The pain is something I have never felt before. It was quick, but it imprinted itself into my memory, possibly forever. I felt somewhat powerless, like I had no control over what was happening and I just had to take it. When it was over, it sunk in that this was going to last at least 4 years, and possibly a little longer. Nothing was more painful, than when I heard Donald J. Trump was elected to be the 45th president of the United States of America.
Oh, the IUD did hurt like heck too, but it was necessary for me to do in order to resist this future administration.
Before you scoff and automatically assume that my “act” of resistance is way too personal, I will tell you this: Ever since November 8th, 2016, the spectrum of social justice and social responsibility has shifted greatly.
On one end, there were people who understood systematic oppressions and all the -isms you can toss their way: The bleeding hearts, but they truly do believe in the betterment of society. They place nice, and are willing to listen, but it stops there.
On the other end we have our radical and/or militant activists and progression-seekers. They’re all action. They’ve taken social rhetoric and expressed it physically, angrily, screaming “We Want it and We Want it Now!”
All are valid and important in the movement.
I stayed in the middle.
I got comfortable educating the masses (along with receiving education myself) in a more passive way through writing, panels, and conversations. Although some of these conversations became heated or did not end in mutual understanding, I still stayed approachable with my knowledge despite my confrontational nature.
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Look, just because I fall under the category of being a heated and angry Afro-Latina, it doesn’t mean that all Afro-Latinas do. So let’s just call it passion. This passion was only halfway aimed at my activism, not fully. But that changed after this election.
I, along with my peers who also fell in the middle of the spectrum, knew that we now had to put our money where our mouths were and pound the pavements following the same footsteps as our parents and other pioneers before us.
We took to the streets. Organizing, marches, rallies, boycotting against certain businesses, calling representatives, signing petitions, community work and donations, and art projects with other marginalized and underrepresented people have been my focus lately, because I refuse to normalize the Trump Administration. This is not normal or okay. I became more aggressive with my politics and decided that sometimes, confrontation or being more physical (in varying degrees) in my activism, was needed.
So this is where my IUD comes into play. I plan on doing more of this type of work. I very much recommend anyone to do what they can and what they excel at for their communities, but I can’t help but feel this: Getting birth control that will last me at least five years, for free, from Planned Parenthood, before a man, along with his henchmen, gets sworn into office and attempts to take that right to accessible sexual health resources away from me, has been the biggest manicured middle finger I could have ever thrown at this administration.
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Because now there is one less uterus-having body that the patriarchy has control over.
Here stands one less Black and Brown body that white supremacy has control over.
Here stands one less working class body that capitalism has control over.
Having full autonomy of one’s body and family planning is so crucial to my and others’ communities. This is something that we have been fighting since before the 50’s. Getting an IUD, for me, was resisting against a man who doesn’t even know me and thinks I need to shut my mouth, along with my legs. And to this I say no. I deserve to be protected against unwanted pregnancy until I see fit, and not even the most powerful man in the country can tell me otherwise.
For more information on the IUD, other contraceptions, and safer sex visit https://www.plannedparenthood.org/ and regain your body’s agency so you too can exercise your own personal resistance.
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[Feature Image: A brown-skinned person wearing red lipstick, gold earrings and a black winter coat stands outdoors holding a pink sign that reads “My Decision” at Planned Parenthood rally. Flickr.com/Timothy Krause]