Andrew Gates/Daily NexusAndrew Gates/Daily Nexus

Silence kills communities.

Institutionalized oppression kills communities.

Sexism kills communities.

Racism kills communities.

Inequality kills communities.

Lack of gun control kills communities.

This is all patriarchy.

Patriarchy is deadly.

But I woke up today believing something stronger. The strength from Planned Parenthood will be stronger than all of these obstacles. Because this is the strength from the victims, from their families, from all staff members, from their families, from all injured, from their families, from their patients, from their families, from allies, from their families, from communities fighting freedom, from their ancestors. This strength can be stronger if we tap into a universal consciousness and commit to a unified revolution for freedom for all peoples.

I believe in us. We can take every life physically lost and build a movement to dismantle the patriarchy. How I see it, whether we act against the system or we resist action to ensure safety, we are NEVER safe. Nothing can spare our lives, so I shall resist systematically imposed sexism and demand that the system change, because demanding to live is better than waiting to live. We all have the right to life, and I hope we keep living.

I hope lives stop ending violently, and I hope I am alive long enough to see the patriarchy crumble. I hope you are alive long enough to see feminism understood and implemented, and I hope she is alive long enough to feel safe. I hope they are alive long enough to get free birth control at every healthcare provider, and I hope their family is their family out of choice. I hope we are alive long enough to feel safe at Planned Parenthood. I hope we are alive to see more government protection for these clinics. I hope we are alive long enough to feel safe in this world. I hope we are alive long enough to make this change. I hope all those lives lost are resting in strength, love, healing and peace. I hope all of their families are living in strength, love, healing and peace. Rest in peace and power. I love you. We love you.

I hope I live long enough to thank Planned Parenthood again. I do it now because life is short and the life of a woman seems shorter.

We all have the right to life, and I hope we keep living.

Thank you Planned Parenthood. Thank you for existing to liberate me. Thank you for legitimizing my existence when I wake up hating myself for being a woman. Thank you for the free resources to be safe. Thank you for your brave staff members everywhere who gift life and heal. Thank you for transparency. Thank you for advocacy. I am not ashamed to support you, but honored and proud to. We love you and we are hoping for your safety. I hope to know you when being safe and being free are one and the same. 

Take care and self-love always.

May our lives cross paths as the universe intends and may the patriarchy pass on before we do.

In solidarity,

Iranian-American supporter of Planned Parenthood

Thank you for Loving Me

I love Planned Parenthood.

I support Planned Parenthood eternally.

I am in solidarity with Planned Parenthood because it is in solidarity with me.

I need Planned Parenthood because I am a woman, and being born was my crime and my potential death sentence.

But its not an unrequited love. Planned Parenthood loves me more than I love myself, and it is Planned Parenthood that has taught me indestructible self-love. Through advocacy for health, it gifts me tools to nurture myself.

In its nonprofit activism for reproductive justice, I feel safe in my stigmatized vagina and it becomes my home. But my safe haven inside of these clinics is not safe, because the safest place to be a woman practicing freedom is the most dangerous one. It has never been safe, but now I read the news and the news shows me that Planned Parenthood is prey to patriarchal terrorism. Violence against women is cyclically perpetuating, as demonstrated by the Colorado mass shooting at Planned Parenthood last Friday or the San Bernardino shooting today (Dec. 2) that took place near a Planned Parenthood clinic (although motives are not confirmed). So how are we to live at all when the clinics that give us life are being heavily victimized? How are we to breathe as collective peoples?

Planned Parenthood loves me more than I love myself, and it is Planned Parenthood that has taught me indestructible self-love.

Well, I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe without Planned Parenthood, because I was born with parts that are not expected to be respected, and my breath is only sacred when its defended.

I am a prisoner of society without these clinics. I am a freedom fighter with them. When systematic oppression works to muffle my unapologetic roars and cage me to myself, Planned Parenthood makes freedom accessible. I am able to exist.

Existing is not calculated by how many times my pulse beats on a screen or if Im a visibly functional human being. Existing is not mechanical. It is blooming into my strong flower warrior when freedom of choice nourishes me. Choice is the only way I can grow without dying, especially in harsh winter storms when my flower is invaded.

Existing is intimate, and without the right to act appropriately on what my intimate body and my intimate mind ask of me, I am nothing. My existence is not validated when I cannot choose whether or not to take birth control, or whether or not to have a baby, to get tested for STDs, to ask questions about my body no education ever taught me.

I am a prisoner of society without these clinics. I am a freedom fighter with them.

So, if Planned Parenthood is not protected, I am not protected. None of us as are protected. And it is certainly not being protected. This is the opposite of love. Hate. And the world that hates Planned Parenthood hates me. The world hates me for being a woman. It must hate me, right? The world hates me for being a woman, and some days I wake up hating me, too. It hurts to be a captive of your identity.

Captivity means waking up in the nourishing planet of your body, but hating your fucking body, because it hurts and doesnt have access to healthcare necessities; it means walking into a Planned Parenthood for free resources is life-threatening. It means no one is saying anything about the victims, the injured, the staff at all Planned Parenthood clinics, Planned Parenthood as a survival center, and you feel like its all in your head, a captive of a shamed mentality. The system makes you captive to these thoughts, your feelings, demands, actions, because their propaganda against female struggles has alway been louder, even if its not saying a word.  

The violence of history repeats itself loudly or quietly, as when politicians do not address Planned Parenthood in their responses to these violent crimes or the political motives behind most of them or when systems are not changed to ensure protection.