I just can’t social media anymore. I’m not a very social person to begin with, but my stomach churns whenever I read my social feeds anymore. Especially Facebook.
My Facebook feed is pretty much a endless slog of vomited anger and malice at this point. I find myself trying to not pay attention to anything on it, and concentrate instead on the user groups I’m part of. I just find the whole thing depressing.
Last week’s insanity has been brought to us by a whole slew of cynical Republican State Legislatures who have passed laws for the sole intention of having them be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court. Alabama being the most cynical of the lot 1. This is the nuclear option of zero sum politics, and people are lighting the fuze with a smile on their faces.
It’s pretty sick.
I’m not in favor of abortion in general. I gristle at calling a baby in utero a “glob of cells.” As we’ve advanced our medical technology to the point where a baby in utero can actually be treated as an independent patient, and even operated on, we probably need to consider just what it means to say, “It’s a woman’s body.” Pregnancy is certainly not less, which is pretty much how the Alabama law lays things out, but perhaps it is more. At least, I think that’s something worth having a discussion about.
I also struggle when the rhetoric around abortion which says that men shouldn’t be involved. On one level, I get it. The image of a bunch of grey-haired white men making laws about women’s reproductive health issues is ludicrous. On the other hand, when my wife and I found out we were expecting two years ago had she opted to have an abortion 2 I would have been wounded to my core. My wife isn’t property, it’s not for me to tell her what to do or for her to seek my permission, but that would have hurt. I get the distinct impression sometimes that a number of pro-choice acquaintances I have would have condemned me for feeling that way. That bothers me.
I’m also completely against the recent laws which have been passed. Aside from their cynical starting point, these laws don’t do anything to promote life. Babies will be born – but there’s no provisions for mandatory child support, increased access to contraception or sex education, and nothing about providing prenatal care for these enforced pregnancies. Given that the “pro-life” party also trends toward opposition of universal health, is pro death-penalty, and often seems like it wants to dismantle public education I find myself skeptical of what kind of “life” these folks want to promote. I was always taught that pro-life had to be consistent ethic, and not limited to just the abortion debate. This doesn’t seem to be the case in the current conservative push – now it’s entirely about babies being born, what happens after that simply doesn’t matter. Adding to all this the fact that no provisions are made for those who seek abortions stemming from either rape or incest, I just find these laws cruel.
It’s become my norm any more to find myself caught between two warring factions who are waging a zero-sum game for control of the culture. I’m not sure how much more I can take before my introversion takes over entirely and I become a virtual hermit.