Emotionally Naked: Stripped of My Autonomy

Linda Sharp
10 min readJun 24, 2022

I have been absent from this space for many weeks now. I have been, and continue to be, toiling at my in-laws — getting them settled into their new care facility, prepping their home for sale, cleaning, thrifting, laboring daily. Seven weeks so far. I simply have not had time to dedicate to this blog space despite the news being made in our country and around the globe.

And while I still have mountains to move on this end in terms of work to be done, today cannot be allowed to pass into tomorrow without my typing. If only to keep my own head and heart from exploding.

I sit here staring out a window at a space that has not changed much — aside from tree height — since my great greats broke ground and built this amazing house well over 100 years ago. Funny how little has changed in the surroundings and in the politics of who I am, who I am allowed to be.

It was just over 100 years ago that women were given the right to vote. That came about only after great struggle, abuse, uprising. That so many then, and now, still do not believe I should be able to cast a ballot is staggering to me. That whole notion of “the weaker sex” is fucking laughable.

Oh, sorry — should have warned you — NSFW incoming — gird your loins or hit the X and GTFO.

There is nothing weak about being female.

Being female means you start from behind in this world. Immediately. Right out of the vaginal gate. All around the world, far too many people, places, and religions place a higher value on males. That somehow that extra scrap of skin and regrettable looking sac between their legs make them more worthy, smarter, destined for some mythical greatness.

Give me a fucking break. Most of them go cradle to grave without truly even knowing how to use that sad apparatus let alone scaling the heights of Olympus because of it.

Sadder still are the females who buy into the whole lesser than, subservient, defer-to-the-men set of dynamics. That we have one sitting on the Supreme Court is frightening because she is part and parcel of what happened today.

Coney Barrett, in conjunction with her Christofacist benchmates, overturned Roe v Wade. Not that we didn’t see it coming. Once that draft opinion was leaked, the writing in blood was on the wall. And just as predicted, once that trigger was pulled, legislative bullets in state after state have begun to be fired, essentially outlawing abortion. Just this morning, South Carolina Governor McMaster stated he will file motions “so that the Fetal Heartbeat Act will go into effect in South Carolina”. Attorney General Eric Schmitt of Missouri signed an AG opinion which will effectively end abortion completely in that state. He tweeted “This is a monumental day for the sanctity of life.”

Um, no, no it’s not. The sanctity of MY life has fuck all to do with any of it.

There are 13 states with trigger laws that have simply been waiting for SCOTUS to do what it did. Over the next few weeks, they will each become their own Gileads.

I am not gobsmacked by what has taken place. Far from it. Again, the writing was on the wall. What I am is fucking incensed.

My rights to my own body, to any decision making about it, my health, my well being — all were taken away this morning. A ball of cells that cannot survive outside my uterus was just given more rights than my 56 year old fully functioning ass.

Question for you gents — yes, even those of you who are allied: Do you even have any remote inkling of what this day feels like? No, no you don’t. You may see your sig other seething, crying, ranting, smoke pouring from her ears, but YOU DO NOT KNOW.

No one has ever come for your dick. No legislation exists that targets your ballbag.

So try, for just a moment, to imagine what it would feel like if suddenly they effectively did not belong to you anymore, they belong to the state. That you do not have autonomy to make decisions about them. You can no longer masturbate because what you expel is half the components of life. That should you get ball cancer or prostate issues, you cannot have them addressed, fixed, removed because you would be “killing” those very alive spermatozoa. What’s that? Without treatment you might die? Damn, that’s really sad and regrettable, but NO. No dice, dude. Those sperm matter more than the sentient meat sack containing them. (That would be you, you handsome side of beef.)

I have been sitting here thinking about what this means for my daughters, your daughters, to any person with functioning ovaries and a uterus. And then I realized, that also still means me. I may be 56, but my body still continues its monthly ebb and flow, meaning I am capable of getting pregnant. And I have said it before- were I to turn up with a positive test? THERE WOULD BE AN ABORTION.

I am 56. My husband is 64. We are done having children. We have three amazing ones. One of them is pregnant and we are thrilled to be on the precipice of becoming grandparents. But to make another of our own? Absolutely not.

What happened today affects everyone. Yes, I’m looking at you, MAGAts, conservatives, uber pew warmers, hypocrites. Especially you hypocrites. You know who you are — the ones who so fervently prayed for this day, who are dancing in the aisles, but who have your own abortion hidden somewhere in your personal closet. You Republican men who insisted on them, paid for them. You conservative women who covered your face and entered a clinic for yourself or your daughter, only to return to your pew days later nodding your heads as your preacher railed against we demon Dems who just looooooooove us some baby killin’.

You know who you are.

But it affects everyone on more than just the abortion front. And allow me a moment to inform you — ABORTIONS WILL STILL TAKE PLACE. THEY JUST WILL NO LONGER BE SAFE.

But I digress…

In his concurring opinion, batshitted and compromised justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the court “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”

Allow me to translate for you. He is clearly stating all that past rulings codifying rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage should be reconsidered.

You do notice the one ruling he did not include was Loving vs Virginia? Hmmmm, why could that be?

Contraception. Same sex relationships, marriage. Starting to chafe a little yet? No? You should. And herein lies the problem. This tendency to not care until something becomes personally uncomfortable.

I am not LGBTQIA.

I am not black.

I am not Asian.

I am not Muslim.

I am not Jewish.

I am not a mother with small children in school.

I am not uninsured.

I am not married to someone of a different color or origin story.

I am not immunocompromised.

I am not Ukrainian.

I am not poor.

I don’t use birth control.

I don’t need a wheelchair ramp or any ADA measures for my ease of movement.

I can walk into a public bathroom with ease when I have to pee.

I don’t panic during a traffic stop.

I can afford to fill my tank and grocery cart up without worrying about the total.

I can eat when I’m hungry. Or bored.

And I don’t currently need an abortion.

But all of the above? I care about. Because there are real people behind each of those statements of luxury who are not cloaked in the same privilege I enjoy.

I care because my son is transgender. I care because somewhere there are women who are pregnant finding out the fetus is not viable, is ectopic, is a pregnancy that is simply not wanted at this time. I care because Black people are targeted right down the line — every fucking breath they take is filtered through risk and fear and uncertainty. I care because Jewish people have been turned into some boogeyman scapegoats for every uneducated, bigoted asshole with an axe to grind about their lot in life. I care because people are hungry, sick, scared, unable to buy gas to get to their three jobs. I care because love is love is love is love and the churches and government should have zero say in who loves who, who commits to who. I care because children should not be easy targets in their classrooms, because their blood should be from scraped knees on the playground, not from their faces being blown off as they try to hide under their desks.

I care because I’m a human being. A decent one. I do not have to personally experience pain, indifference, racism, ostracism, targeting, terror, hunger, medical horrors, death of a loved one, or trauma to CARE DEEPLY about the fact that other people are experiencing these things constantly all around me.

But what happened today is the culmination of selfishness, self involvement, hubris, nonchalance, disconnect. The result of not staying informed, of feeling safe in your white skin, your gender identity, your job. The result of protest voting, not voting, joke voting in 2016, hell in local, state, and national campaigns for decades before. The result of telling people like me that I was being hysterical, that my warnings were full of hyperbole. That none of this would ever happen.

Well, here we are. Today is where WE reap what YOU sowed, assholes. When every self loathing woman who got into office; when every blindingly stupid male legislator who cannot tell you how many holes a woman has below, who has no idea how pregnancy occurs, who cannot spell clitoris, let alone find it — begins telling me and every woman you know what we can and cannot do with our bodies. These same geniuses who think we can just “shut down” our reproductive systems in the face of rape; who think ectopic pregnancies can be surgically relocated to the womb; who think taking birth control pills is an abortion — these Densa Mensa candidates are fapping away at their achievement today.

All they have achieved is endangering women everywhere. Their wives, daughters, granddaughters, girlfriends, mistresses — all of us. They have successfully relegated us back to incubator status. That is what our primary role is in their world — we make babies. And sandwiches.

And they are not done. Expect LGBTQIA rights to be next. Anything that makes them oogie will now be in their very real gun sights. Anything that doesn’t jive with their man made religious rulebooks will be hunted down and destroyed

Here’s the thing about that. Your fucking chosen sky deity and companion book — and yes, they are choices, you did not come into this world with ANY knowledge of any religion, cult, creed, or bias — you were taught it all and chose to stay — have zero right to be telling me or anyone else what to do. I obviously have some pretty deeply held beliefs and convictions here, but if I cannot impose them on you, who the hell are you to even deign to think you can impose them on me?

If I cannot force you to have an abortion, why should you be able to force me to not have one? If I cannot strip away your bodily autonomy, why do you get to take mine? I don’t care how uncomfortable the subject makes you; I could not give less than a wet shit that it makes you weepy; and I do not give a tinker’s damn that your pastor/priest/preacher threatens you, me, us all with hellfire and damnation — your personal biases and preferences begin and end at your doorstep.

And make no mistake — what happened today is solidly about Christians imposing their beliefs through law. Because if there was true religious freedom, ALL religions would be considered, and Jews and Muslims would still be able to walk into an abortion clinic at will. Their religions allow for abortion. Hell, my lack of religion allows for abortion.

But we live in Murica. Where a dividing ball of cells gets more care and concern than a real child who is starving, being abused, or killed in the classroom. Where the right to a gun is expanded and protected at the federal level by SCOTUS (just yesterday), but the right to a medical procedure is parceled out to the states just salivating over the chance to make it all illegal.

We live in a hellscape. We are watching the rights of our fellow citizens being stripped away before our eyes. We are characters in The Handmaid’s Tale now come to life.

What I feel is all encompassing. I am livid. I am seething. I am raw. But what I also am is WOMAN.

Republicans have no idea what they have just unleashed.

We have not even begun to ROAR.

--

--

Linda Sharp

Author, columnist, blogger. Don’t Get Me Started and Transparent Trans Parent blogs