Dear Cardinal Dolan: I am Not Disposable

[Content note: anti-agency rhetoric, religious oppression, misogyny]

Dear Cardinal Timothy Dolan:

I see that you have been speaking to the Knights of Columbus on social justice issues. Specifically, you framed this in terms of "the tendency to 'discard' society's marginalized, including immigrants."

So why did you discard me?

In case you don't recall doing this, let me refresh your memory:

During the Knights' 131st convention in San Antonio, Texas, Cardinal Dolan referred to Pope Francis' notion of the “globalization of indifference,” saying this can be seen in how modern society has become a “culture of throwing away.”

“We discard things, from the baby in the womb to our elders, to the immigrant, to the refugee, to the sick, to the poor, to the unemployed,” he told CNA on Aug. 6.

See that? By rendering pregnant people completely invisible in your list, in favor of the "baby in the womb," you do the very damn thing you decry.

You discarded me, and every other uterus-having person on earth.

Cardinal Dolan, I am not a womb. And I am not yours to dispose.

I am a collection of many parts, your Grace. I have hands for holding, arms to embrace with, feet to stand on, legs for running. With my ears I hear, with my tongue I taste, with my eyes I see, and with my brain I think. With all my body, I do many different things. I am all of its parts, and all of its parts are mine.

If I become pregnant, it is my body--not yours--which bears the risks of that pregnancy. It is me--not you--who must weigh the physical concerns, the mental toll, the healthcare costs, and all the short- and long-term effects of that entire process. It is me -- not you--who decides if I will attempt to have a child, or whether I will not. And it is me who must continually evaluate and re-evaluate those choices again and again throughout the entire pregnancy, as my body and my conditions are changing. It is me. Me. Not you.

And I (just like every other uterus-bearing person you presume to own) am not disposable.

So perhaps before you start spreading the commendable message of protecting marginalized people from being "discarded," you might take a look in your own trash bin. It's getting pretty crowded in here.

Not yours,


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