The Body Politic

I made two phone calls on the morning of November 9th. The first call was to my boyfriend. The second call was to my gynecologist’s office to make an appointment to discuss sterilization. 

Recently, I underwent a laparoscopic salpingectomy, the removal of both of my Fallopian tubes. Having children has officially been taken off the table for me. 

I was never the type of person who dreamed of having children. Back in high school, I explicitly said I didn’t want kids. Looking back now, I can say that the only time I wavered on this was when someone else insisted that I should. I could use the excuse of never meeting the right man, but I would be lying–not lying about meeting more than my fair share of losers, but lying about that being the reason I didn’t have kids. 

So in fairness, Donald Trump is not the sole reason I pursued sterilization. But his election was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It circled back to the world I see around me not being the type of world I could bring a child into in good conscience. It circled back to the day I had to explain to my nephew, only about 10 at the time, that douchebag isn’t an appropriate word for him to use, after he saw it on a bumper sticker on my conservative cousin’s car. It circled back to the idea that people like my own father had no qualms voting for a man who bragged about sexual assault (and explicitly tried to convince others to do the same). If even the so-called Christians think that Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail and since the election is worthy of their vote, then what does that say about us as a nation? And how am I supposed to explain that to an innocent child? 

And of course, that doesn’t even touch on the most important issue, and the ultimate reason that I called my gynecologist on November 9th: the environment. In 2008, John McCain believed that we needed to tackle climate change–it was even in the Republican platform. But in the years since, it has become a litmus test of sorts for Republicans to denounce climate change, regardless of scientific consensus or increasingly strange weather patterns that even an idiot can’t help but notice. Republican control of D.C. was a guarantee that even the minimal progress we’ve made would be undone. 

The fact is that I will be dead by the time the worst of the impact is felt. But there’s a good chance that a child or a grandchild of mine would still be alive and forced to deal with the consequences. Once again, how do you explain to an innocent child that all of the extreme weather, the heat waves, the floods, the resulting famines, were because voters wanted to make sure the oil companies were happy? Or that climate change became a partisan issue because of the unprecedented hatred of our 44th President? 

Someday, we will all have to account for the mess we’ve created. But my conscience is clean.