With all the talk in this election cycle supporting “values” voters and the pronouncements of personal faith driving political policy, I am reminded of my own Sunday schooling in the rural South. The opening testament of the Christian textbook is an oldie, but a debatable goodie, and one in particular that fear-based religious denominations frequently preach as primer. It conjures mental images of apocalyptic special effects to accompany the messages of wrath, punishment, plague, and damnation. Jesus Christ, it gives me flashbacks, but thank God I evolved in my faith and in its messaging.
In Genesis 4:9 (Don’t believe for a second that I threw that verse out there without looking it up. I’m a do-er, not a spew-er, so I had to head to the good book…the reference book.) As I was saying, in Genesis, Chapter 4, Verse 9, God appears to Cain and asks (in the James Earl Jones voice, not the Morgan Freeman voice since this is the Old Testament), “Where is Abel, your brother?” Cain says, “Ppfft, I don’t know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
In my former, more youthful days of raising Cain, I would have lost this message all together. My prehistoric brain would have focused on the fact that the Father was about to give the child a major smack down for being disrespectful, and in turn, the larger communique would have been ineffectively translated. As with most religious messaging from ancient text, the figurative, not the literal, is the directive. The symbolism here is in Cain’s snarky, unwillingness to accept the responsibility and the welfare of his fellow man. Am I my brother’s keeper? Hardly.
Now, as I live in a swing-state with increasing importance in the national election, I am proportionately inundated with high-priced, SCOTUS approved, political action committee commercials targeting my feelings of accountability. For the most part, I Tivo right through them, but as of late, as countless planks to stifle a woman’s right to make her own decisions have been purposely pounded into the platforms of white, pasty-faced, male politicians, I have been hearing Morgan Freeman’s voice asking me, “Are you your sisters’ keeper?”
In short, yes, I am, and take a look at why. Ignore the political rhetoric for the facts, facts that have undeniable consequences.
Dear Lord, with a collective voice, we have to stop allowing these candidates (and their surrogates ) to dishonestly dismiss these statements as snafus, gaffes, and mis-speaks. This is actually how they feel…and honestly, how they will govern.
When are we going to stop these self-righteous pussies from owning our vaginas? We are no longer property that can be sold to the highest billion dollar donor. This is a moral issue, but it’s certainly not pornography, it’s simply XX. A vote for today’s GOP and its misogyny is a vote to repeal progress for women going back a hundred years. To allow a group of good ol’ boys and wealthy theocrats to systematically chip away at our choice, our rights, and our dignity constitutes what I believe to be womanhood heresy. It’s gendercide, and there ought to be a law against it. Wait, there is…for now.
If you are a woman, if you are a voter of value, or if you adhere to the teaching messages of the good Samaritan, love thy neighbor as thyself, and love your fr-enemies, then you have the responsibility of being your sisters’ keeper, too. Don’t take the “that doesn’t affect me, so I don’t care” attitude. So what if you think you are beyond childbearing years. Honey, I’m a lesbian. You don’t get better built in birth control than that. Look around, we have daughters, we have mothers, we have extended-family female relatives, we have partners and coworkers, female friends & neighbors. We have an obligation to them all.
From Anthony to Steinem, to Jordan to Dunham and every woman outside and in between, there is value in our sex and value in our voice. Look forward, don’t look back; vote a pro-women platform this election cycle. If so, I can practically promise you there is no pillar of salt in your future.