I felt the adrenaline surge through my veins as the news alerts pinged my phone that the Supreme Court of the United States had overturned Roe v. Wade.
They really did it.
Like a scary moment in a movie preceded by eerie music, we knew it was coming, but that didn’t quell the shock one bit.
Makes me wonder how long I’ll have the constitutional right for my body to regulate its own hormones, but I digress.
It’s a dark day in America when the highest court in the land deems women’s bodies (and all those with uteruses) as nothing more than vessels for the pleasure of men and the makers of our spawn.
That’s what this ruling is, assuredly. It’s not about protecting lives (despite Utah State Senate President J. Stuart Adams’ mistruth that “today is a monumental victory for human life”). That’s just how they, the powerful, get traction among their wives and sisters.
But many of us know better.
We know that if they cared about ensuring all have the ability to thrive, that they’d support the systems aimed at doing that for those who have left the womb.
Parental leave. Free or subsidized child care. Welfare. Affordable health care. Free school lunches. Equal pay. Reparations. Sensible gun laws. Compassionate immigration legislation. … I could go on.
And while I am not a legal expert, I do have some experience channeling pain into progress for the benefit of social justice, so here are some thoughts for those, like me, who are reeling:
This grief is weighty — maybe even crushing. Before we can be good for anyone else, we have to take care of ourselves. So, breathe. Cry. Scream. Run. Eat ice cream. Get outside. Write. Sleep.
Listen to what you need and allow it for yourself. The world needs you at your strongest.
Lean on others or offer your own shoulder. Nothing will happen that we don’t manifest together, and it is in community that we will rise. Whether you need a hand or can lend a hand, the act of coming together creates the synergy our manifesto (manifesta?) requires.
It’s helpful to know that the implications of this decision extend beyond uteruses. It might impact the freedom to marry, parental rights, access to contraception and who knows what else. It means many people are hurting and many people are understanding of the hurt. Let us all come together (riiiight now, over Roe).
Our ability to understand the issues and articulate them is the bedrock of our likelihood for success at making change. Our righteous indignation must be built on a foundation of knowledge not just talking points, and information not just ideology.
Find the ways of engaging that are accessible to you, that fuel your passion and that allow you to pressurize your lumpy coal and turn it into a shiny diamond. It can be rallying. It can be donating. It can be volunteering. Sharing legitimate information. Having compassionate, thoughtful conversations with people who disagree.
Anger can become action. Sadness can become empathy.
Action can become hope.
Rinse and repeat
We don’t have the privilege of inaction. Our adherence to this cycle is the key to our freedom and possibility.
I wish I could wrap my arms around all those who are suffering. In lieu of that, know that your own ability to withstand discomfort is what will carry us all through these darker days.
I am with you.
Marina Gomberg is a professional communicator, a practicing optimist and a lover of love. She lives in Salt Lake City with her wife, Elenor Gomberg, and their son, Harvey, and their dog, Mr. Noodle. You can reach Marina at email@example.com.
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