Cafe Hitch-hike


It’s always so complicated

It’s always so complicated. I suppose I became a feminist at a very early age because (a.) I was a curious and snappy little booger and (b.) I really hated watching the women in my family (and close by) constantly get stepped on and mistreated. I didn’t grow up in a third-world country, it was blue-collar, midwest USA. I saw how families suffered badly when the father left (for whatever reason) or died. I saw families who lived with someone who abused their power and did terrible things, making those who suffered afraid to breathe too deeply with the fear of knocking over their house of cards.

I became a fucking feminist because if families were to survive such upheavals, well Godammit, women need to be able to carry their families fucking on when the men were unable or unwilling to pull their weight. I think that-there is a big reason why women demanded more rights.

My maternal grandmother told me she was only 16 when she was given to my grandfather by her parents (I heard she went out on a couple of dates, spent a week at his place, and then her parents appeared offering to help him get the marriage license). My paternal grandmother almost died when she was very young and her first husband slashed her with a machete. My mother was abused by a cowardly man who was originally nicknamed “Mouse” by his motorcycle club (they changed it to “Chocolate eclair,” which sounds slightly less weak). I can go on with the women in my lineage who were victimized or lost their power.

It’s sad because I talk to the younger women in my life and their eyes glaze over. It’s like they’re in a denial. That, or they’re glad Roe v. Wade was overturned because being pro-life is the moral way to go. What the hell, these are unpious people who cuss, drink, fornicate, and act irresponsibly. Now they’re thinking about their interpretation of what’s holy? It makes me so sad.

The opposition to this is a fucking joke. Women can take to the streets but how exactly is that going to affect legislation and the jackals who want to pass laws that bomb us back into pre-Jim Crow days? I guess we’ll eventually see bathrooms, drinking fountains and other public facilities with the signs “Coloreds Only” and “Whites Only.”

I guess the name of the game here in the States is when the ruling class got uncomfortable with The Other reaching education, professional and political levels at a critical mass, they’d rather rally up the ignorant and carpetbomb the whole democracy. But, I preach to the choir.

Roe v. Wade. I suppose I can get explicit but if I did, it could seriously disrupt the lives of some close to me. In short, my 19 year-old unwed and high school dropout mother had the option of terminating her pregnancy with me. God knows the conditions where far less than ideal for her to have a child. The ob-gyn who confirmed her pregnancy suggested she go to New York state and abort because she was young, pretty and with her life ahead of her. My mother was incensed by his suggestion. She was in love with my birth father (though they didn’t have much of a relationship and didn’t stay together) and continued with the pregnancy. Her decision made her life extremely difficult.

I hate to say, but I wouldn’t had blamed her one damn bit if she decided to terminate. I would had seen it as the logical and reasonable thing for her. If she could get more empowerment in her life (she was already hobbled by her family of origin), she could had been in a much better position to be a mother, but that wasn’t what happened. I’m sure my soul would had incarnated elsewhere.

Then, I think of the women around me who had abortions. I never blamed them for it, either. I never thought less of them, even if it was their second or third. If it was a repeat, I’d only suggest they use contraception or be more careful. Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful thing a woman can experience and we know this, but if one choose to terminate, there’s always an extremely compelling reason for this. It’s one of the most personal choices a woman ever has to make, and one with the most impact in their lives.

I had men admit when women of their past or even daughters did it. Nearly all of them understood and accepted it. The only ones who didn’t were the ones claimed it was a sin or had to always have some power over women. The ones who understood and accepted: I thought it was very loving because they seemed to see the whole woman and why she decided what she did. Some even admired their women for making these decisions. For those who didn’t, they looked at the woman with shame or the first thing they said was, ‘what about the man?’ I’m less surprised with time with how many still see women more like possessions than individuals, or expect the woman to be pure like the Madonna.

Abortion is still the most common surgical procedure in the world, even where it’s not legal (at least according to estimates for where it’s banned). Birth control is the most prescribed class of drugs int the world, too. It’s interesting how the most-used medical tools have to do with conception and pregnancy. It will continue despite the bans (and yes, they will go after birth control because that is also power).

As I cooked dinner and thought about all of this tonight, I thought about Sam the neighbor who committed suicide behind our building in December 2020. His body ended up in the bushes as the edge of his breezeway, maybe less than 100 feet away from my patio. After the local forensics office cleaned up the walk, another neighbor and I saw bits of his brain and blood n the soil around the shrubs. I guess they assumed no one would see if if they sprayed that way. Anyhow, I walked my dog back there and always remembered how sparse the shrubs were, but in the past year, they have been more full. Even when the shrubs were trimmed, their trunks were thicker than I remembered before Sam died.

What we have now is like what happened to Sam. He died (and sadly by his own hand as I guess he had many heavy troubles), but I think somehow his spirit made those thicker and fuller plants and parts of him still live on. I still feel very sad that he had to go that way, yet it strangely assures me the movement will continue, silently, underground, and only to grow, strengthen and then show itself when the time is right.

We cannot have dark without light and light without darkness. We are in darkness, and it is otherwise not natural to remain in it, or fully in one state for that matter.

downwind | upstream