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Abortion – Everyone’s Least Favorite Topic

I’m going to talk about an extremely taboo topic: abortion. So if you don’t feel like getting into such an extreme topic, the little red ‘x’ is right there. This has to be one of the most, if not THE most dangerous topic to bring up… anywhere. Whether it be with a colleague or as a topic of debate. In fact, in my Oral Communications class in high school, we were allowed to choose our debate topics and the teacher said the only one we couldn’t do was abortion. I understood. We would never end the debate in the limited amount of time we had. It wouldn’t have been Oral Communications anymore, rather Oral Arguing. Because that’s how these conversations usually end: With people getting louder and louder and talking over the other, trying to get their point across.
In case you were wondering, I’m Pro Choice. Now, some people who are extremely against abortion probably just heard me say, “I KILL BABIES! Now fight with me because I’m bored and I like to upset you.” It may seem like I’m making fun of people who are Pro Life but I’m really not. I have had discussions with people like that. One of my closest friends is Conservative and traditional so, naturally, she is against it. But when I tried to explain to her about my views she kept yelling, “You kill babies!” So I got frustrated and stopped talking. (That’s a lie, I told her to shut the eff up and that the conversation was over, but I digress.)
Okay, so here are my views on this scary topic: I do not like the idea of abortion. It’s scary and sad and it has given people who have gone through it nightmares and emotional problems. It’s not fun for anybody. “So why do it?” you ask. There are different reasons for getting an abortion. To list a few: Teen pregnancy, rape, pregnancy complications, incest, financial problems, etc. A common misconception is that Pro Choice people are Pro Abortion. This is not true. Being Pro Choice is saying that you think a woman should have the right to do with what she wants to her own body. That, if she had to make the horrible choice to have an abortion, it was HER choice.
There is a lot of debate on this subject because some people call it murder and others say that making it illegal to get an abortion is trying to control women’s bodies. I, for one, would much rather a woman go to a clinic and get it done professionally rather than try to terminate a pregnancy herself. Which is what some women do when they truly can’t go through with a pregnancy but have no way of stopping it, at least in a clean, legal way.
I get that it seems completely immoral and wrong to essentially kill a defenseless baby. I get that it is against some people’s religions. And I get that the baby could have grown up to be a great person. But here’s the thing: Reminding the poor girl that has decided to go through with it of all of these things and making her feel worse than she already does is NOT the answer. It most likely won’t change her mind and you’re just reminding her of things that she already knows. There are women that feel so bad that they kill themselves not too long after. And for those of you that say things like, “Good, she deserves it for killing a baby that couldn’t defend itself.” get the hell out of my face. Yes, there are some people out there that use abortion as a form of birth control and that is not right. I don’t condone that. That is an example of someone being irresponsible and they should not be able to do that. But there are legitimate reasons for getting an abortion, as the ones I previously listed.
There are people who say that those who get abortions just shouldn’t have sex. I don’t think this is true. Having sex is a part of relationships for some people. It’s what they choose to do for intimacy and I believe they should be able to do it. So long as they’re taking every precaution. But sometimes those precautions don’t work so well and the woman becomes pregnant. That is when the couple discuss the options they have, mainly: Raise the child, put it up for adoption, or, sadly, abortion. And the choice is up to THEM. Sometimes you get those family members that say things like, “But you’ve taken away my chance of being a grandma.” or the ones that guilt you by saying, “I didn’t abort you.” This is just plain wrong. This is like those people reminding them that it’s killing a baby or that they’ll go to hell, but it’s worse because it’s their own family. The people they’re supposed to go to when they’re upset.
One other thing I don’t condone is when the woman could go through with the pregnancy (no health risks) and the boyfriend/friend/husband said they would pay for it and raise it, and the woman doesn’t even consider it. They need to know that this baby is half theirs, too. This is why communication is key and they should talk about it. If the father wants this baby but the mother doesn’t, they should discuss the pros and cons of having this baby and maybe having only the father raise it. But, in the end, it’s really the woman’s final say because it is her body. And if the father says he’d raise it but changes his mind halfway through, then what? Some would say that she should put it up for adoption. But sometimes it’s even harder for her to do that than to abort it, as odd as it sounds. My sister got pregnant at 17 and she knew right away that she was either going to raise it or abort it. She barely knew her dad growing up and it made her feel unloved or that there was something wrong with her. She didn’t want her child feeling the way she did.
Another thing I don’t like that people do is scold the woman after she’s done it. They tell her she killed a baby and that that baby could’ve grown up to find a cure for cancer. News flash: It’s already done and over with. You making her feel bad isn’t going to reverse it. Oh sure, you think you’re educating her in the hopes that she’ll never do it again and have lots of kids and see the error of her ways when in reality you’re making it worse. And saying that the baby could find a cure for cancer is a load of bull. Yes, they might have, but what if that woman wanted to pursue a career in science and later on she would have found the cure but she couldn’t because she was forced to have this baby when she couldn’t afford it so she didn’t go to college and was stuck at a dead end job?
In the end, you just can’t change people’s minds sometimes. You can give them all of the facts, proof laid right out in front of them and they will do the mental equivalent of sticking their fingers in their ears and going, “Lalala!” All I can hope is that people at the very least aren’t cruel about it. That they remember that not all people share their views/religion. That they can try to ‘educate’ them but they need to realize that in the end it is the WOMAN’S choice and they need to respect that. And remember that the woman’s choice does not affect them in any way so don’t act so offended or treat them any different.

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It’s A Man’s World (Apparently)

I am getting tired of having female characters in movies existing primarily for the bad guy to capture/hurt/kill them so the main man is weakened. Just so he can ‘avenge’ her or whatever. It’s offensive to have these women used as plot devices for the man’s story line to get ‘interesting’ or have ‘action’ or make him look like a ‘lover not a fighter’ even though he goes after the bad guy and hurts/kills him because he oh-so easily took his woman from him.
Want to know what else I’m sick of? When the female tries to help the main guy fight the bad guy and the bad guy slaps her and she falls to the ground, unconscious. Like, is that a good representation of women? Teach them that, “Sure, you can TRY to help out but it will be fruitless. But it’s the thought that counts, honey.” There are few movies that I’ve seen where the girl gets right back up and keeps fighting. They are either down for the count or they don’t even try anymore. I find myself acting like a person watching a horror film; screaming at the screen, “Get up! Get up!”
Sure, we have recently been given many more female leads that are strong and independent. But how long has it taken to have that become the norm? Where a female is equally as common as a male hero? Well, that’s like asking the world to make same sex couples as common as heterosexual couples on TV: Nearly impossible, even in the 21st century. Growing up, I idolized people like Mulan or Pocahontas whilst watching Disney movies, P!nk when listening to music, and my mother during everything else. These were the strongest, most brave people I knew. They didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and stood up for what they believed in. I loved that this was even possible because, as a little girl, I was so used to hearing things like, “You can’t do that! You’re just a girl!” or “Leave that to the boys.” Now, that’s quite common amongst little kids since boys aren’t really taught about gender norms and how they can be different for everybody. They just automatically think boys are the strongest, bravest, and most likely to be the hero. I say it’s common amongst little boys so you can see my frustration when I see that it’s also quite common years later. That, even though these boys are mature enough to know that, male or female, we can do what we set our minds to, they choose to think like their six-year-old selves.

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I recently got into an argument with a peer of mine. She was using the word “prostitute” in the context of “Oh, you prostitute!” when she lost at cards. I asked her why she was using it in a derogatory way and she said because prostitutes are the lowest of the low. That that is the most disgusting thing you could be. This really upset me so I gave her a scenario: What if someone was a mom with rent due tomorrow and if she couldn’t get the money by tomorrow she and her child would be homeless and her child would starve. And the only way to pay was to sell herself for the night. But she was being as safe as she could be (being with someone who wasn’t dangerous, using protection, and no drug use involved) and it was completely consensual. She said it didn’t matter; that you should never try to justify something so disgusting. This really rubbed me the wrong way.
I believe that you should never judge someone so much from just hearing one aspect of their life. Let’s pause for a moment and name off a few things: Drug use/History of drug use, had an abortion, sleeps around, prostitution. Now, if you heard someone (whom you’ve never met) had done one or more of these things you would automatically judge them. Maybe not outright, but in the back of your mind you DO NOT approve. Which I don’t blame anyone for doing so. Because in our society those things are frowned upon so we are taught to not condone them. But I believe we should be patient, not jump to conclusions, and wait to hear the whole story.
In my opinion, if you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, and you need to keep your family, or even just yourself warm and fed, you should work as hard as you can to make it happen. It’s better than not having a job and just sitting around, waiting for the bill collectors to come. Now, I’m not saying that if you’re in a difficult position you should just go to the nearest street corner. But if that is at your disposal and you’re being smart about it, go ahead. No one should judge you for it.
I tried to explain this to my peer by comparing it to abortion. Saying that I am pro-choice but I would never have an abortion. Just like I would probably never be a prostitute but I’m not against it, other than the fact that it’s illegal. That didn’t go over well. She just kept saying I like to kill babies. So, of course, you will never change everyone’s mind on issues like this, but I would like to have this heard. This isn’t far from slut-shaming a girl who wears revealing clothes or someone who has had sex many times with many people.
So just because someone has a job ill-fit in society or does something that may seem judge worthy doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect.

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Failed Media

Low self-esteem is so common in teens that it’s practically a graduation requirement. That you were never an official high school student unless you were insecure at some point. It’s a big thing, stereotypically, in teen girls. You will probably never meet a girl that loves everything about themselves; that says, “Yes, my appearance is amazing, my grades are spectacular, I’m so talented, and I’m perfectly fine with everything about myself.” Apparently there is a statistic that says only 2% of women will call themselves beautiful. And how sad is that?! Has it changed over the years? If so, this has to be the worst time for that subject, what with high expectations and people in the media. Where we only allow people who are unrealistically super model-beautiful on TV. It tells girls that these are the only people that are allowed to have that fairytale ending like in that movie. That you have to be stick thin, big boobed, bleach blonde, tan, and wear a lot of make-up to be noticed or go anywhere. And no, when you have the ‘nerdy girl’ in those movies, just putting glasses on them and making them wear ironically dorky, hipster clothes doesn’t make them realistic. It doesn’t matter anyway because in the end she gets a beautiful makeover and the hot, dreamy leading man falls desperately in love with her. (Usually BECAUSE she changed herself.) And teen girls everywhere eat that up! They want that fairytale. They want to be noticed and have their dreams come true. And they can get so desperate for this to happen that they change everything that makes them… them! It’s really sad because what if there was a perfectly nice boy who loved the way you were before and just didn’t get the chance to tell you and then you go and change his dream girl? Now a lot of girls wouldn’t believe in that kind of logic because it’s just downright crazy to think that someone would like them. And THAT is what media and pressure has done to today’s youth. Made them think that since there are so many ways to change yourself, to make yourself ‘better’, that who they really are couldn’t possibly be appealing to anyone. It’s so sad.

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Unrealistic Comparisons and Warped Mindsets

Now if only we could get across the fact that we don’t need to compare ourselves. That we don’t need to try to match up to everyone around us. But let’s be honest, if anyone ever tells you that high school isn’t one big contest, they’re lying. Whether we like it or not, intend to do it or not. No matter what, you’re always being compared to someone or comparing other people, yourself. The worst is when you compare yourself to a particular person or even a group of people. Which is ridiculous when you think about it because how are you supposed to match up to more than one person? And the people you choose to compare yourself to are mind-boggling. 

For instance, you could score a 90 percent on a test and you feel pretty good about it. Then you see the person to your right got a 70 and you think to yourself, “I studied and got what I deserved. They must’ve slacked off. I’m obviously a better student than them.” You look to your left and they scored 100 percent. And just like that, your thoughts do a 180 and you’re perception changes. You think, “Oh wow, well if they got a perfect score I should’ve been able to. Why didn’t I study more. They must be smarter than me. I really need to be more like them.” 
But that’s not the worst part. It’s a whole different mindset when you start comparing yourself to your friends, the people you are supposed to be able to talk to about this. The ones that tell you you’re pretty, that you should ask him out because he’d be lucky to date you. That no, of course that doesn’t make you look fat and yeah, that girl was wearing too much make-up and she does look kinda slutty. But no matter what you hear come out of their mouth, you’re just sitting there thinking, “My best friend is so skinny. What’s her secret?” “I’m so jealous of her hair.” “How does she keep her complexion so clear?” “Where does she get all of her cute clothes? I’m stuck shopping at Wal-Mart.” And, “Oh my God, she’s an entire cup size bigger than me. I hate this!” And that’s just appearance. We also scrutinize and compare our: Grades, jobs, social status, how many people we’ve dated, sexual experience, how much money we have, athletic abilities, morals, and everything in between! 
And even if you’re not comparing yourself to anyone, you’re still never satisfied with yourself. I can look at a picture of myself and find 20 flaws and when someone points out one aspect that they think is good, I’ll reject it immediately. And that’s the thing: when you’ve always had low self-esteem and you’re not used to being given compliments, you start getting angry when you get one. Because you’ve had plenty of time to build up this conception of yourself that you start to believe it to be true. It really is horrible but true.