Friday, August 5, 2022

Voting in Kansas

For months they've threatened the abortion ban over us in Kansas. One of the last states to remain legal, the Supreme Court's ban and the fact that we are largely a red state (GOP-Tr*mp) put a fear in many that we'd lose our rights as well. VOTE YES! VOTE NO! These signs littered front yards all over town as an almost silent war. I remember when they announced the ban, it was a Saturday and the feeling of being considered non-human, less-than and no longer a true American went through my body like waves of heaviness. Shackles and chains. More than anything, I dreaded telling my daughter that her entire future was at risk. In the grocery store, you could feel it: a strike, a low. I can't explain it properly, but most of the women that day mirrored the heaviness of suffocation with their own pale expressions. It was palpable.

Abortion has never been about babies--it's about control. Last year I connected rape mentality with pro-life, and then slowly watched my connection come true as that part of society fell apart. Even up until last week I was hearing things like how men should keep their 'women" from self-pleasuring. Just insanity. Most men don't want this--they want healthy, loving relationships with women who are valued. 

This summer my small town has been a battle zone of option, the pro-life crowd salivating at finally taking away the rights of others, and the pro-choice crowd got busy debating everyone online. Even up until this Tuesday, I was battling folks on twitter so they would understand you'll never take away abortion, only the safe ones, the legal ones. Then, I went to my assigned place and voted.

It was a nearby church, and they had pro-life signs out front--not good. Because you can't have any kind of political affiliations near the voting area, they moved to the back, which gave me a bad feeling. When I went in, masked, they printed off two voting slips. The guy said, "Whoops. You don't want two of these, do you?" He was joking, and I semi-joked back: "No. I don't actually, actually."


A female clerk led me to the touch screen voting machine and then explained what to do after the ballot printed out. She left and I voted. But there were people behind who could see my screen--I know this because they stood at a coffee table set up only a few feet away, close enough for me to hear them talking--so I used my purse to help block the screen. 

Then, a clerk yelled out, "Don't forget to get your sticker!"

Didn't need a sticker but since everyone in the world gets one why not me? Out in the lobby I waited for the lady with the stickers to notice me. It took her awhile because she was chatting up two men. This is when I began to think my mask had set me apart. Everyone there was older, and though I'm not a teenager they were older than me and of the Tr*mp generation. No one had a mask on. The lady finically turned and said, "Oh, I guess you want one."

Double Yikes. 

The rift in American politics and society has gotten increasingly divisive. Which was probably the point. United we stand, divided we fall . . . Sure P*tin loves how this planned out. 

My mask made me the pro-choice poster child when I went in to vote. It screamed, "PRO_CHOICE, DEMOCRAT, LIBERAL!" Yep. Pretty much. But I've also had every version of the virus and it ain't fun being sick. 

Politics aside, my daughter is a brilliant young woman and deserves to be treated as such. When they announced that the ban had not passed and that abortion rights, which are really women's rights, were safe, she was the first one I texted. How happy I was to tell her the news, and so proud of my state Kansas! Our votes send a huge message to the country that we don't accept old ideologies of discrimination.

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