Dear Alabama Senators

Dear Alabama Senators,

What gives you the right to tell me what to do with my body?  To try and take away my right to have an abortion if I’m not ready for the tremendous responsibility of taking care of another human life. Especially when you won’t support measures to make childcare and birth control affordable or provide adequate parental leave. I don’t tell you what to do with your body, even though, trust me, I’d like to.

Just because you’re a “Christian” who believes in the Bible, doesn’t mean that I do. And if I don’t believe in your religious text book, why should I have to follow your rules? I don’t force you to follow the rules by which I live my life. Don’t you see the irony and hypocrisy in this?

When you tell me that God “gives life”, it means absolutely nothing to me. It has no significance or weight; they are empty words since I don’t believe in the truth of the Bible or have faith in your deity. It’s pointless to quote the Bible at me, since it has no bearing on how I live my life.

You talk about the importance of freedom of religion and complain about how you’re losing the right to practice your religion; when what you really mean is that you feel like you’re losing the power to impose your religious rules on other people, and that others have made the decision to step away from the church and its oppression.

You want America to be a theocracy where everyone believes the same tenets and adheres to the same set of guidelines; and why? So that you don’t have to see that there’s another way of living. That not everyone lives in fear of your God, the Devil or hell. Not everyone needs the crutch of religion to happily exist, and you can’t handle that fact; that sliver of doubt. It keeps you up at night, and pries open the dark door of your meticulously constructed box of beliefs; it sheds light on your inner fears that maybe there isn’t life after death. But if you focus your attention and effort on squashing other people’s autonomy and freedom to practice their own version of religion (or even lack thereof) then you don’t have to sit with the questions that are always just there on the outskirts; the whispers that could cause your whole life to fall apart like a house of cards. Because when your faith is wholly dependent on black and white perfection and the 100% truth of the Bible: it’s rigid, it’s tight, it could snap at any time.


Abigail Gustafson

P.S. Jesus taught us that the most important thing was love. And that’s a movement I can get behind.

“Born a Woman” (2017)

“Born a Woman” (2017)

October 16, 2017

Dear Women of America,

Kindly take note of the following guidelines to ensure strict adherence to our traditional, family values.

Abstinence is the only way for young ladies to stay pure for their future husbands which means you don’t need to know how reproduction works or how to prevent STDs. And birth control? Definitely not. It promotes “risky sexual behavior” which we’re no longer paying for. Indeed, your boss will now decide if their religious beliefs are more important than your health (they are).

Yes, ladies, that’s correct: no sex education, no birth control, and don’t even mention the word abortion. What if the fetus is a boy. We’re not risking losing him. Which is why abortion is now a no-go for most of you. We’re quite proud of ourselves for outsmarting the Supreme Court and shutting down clinics by passing laws to force them to close due to the new costs, restrictions, and a lack of doctors. Count yourself a murderer if you get one after 20 weeks.

In case we didn’t make ourselves clear. To avoid pregnancy, your only option is to avoid sex altogether. Why would you think that you deserve to have sex “without consequences” like the men? You can’t be trusted to make these types of lofty decisions. Only a man’s brain can comprehend these type of complex choices about a woman’s life. Silly girl, your body’s not yours.

Remember marital rape? Illegal nationwide, unfortunately, since 1993, unless you live in these states, where you lucky wives get to be the object of your husband’s desire whenever he may want it. We still can’t believe that in 1974 you were allowed to get a credit card by yourself. We’ve never trusted you with your money, ladies, and we still don’t. We know you’ll just spend it all on shoes.

Now that that’s settled, and you’re right where we want you: pregnant in the kitchen, cooking us dinner and then ironing our shirts, hope you’re not expecting to have an affordable birth (hope your husband makes a lot of money!) or survive long enough to hold your child in your arms. How’s that for pro-life?

However, if you do manage to live through labor, and not die of preventable causes, you better be ready to get back to work as soon as possible. We’re not going to pay for you to stay home to recover, or to get to know your baby in the first most important months of their life. No, mom, you’re doing it alone; your partner’s not going to get any paid time to help either. Everyone knows that men don’t want to have anything to do with domestic, girly stuff like babies or cleaning.

Please stay home and out of site when breastfeeding as well. We only want to see breasts as sexual objects, not be reminded about something so gross as feeding babies. Save us all the horror of seeing breasts used for their biological purpose, would you?

And speaking of breasts, remember women, keep those nipples covered in public. Just because we can buy magazines of topless women at 7 Eleven, doesn’t mean that you have a right to take off your shirt or bra, just because you feel like it.

In conclusion, my dears, do not let us hear one word of complaint out of your dainty lips about the aforementioned rules; it’s not our fault you were born a woman.


The Patriarchy, U.S.A.

P.s. In case you forgot who’s in charge:

  • 80% of the United States House of Representatives is male.
  • 79% of the United States Senate is male.
  • 100% of United States Presidents and Vice Presidents have been male.

(Photo credit: Catherine Lampi)