Make Your Choice. Are You Ready to be Strong?
“So here’s the part where you make a choice. What if you could have that power now? In every generation one Slayer is born because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule. I say my power should be our power . . . from now on every girl who might be a slayer will be a slayer, every girl who could have the power will have the power, can stand up will stand up. Slayers, every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?”
I am a huge Buffy nerd so I’m going to use a Buffy analogy to make my point today but, Buffyphile or not, please hear me out.
There is a war on women in America right now. Here I sit in Costa Rica, reading the news, watching anti-woman legislation get passed, listening to politicians who sound like they stepped out of the Victorian Era and I am slack jawed at the utter hatred for women that is wrapped up in all of this. Legislation in Texas has passed that forces a woman to watch a sonogram of the fetus before she can have an abortion. On top of that fun-filled experience the woman must lay there, feet in stirrups, while the doctor describes everything about the fetus that he sees. Then she must wait 24 agonizing hours before the abortion can be performed. I’m sure the politicians who passed this say it’s being done to give a woman time to think (cue the earnest, concerned look and patronizing tone). No. That’s not the point of this. The point of this is to shame, humiliate and degrade women. How dare women have bodily integrity. How dare we make decisions. Really, how dare we do anything other than sit down, shut up and say “yes sir.”
So here’s where my analogy begins. Buffy is trying to save the world, again. She is leading a group of young women into battle with a bunch of really, really old male vampires. These women are potential slayers, they have the innate ability to beat these really, really old male vampires but they have to tap into the force that allows them to do that. So Buffy challenges them to be open to that force, to believe that they have the power inside of them. Fast forward to the final fight scene, it’s all going great until Buffy gets stabbed and she falls to the ground with what appears to be a mortal wound. She lays there watching the new slayers collapsing around her, losing the battle. Along comes the evil entity who is leading the parade of really, really old male vampires and he says to her in a patronizing, smarmy tone: “You pulled a nice trick, you came pretty close to smacking me down. What more could you want?” Buffy starts to rise and, as she does, she looks the evil in its eyes and says slowly through clenched teeth “I want you to get out of my face!” The slayers, along with their male warriors, gather their strength and, eventually, the world is saved from the really, really old male vampires.
So here’s my point: we have a choice to make right now. We can let them run roughshod over our rights, over our inherent dignity that each one of us has simply by virtue of being human. We can let them tell us that abortions cause breast cancer, let them say that women who make the decision to have sex without the intent to procreate are sluts, let them pat us on the head and say “good girl, now get me a sandwich.” Or we can fight. As our mothers have done before us we can fight to protect our rights and the rights of our daughters. We can fight so our sons will not be raised in a country where it is acceptable to treat women as if we are anything less than one hundred percent equal and deserving of respect. We can fight and tell those really, really old male vampires that this will not happen, we will not sit down and shut up, we will not shrug our shoulders and say “we put up a good fight but we lost, time to let it go.” So here’s the part where we make a choice. Are we ready to be strong? If so, in the words of a newly minted slayer, “these guys are dust.”
Time to show them what we’re made of, starting with voting their sorry asses out of office . . .