This Is What Democracy Looks Like!

If you’ve been to a protest, you may recognize today’s blog title. I love it. God bless America, truly, in these tumultuous times.

#Roevwade #susanstrassser #susanstrasserblog #amwriting

In January 1973, Roe v Wade passed into law, legalizing abortion for all American women. Coincidentally, and simultaneously, my own mother’s pregnancy with me began its final trimester. I was born that Spring. My parents wanted to have four kids, and I completed the family.

Roe is personal to me because we grew up together. Over the years when I have peacefully protested feminist causes (or human rights causes) or celebrated them (thinking of those wonderful pride celebrations that just passed), I was extra proud of my American rights and my birth year.

Every January of my life, I could count on seeing Roe v Wade protests in the news, always starting at the infamous U.S. Supreme Court in our nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. I was not there myself, so it did not directly impact me. I hoped for the best, after all, our treasured judicial system protected American women, unlike so many other countries.

When I was a kid growing up in the ’70s, ’80s, and as a young adult, people used to give you those “The Year You Were Born” papers that looked like newspapers or something that told you about famous events that happened the year you were born. Stuff like famous people who share your birthday, who won the Superbowl, etc.

But me and everyone else born in ’73?

Jackpot! We got to share our birthdates with Roe v Wade! It was a culmination of centuries of American women’s assertions that they are equal to men. In 1920, we got the right to vote. And the year I was born, women got the right to choose what happened to their bodies.

I am pro-choice, and I am lucky to live in Maryland. Half the country is not so lucky.

I have read about women picketing in front of U.S. Supreme Court justices’ houses in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., suburbs. I am so proud of them. Does this court really think they can undo women’s freedom without a fight?

I for one, am donating my time to signing more online petitions tonight and giving a little cash as well.

I explained what was happening in our country with the overturning of Roe v Wade to my daughter. She thought it was outrageous. Then when I read that the U.S. Marshal was attempting to prevent peaceful protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court Justices’ houses? She was almost as upset as I was. How dare our country think that they can prevent peaceful protest? We have the right as Americans to peacefully protest what is wrong, as guaranteed to us by our Constitution! It’s another thing that makes our country-rock!

June 25th, the day after the overturning of Roe v Wade by our misogynist U.S. Supreme Court, felt like the day after Trump won the election in 2016. Awful.

It has been a brutal couple of years for us all, between the pandemic, the terrorist attack on the capitol in 2021, and now this.

Prayers for all the protestors in front of Justice Cavanaugh’s house and others; they read the 1st Amendment aloud.

Please consider these key points:

  1. “Without the right of women and men to make decisions about our own bodies, there is no democracy.” (Steinem) We are not living in a democracy right now. Everything looks like, smells like, and mostly feels like it, but many states have, or are about to make abortion illegal. Women across the country are losing or have lost their human rights. Our lives are in danger.

2. States’ rights are how slavery spread in pre-Civil War America. States were allowed to choose, and we as a country are still trying to heal the wounds of our subjugation of an entire race. Right now, how about our wives, sisters, girlfriends, aunts, daughters, and nieces? Will we allow a similar fate to occur?

What’s happening in front of the justices’ homes is a microcosm of our country. We protest because we want to be looked in the eye. We women are not going away without a fight. We are not giving up our bodies for your privacy!

Dobbs vs. Jackson is not over.

It was hard to fly my American flag this 4th of July. My family and I talked about it over dinner, and how I was really upset with my country for allowing such a law to happen. Gradually, eventually, I decided to fly it for myself as much as them.

After all, like any relationship, how healthy is it if I am only in it for the good times?

I refuse to give up on my country, even in such dark days as these.

In “Anger Management,” starring Adam Sadler, there is a line where Sadler’s character is about to get kicked off a plane for his anger issues. It’s a 20-year-old movie which came out about the time of 9-11. The marshal tells him when Sadler first refuses or argues, “these are dark days for America, sir.”

Indeed.

The 21st century is proving to be an incredibly challenging time for our country.

Godspeed.

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