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8 things to do with your rage
Here are some things I’ve done with my rage this week:
gone totally numb
done my job with focus and precision
done my job with neither focus nor precision
tried not to cry
tried not to lose my temper with a loved one
lost it anyway
And it’s only Thursday night. There’s still more of this hellish week left, and legislators in GOP-run states are using every minute of it to try reclassify abortion and IVF as murder and god knows what else.
I don’t have a whole lot of hope to offer you; I think that this week, an already bad situation got a lot worse, and that’s the direction in which things are going to continue for some time. (Ignore the pundits who told you that, having killed Roe, the GOP will stop now. They were wrong about Roe, and they’re wrong now. They could have listened to women of color who were telling them what was about to happen, but they didn’t, and so they got this wrong).
What I do have for you is a list of things you can do with your rage, fear, and, shock.
Donate to an abortion fund, which will cover the cost of an abortion for someone who can’t afford it, as well as associated costs like travel, accommodation, and childcare. Find your local fund, or a fund in a state with few or no clinics, here.
Go to a protest. There are big ones planned in major cities next weekend, and your city likely has one this weekend or next. What better way to celebrate Mothers Day than by showing up for motherhood by choice, not by force? If you hate big, loud protests (I can’t do them, much as I want to), you can still make signs for people who are going. A quick note about protest: Please wear a mask! It makes protests more hospitable places for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, who belong in all places decisions are being made.
RUN FOR SOMETHING. As my friend Run For Something founder Amanda Litman says, we need pro-choice people on school boards, in DA’s offices, on city councils, and in state legislatures and senates. If you’re a progressive millennial (or younger) and you’re interested in running for office at any level, RFS wants to hear from you.
Talk about abortion with the people you know and love. As Renee Bracey Sherman says, everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion. If you’ve had one, or considered one, or if you know you owe the good life you have right now to abortion — I’m talking to straight men here, too, who were able to wait until they were ready to become fathers — then tell people about it. Abortion is not shameful, it’s not wrong, and it shouldn’t be a secret.
Sit with your feelings, or drown them in art, or channel them into making art yourself. A song, a poem, a profane cross-stitch, a sculpture made of unused tampons, whatever. Legislation is important, but so is shifting the culture — and in a country where 70% of people believe abortion should be legal, we damn well ought to have a pro-choice culture.
Ask yourself what you’re willing to do in order to make sure that people who need abortions can get them. What are you willing to give? To risk? To sacrifice? Everyone’s answer is different, but now is the time to think about what you want to tell the next generation when they asked what you contributed to this fight.
Finally, take breaks when you need them. From scrolling, from reading the news, from phone-banking and letter-writing. It took 49 years to reverse Roe. It will take years to repair the damage done by that long, persistent campaign. Don’t burn yourself out, because we’ve all got a long fight ahead.
In the spirit of drowning your feelings in art, here are some romances I’ve read and recommended lately:
Love at First, by Kate Clayborn
Reel, by Kennedy Ryan
I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston
That’s it from me this week. Thanks, as always, for reading.