There is a mostly accurate transcription here.
This is…I don’t even have the words to describe how amazing it is. Goosebumps. (h/t to Radical Doula – where I saw it.)
[ETA: Trigger warning – the video and transcript contain discussion of rape, and non-consensual sexual violence.]
“If you want to write your Bible on my organs, then you better be there when I am down on my knees pleading from relief from your morality.”
(I typed a full transcript after the video in case you want to read it. The formatting is awful, but I think I got all the words right.)
Lauren Zuniga, To The Oklahoma Law Makers: a poem
To the Oklahoma law makers who will force all women to receive an ultrasound prior to an abortion.
Why don’t you print out the ultrasound pictures in pastel frames.
Make me take them home and hang them on my wall as a souvenir of the night that is branded like red coals to flesh on my memory.
The night when his hand pressed so hard against my shoulder blade I felt more intimacy with asphalt.
Why don’t ya knit the baby a sweater?
Make me take it out and smell it on the anniversary of this day for the rest of my life to remind me that I chose to be a murderer
instead of bringing a child into a world where we kill people in the name of freedom, but imprison people in the name of life.
You could pass laws for that too, you know?
It’s bad enough that I can still see his handprints on my thighs.
But now I can see your probing eyes scraping across my cervix, tattooing my womb with shame.
Why don’t you send me a card every Mother’s Day to remind me of how wretched I am? Sign it, ‘Your friends at the state capital making sure you know we actually do something all day with your tax dollars. “
Look, I know it can get boring, between the porker’s association breakfasts and the oil and gas industry lunch.
And I know you need something to do, between screwing up our election system and passing off your racism as an immigration bill.
But I need a little more from you than a piece of paper.
I mean, if you really want to show me that you believe in faith, family, and freedom, then why don’t you come along for the ride.
I could’ve used you that night.
After the football game.
Him finally showing me attention
Me grasping for acceptance
Tell me I’m special
So when he hands me the next drink, I don’t look to the bottom of it for approval.
Tell me to scream louder
So someone might find us
Wrap me in a blanket when he’s done
Take me home.
My body a tapped keg
My heart the grimey gym floor after the pep rally
Give me the words to say to my parents when I come out of the bathroom with a plus sign on the stick
And he won’t even talk to me
The school hallway is a canyon
Silence echoes in my skull
And I don’t even know what to do.
Tell me what to do.
Sit with me at the clinic
The ticker plucking away at my innocence
Give me the revelation
That the blip on the screen
Is actually a baby.
Take me home when I change my mind.
Take me to the doctor every month
Hold my hand in the delivery room
I will name him after you, if you will help me do my homework
When he’s crying in the next room.
Give me food stamps,
Pay my gas bills,
Put him in an afterschool program
Where he learns he can sell my pain pills
Have mercy on him when he goes to court
Give me strength when they sentence him
If you want to play God, Mr. and Mrs. Lawmakers,
If you want to write your Bible on my organs
Then you better be there
When I am down on my knees
pleading for relief
from your morality
I’ve run across this twice in 2 days – the idea that a person’s body (in one case it was a woman’s body, and in the other there was no sex/gender specified), within the context of a marriage, does not belong solely to themselves.
The first instance was in an interview former Victoria’s Secret model Kylie Bisutti gave to George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. At about 0:47 in the interview she says that, “[She] became so convicted about wanting to honor [her] husband with [her] body,” that she quit modeling for Victoria’s Secret. And then around 1:58 George asks her, “How did your husband handle all this? Did he have problem with you modeling?”
The second place I encountered this idea was a blog post on the website Simple Marriage, How to have great sex when you’re not in the mood. (Bolded emphasis is mine.)
Who you practice being in your most intimate life is a huge factor in how you truly see yourself.
Plus, if you are married, your body does not strictly belong to you. It belongs to you and your mate.
In my mind, my body is MINE. It is ONLY MINE. It is mine to choose with whom I will share it, and in what manner. And when I hear things, or read things, that suggest that my body is owed to someone other than me, I get really damn twitchy.
What do you think?
I believe, fervently, that the language we choose to use has great implications for the things we find important, and hold valuable. I do not believe that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Words are used to convey hatred, and disrespect. They are used to hurt, and demean people. They are not harmless.
I’m really sick of seeing these words used to describe women.
Have any to add?
I got giddy with excitement back over the summer when The Mamafesto unveiled the This is What a Feminist Looks Like series on her blog. I love reading about how other people have come to feminism, and hearing how they talk about it. It helps me to feel like part of something, and it also helps me to refine my feminism.
So I spent MONTHS working on my replies to her questions (I’m a perfectionist, which should explain why I am not the most reliable blogger), but finally got it together and got them to her.
Today, I am honored to be featured, and am so excited to be in the company of the women who have participated thus far. Go read, and then participate, too!