False Dichotomies

I first contacted Marci Glass last spring after reading a blog post she wrote, focused on comments about rape counseling made a by man who is a respected member and Elder in Marci’s congregation and a member of the Idaho State Legislator. I was exhilarated by Marci’s writing, which proposed that we focus first on making abortion unnecessary before presuming to make it illegal.

Not long after hearing the first fledgling of a first draft of our play, Marci and I spoke about this subject in more depth. In my naïvety I asked Marci for help in understanding the position of a person believes abortion should be illegal– we were at the time struggling with how to fairly represent a view so far from our own. Marci, rightfully, redirected my attention. I had convinced myself that this was a matter of being either for, or against, legal abortion, and I was wrong; I was only looking at the surface. Marci could not help me to understand a person who wants to end abortion by controlling it, because her attention is turned to the harder path: confronting, and taking responsibility for the deeper societal issues that often lead to abortion. She seeks to end abortion not by control but by empowerment. In doing so she reminded me to engage the root of this subject not its physical manifestation.

Pandora’s Box Project began as a sort of liberal battle cry but it can be so much more. We can not change a culture that seeks to return to a simpler time– when gender roles were easily defined– only by willing it. We have to take the harder path. We have to confront the negativity that has become so pervasive around issues of gender. We can’t be dismissive of a person’s fears but we can take responsibility and work together to a better future. It is at our peril that we close our ears to those we may disagree with; we are often less different than we think.

A few weeks after our conversation, Marci wrote this post: False Dichotomies, in her writing we are encouraged to engage in the harder work of supporting and loving women, rather than condemning them.



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