by Hannah Lynch
The tower bell tolls, and a stream of pale nuns cascades down the steps of Healy Hall
“WHERE ARE YOUR MEN!?” the aggressively proud wearer of an ill-fitting pro-life tee barks
The ones I’m friends with are busy studying ‘cause, you know, we actually GO here.
Some are working part-time jobs to help their single mothers pay the bills, others are busy protesting downtown.
The ones I’m not so keen on, however, may have reaped the sublime pleasure of being your seatmates for the last hour’s conference
“Are women’s voices not enough”
Though I genuinely inquired in the moment, notice how I don’t write this simple utterance as a question now because, sadly, women’s voices aren’t enough
Clearly they are neither enough nor equal in Trump’s “united” states
I’m not sure if my favorite part of the afternoon was being lectured by the proud pregnant woman that, “NO,” it was NOT in fact her body, or being pitifully prayed for by the condescending Christian
In my opinion, a peaceful protest in which students sing catchy slogans promoting human rights does not warrant, let alone demand, a dozen armed officers suspiciously watching our every move
Nor do I think holding colorful, hand-made posters endorsing a women’s health clinic should elicit disgusted shrieks from ADULT event coordinators
But again. This is just my opinion. And since I’m a woman, apparently it’s not enough anyway
Our chants ruffled feathers, and our posters photobombed pictures
I have never felt so alive
But also never more terrified–especially by the unsettling whisper in my ear warning me that it was “blasphemous actions like these that result in purgatory.”
In retrospect, if they won’t leave my uterus alone, I don’t know why I expected the privilege of personal space
A counter-protest is a simultaneously empowering and degrading experience
One moment you’re proudly smiling, feeling supported by friends standing in solidarity by your side, but the next you’re accosted by a hostile stranger whose goal it is to silence your “disruptive” voice
I had never before stood in the minority, fighting for my rights, but now I know all too well how personal politics can become
After the boy in the fedora scoffed at my response to his question about why we were “standing outside YELLING at people,” I resolved to never again fear embarrassment or judgment in my advocacy
‘Cause even if my voice kept cracking like a middle schooler’s and I looked frankly ridiculous dabbing at my friends who cheered us on as they strolled by, it worked.
We made our voices heard
All I can hope is that the rest of you Georgetown students in solidarity will do the same
Another pissed-off-pro-choice feminist ❤
Hannah Lynch is a member of H*yas for Choice’s leadership team.