ON WOMEN & TRUST
The hallways in the state house were lined on Wednesday with people sporting stickers emblazoned with the slogans “Trust Women” and “Stop the War on Women.” Such exhortations give me pause, inasmuch as I’m a woman, and none of my sticker-clad fellow citizens seemed inclined to trust me.
Imagine, if you will, a band of citizens bearing stickers saying “Trust Men.” Passersby would immediately think “trust men to do what?” The men wearing such stickers would be laughed out of the state house. Women wearing such stickers would have my pity, along with my fervent hope that some serious consciousness-raising would take place before the next election
So back to trusting women. Many of Wednesday’s citizens bearing the “Trust Women” message also held signs for NARAL Pro-Choice NH and Planned Parenthood. Aha. Now I get it: the stickers are telling elected officials to trust the women who support so-called pro-choice policies. Other women are not invited to the trustfest.
Enough already. If people were worthy of trust merely because of their gender, we could all settle into sexist anarchy and dispense with the messy business of conducting government with women & men of differing views serving side-by-side. Our Constitution’s Bill of Rights was adopted precisely because “trust” wasn’t enough to protect individual rights.
So let’s get serious. Abortion rights to one woman mean destruction of human life to another. One woman’s fully-federally-subsidized birth control is another woman’s violation of religious liberty.
I was called a neanderthal this morning at the state house by someone who saw that I was not there to support the bogus “Trust Women” campaign. I was asked “how can you call yourself a woman?” I’ve spent 30 years in the thick of civic engagement, and it takes more than being outnumbered & verbally abused to make me go away. Still, it’s telling that a fellow citizen can look at me and see not a woman or a neighbor but a neanderthal. Civility, anyone?
A co-pay is not a war. An effort to bring informed consent to abortion procedures is not a war. If you want to know what a political war looks like, albeit a bloodless one, look at a U.S. President determined to force a vibrant church to knuckle under to a demand that it act in violation of its teachings.
“Trust”, indeed. If you believe in trusting women, start by trusting me. I have a say, too. And you can trust me to vote.
Ellen Kolb is the Legislative Director at Cornerstone Action of NH.