I am showing up today with a simple question, How are you doing?
I made this quick, spontaneous video in the wake of some big news here in the U.S. For readers who live elsewhere, we found out last week that our Supreme Court will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, a court decision that ensured women have the right to choose whether to be mothers or not, back in 1973. Half of the women in the country could immediately lose the right to abortion, and the hardest-hit would be women without the money to travel to other states or countries. I always assumed that in the U.S. we would have the right to abortion. I remember traveling to Brazil in 2010 and the exact moment when I found out my Brazilian friends didn’t have the same right. I was shocked. Now we will likely be in the same boat.
I am getting emails from the Women’s March organizers about turning “rage into action,” and I am planning to attend a march this Saturday in Providence.
But when I look around me, I see a lot of numbness.
Are we collectively shell-shocked in the wake of this and other news? Are we all too worn out by demanding jobs to do anything about it? If we stay numb, we don’t talk to each other or act. If we don’t act, then our rights get taken away from us.
I made this video about feeling numb because I believe that in order for us to feel anything or do anything about this situation we have to be honest about what we feel right now. Emotions get stuck when we don’t speak about them, or otherwise release them by dancing, pounding on pillows, journaling, or so on.
Ultimately we are going to need a way of fighting back that doesn’t feel like fighting. We are all too drained to fight. We need a way of coming together that feels more like joy and celebration.
What could that be? I don’t know. Let’s move through the numbness together first.
Watch the video above, and let me know how you are processing the news. My friend Marina told me that “Hollywood needs me” because I look so sad at the beginning of this clip, but hey, I was feeling sad! We don’t always have to look pretty for the camera. In my ideal world, there would be no stigma on sharing how we really feel.
Wow. That’s exactly how I feel. I’m deeply saddened and disoriented. Those are just two of the emotions that are swimming around inside me. I benefited from the right to have an abortion when I was young. I was with someone who told me they didn’t care about that “thing inside me “. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and the decision still haunts me 30 years later, especially after having four children. But I do feel anger in the mix. I feel like I have to do something. I am mourning first. I’m just so overwhelmed. But yes, we need to mobilize. Thanks for saying it so well, Sasha.
Thanks for the comment, dear P. Thank you for sharing your story. We do need to mobilize. Onward, onward, onward, we go.
Yes, shocked stiff and numb! I also feel frightened and powerless. Underneath all that: rage. I am not from the US, neither do I live there, but this reverberates strongly throughout the whole (Western) world, I am sure. If I were in the US, I would take to the streets. Angry women are a must for this world right now! Thank you for bringing it up, Sasha.
Thank you for commenting S. Yes, I’m realizing from other readers who have responded that this news is reverberating internationally. Angry women are a must right now, indeed! I also think we need joy and celebration in the ways we come together, friendship too. The young Argentine women who fought for and won abortion rights in the last years are going to be an inspiration for us.
Sasha, i’m a male friend who thinks you’re a superb coach with not a lot that’s often relevant to me, as i’m 100% happy on my own. What i’m finding is that far too much of what’s happening in the USA these days is rendering me numb. Be well.
Yup, Richard, there’s a lot happening that can make us numb. I would like to follow up with some ways to get un-numbed. Stay tuned and be well too.
I am 38 years old. I never took Roe v Wade for granted as I understood from history class that court rulings can be overturned. I guess I did not understand that the right could have been codified into law much earlier. That part stings but is also not surprising, unfortunately. On some level, I feel resigned about the fate of bodily autonomy rights. But I would not say I feel numb, either. I would like to see a robust resistance rooted in knowledge, mutual education, and a downright stubborn oral tradition of all that is woman. The thought of this alone is fortifying. Bodily autonomy is a fundamental right. As access to accurate information becomes increasingly obscured by technology, literal and digital “pay walls”, and the influence of competing narratives of reality, it is all the more important we learn how to retain and transmit accurate and life-saving information in direct, safe, and collaborative ways. Love to you <3