The premise that this article uses isn't originally mine; I read something very similar in an essay about feminism that I haven't been able to locate to credit. If you recognize the idea and know the original, please let me know so I can give some attribution.
I imagine if you're the person intended to read this, a member of your family or friend circle sent this to you. From what little I know about the people who visit this site, you're statistically unlikely to be one of them. You are white, you are most likely male. I am not sure how old you are beyond the fact that you're over 18. I don't know your education or socioeconomic status. You are likely to be religious. Much of what I know about you is unclear because it's hard to look up unbiased information about you. All I know is that we disagree with one another on some pretty fundamental levels, and I know that you are real, and you must assume that I am real, too. We might see each other as threats, but I don't know that with certainty.
I'm writing to you because I waited to see what would happen after the election, and now I'm starting to. I live in Denver and this city has a tendency to carry a liberal echo; as such I'm not as afraid of losing reproductive rights, I fear less for the future of my friends here. Who knows, maybe that will change.
I'm not sure what you want from me, but it seems opposed to what I want for myself, and that opposition will effect me. That's a simple truth and something that I struggle to understand. What you want on a national level conflicts with what I want for my life as an individual, and we've never met, my decisions don't effect you, but our opinions do effect each other. I've been watching attempts between people like us to talk to each other, so far as I can tell, they seem to be going nowhere. There's a lot of calm agreeing to disagree, and agreeing that we should discuss things. Of course we should, but we're still waiting.
There's a lot of things that I'm told you believe. I googled "conservative values" more for morbid curiosity and I've been browsing Conservopedia. I have no idea how accurate their representation of you is. Some of these might apply to you, some don't. For the purpose of this article, I'm mostly using the list I linked to, but with the exception of addressing race. I don't know what your thoughts on that are. It's hard not to generalize because I know nothing about you, it's just something I don't feel right not mentioning.
Here is what I gather are your beliefs:
Abortion is a sin, one that's encouraged by the government. Furthermore, it is a crime that should be outlawed, and Planned Parenthood should be defunded.
You believe in self-reliance, that people who are in poverty are there because they're not trying hard enough and opting to rely on handouts from a bloated government.
You believe that global warming and environmental issues are a myth. I'm unsure who you think is propagating it or what you believe the end goals of propagating that myth is. In any case, you believe that environmental acts are an assault on jobs and hurting the economy.
Then there's race, and that's a tricky one: you might believe that racial tension simply doesn't exist, is exaggerated by the media, or you might believe that you, of European descent, are simply better and more deserving than people of other races. I am extremely unclear of your beliefs here. I am also aware that my opinions on this are my own, I can't really speak for what people of color go through because I'm not one of them, so I'm not a good representative of their view.
These are the main ones, but I could list many. For time and simplicity, let's leave it at these. I disagree with you on all of these points, but rather than try and argue with you, I'm going to show you what it looks like to me, the world in which you are right, where you get what (from how I am informed) you are asking for. This is your ideal, this is what it will mean for it to become real. This is what we're (I'm) afraid of. Maybe you can show me where I am misguided. Maybe you can see why this would be hurtful to huge swaths of people.
In this scenario, you are right, and I am wrong. I am not allowed control over my body, because abortion is a sin in a religion I don't believe in. Effectively, you're asking me to abide by moral law that isn't mine because you believe it's true, and you're right. Just because you're right doesn't mean I'll change my mind any more than the reverse; In my world, I do believe I'm right, and I do not think I will change your mind. I'm getting a little ahead of myself, though.
Happy New Year, darling. We'll say the heartbeat bill has passed, despite how arbitrary the criteria. Abortion may not be outright criminal, but it's become closer to being such. It's a pretty big step towards outlawing it as a whole. Ideally, I'll still have access to birth control. I've never had an abortion or had a pregnancy scare for that matter, but now there is no alternative. In one reality, I'll get pregnant. I'm not sure what the complications of my pregnancy will be given I have heart problems, but we'll assume for now that I will give birth to a healthy baby and I will survive the process just fine. That baby will then be given up. She will not know my name. If she ever managed to find me 18 or so years later, I would have to explain to her that she was unwanted, that she was kept inside me until her birth and I let her go because I didn't want her, and I know I don't have the capacity to take care of a kid. I am not extremely healthy and I chose writing and art over having children; I know that the future is uncertain for me, and I wouldn't have wanted to subject a child to how difficult it can get. I had tried to avoid her. I believed (wrongly, in your world) that there wasn't a lot of time left for the planet and I didn't want to dump the problems of previous generations on her. I had known that in my life, being a mother wasn't an intent.
I would have to tell her those things if she found me. She would become a rift in my family; I imagine I would become something of a pariah. I'm assuming I had this baby with someone I really cared about, which is likely given the way my relationships are. Our relationship would probably suffer. I don't know for sure, but I don't imagine I would want to work through that with someone. I would focus on my career, I'd leave him. I don't know who would raise her or if she would turn out to be good or fucked up. My genetics are someone else's to mold, good luck to them.
You may think that when she grows inside me, that when I go through labor or that when I give birth and see a little face like mine that I will want to keep her. I have never wanted kids and it's very hard for me to believe that having one forced into my possession due to what's likely an accident will change my mind. Maybe I will, but I hope not. I would raise her always knowing that I had wanted something else; that there was a life I had felt driven to live that she took from me. I will never be able to try and make this work. Assuming our family unit remains intact, I will most likely become distant from her father by default. I will blame him, hate him, I will want him to suffer. That's if I change my mind; I find that unlikely.
According to the CCAI, There are over 100,000 children in foster care currently in the US. On average, they spend about 3 years in the system. In 2013, there were over 600,000 abortions reported, most of them in under 13 weeks; this is about 200 for every 1,000 live births. With the passing of the heartbeat bill, many of these would be felonies, with detection possible at approximately 6 weeks. Assuming I find out a week after missing my period, I have just over a month to put together the money, take time off, and ultimately decide that this is what I want. I know that I will decide this, but it will push me. It will hurt.
Any time I have tried to live a life that isn't the one I currently exist in, I feel intensely suicidal. This has been my peace of mind. I will probably at least attempt to kill myself, even if I did try to take care of this kid I don't know that I would be allowed to. She will have that to look forward to.
I suppose this is me being dramatic, not accepting my place in the world. That's a strange, because it suggests I don't know my own place in the world. That I shouldn't be attempting to pursue my goals relentlessly and with the passion it fills me with because I'm not supposed to. If I weren't supposed to, why would I have the drive? Why does anyone feel motivation, if not to do what it is they're supposed to on some fundamental level?
But darling, maybe that doesn't happen to me. I am resourceful and shrewd and maybe I just never end up having to worry about a baby. Maybe I can remain attached to the path I've chosen in life. Maybe people will still be listening to me, maybe they still read this blog. I have their support, I can reach out to them, but it will get harder. You will have so much respect for me though, doing this all on my own without any social assistance.
This brings me to your next belief, about how I must be poor because I'm not trying hard enough. I have to admit that this part of the argument is hard for me to figure out what it looks like for you to be right without some very flexible logic.
I'll be honest with you, my mind shuts down at the idea of trying to do anything but this, and I don't totally know what "this" is. Being a comedian doesn't generally happen when you get your degree and go up to theaters with a resume proving you're funny. You're looking for ways to reach people, and there is no rubric for it. We're all making it up as we go along. As we make it up, we also support ourselves through whatever means necessary. Counting comedy, I work 3 or 4 different jobs in a week in order to make rent and survive. My days are anywhere from 2 to 10 hours long depending on what needs to get done. I usually work 6 or 7 days out of the week in one form or another.
This is how I pull myself up. There is no safety net, but my starting point was not 0. I am able to make this effort predominantly because I was able to go to college; even if the degree pursuit was a worthless money pit it taught me about people. I was in a stable relationship for most of my early 20s, and his support helped me hash things out, at the expense of our well being as a couple. I rely greatly on friends and people in my life for, well, everything. I am painfully aware of my favors and I'm unsure how I will pay them back if I don't continue pushing forward.
I do all of this with no real proof that this will work out for me. There is no guarantee that I'm going to figure it out. There is a likelihood that I will fail and become destitute. I hope, given how I am already, that I will be able to support myself by some other means, but I can't know that for sure. Is it possible to work hard, fail, and come up empty handed? Or is hard work the only requisite, regardless of what you're trying to do?
The only way I can understand this, to make this align with your opinion that people who are poor are only poor because they are lazy is to just concede that I must be too lazy to ever make it. That the fact that I want to do this is some extension of my own inability to take care of myself. I have no ambition, I have no drive, because I'm not there yet. I'm not really sure what that means. I guess if you're right, then I'm a piece of shit. The fact that I write for this blog which doesn't make me money, and not exclusively for the soul crushing copywriting I sometimes do to keep my head above water is laziness. Any time I spend with friends or loved ones must be squandering; my life should only be the work.
Maybe I'm not lazy, maybe I'm stupid. Maybe the fact that I'm doing what makes me feel peace is stupid. I should marry someone and have that daughter of mine so I can convince her that it's not so bad to feel like half a person. I have tried several times to rewrite this part so it doesn't seem melodramatic, like I'm whining about my place in the world. I think it sounds that way because that simply isn't my place in the world. Where I am now is, and I love it here. I don't understand why you'd want to take that away from me.
Homelessness is one of my biggest fears, my friend. I know it's close to me. I've been looking harder and harder at this problem as I get older. I have so much more to say about it, but know that if you're right, a bunch of lazy pieces of shit like me, who are working to put together what they want as best they can, are going to end up on the street. That's not even counting "handouts" as you see them in terms of food stamps or other welfare programs.
I have a lot more to say, but I'll save it for the next letter. I just want to know, is this what you believe? Do I see you incorrectly, or is this the kind of future you see as the better option? I've been making a pretty staunch effort not to make this as dark and dystopian as it feels (I've re-written this 2 or 3 times in the past month), and to lay out my perception without fearmongering. This is the first part of what it looks like, to me, if you're right.
I will be honest with you darling, I sincerely hope I'm wrong.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.