The Shout

Heads up, sensitive topic/moral grey area being covered here on the topic of abortion, not a subject I’ve given much coverage before but with the rise of the #shoutyourabortion hashtag, it’s hard to bury my head in the sand on this one. Needless to say, this isn’t going to be pleasantries over tea and crumpets so if this is a subject that makes you uneasy then this is your opportunity to go read one of my articles about comic books or science fiction shows or for you to say sod it altogether and carry on scrolling through your News Feed on Facebook to find a cute picture to comment on. Ok, weeded out all the sensitive sorts then? No easy way of doing this, let’s just go for it.

So last Saturday, whilst I was busy watching Doctor Who, Lindy West was busy starting a Twitter trend to stand in solidarity with the Planned Parenthood clinics of the US, who are apparently due some budget cuts courtesy of the House of Representatives. “Shout Your Abortion” works on the premise that these changes are approved because we as a society still cling to this notion that abortions are sinful deeds we must commit in secrecy if at all and a potential mother giving up a potential child is somehow morally defunct. Therefore, to fight back against this oppression, women are being encouraged to divulge in the details of their abortion and come to terms with what they did, not so they can repent but so they can realise they shouldn’t have to, it was their choice to make and they chose what was right for them. Obviously, you can tell from my wording where I stand, I’m with the shouters here – there shouldn’t be laws on what you can and can’t do to your own body, it’s perfectly legal to pierce every inch of yourself and tattoo swastikas all over what remains, why should it be illegal to carry out a medical procedure to terminate a ball of cells in your womb?

“Pro-life” and “Pro-choice” are terms that are thrown around a lot, the former coming across as ironic when they defend a potential life over an existing one, which is akin to pushing people over on the street so they don’t get hit by a car whilst having a blind eye to the kid who isn’t looking before he crosses. Anyway, point here is more about the Planned Parenthood clinic, who have defended themselves by saying that only a small percentage of what they do is actually related to aborting children and that they’re not some murder mill but a place of learning for young potential parents that happen to offer the morally questionable possibility of abortion. I’m not happy that this is how they defend themselves and evidently, I’m not alone in that unease, why they should have to stick up for their line of work by saying “But we don’t even do it that often” is atrocious and I’ll explain why.

Make your clinic a murder mill for unborn children if you must, put big signs up and everything because abortions are important, crucially important. You might say “Oh but they’re knocked up teen sluts who didn’t use protection, serves em right hurhurhur!” but you’d be dead wrong and even if you were, how does that serve them right? They fucked up their life so give them MORE LIFE to be responsible for?! What? You don’t give an arsonist matches! A CHILD is not a punishment for questionable choices in life, a child should be a planned decision and the next step in a relationship, not some sort of karmic rain. Abortions are vital, abortions are what allow a victim to not have to carry the child of their assailant, abortions can save a life that can’t endure the suffering they’d go through in childbirth, abortions are what stops girls from savaging themselves with wire hangers to desperately hide their pregnancy. You need to leave that choice open to people, if it is a choice that will save their goddamn lives, you offer them that choice, to withhold it is to allow them to die!

The shame surrounding abortion is the idea that pregnancy is a woman’s fault, like it were a conscious decision but then America does genuinely have politicians who think the womb has anti-rape hormones, sperm blockers, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, mustard dispenser, Siri voice search etc. A dangerous lack of sufficient sexual education has led to unnecessary finger-pointing, fused with traditions and outdated ideals, this means women who don’t want to go through childbirth are seen as demonic sperm-receptacles. I wonder if the fact we don’t just tell our kids where babies come from means there’s a mysticism and magic surrounding childbirth that is as dangerous as it is lovely. Sure, it’s nice when a child is born and you hold it and d’awwwwwwwwwwww but it also means people put it on a pedestal so when you become pregnant, people expect a child of you and if you willingly terminate that child, they hold you with the same regard as someone who swipes candy on Halloween and burns it or smashes Christmas gifts with a giant hammer, taking that mysticism ans destroying it for them. Heaven forbid your body be about you, the moment a woman is pregnant she suddenly becomes lesser, all attention being on that growing bump in her belly, even to the point of them prioritising it over her. Well on behalf of women, let me get my hammer…

Pregnancy is a process of nature, it is about as magical and awe-inspiring as taking a dump. I mean no harshness, I’m not saying if you’re pregnant and happy about it your child is worthless but stop referring to it as a miracle, a miracle is an act of God and we know that’s not what pregnancy is (Or at least we should know that by now). A sperm fertilises an egg, or two, the egg divides and cells multiply and so on and so on until a baby arrives. Abortion is a means by which to step in before that egg resembles a baby and just stop that process. There is no ‘death’, no ‘soul’ is harmed, no ‘miracle’ undone, you are literally just destroying an egg cell, you destroy cells all the time when you scratch an itch or pull a hair out. Comparing pregnancy to miracles adds a layer of religious fanaticism to it that is dangerous to consider when this should be a process of science by now, one we can track WITH SCIENCE and stop WITH SCIENCE if it is so required. Abortion is the only medical procedure we seem to actually say “No, you know what, this isn’t right, maybe we shouldn’t do this, maybe let those cells live?” about, you wouldn’t spare a second thought for the spread of cancer but pregnancy? We want to protect something that doesn’t even have a face yet over someone who has had dreams, memories, lovers, failures and potential yet untapped. I’ll tell you something, I will save someone who is alive over someone who might be alive one day.

Oh, another thing, this whole “The cure to cancer is in the mind of an aborted baby” argument? Horseshit. You think that’s how progress works? Only one person can have an idea ever and if that person doesn’t invent what they were ‘born’ to invent we just do without? You think we’d never have electricity without Franklin? Never have the Internet without Berners-Lee or computers without Babbage? No, if it is ever going to be invented, it will be invented someday by someone, it’s not like we’re only without holodecks because the prodigal holodeck child isn’t alive yet, someone has had the idea and people are working on it, multiple people. If Benjamin Franklin hadn’t discovered electricity, someone else would have, it might have been a while longer but it’s not like God said “Damnit Ben, you had one job on Earth, what happened?”
“My mother was pro-choice you see..”
“Oh those fucking liberals, ruining my schemes. Ah well, guess humanity will never have electricity. Shame, Netflix was going to be a big deal…”
The ‘babies’ aren’t heaven-sent prodigies, they can’t scream or cry or protest, mainly because they don’t have lungs or brains and also because they wouldn’t know what was going even if they did. How do you think an abortion works? A flamethrower up the foof?

Shout those abortions ladies, shout them without fear or shame because there is nothing wrong in saving your own life or realising that you cannot provide for another. I would rather children not be born than be born into poverty, you want to protest they should let these ‘children’ live? Well you better pay their expenses then! What’s that? Oh you won’t? Didn’t think so. Truth is, if we have the ability to do this for people, let that choice fall to the people who have to live with the consequences and don’t put bills or laws or cuts in place that take that choice away from them because as we’ve seen from third-world countries, the necessity isn’t taken away with the facility, people will attempt to do these things at home and they will do it wrong. Please, please, if you are “Pro-Life”, save the lives that have lives to lose! Women, keep fighting for your right to own your own body, let it be known I’ll fight too!

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Pulled The Trigger

Before we begin, I just want to let people know in advance I am not promising this new wave of material means a long-awaited permanent return of Old Man Wolfe. A promise made is a promise that can be broken, until I am mentally, socially and financially stable, my creativity levels are prone to sudden rises and falls more often a Dragon Ball Z character. That said, here is something so without further ado, let’s dig in.

An observant reader might notice a missing Trigger Warning section at the beginning of blog posts. Granted, you might think a rambling discussion of why Jeremy Corbyn is not the Anti-Christ didn’t merit one but you might also wonder does this mean I’ve stopped bothering? I’ve previously defended them, I see no harm in pre-warning readers that the content they are agreeing to read might unnerve, upset or disturb and that a little heads up before things get heavy is fair, rather than an apology at the end. However, there’s a point between being cautious and playing Nanny to my readers that I want to work on and I’ll open the issue to debate and discussion, provided that said discussion is constructive and not just “Don’t bother with those prissy SJWs” or “Refusing to put them is evil, you cishet bigot!”

Trigger Warnings, for those somehow unaware of them despite their appearance across Tumblr and this very blog, are basically disclaimers saying that the content ahead contains something disturbing, be it related to some form of abuse, originally surfacing as a way of warning rape survivors that the article of a blog was related to an experience to one they survived. Makes sense, female bloggers tended to start the trend, warning their own that this was about something graphic, something they might relate to and not in a way they’d like to. As such, an easy little warning like that stops the emotionally vulnerable wandering into a darker corner of the internet and giving themselves a vivid flashback. Noble intention but when anything catches on, there’s a chance it can be warped. Trigger Warnings exist for many kinds of content – be it sexual (abuse or just the discussion of sex), racism, body-image, self-harm, suicide, death, vomit/bodily fluids etc. – basically anything anyone could reasonably have an issue with, and some things you might think there’s no way people could be upset by. Has the idea of a pre-warning now expanded into less a hand on the shoulder and more a bouncer at the door?

Truth is, if TWs came about to help those with PTSD, we have to remember that PTSD is incredibly complex as a condition, the triggers for such vary from person to person. One person might remember an incident by reading about something similar, one might remember by location or smell or seeing someone who resembles a figure of the past, some even just the wrong phrase in the wrong place. With such a complex array of triggers, it is impossible to put up a barrier on a blog that accounts for every single of them. Obviously, measures can be put in place to deal with the more common triggers and I will do so, that’s only fair and I can’t guarantee all my readers are of sound judgment without a warning. However, I must address a downside to the trigger warnings now and their relation to reality.

I want this blog to be a pleasant read most of the time but more than that, I want my readers to think and feel. I use humour to break the ice but the core messages of my articles are important to me and should be acknowledged, not just for my sake but because those messages need to be heard. I have discussed slut-shaming, I have discussed racism, class-war, politics both in the UK and the US and I’ve even addressed matters relating to crises across the world. Such matters are ugly, they are dark and unforgiving and they come without warning. Nobody warned the Syrian public a civil war was coming, nobody told a girl what she was in for that day and where to avoid, nobody foretold the deaths related to benefit cuts and even if they did, nobody knew the exact figures or which individuals would die in poverty for being ‘lazy’. Life fucks you over without a warning and trigger warnings for every little thing offer us the ability to look past that and for my readers to look past content they don’t want to admit is important. I am here to make you laugh but sometimes I have to be serious, I have to take you to the edge of the cliff and show you that there is a fucking huge drop and people keep falling off it, walking away from me doesn’t mean those that fall grow wings. Our world is not just, life doesn’t have a plan for everyone and things don’t always work out, sometimes we have to see that things are wrong and ugly and awful and it has to be us that says no more.¬†You have the right to walk away, of course, but I cannot shut down discussions for fear I might cause ripples in the water, there have to be some or these things can never proceed.

I will continue to put warnings on my articles, albeit it will read more simply that the following article may contain content that could quite possibly disturb certain readers. I will not, at least for now, highlight every sort of person that could be upset by my article because there is a chance I could miss one particular group and cause panic. I am trusting you, my readers, to know what you can and cannot face up to and I hope you will trust me in that when I open the door to reveal something hideous, you will know that I am doing so for our own good, to highlight an issue we as a people must overcome, a demon we must band together and vanquish. If you are uncertain of what is going to upset you, the topic of most of my articles is revealed one or two paragraphs in, you can read that far and decide whether or not to read on but if you read, you are agreeing you can face it, you cannot then blame me if I upset you. I will upset you reader, I will make you uncomfortable at least once in your lifetime, the world is a cruel place and I have to expose that so that you feel that anger too and do what you can in your life to fix the issue as I will try to in mine.

Reader, I will be your tour guide through Hell, I will point out the stops but I will not hug you and protect you from all the beasts that dwell here, I know that if you can sign up for this, you can fight those beasts yourself. I don’t want you thinking this means all doom and gloom, I want to put some fun articles up here too, nonsense about video games and movies and personal experiences you might think sorta goofy but I’m not going to back away from the big issues when they get me as riled up as they do so I can’t promise big safe cuddles any more, just a sign at the door saying “Enter If You Dare”.