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A friend of mine had a conversation with one of her friends yesterday.  Not a good conversation.  In fact, this was a conversation that upset her so much, she wrote the letter below.  I felt that this letter, which she posted publicly, from a pretty nonpolitical friend, explaining her feelings about this conversation and the politics behind it was worth sharing.  This is reposted with permission, and she has given blanket permission to repost it elsewhere as well.

Please be kind I am not a writer and of I didn't believe that it was so vitally important to have you understand my fear I would never have written this.

I wrote this to a friend that I care about very deeply. This was after a conversation that had me shaking and In tears. I have tried hard to live by the belief that everyone's life experiences make them who they are and that their beliefs are no more or less valid than mine. What I have noticed is that even the liberal men that I know think the most important issues in this election are related to the economy. They look at the attack on women's fundamental rights to choose when they want to have children as mostly a thing that happens on states level and the president won't matter for that. Please know I am actually not talking about abortions. States have voted a lot of frightening things lately . If your boss doesn't like you being on birth control he can fire you. Explain to me why its OK to violate a woman's rights to medical privacy that is guaranteed on the federal level by strict HIPPA( I think it stands for Health Information portability privacy act) laws and we sign new forms with our Drs once a year saying the federal government guarantees your right to the privacy of your medical records I have read those forms many times and no where on them does it say unless you are a woman. In other states your Dr & pharmacist can refuse to give you birth control. In Wisconsin the Governor had no problem announcing publicly that women do not need equal pay because their income was not as important as men's. If you Think the problem is only a problem in isolated states, think abut how many women in those areas are affected. Think about how you would feel if the women you love were to have the right to her body taken away. Your mother, wife ,daughter. I am removing names from the letter. Please keep in mind my normal preference is to respect people's beliefs and I am quite conflict avoidant.

XXXX , remember how you used to say that I helped clarify things for you? Have you ever heard me this frightened?

Another thing that might make more sense to you is this:

You have worked so hard to make your life over to be what you want. You made your decisions about your faith and your family structure. How will you feel when they make it illegal to be an adulterer? Because that is how they would see you. Their religious beliefs say that having sex outside of a legal marriage is wrong. You know that most of America agrees with them. Poly is a perversion and a danger to the sanctity of marriage. How would knowing that you could be legally discriminated against and YYYY could lose her child if you were found out, feel for you? Do you feel that the government has the right to do that? If it affected your life & your choice about who you can love and how you are allowed to worship would you file that under "well the government does bad things"?  I absolutely understand how you are fiscally conservative. I respect how hard you have worked t get this life, but I always believed that you cared for and respected the women in your life. To hear you say "well the government does bad things " and do nothing to protect those women's basic civil right to the sanctity of their body, means that I was very wrong about who you are. I am so sad that I misjudged you. Normally I am good at reading people and only allowing people who would not deliberately harm other People into my life. If you put financial gain over protecting women's civil rights that is what you are doing. Feel free to vote how your conscious directs you but please be honest about what you are endorsing. Please ask women in your life if they are onboard with the government making health care decisions for them. Ask them if they were of childbearing age would they be OK with being forced to never have sex or knowing that they would have to bear children if they choose to enjoy sex. There is a book that is where I fear the religious right wants this to end . Its also a movie. Watch the handmaids tale.

Normally I would never try to convert people to my beliefs. Can you understand how frightened I am to have written this Letter? Please take the time to look into what I am saying. Freedom of religion is the reason this country was founded. Being forced to live by someone else's religious beliefs Is wrong. Sadly that is were we are headed.

Her followup comment on this, and how he reacted to it:
Here is the answer I gave him when he said that I was politicizing this and saying I disrespected hi.. that I was welcome to contact him after the election but I needed to never speak to him that way again.

This is my reply :

I won't . I am sorry about this, I have so few deal breakers. I bend really far in accommodating different people in my life? You say this is politicizing. I feel it is a basic human rights violation you say women need to vote it out if they do not like it. True but if the men in their lives put other things ahead of women's civil rights that is not going to happen. If people put anything in front of civil rights and they convince themselves that they are not personally denying any one their rights they are wrong and they are part of the problem. As I said, vote how you want but don't delude your self that you care about women. Although I kinda realized that tonight when you referred to women as your pipeline.

I will delete you. I hope you have a good life . I Learned many good things from you. Sadly I will not be having you on my life. You speak of respect to me but do not care enough to respect women and civil rights

I've known her for more than 30 years, and this is the first time I can think of (excluding actual cases of violence) that she has rejected someone that was already a part of her life.  This, more than anything I have seen, makes clear how deeply this election will affect women.  (Mind you, I already knew, but this is the difference between knowing a broken arm hurts and having your arm broken.)  This is from the heart, from someone I know to be liberal/progressive but tolerant of everyone's views.

Hopefully, this will clear things up for others who are in doubt about how women feel about the Republican "War on Women" agenda.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (30+ / 0-)

    --------------
    In short, our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.
         BusinessInsider.com

    by Laughing Vergil on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 01:11:04 PM PDT

  •  "Politicizing this" (9+ / 0-)

    is a common dismissal.  But the personal IS political and vice versa, as it took the Femininst movement to articulate though it applies in so many other realms as well.

    People use it to mean "Don't hold me responsible for my choices."  

    I feel bad for the letter writer.  She is so obviously writing from the heart, and getting no authenticity in return.  And sadly, she will lose this battle with almost anyone she picks it with -- I know this from sad personal experience.    Although it's no longer fashionable to allude to the fact, the truth is that misogyny is  very, very deeply ingrained.  To insist that "women's issues" could ever take priority over any competing issue, is a non-starter in most arguments.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 01:23:06 PM PDT

    •  That is why... (6+ / 0-)

      ... this needs to be framed as a Civil Rights issue, not a Women's Rights issue.

      Yes, it is about women's rights, but (honestly) how far do you think the Civil Rights movement would have gone originally if it was framed as "black rights"?  I think it would have been a much harder haul.

      The original Women's Rights movement was framed a a Civil Rights issue - women are people, have the right of self determination, are not property, have the right to vote just like every male adult does, etc.  I dunno, but it seems to me that the current battle is not being framed sufficiently as a Civil Rights movement to catch the attention of those who don't think about people's rights.   Even though I am male, I understand and agree, but I do think about peoples rights.  I may not be typical.

      --------------
      In short, our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.
           BusinessInsider.com

      by Laughing Vergil on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 01:31:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And yet... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laughing Vergil, martini

    Romney has successfully eliminated the Gender gap between white non-college educated women.

    I want to believe you, I really do, about how women feel about this whole republican war on women. But take a look at the polls, then come back and tell me that women really feel this way.

    Cause I think in the end, even if they feel like they are under attack, they'll still vote for Romney.

  •  some people improve your life by leaving it (4+ / 0-)

    I've had my share of those.  I clung to my relationship with 'em like grim death for a while, but then I got disrespected enough that I finally got rid of them... and the amazing thing was how much my life improved when they were no longer part of it.  I wouldn't have believed it'd be that way beforehand, because they were good friends of mine once, but I haven't regretted getting shed of them, ever.  I never realized what a lousy, poisonous influence they were until they got out of my system.  It freed up a lot of time I'd been wasting on them and I no longer had to deal with their sickness.

    I'm hoping your friend will experience the same thing with this situation.  I'm sure she's sad and hurting right now, but in a month or two, she'll learn that that person probably never was respecting her, and she won't feel it as a loss... just an unburdening.  I think she did the tough thing, but the right thing.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 01:34:41 PM PDT

  •  This, more than any other (3+ / 0-)

    reprehensible, disgusting, hateful, misguided thing, is the truest and worst legacy of modern conservatism...

    The complete alienation of people from one another.

    Sad. Just sad.

    Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

    by Eric Twocents on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 01:35:58 PM PDT

  •  Some of the finest feminists I know are men. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Laughing Vergil

    Some of the worst misogynists I know are women.

    As has been said, this is a Civil Rights issue, just like full citizenship rights for the LGBT community is.  If we frame it as what it is, and talk about the consequences as they really are, I think we'll do better.

    Everyone has/had a mother.  Some have wives, sisters and friends who are female.  The violation of one, is the violation of all.  That simple.

    I never would have believed that I'd be fighting this battle again, forty years after Roe v Wade.  But here we are.  I fight because the alternative is too horrifying to contemplate.  And if I lose a "friend" or two because I stand up for the Civil Rights of half the population, then I am well rid of them, no matter how close I am, or have been, to them.

    My heart aches for the letter writer's loss, but I applaud her for standing up for what she knows is right.  We can do no less.

    Marti

    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 02:29:26 PM PDT

  •  wow. just wow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laughing Vergil
    You speak of respect to me but do not care enough to respect women and civil rights
    ...R.E.S.P.E.C.T.- find out what it means to me...

    It's been a long time since the first days of Our Bodies Our Selves.

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