Standing for Choice

The past couple of weeks have been a little heavier with my posts given the hoohaw over the new sex-ed curriculum in Ontario and the idiots shouting offensive things at female reporters. I have one more for you today and then on to some lighter fare. I still have 15 or so daily writing prompts to get through that I was going to do in April. They got a little derailed by ‘events, dear boy events’ as Harold MacMillan said.

So today I am writing about choice. Choice to me is about trust. I make choices for myself based on what is best for me. I think I am pretty good about making decisions for myself. I am confident that I am making the best choice I can based on the information available to me at the time.

Since I am so good at making choices for myself, I generally assume that other people are equally competent in the decision-making realm. I know some people. I don’t know all people and I certainly don’t know their circumstances, values and needs. As such it would be pretty hard for me to make choices that would be good for them. I also presume that it would be hard for other people to make choices for me since they don’t know my circumstances – although if they subscribe to this here blog, they might have a fairly reasonable sense of me.

Choice is about trust. I trust other people to make the decisions that are best for them. They are smarter than me when it comes to their own needs – and frankly probably a lot of other things too. I like to believe that other people trust me to make the decisions about my life.

And yet, today in Ottawa there were hordes of people who descended on my city to demonstrate and argue that 1/2 the population is not to be trusted with making decisions about their own lives. They were not here to lobby for improved circumstances for those who need help. They were not here to push for more resources to give people the tools they need if they make different choices. They were not here to improve the quality of the information available to people making difficult choices about their lives. They were only here to take to the streets and argue – with misinformation – that some people, women specifically, should not be able to make decisions for themselves about their own bodies.

Many of the people demonstrating today were in fact school kids bussed here from other communities in the guise of a field trip. They were marching accompanied by their school teachers who are being paid to express their distrust.

I could write much more on this issue, but not nearly as eloquently or with as much compassion and experience as my former colleague and friend Andrea.

So today and all days I stand for choice. I stand for the ability of women to make decisions about their own bodies and their own lives. I start for trust.

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