This week and last, social media has been flooded with commentary in the wake of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Women from all over the country, from all over the political spectrum, took to social media to praise RBG’s work to make space for women and women’s rights. That praise turned into screeching fury on Saturday evening when President Trump announced his nominee for RBG’s seat on the highest court in the country.
So many people who lean towards the progressive side of the political spectrum—especially when it comes to a woman’s right to choose—began condemning Trump’s nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
When it came to Judge Barrett’s nomination, what were people ranting about, exactly?
Many of the ones I saw were not upset about her judicial record, or her stance on abortion, or her record on hiring Black, Indigenous People of Color. All those things, to be perfectly frank, are fair game. They need to be part of the conversation, somehow. No, the ranting was about how many children she has and if she has a nanny.
(Her religious beliefs came in for a shellacking, too, but let’s save that for another day.)
I saw a post on a Facebook page that is supposed to celebrate women and their accomplishments that totally blasted Barrett as a woman who was going to “set other women back” and the comments were so gross and ugly and mostly about how she has seven children.
So everyone is all about women’s choices unless they choose to have seven kids? And YAY women, unless they don’t support the idea that to make it, women have to abort their children. It’s cool to insult a woman who doesn’t believe the right things. Got it.
By the way, I have seven children.
I have four kids from two men and three stepchildren. I choose to be a mother and stepmother to seven children. I made mistakes and I lost the relationships with my stepsons, which is one of my deepest regrets, but they were all under my care at one point in my life. I was not on uppers, as I’ve seen many comments about how that is the only way to care for “that many kids” and honestly, seven kids is not that many. Some of the easiest times in my life were when all seven children were running around our neighborhood together.
I knew they were less likely to be kidnapped or lost as a group of seven than if they were just one or two walking around together.
My favorite memory is of Halloweens when all seven kids did their yearly candy auction on the kitchen table trading each other for their favorite candies. Nothing about that memory was about how “all those kids” kept me down. If anything, all those kids made me happier than I had ever been in that moment when “I’ll give you two Reese’s for one Snickers!” was shouted through the house.
At our wedding, our seven kids took up the front pew of the chapel. When Father got to the part about our marriage being open to new life, all seven kids looked at each other and said, “More babies?!” as a group and everyone else laughed. All our kids hoped for a miracle baby that would connect them to each other as siblings when they were little.
It is a bit irritating to me, as a Brown Catholic woman who does not think abortion is the only way to become successful. As a woman, who has to fight against all kinds of things, it’s really irritating to see I also have to fight against the idea that having seven kids means I am somehow less than. That is a lot of less than for me personally.
I am less than because I am Catholic. I am less than because I am not White. I am less than because of how many kids I have. I am less than because I am a woman. What happened to the fight for a woman’s right to make her own choices? What happened to celebrating the accomplishments of women?
Oh, it is only some women who get celebrated. The ones who make all the acceptable choices. That sounds a lot like oppression to me. Isn’t modern feminism about fighting oppression? All last week, that is what I heard was the greatest fight of RBG’s life.
Leticia Ochoa Adams writes from Texas, on life, death, grief, suicide, faith, motherhood, doubts and whatever (else) happens to be on her mind.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.