What does it mean to win?
Do we all know?
Do we all agree?
Have we all challenged ourselves to question what it is that we want to personally achieve here?
Do we want to be the loudest?
Do we want to have the last word?
Or, do we want to repeal the 8th amendment?
I am not of course talking about the many resilient, brave, inspirational women who have trudged through the mud for our right to choose for longer than we know.
I am not talking about the amazing women who have joined them over the past few years and dedicated their every moment to lobbying, rallying, questioning, insisting, pushing, moving forward.
I mean us. On the ground, looking up.
I know we’re angry. We have a right to be. I know we’re fed up. We should be.
But what’s worrying to see is, for example, supporters being shouted down. Sometimes just for joining a conversation, for asking a question.
In a popular Facebook group recently, a man commented: ‘First of all, I’m pro choice and will definitely be voting yes but…’
He then went on to ask such things as ‘what will happen if it’s repealed?’ and ‘are we talking late term here too?’
The first response was: ‘you’re not pro choice if you’re asking these questions. F*** off.’
This got several likes and strong support.
So, there we had a sitter of a ‘yes’vote and he was told to f*** off because he had questions.
So who won there?
Surely every single one of us needs to see every single person at this stage as a ‘voter’.
That man is unlikely to have been pushed to being anti-choice but it may very well have intimidated him into not voting at all.
Sometimes can we just say nothing?
It feels as though we’re as vulnerable to hits from our own side as we are from the opposition and I look forward so much to the day that stops. If we are reticent to speak out about our thoughts and opinions it’s not a good sign. Because I’ve never felt that way before.
I’ve seen amazing allies be dragged online for even the perception of having gone against the grain. They were set upon online for a slip up in spite of years of very active, brave, vocal support.
Please save your energy. Please use this precious time wisely.
Thank you from the bottom of my hopeful heart to every single body who has put themselves in to this campaign, in so many different ways. Thank you to every one who has or is about to have a tough conversation with a family member in an effort to get them out to the voting booth. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
We can do this. We can really do this.
Photo by Loreana Rushe