, I felt a bit like a 16-year-old, sneaking to Planned Parenthood, to have a consultation and then get prescribed birth control. You don’t even need an appointment! But I wasn’t 16, I was 23, nearly 24. And utterly clueless about sex, except for I knew it was WRONG, BAD, SCARY, and I really wanted to do it.

So, now, being a little older, and just a snaz wiser (a snaz), and being an unmarried sexually active woman, (that values this part of my life greatly!!) it is incredibly important to have a voice and a choice

What if I did get pregnant? I don’t know what I would do. Geez. I can barely feed myself these days.

But I have a choice. And that gives me freedom. Freedom over my body and my entire life. Freedom over my future. Which brings me to: This is a core reason I stepped away from the faith of my youth. I did not feel like I had a voice in it. I felt like decisions were made for me. And let me be clear, I am talking just about myself. Many of my friends are so passionate about their faith in Jesus, and I can see their lives flowing and it connects with them so deeply. And I might add that they have loved me through each of my personal phases.

But for me, I started to get to know this teeny tiny voice inside that said “Hi!!” “Hi, I have some opinions!” “Hi, Could i possibily give this life a go?” “Hi! I don’t think you have to be so scared of the world!” “Hi!! Me again! I think it’s time to get to know me, to get to know what I want, to step into what feels scary, but so right, for me.”

So, my strong belief now in being pro-choice, in supporting Planned Parenthood interwines with my own personal need to have a voice, to have a choice, to make decisions about my life on my own, for them to come from my own guidance inside, not a pastor’s or my friends’, not the Church’s, and not the Bible’s, not the Church’s.

Who knows? Maybe this is why I am drawn to writing, and to performing very personal things, because the older I get, (I see you, 30!), the more important it becomes to share my own life experience, as messy and confusing as it has been. Because I believe that there is a very strong “me” that is guiding me along this path. And you know what? The messiness is part of it. And I think if we all can tune in to our own true selves, and hearts, loud and clear, we’ll each be on our own right paths.

Which might include some difficult, difficult decisions. But I am glad to have the ability to make them.

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