Reasonable Doubt: An Open Letter to Piers Morgan
Dear Mr. Morgan,
After marching in what is being considered the largest single day demonstration in this country, I came home Saturday to find your very thoughtful comment RT’ed in my Twitter feed:
I don’t have anywhere near the number of followers you have, so who knows how many will read this and if you will even see it?! I’m not a public figure, although I work with some as a speechwriter. In fact, I spend a lot of time penning other people’s thoughts. But on Saturday night, I couldn’t hold my opinions, my tongue, or my typing back — so I tweeted this to you and Sean Spicer, whose efforts to distract the media from the significance of the protesting I found as equally despicable and egregious as yours:
It’s easy to sit back and laugh this all off. I’d like to think I am better than taking to my laptop to litigate this obvious trolling. I’d like to think I can stick to the Michelle Obama “we go high” creed, but I’m taking my pass here. I’m going to get down in the weeds with you for a minute, because I think you are missing the point.
The point is staring you in the face and if you’re too blind to see it, then perhaps yesterday’s image from the White House, with President Trump signing an anti-abortion executive order, will do the trick:
Mr. Morgan, you are no different than the men in this photo. In fact, for shits and giggles, I thought about photoshopping you in there next to Vice President Pence. By now, you know where I’m going with this. You are a privileged white male with no publicly known disabilities or major illnesses that could make you a target of Mr. Trump’s intolerance for weakness or vulnerability. To my knowledge, just like the men in this photo, you have no reproductive organs that could be grabbed or legislated. Taking your health and aesthetic at face value, you are all part of the one group on this planet that doesn’t have to worry about your body, your rights, or anything for that matter, getting revoked from you during a Trump administration. And yet here you are, telling women all over the world that they should pipe down and wait for their already-limited rights to be infringed upon. And then and only then, should they speak up.
Might I remind you that President Trump said less than a year ago, that “there has to be some form of punishment” for abortion if it were to ever be banned in the United States? He said he will defund Planned Parenthood if they continue to perform abortions. Never mind the countless other women’s issues Planned Parenthood helps with. But your tweet implies that we should give President Trump the benefit of the doubt. That his words are just words and have nothing to do with his actions. That we should sit here like good little girls, and nod our heads, and believe that the man who said he can grab our pussies anytime he wants will show some decency when it comes to legislation.
And alas, we women were not overreacting. Just yesterday, two days after your tweet and three days into Trump’s presidency, it turns out we were right on schedule and that his words have everything to do with his actions. One of his first acts on the job was to re-implement the Reagan era global gag rule that defunds organizations that provide contraception. Women all over the world will die because of this.
You should be ashamed of yourself for not recognizing that, but even as I type this, I know you are not. You don’t care much for me or any other woman who decides that action, not apathy, is what will save our bodies from this authoritarian. We’re just a nuisance, just a blip that men like you have to deal with. But at least consider this:
If it were your body parts that were being talked about or treated this way, if it were a female President who said she wanted to grab your penis and then legislate what you do with that penis, can you honestly say you’d sit around and wait? That you would wait for her to do something inhumane and then hope for decency to set in, as if character could be administered like epidurals or insulin in times of need. And furthermore, would you be okay seeing that same female President and a bunch of other women huddled around the Resolute desk patting themselves on the back about what they decided to do with your body?
I didn’t think so.
The next time you take to your Twitter account, do us all a favor: Don’t ask us women to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who hasn’t earned it — least of all, President Trump.