Thursday, June 2, 2011

On chives and choice

I was happy when my friend's son learned to talk. Not because he was able to communicate, "I am hungry and I would like to see my mama now please" (or something to that effect) instead of screeeeeeeaming, although that certainly was a perk. But because I was able to say, "Thomas*, can I pick you up?" and he could say, "No!"

One of the many, many reasons I'm not a fan of babies is because to me, it's weird that you would walk up to this tiny human and grab its fingers and pinch its cheeks. I would no sooner do that to my cousin than I would to my landlord. And if I did, for some strange reason, have the inclination to do that to my landlord, I could say, "Rupert*, may I pinch your cheeks?" (And I'm positive he would say, "No. Also, evicted!")

What I'm saying is that choice comes naturally to me. We talk about the rhetoric of choice versus life and justice versus choice, (and I don't disagree that the "life" argument is bullshit and that reproductive justice > simple choice) but at my own core, I'm pro-choice even when abortion isn't involved.

I teach a fitness class on the side (sometimes, I sneak in abortion humor. You can take the instructor out of the clinic, but you can't take the clinic out of the instructor!), and I intellectually know that my job is to direct and correct. But it takes effort to do that because my inclination is to say, "Huh. That's an interesting take on the exercise, but if it doesn't hurt your hip and if you're not knocking out your neighbor, then go ahead with those roundhouse kicks as the rest of us stretch."

For that matter, when my cat steps in my dinner plate (I live alone), I do remove her, but I have to explain to her why I'm lifting her from my potatoes and how I do respect her right to dip her toes in the chives. She made the choice to encroach, I made the choice to overrule her, but I still need to explain and offer informed consent.

And mashed potatoes or unwanted pregnancies, I am so very much all about choice.

* Of course, all names have been changed to protect the innocent.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.