Today, I learned about a whole new kind of cheerleading. I learned on the sidewalk across the street from my Governor's house. To be a part of this cheer team, you don't have to be popular or have years of special training in dance and gymnastics. All you have to do is show up.
The cheerleaders I hung out with today were cheering for women's rights. A lot of people think the only reason we were out there was because of abortions. The right of a woman to choose is only one reason our team was cheering. Access to birth control, health screenings, prenatal care, and so many other things that are important to women are on the line if clinics in our state are forced to close because they can't afford to stay open.
When I wasn't out cheering on the sidewalk, I sat under a very nice shade tree and listened to the other ladies talking. I learn a lot from just sitting and listening. They were talking about laws in our state, jobs, and registering voters. They were keeping up with things on social media and just enjoying each other's company.
We all worked together on our cheers. One person came up with, "Hey hey! Ho ho! Pat McCrory has got to go!" I led a cheer spelling out "SHAME" and there was another one that went "Show me what democracy looks like! THIS is what democracy looks like!" It felt like we were a real team.
I had to leave before the demonstration ended to go to a voice lesson. As soon as I came out of my lesson I looked at my Twitter and saw that Governor Pat McCrory came out of his mansion to hand the women outside cookies. He didn't want to talk with them about women's rights or how the bill he just signed into law would effect them. He just said, "God bless you."
"God bless you" was a very odd thing to say. We have an expression here in the South, "Bless your heart." What it really means is "Kiss my ass." I also find this expression weird because opponents to a woman's right to choose like to bring religion up all the time.
I also found his gift of cookies very odd. There were not enough cookies on that plate for all the women who were out there today. I wonder if he was trying to tell us we should be in the kitchen baking cookies instead of fighting for our rights? I wonder if he was trying to tell us that our health clinics were like the cookies and some people would just have to do without? Either way, I won't be cheering for Pat McCrory's team.