Previously published on Thought Catalog
Openly supporting certain positions can lead to harassment, especially on the Internet. It’s something that anyone who speaks their mind eventually ends expecting. Expecting it doesn’t mean that it is less painful or more fun. It just means that you’ve learned to expect that some folks just don’t understand how to talk to another human being like they’re actually a human being. Quite frankly, that sucks.
For being pro-choice and for promoting access to things like free/cheap birth control, other safe and affordable forms of reproductive health care, and comprehensive sex education, I’ve encountered a variety of different slams. There are a lot of assumptions that pro-birth people make when you support the right to access safe and legal abortions.
(I am referring to them as pro-birth instead of pro-life for the purpose of this post because many support multiple policies that endanger lives. There are some very considerate pro-life people out there and this is not geared toward those people.)
1. You should keep your legs closed. But I just got this fancy Thighmaster. Wait. Do they even sell those anymore? Thank you for assuming that because I support abortion that I am promiscuous. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being promiscuous, but I’m not. And my promiscuous tendencies or lack thereof is not the basis for how I feel about an issue.
2. You’re a sex-obsessed whore. Seriously? What the fuck? Taking birth control doesn’t mean that you’re a prostitute. It doesn’t even mean that you’re having sex. There are these things called medical conditions, like anemia, premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, where women take “The Pill” to keep from being sick, dying of blood, in severe pain, or from being horribly depressed. Women even take it for acne. Whatever the reason a person takes, you shouldn’t be judging them.
3. You’re stupid. How’d you come to that conclusion? Is there some statistical evidence that people who believe in abortion have lower IQs? Or does it just make you feel uncomfortable that my brain is okay with the idea that I can’t make personal decisions for another person? Ding, ding, ding. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner.
Having a different opinion doesn’t make a person stupid. And a person’s intelligence and understanding can be measured in a variety of ways. Some people are talented at understanding science and math. Some understand Russian Literature. Some have a natural ability to fix a car. Some have an ability to paint. Some are good listeners. We’re all different in our ways of understanding our world. If everyone is different, then who are you to judge who is and who is not smart?
4. You’re ugly. And that makes me wrong how? Who cares what I look like? If you think I’m ugly, then you think I’m ugly. It doesn’t make me want to change my opinion. Bringing up a person’s appearance when you’re debating a particular topic is such a ridiculous tactic. There are a lot of really hot people who are stupid and really ugly people who are smart and vice versa. Appearance doesn’t impact a person’s intelligence or their ability to formulate an opinion, unless they let it. And the only reason that they might let it is that we’ve got some really messed up ideas of what counts most in American culture.
5. No one will ever have sex with you if you have that attitude. Fuck that. What you mean is that you and other peoplelike you don’t want to have sex with anyone who has a particular belief set. Well, that’s fine. People like me probably wouldn’t want to have sex with people like you. Does that shock you?
6. You must hate men. Are you trying to be an ignorant asshole? Or is this something you excel at naturally? Did you know that men can be pro-choice? Oh, my goodness. Your world is probably imploding right now, isn’t it?
7. You’re a baby-killer and a monster. Hey, I’m not Olaf the Troll! I don’t go around pillaging fictional towns, eating babies, and trying to get revenge against my ex-lover-who-became-a-demon-because-I-cheated. (If you get this reference, you deserve a cookie or some cookie dough.) Your ridiculousness is seriously breaking my heart.
8. God hates you. You hate me, so you assume that means that a deity that you happen to believe in also hates me. Narcissist much? If God exists, then let God tell me this. It is not up to you. That you think it is up to you makes me think you aren’t really clear on the whole idea of humility. Maybe you need to work on that before you judge me.
It used to bug me when these things were said to me. It doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy now, but I don’t take it personally. I realize that this is just what some pro-birth people are taught to feel. I hope that they figure out that they’re wrong at some point, but it’s not really something that I expect because they’re stubborn. I hope that they realize that I’m just as stubborn about my beliefs as they are.