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Stefanie Iris Weiss Headshot

Dear Women: Wake the F**k Up

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Dear Women,

You may be a sister, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a grandmother, a cousin or a girlfriend. Maybe you're just someone that loves a woman. I don't care if you're young, old, just started a family or past menopause -- if you are any of these people, you should know that we are facing the greatest emergency we have in decades. Wake the f**k up right now, or you may wake up some time in 2013 and realize that you've made the gravest mistake of your life. If you have a vagina or know someone with a vagina, things are about to get real.

There are a million distractions competing for your attention, but this one is the most urgent. This is no joke. It's not hyperbole -- it is life-or-death, deadly serious. It's a massive crisis, and if we don't respond in the voting booth in a few weeks, our lives will change, in drastic and horrifying ways.

So I'm telling you right now, my sisters, to WAKE THE F**K UP. Samuel L. Jackson told you that you needed to do this a few weeks ago, more generally. It's all true. But if you've ever used a tampon, or know someone who has, ignoring this election is NOT an option.

Maybe you feel like politics don't matter to you -- you sat out 2000 and and 2004 and even 2008 because it seemed like your life wouldn't change no matter who sat in the White House. But this time it's different, so you seriously need to wake the f**k up.

Stop watching Honey Boo Boo and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Stop reading 50 Shades of Grey RIGHT NOW. Stop worrying about celebrity baby bumps or your own love life. Our culture can't keep us from noticing that our rights, liberties and -- most important in this moment -- control over our own bodies might be taken away.

If you vote for Romney, or if you just don't vote, you are insuring that we all lose our right to choose. Most Americans believe in the right to choose, even though Republicans love to lie about it. Most normal people of all political persuasions want abortion to be legal, available and rare.

What happens if Romney wins? If you're currently pre-menopausal and you have sex with men, you might be forced to bear an unwanted child. You might wake up and realize you've missed a period and begin shaking with fear -- because you have no choice about what to do with your pregnancy. Whether you're married with kids or single and not ready to start a family, every time you have sex you'll be subjecting yourself to the threat of eighteen years of childrearing, or bearing a child and putting him or her up for adoption. Wake the f**k up before this happens to you or someone you know.

You could forget to take your pill, a condom could break, your guy could forget to pull out in time. These are just a few of the reasons we have unwanted pregnancies, but if Romney wins, there may be no option but carrying a fetus to full term. Romney currently says, out loud, that he believes abortion should be legal only in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is in danger. He also said he'd be "delighted" to sign a bill outlawing abortion in all circumstances. (His running mate thinks abortion should be illegal in EVERY instance -- rape or incest be damned.) Are you ready to wake the f**k up?

If your birth control fails and you simply cannot deal with a pregnancy at this moment in your life and opt for a back-alley abortion, you'll be risking your life. This is what women used to do before Roe v. Wade in 1973. This is wire hanger territory. And if the police find out about your illegal procedure or attempt to self-abort, under a Romney administration, you might go to jail. Of course he won't say any of this, but it's what his cronies, people who have donated millions to his campaign, believe. He will owe them everything -- and he'll owe you nothing. So wake the f**k up now, before it's too late.

If you're in your reproductive years, you should be running around with your hair on fire, screaming. You should be walking the streets everyday and telling everyone -- strangers, neighbors, family members, colleagues -- to vote or be responsible for sending women back to the nineteenth century. That was before we had the right to vote and when we were literally property of our husbands. Outlawing abortion is a slippery slope to the elimination of all women's rights -- and it's the most immediately consequential to our everyday lives. Wake the f**k up, sister. Please.

This summer we learned that an influential segment of the Republican Party believe in something called "legitimate rape". Last spring we found out that the governor of Virginia wanted to subject women to transvaginal ultrasounds before allowing them to have abortions. Since 2010, hundreds of awful, terrifying, anti-women laws have passed in local legislatures and more misogynistic bills have been put up in the House. Most of these laws have to do with your body -- from personhood to defunding Planned Parenthood. (I'm not even going into contraception here, but that's another issue that should make you wake the f**k up -- because the Republicans don't just want to make abortion illegal, they want to make it impossible for you to use birth control.) Do not let Romney fool you -- he is on board, one hundred percent. His running mate, Paul Ryan, co-sponsored legislation with Todd Akin (Mr. Legitimate Rape) that redefined the definition of rape -- on the assumption that a lot of women casually lie about their rapes. That's how Romney rolls.

Especially if you live in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Virginia or New Hampshire: WAKE THE F**K UP. Because of the way our electoral college works, those states decide this election. So if you're a woman or know a woman who lives in any of those states -- this emergency is yours to address. We all need to call our neighbors, take to the streets, do whatever we can to make sure Obama wins, but for you, it's about getting yourself and everyone you know to the voting booth on November 6th. (Or before, if your state allows early voting.) If not -- what happens is your fault. I don't think you want that kind of karma, sister.

Especially if you're a (state) swinger, you'll see what feels like thousands of commercials in the next few weeks. They'll try to convince you that A) Romney's views on abortion aren't that radical and B) that it doesn't matter anyway, because the economy still sucks (which is debatable anyway). I ask you, women, even if you've been unemployed and blame it on Obama, do you want to live in a country where having sex could ruin your life forever? Maybe you think, "Hey, I'm middle class, I can afford to fly somewhere to get an abortion should I need one." Really, woman? Do you really want to live in that country? Because if Romney wins, that is EXACTLY where you will live. Unless you're Ann Romney or in the .00001 percent and your private jet will whisk you to Paris for a safe procedure, this matters to you.

I'm not going to bore you with the way the Supreme Court works, which is why this is such an emergency. Republicans are going to do everything to tell you that none of it is true, because they want to win. It's not that all of them hate women, and think we should be barefoot and pregnant (even though a shocking amount of them do want this). The ones that just want to win this thing, because they have a vested interest in wining -- money, power and such -- are throwing all the women in the country under the bus. They're lying to you, ladies, and even though I don't usually pray, I'm on my knees asking you not to fall for it.

WAKE THE F**K UP. And VOTE.

Love,

Stefanie