We live inside our skins, inside our homes, our family rituals, our cultural norms. We live according to rules set in stone somewhere, sometime ago. Only poetry, art and politics seem to break into our psyche, shake us out of our routines now and then, and ask the questions nobody wants to explore.
I'm talking about contraceptives, family planning, sexual behavior. Yesterday, artists were painting nudes, fat ones, with added bulges, to comment on our perception, our baggage, our human condition. Think of this discussion as a major art exhibition where canvases of all sizes show paintings of different bodies, in various amount of nudity, various poses, various moods.
We will interpret these bodies based on many factors: our facility with the language of imagery, light and shadow, color and perspective; our facility with nudity as well.
Speech is the reflection of a singular perception, tied to time, space, cultural norms. The same person will say different things, will have a different perception each time he/she moves his body in space and time, encounters people not like him.
So, what was never talked about when I was a youngster, has now become fodder in political circles. Birth control, abortion, family planning, they are all part of the bigger conversation we are now having and it now involves not just free speech.
Now, the conversation about birth control involves religion, personal rights, rights of government, rights of each partner. Whose life are we talking about? The one of the Yet-Unborn, or the life of the mother, the father. the family unit?
I know that I'm not my mother. She and I would not be having this conversation if she were still alive. I would not be having this same conversation with anyone else forty-five years ago.
I also know that my religious views have changed since I was a child. Yet, deep in me there is a compass. Deep in every religious person there is a need for an absolute truth that should be applied to all humanity. Yet, each religion has its own set of holy books, its own rules of worship, its own commandments.
In a democratic community, unlike a religious community, all of us determine what is best for the rest of us. Not one segment, not just judeo-christian rules!
We must have these conversations!
Or, we'll end up becoming the very thing we hate in theocracies.