On Monday, May 2, 2011, I will traipse into an elementary school gym, collect my federal ballot (which is always printed on that shitty foolscap paper so popular in the late 70s when I started school) and a golf pencil, and proceed to the sanctity of a cardboard box to exercise my democratic right.
But before I put a single mark on my ballot I will bend over and whisper to my abdomen, "Hello, are you there Womb? It's me, Nan. Could you please tell me how to vote?"
Yes, that's right. I've got myself a fully functioning (though currently unoccupied) uterus, a vagina and a clitoris and they drive, inspire and dictate my politics.
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Everything I just typed is a complete load of shit. Except that part about Canadian ballots being printed on awful paper. And about the golf pencils. That part where I traipse? Also true. Though if I were a heroine in a book, I would "pad my way barefoot across the room to vote." No, the bullshit part is that my having squeezed a child or two out of my body matters when it comes to voting.
Here are the issues I care about:
-maintaining or increasing our military presence in Afghanistan,
-not privatizing any more Crown corporations,
-stopping usage-based billing for internet access,
-increasing the immigration quotas for foreign-educated professionals,
-defending Canada's arctic borders from land claims by Russia, the US and other nations,
-keeping the Canadian seal hunt legal and not bowing to pressure from special interest groups and/or foreign countries and/or Ke$ha,
-repatriating Omar Khadr, a child-solider and Canadian-citizen who is imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by the United States,
-stimulating the economy, even if this means incurring more national debt, and
-ensuring William Shatner becomes the next Governor General of Canada.
What's this, little lady?, some passing sexist ponders having come to my site looking for "mom drops pants caught with camel toe" (note: someone came to this blog last week using this phrase), These aren't very demure topics for a mom-type woman to care about. The womens care only about child care, and child tax benefits, maternity leave, education and making sure they and they alone decide what goes on with their lady bits. Ladies -- especially those of the mom-persuasion -- care about the environment so that today's children grow up with clean air and water and pristine tracts of land that they can pillage and plunder and pollute for THEIR benefit, not ours. Don't clutter up your pretty head with thoughts about military spending, or the budget or hunting animals in a completely sustainable manner that is totally humane and no more bloody than what transpires 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year in slaughterhouses all over the world.
[Note: for full effect the previous passage should be read aloud while doing an impression of Mark Twain.]
And to this I reply with a very demure: fuck you.
It's not that I don't care about the issues that are stereotypically and historically fodder for female political activism. It's not that I don't think about the kind of country I want my children to inherit. It's not that I don't care about maintaining the standard of living and the access to education and health care we enjoy currently.
It's that being a mom is not the only thing that matters to me when I vote. I have interests and priorities that defy gender conventions, and transcend my role as a mom. I don't want to be pandered to by politicians, and I don't buy into a one-size-fits-all mom agenda. Even if that agenda has a hidden elastic panel that cinches in all my jiggly bits and makes my butt look good.
And if you don't like that, too bad.
Because I've got a golf pencil. And I'm not afraid to use it.