Tuesday, May 03, 2016

What Bathroom Do I Use?

Every year, about 1/2 million women in the United States have a hysterectomy.

That means they have their lady parts removed, usually because of something like endometriosis, fibroids, cancer, or some other issue.

It is not a decision most women make lightly.

My hysterectomy occurred when I was 29 years old. That is young to have such a surgery. It was the only option left, in the end, and the only way I would live and not die of extreme pain and intense bleeding.

I was born female but now I have no lady parts. I don't have a male organ, either, but technically speaking, I am, well, a heterosexual androgynous sort of person who identifies as female. Or something like that. If you want to be detailed about it. I've always just thought of myself as a woman, and until the Republican parties in southern states started making all of these weird bathroom rules, I never gave it any thought.

But now I must ask - what bathroom do I use?

I look and sound female, and if anyone forced me to take off my pants they would assume I am female. But my reproductive value is nonexistent. So what does that make me? Besides, you know, useless in the eyes of some evangelicals who believe if you can't reproduce then you must have sinned big time. (And yes, I have been told that.)

It is hard enough in this country to have fertility problems, to have to endure physical trauma to your body, not to mention the emotional toil it takes to deal with the fact that you can't have children, without having a bunch of dumbasses start bringing up weird crap about who goes to what bathroom.

As if transgendered people or people like myself or other people who do whatever they do haven't been going to the bathroom for years and years without stupid laws.

And then they bring up the "pharmacists, doctors, therapists can say no" to whatever they disagree with, as if they know the whole story. I mean, I took birth control pills to control endometriosis so we could attempt to have children. They were part of my fertility process, a hope that by slowing down the growth of the endometriosis, we might have a chance to produce a child.

This stuff is nobody's business. If more people would mind their own business and keep their fantasies to themselves, and leave other people alone to live their lives as they need to, we wouldn't be having such stupid public conversations. I wouldn't be writing this admittedly stupid and sarcastic blog entry. I know where to go pee, and I know I'm a woman. I'm just not sure that the idiots in charge now would agree with me.

You do know the rest of the world laughs at us, right? The only thing that keeps them from actually laughing in our faces is the fact that we have the largest military machine ever and they don't want to piss off anybody who has the codes to the nuclear bombs.

What happens in my body is not your business. Where I go pee is not your business. Who I sleep with is not your business. Why do you think it is your business? I don't poke my nose into your business. Why must you stick yours in mine?

I think it is a lack of empathy, I really do. That means a person can understand and share the feelings of other people. Ultimately there is a certain and admittedly large group of people who cannot think of other people without judgment or any ability to feel or think about what the "others" might be thinking or feeling. I don't know where this comes from, if it is genetic or upbringing or religious indoctrination or what, but it is there. Maybe it's the result of the 1970s "me" generation, the bunch of us brought up on 7-Up who believe we're the only ones who matter and to hell with everybody else.

If you have empathy, generally speaking, you don't have "others" in your life. You have people who think differently, who seem to be thinking with their emotions and not their heads, or you have people of other races who see things in a different way, but they are still human beings to you and they still function like you do, peeing and putting on their pants one leg at a time. Sleeping and eating, drinking, trying to do the best they can with whatever their lot in life has turned out to be. And if you have empathy, you can see that lot, and see perhaps how a person ended up there, living in a box or living alone, or living with a house full of 19 children. You can see how they are doctors or plumbers or farmers or writers. Maybe you disagree with the decisions that got them to that place, but you can feel for them and understand that maybe they need some help, or maybe not, or maybe they are happy, or maybe not, and that all of them need to go potty somewhere or another and holding it in the shopping mall isn't always possible.

Much of the stuff in the media today - the war against women (yes, I believe there is one), the backlash against the same-sex marriage ruling by the Supreme Court, immigration - all of the issues that make headlines because they sell news, exists simply to divert our attention away from the really important matters. The really important matters are things like appointing another justice to the Supreme Court because we are one short. Or how companies do not pay taxes. Or the lack of jobs and the loss of the middle class. Banks that are too big to fail. Big money that pays for politicians. More people in prison than any other nation per capita. Cutting welfare and trying to end Social Security and undermining all of the social safety nets that a truly modern and progressive and yes, the very best country in the world, would have in place, not destroy.

We would be focusing on making unions strong again, bringing power back to the people and taking it from the hands of the few and giving it back to the arms of the many, but instead the media - big corporate power - plays to our emotions and gives us stories about who goes to what bathroom.

It's a farce. It's a ploy. It's a game created to divert our attention, to divide and conquer, to destroy the things that keep people hopeful and happy. A game played by people who don't have to worry about their next meal. They don't care if you have one, you know. They would just as soon take your pennies as give you a free lunch.

When will we wake up? It's a bad dream, the world we live in now. Wake up America. Because of the things that we've dismantled, we are no longer great. We're just a third world has-been of a nation now, with a growing population of poor. All of those hot-button issues aren't going to make us a great country again.

Where you pee doesn't make you a great country. Great statesmen who have empathy for their fellow human beings make great countries.

Find those leaders, men and women. Vote out the assholes in the Congress and Senate. Find the empathy, and you will find your country.

And then we'll all know where to go pee.


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