peace corps, Uncategorized

But That’s Mine!

I was originally going to write a blog about how my site mate and I keep losing our things. Now, I’m sure people aren’t intentionally stealing necessarily, but so far my site mate Monique has lost a basin she let someone borrow, my labandera (laundry person) hasn’t returned the money I left in my pants pockets, someone took my favorite towel and hasn’t returned it, I couldn’t find my scissors so after I tore my house apart to find them I found them in my landlady’s sari-sari store*,I bought a bottle of liquid soap that mysteriously disappeared, and a sari-sari store keeps overcharging me for items.

Is this just a cultural difference? Should I stop being frustrated? I suppose the concept of “mine” isn’t as strong here as it is in the states, but this is still a bit annoying and excessive.

Oh well, moving on.

Some friends of mine put on a training about HIV/AIDS here in The Philippines this summer. It is somewhat taboo to talk about birth control and contraceptives here mostly due to a heavy Catholic influence. Though, once when travelling to Divisoria* I saw a sign that warned would be vendors of abortion pills and the like to not do so near the gigantic Catholic church.

Anyway, this got me thinking about pro-life and pro-choice. A friend of mine once said in regards to abortion, “If you have a penis you are not allowed to have an opinion” though I think this statement lacks imagination. Remember Thomas Beatie?** I suppose a better way to say that is “If you lack a uterus, you should lack an opinion” or something like that. Well, I do have an opinion. And um, I have a male sex organ as well.

Anyway, I am pro-life.

Most people read that and think that means I don’t think women should have abortions. No, that’s not what I mean. I am pro-life in every way imaginable. I don’t think the death penalty should be utilized, I am a pacifist so I don’t believe in war, I am a vegetarian, and I also think that if a healthy pregnancy is likely that a child should be born. Even if a fetus isn’t a human at conception. A fetus is totally a possibility. An amazing possibility. With that comes good and bad, yes. However, the thought of getting rid of something that could one day be a consciousness seems short-sighted to me.

BUT!

Even though I do think I am allowed to have an opinion. I do NOT think that males should have any say in the matter. The fact is this. I will never have to make the decision to have or not to have an abortion. I cannot get pregnant. I do not have to go through the 9 months leading up to labor nor will I ever have to go through labor. Thus, when it comes to policy. I don’t think men should get to shape that. I am totally pro-choice. I believe women and women alone get to choose whether they have an abortion or not and just because I hope that they don’t; doesn’t mean that I feel as if I am allowed to say they can’t.

Think of it like this. I am a vegetarian and I am (to a degree) morally opposed to consuming animal-based products. I can hope that others stop consuming animal-based products. I can be upset when I see someone wearing a fur-coat. However, I have no right to stop people from consuming animals and I will never try to make it illegal. It is always their choice. I feel the same way in regards to abortion. Ladies! It’s your choice!

Now with that said . . . why not choose life?

A photo by Anne Geddes

Much Love,

Brandon Holly

p.s. – This may seem like a random blog that didn’t have to do with peace corps a whole lot. Well, I remembered that I started this blog before I was in the Peace Corps. That’s why I may start to blog about things outside of the Peace Corps universe.

*Divisoria is just a shopping district modeled more after the palengkes than the big air-conditioned shopping malls. Stuff is cheaper and often black-market items are sold in areas like these. Don’t get excited, the items are generally no more interesting than CDs and DVDs.

**He was the guy who was on Opera. He was born a woman, took hormones but opted to keep his female sexual organs because he knew he wanted to bear a child. He also isn’t the first or only transgender male to do this. Search for Scott Moore and Matt Rice for more information.

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