My first novel,The Road Not Taken, is about a woman who reaches her fifties without knowing much about life… and then learns. Just like the millions of us horrified by the recent dictates by the SCOTUS, who must now learn, rapidly, how to seek justice in a new, and more terrifying, frontier.
A quick note, by the by, to some of those SCOTUS Justices: To swear under oath and lie is perjury, which is against the law. I know this because, much like my protagonist in The Road Not Taken, even if I’ve been doing feminist work for decades, I still need to learn each day, and work to find hope—so I watch “Law and Order.”
Not kidding. It is my sanity clause. Now that things have changed, my ways of staying sane are still in place: if the news gets too hopeless, I turn it off and watch Ben Stone deliver a closing argument.
Among my favorites is his blasting of a phony Man of God leading a group of losers. (No MAGA back then, but you can imagine.) These lost souls follow the phony man’s directives. One blows up a building and destroys an abortion clinic, killing many people inside for pap smears, mammograms, you know, medical treatment. Trust me when I say that hearing Ben’s rage at this injustice is better and less fattening than just buying out the ice cream freezer and going into a sugar coma.
I love justice, even if the moral arc of the universe is arcing a little too slowly toward it. And even though some folks in stolen robes don’t want us to know it, these kinds of triumphant moments, in fiction and in real life, remind me: Justice is Alive. We have to demand and find it together, and work together to welcome it home to the so-called Land of the Free.
I wrote documentaries for 20 years for the Feminist Majority about a range of feminist topics, especially abortion and reproductive rights and attacks on abortion providers like those depicted in that episode of L&O. We knew Roe was in danger. We knew the anti-lifers loved the “pre-born,” but not the babies delivered every day, or the parents who would raise them. (They can starve. They get no affordable childcare or medical attention. If mommy dies in childbirth, it must be God’s will. What BS!) And we also knew, despite it all, that we were in the right—and that we would win.
The man who won by 7 million votes signed an Executive Order late last week putting those who attack our freedom on notice—sending a message that we will fight, and we will win. That we will NOT sit idly by while SCOTUS attempts next to take away birth control, nor criminalize marriage equality, but stand together, and work collectively to put into law the rights they just took away.
It was a message that reminded me that justice is alive. And it was even better than ice cream—and just as worth sharing. Hope is the thing with feathers that we all need right now. So when you find it, pass it on. And turn up the volume.