Things that matter. Pass ‘em on.
Sonya Renee: “Culturally diversified bi-racial girl with a small diamond nose ring and a pretty smile poses beside the words “Women deserve better” and I almost let her non-threatening grin begin to infiltrate my psyche until I read the unlikely small print at the bottom of the ad: “Sponsored by the U.S. Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities and the Knights of Columbus.” On a bus in a city with a population of 563,000, four teenage mothers on the bus with me, one Latina woman with three children under three and no signs of a daddy. One 16-year-old black girl standing in 22-degree weather with only a sweater and a book bag and a bassinet with an infant that ain’t even four weeks yet, tell me that “Yes, women do deserve better.”
Women deserve better than public transportation rhetoric from the same people who won’t give that teenage mother a ride to the next transit, won’t let you talk to their kids about safer sex, had never had to listen as the door slams behind the man who adamantly says that shit ain’t his, leaving her to wonder how she’ll raise this kid.
Women deserve better than the 300 dollars TANF and AFDC will provide that family of three, or the $6.00 an hour job at KFC with no benefits for her new baby, or the college degree she may never see because you can’t have infants at the university.
Women deserve better than lip service paid for by politicians who have no alternatives to abortion, though I am sure right now one of their 17-year-old daughters is sitting in a clinic lobby sobbing quietly and anonymously, praying parents don’t find out, or is waiting for mom to pick her up because research shows that out of wedlock childbirth don’t look good on political polls and the family ain’t having that.
Women deserve better than backward governmental policies that don’t want to pay for welfare for kids, or healthcare for kids, or childcare for kids, don’t want to pay living wages to working mothers, don’t want to make men who only want to be last night’s lovers responsible for the semen they lay, just flat out don’t want to pay for shit, but want to control the woman who’s having it.
I see outrage at abortion, but I’m outraged that they want us to believe that they believe that women deserve better. The Vatican won’t prosecute pedophile priests, but I decide I’m not ready for motherhood and it’s condemnation for me? These are the same people who won’t support national condom distribution to prevent teenage pregnancy, but women deserve better.
Women deserve better than back alley surgeries that leave our wombs barren and empty. Deserve better than organizations bearing the name of land-stealing racist rapists funding million dollar campaigns on subway trains with no money to give these women, while balding middle-aged white men tell us what to do with our bodies, while they wage wars and kill other people’s babies. So maybe women deserve better than propaganda and lies to get into office, propaganda and lies to get into panties, to get out of court, to get out of paying child support, get the fuck out of our decisions and give us back our voice. Women do deserve better. Women deserve choice”