Letter from the Editor; or, Pro Choice is a Two Way Street [Flash Fiction]

Dear Reader,

I have come to bury the idea that we should live in a society that cannot respect a woman’s basic human right of choice. I have come to bury the notion that men have an appropriate bearing through legislation in curtailing a woman’s right to choose, and not just abortion, but her sexuality and her sexual proclivities, her sexual expression–who and when she fucks, how she fucks, and what to with the consequences of her fucking irrespective if she used birth control or not.

To choose to have an abortion or to choose to have the baby; these are the flip sides of the pro-choice issue. A woman’s right to choose must also include her right to have a child. Any pressure from either extreme in the diametric of the abortion issue is unacceptable in a civilized society. To oppose pro-choice is to support pro-horror, whether one supplies the curtain rods or not. You do remember the final scene in Goddard’s Masculin et Feminin, when the girlfriend (played by Chantal Goya) of the chief protagonist (played by Pierre Leaud of Truffaut’s Les Quatres Cent Coups fame) is asked what she is going to do now that she is pregnant and her boyfriend is dead, and she says something to the effect of not knowing, but that perhaps she’ll use a curtain rod?

The words from a young girls mouth, particularly flippantly expressed, a curtain rod–again, how could any girl shove a curtain rod up her cunt, but then I have never met a woman who thinks her cunt is beautiful. I mean, I have never met a woman who has looked at her vagina in a mirror and said, That’s beautiful. How could girls not shove curtain rods up the cunt.

I do not think women have been carefully handled by their mothers, certainly not society, in thinking they are beautiful, or what beauty is, how beauty can be. When Chantal Goya said what she said about the curtain rod, the scene immediately faded to black, and everyone was shocked. There were many who were outraged, of course; but then people are always easily collectively outraged. An individual standing up against many to do the righteous thing is difficult and almost a sure futility in anyone’s expectation.

Joining a mob to do anything inhuman is easy. Misunderstanding is many times dis-understanding, and that is also very easy to accomplish. All of the outrage about Goddard’s film, though, was in 1966 Paris. We must not forget that women also used to use wire hangers when curtain rods were not available; some took scalding hot baths, others, like Kate Winslet’s character in Revolutionary Road, used a variety of tubes and hoses and forceps, what else had we then in the fifties for a middle class suburban woman to have a do it yourself abortion. We wonder about torture of suspected terrorists, and yet we want to send women backward historically and subject them to the horrors of illegal abortions, what some 20,000,000 women worldwide get annually. But then many of the people who want to send women back to the fifties are also people who support torture of prisoners–or am I mistaken? Maybe we should all move to Oklahoma, where the only Americans of good sense live, right? It is the Right, isn’t it?

These are all of piece. But it is always interesting to me that the Right is always in favor of curtailing or eliminating rights, particularly human rights. But let’s not play hop-scotch or ping pong here; the left and the right in either political extreme are nearly identical, flip-sides of a singularly minted coin, one metal. Metaphysically political space is as curved as space itself is curved; there are no straight lines. Travel in opposite directions in a heading determined to be straight in close proximity to your orientation and you will come together; in space, if you were to travel infinitely; in metaphysically political space, virtually at once. Yes, Stalin and Hitler were virtually identical.


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