I've been a feminist since my mother left her copy of the Feminist Mystique where I could find it when I was twelve years old. I've been a civil rights and gay rights ally since I was old enough to understand the idea of privilege and the idea that I got advantages just because of my skin color and gender presentation in my early twenties. I've been a social justice advocate since my first encounters with the homeless people of Kansas City in the 1990s.
And since I first started waking up, back in the 1980s, I have been under siege. We all have, those of us who advocate for social justice, civil rights, women's rights, worker rights – you know, liberals. It's exhausting.
This has been a pretty good week for outrage (and that's not even counting the verdict that set George Zimmerman free) among my fellow Democrats. I have to admit it a bit (well, a lot) of 'outrage fatigue', because frankly absolutely nothing suggested by the GOP either surprises or shocks me anymore.
In the midst of rights being stripped from voters (especially elderly voters, minority voters, and college students), women (in several states simultaneously – my 'favorite' was the motorcycle vagina bill), and young black men buying Skittles and iced tea, the GOP is on a rant about light bulbs. Again.
Yeah. I know.
I've been alternately feisty and despairing for the last couple of weeks as state after state has held midnight meetings or gone through similar shenanigans to pass restrictions on abortion while most of us were focused on Texas and Wendy's amazing pink shoes.
You see, I was born to be pro-choice. 'Way back in the dark ages, before Roe v. Wade, there were a few enlightened corners of the country where abortions were legal under some situations. Vermont, where I was born, was one of them. Thank goodness.
You see, if they had not been legal, I would not be here.
But first, a little history...