To be honest, I'm not normally fond of the idea of staying silent to promote a cause. I'd rather wear or do something that brings attention to the cause and voice my opinion loud and proud. However, this year, I decided to give the day of silence a chance. I went to my classes with a piece of duct tape on my arm that read "D.O.S-NOH8". I carried cards around with me explaining my silence and I brought a lot of extra duct tape and cards for other people to participate.
The responses I got were almost all positive. Some people gave me hugs, words of encouragement, thumbs ups, and friendly smiles. Some people found the day of silence amusing ("I could NEVER be silent for a whole day! I'm too much of a motor mouth!) Others didn't even notice that I was silent, because I'm normally a very quiet person. My day was going well.
Or at least, it was going very well until it was time for quartet rehearsal. It's not that they harassed or berated me. They didn't. They were actually fairly accepting of my silence (although they did tease me a little bit, but that's to be expected coming from them). It's the discussion that the day of silence led up to. My own day of silence led up to the three of them, all anti-choicers, discussing their silent day. It led up to them pulling out every anti-choice lie and piece of propaganda they could think of.
"Abortion kills women!"
"The vast majority of women regret their abortions!"
"Abortion causes infertility!"
"Most women who have abortions are screwed up and suicidal afterwards!"
"No one actually thinks abortion is right."
and one I've never heard before:
"The only people who have had more than one abortions are prostitutes. Everyone else who has one never has more than one because they know it's wrong." (W...T...Fruit)
And there I was, trying to maintain my silence, thinking about how they had to discuss this at the worst possible time. Normally, I'd speak up. If it were any other day, I would have called out their lies and we would have gotten into a huge argument about abortion (with it being 3 to 1), and then quartet rehearsal would have been totally ruined. However, I felt obligated to maintain my silence on that day, out of respect for my homosexual, bisexual, and transgender friends. I attempted to ignore them by occupying myself by applying rosin to my bow and by tuning my instrument. I felt like I was about to explode.
I was so conflicted.
I thought back to the things I read on dayorsilence.org, and I remembered that it said that you can choose your own level of silence. That was when I decided that I was going to break my silence, in order to call out the lies.
BUT it was too late. They had already moved on to another subject, and it would have been awkward for me to call them out at that time. I let it go, and I totally regret it.
When I went home, I did a little bit of research on their "silent day". I had some experience with it, because I always used to counter protest it when I was in high school, but what I really wanted to know was when it started. Why is there a day of silence to end LGBT harassment, and another day of silence to end women's rights? I had a hunch that someone stole someone else's idea. After searching their the anti-choice silent day website, I found this:
Now, something that started its first year as just a few thousand students from 300 campuses has grown into a world-wide outpouring of love and action. The Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity is in it's 6th year, and last year we had students from more that 4,800 campuses in 25 countries stand together in solidarity.
Just to be sure, I checked out dayofsilence.org and found this:
The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Each year the event has grown, and now hundreds of thousands of students participate to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior. Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Now, to be fair, no one can say for sure that the anti-choicer who started Silent Day stole the idea. It's just a thought.
Anyway, I've been thinking about these two days of silence for the past few days. I feel like anti-choicers really enjoy steal- ahem, I mean, using progressive tactics in order to advance their own causes. They take away reproductive liberty and call it reproductive justice, they take away women's basic human rights and call it feminism, and they take a tactic that was originally meant to bring awareness to the bullying and harassment that those in the LGBT community face and turn it into a day that is meant to silence and shame women. Am I the only one that thinks that these people should come up with their own ideas? Isn't it kind of funny to see how they're trying to make their movements look like ours in order to make themselves look better? What do you gals and guys think?