Though Your Voice Shakes (Guest Post)

This guest post is written by Molly Sotherden, a glass artist who writes weekly posts about stained glass, her unconventional life, and things she believes in over on her Patreon. You can get a sneak peek at https://msotherdenartglass.com/blogs/news.

I believe her writing needs no editorial comment from me.

This particular post has content warnings for reproductive rights, US politics, and sexual assault.

“Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants.”

An artist, a college professor, a scientist, a small business owner and two veterans walk into a maternal surgery suite. Between them, they have 3 miscarriages, 3 fibroidectomies, and 4 abortions, resulting in 9 or more D&C’s. What’s a D&C you ask? Oh, the procedure involved for every single one of those issues mentioned. (And for those saying “Fibroidectomies don’t involve a D&C.” Um yeah, in this particular case it did. You weren’t there.)

So who’s who, you ask? That doesn’t matter. The “punchline” in this joke of a legal decision is that women will die without this procedure being available universally.

And they are someone’s sister wife mother daughter

Did you notice that the women in question are initially listed by occupation, and not their relative importance to a man? Were you able to more easily dismiss them out of hand because of that?

Or did you maybe dismiss them because you didn’t know them personally?

Think about that for a second. No, really take a sec. Think about what that room must have been like for those women, and what that procedure must have been like. Think about the fact that if it needs to happen now, in many of our states, the brothers and husbands and fathers and sons of those women will sit with them while they die of incomplete miscarriages, rupturing fibroids, and botched abortions.

Hi. I’m Molly. I’m one of those women above, and I’ve had a D&C. I’m speaking up about it not only because I’ve been through the procedure that everybody is suddenly talking about, but also because I have no intention of allowing my husband or boyfriend or dad or mom or sister or grandfather or … have I made my point? In short, I resolve to the best of my ability to allow no one to mourn me prematurely because my body chooses to do a biological thing that I’m not keen on. (Fibroids are stupid painful by the way.)

I’m speaking up because I had to fight for the birth control of my choice for years in order to fulfill my dream of never being a biological parent. I’m speaking up because I’m a foster parent, and I know that every case file I’ve read of nearly every little girl I happened to cross paths with in my auspices as a foster parent has either been sexually assaulted or worse.

I speak up because I believe in being who my metaphorical younger self needed, and have no intention of allowing children who can’t even do long division to assume the burden of speaking out about their experience that no child should ever have.

And I speak up because it is a vile thing to try and decide which is “better”… A child whose flesh is so torn because of their age when assaulted or raped that they may never have children of their own? Or a child old enough to have some idea of what has happened to them, and who is then traumatized for the length of their lifetime (and that’s assuming they even survive pregnancy) because they have been forced to give birth to their rapist’s child?

Several cities and states are in the process – right now – of either creating safe spaces for people like the women and children above, or they are not. And in either case, there will be a time and place when it is being debated publicly. Whether in a city council meeting, or a public hearing session in a statehouse, public commenting is allowed in such spaces, and I know, because I’ve done it more than a few times now. And in more than a few places. And I will continue to speak out in these venues because I AM SOMEONE, even though my voice shakes.

Therefore, if you know or love someone with a uterus, (whether provably functional or not) I ask you to publicly stand with that sister wife mother daughter person and do so by speaking in ways that solidly paint you as an ally. Become part of the right side of history by standing and speaking out with us.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

  • Margaret Mead

Featured Image by Antonio Cansino from Pixabay

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2 Comments

  1. Darla Bair
    July 30, 2022

    Wow powerful writing, Molly Sotherden is spot on. I am an ally and I will speak up. Thank you for writing; I’m sorry for her pain.

    • Molly Sotherden
      July 30, 2022

      ❤️

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