This entire weekend I have been inundated with requests for my opinion on the ruling.  On the one hand, I appreciate the vote of confidence in my voice being worth considering.  On the other hand, why?

Why does it matter what I think?

Of course I am entitled to my opinion.

But at the same time, no words from my mouth should overshadow one tear from an unsheltered teen-aged girl, who ran away from home because her uncle had more trust with her parents than she did.

No woman needs to put down her coffee to listen to the words of a man who did not have to spend his 15th birthday being medically examined with his feet in something called, “stirrups.”

There exists nowhere an mature woman who just can’t go without hearing from a middle-aged man who has never suddenly arisen in a panic in the middle of the night worried that she might just one more crow’s foot away from aging out of upward mobility in her profession.

I have met no mother that can’t go without the breathless words of a husband who has never had to put his makeup on at a stoplight, without spilling his coffee, while handing off lunch boxes to his children to hopefully, this time, not be admonished by the school guard.

I do not believe there is a waitress anywhere, who is just waiting with bated breath, to hear from her customer, a man who never had to stick his college acceptance letter in the drawer, forever, because “it was the right thing to do.”

I have searched everywhere, and failed to find even one female nurse, who needed the opinion of a man who for 33 years has not bled from his genitalia once per month, up to a week at a time.

I have not heard a request from a woman of color, whose standard of living for her and her children would not allow for any reasonable person to confuse her for living as royalty.

But when they can’t use the N-word, “welfare queen” will do.

I lived at one point, in a border town, Del Rio, Texas.  But I never once knew a Latina, who crossed the Rio Grande with the very real knowledge that not all of her children may make it across, who asked me to tell her why she should keep perspective.

I have not heard from a single widow who needed the thoughts of a man who never had to bury his husband wondering if the life insurance will do until she can get more job training.

I have had no requests for an editorial from a grandmother that can vividly remember when she needed her husband’s permission to apply for a credit card.

But I would like some male to explain to me why it took until 1974 to right that wrong.

You see, I can give you an opinion on many things.  I can talk to you about a baseball stance, or how to edit a website.  I can give advice on your jumpshot, and work with you on your science homework.

I can share cooking tips, and teach life hacks.

I can even sling a modicum of fashion sense.

But I can’t ever explain what a woman is going through.

I can’t know her private torments beyond what she tells me.

I can’t feel the pain of her broken dreams, or the relate to the sorrow caused by her abusive relationship.  I can give my love, my support, my loyalty, and my career to her cause.

But an opinion?

Ok here is an opinion.  

I woke up on Friday to find out that the highest court in the land is perfectly comfortable with allowing states to turn our daughters’ impregnation by their attackers into their rapist’s trophy.

There is an opinion.

I woke up on Friday to find out that ignorant men who view science as a threat to their power will allow states to ignore the devastating consequences of an ectopic pregnancy.

There is an opinion.

I woke up to a nation with its women now having a fascist boot on their neck because the streak of vile misogyny in this country has somehow been allowed to regain power.

There is an opinion.

I woke up on Friday to find out that my birth state of Missouri would force your niece to give birth to her sister.

How about that for an opinion?

But I don’t for one minute think those opinions are necessary.  I don’t think women will read this and go to sleep with the comfort of knowing what I think.

What I do believe is what is important is not what I think.

What is important is what I do.

And what I will do is defend women.

I will defend my wife, cast aside by reprobates disappointed they could not control her, only to leave on a metaphorical relationship side of the road for me to appreciate for eternity.

I will defend my mom, a person who has lived her trying to break free from the chains of other’s judgment.

I will defend the cashier at Fry’s, who someday, wants to finish her degree and chart her own course without a man editing her, reducing her, or limiting her.

I will defend every woman in this country from the overreach of the ignorant seduced by fear, and intoxicated by sophists who benefit from their fealty.

And then, as arduous as it may be, I will try to free the ignorant from the shackles of their intellecutal impoverishment.

Today, women will not instantaneously, for my writing of this, cease to be robbed of their free will.

But you better believe, today, this man with the irrelevant opinions is keeping an accounting of what has been stolen from them.

And I will dedicate what is left of my life, and career, to see to it that what is taken is returned.

With interest.


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