Sometimes I Forget

Rachel Maddow defers to Steve Colbert to describe a Fox and Friends clip in which a co-host says witheringly that women shouldn’t have to go to Planned Parenthood, because they can get pap smears and breast exams at Walgreens.

Sean sent me a link to the Colbert Report clip this morning, so I could watch it and laugh like he had. Because it’s ludicrous, obviously; and that makes it hilarious. I did laugh…it was hilarious. But I also felt terribly sad.

Sometimes, living in the liberal, educated hamlet that is Boston, living with my feminist husband, keeping company with similarly feminist friends, I forget. I forget that there are a large number of people out there who hate me, just because of my gender. I forget that there are people who would say witheringly that I should go to Walgreens for important health care tests, who would look on me with sneerful scorn for desiring proper health care, for the simple and inescapable reason that I do not possess a penis.

I forget this sometimes. Because I am busy going about my life, a life that is infinitely female in nature simply by virtue of me being female, but is mostly just a life. A life that requires errands and routines and work and introspection, like anyone’s life. I am too busy to reflect on my femaleness and what it means, most of the time.

And then, when I am reminded so abruptly of the fact that in many peoples’ view, I am Less Than simply for my gender; that there are people who because of my gender think I am undeserving of normal healthcare procedures; it takes my breath away for a minute, and I have to take a minute to regain my composure.


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