I never watch awards shows.
This is a sentence that made my movie-buff of a husband recoil when we were dating, but he’s since slinked over to my side as year by year the Oscars, Grammy’s, Golden Globes, Academy Awards and the plethora of others have become platforms for political speeches and soap box moments rather than a celebration of film and artistry.
The Golden Globes 2020 wasn’t much different in our household. But there’s always trusty Facebook. Soon, little by little, the floodgates opened and I was able to watch all of the speeches and “top” moments.
Mostly I laughed at everything. And then decided Ricky Gervais is my spirit animal.
And then, I watched Michelle Williams, who by the way is one of my favorite actresses of all time. And that’s why my heart just dropped when I listened to her acceptance speech.
“I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making, and not just a series of events that happened to me,” she said. “But one that I could stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over. Sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise. But one that I had carved with my own hand. And I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose.”
The crowd erupted into applause.
I could paste images and videos of abortion into this blog right now to illustrate what exactly that arena was applauding.
I could show you details about the abortion procedure and show you a graph about how more human beings have died via abortion than all the world wars and every form of cancer put together.
But I think it’s powerful enough to see this–a wealthy actress in her gown clutching her piece of gold, preaching that the reason she has an award and the reason that she’s a powerful and prosperous and famed woman, is because she chose to terminate a pregnancy.
To those who applauded her and cried with her–this is really what she was saying:
She IS somebody now because she wasn’t somebody’s mother FIRST.
She’s saying that if she hadn’t changed the cards that she was dealt, if she had that baby and became a mother, if she decided to give life to that child instead of end it’s life–she wouldn’t have that piece of gold. She wouldn’t be able to pursue her dreams. She wouldn’t be able to be a beacon of hope to those who honor “choice” above the right to life.
As someone who toes the line between liberalism and conservatism, this is something that’s always made me shake my head.
The ignorant and narcissistic idea our society has grappled on to that somehow has made us think we are so all-knowing, so powerful, so “crowned with wisdom” that we can literally harden our hearts until we begin speaking out against the very things that used to make us human.
We defend murder for the sake of being a strong woman. We defend terrorists now for the sake of being peacekeepers. We defend anti-gun coalitions and denounce the constitution for the sake of being anything anti-Trump. We call ourselves strong as our hearts become weaker and we use public forums and let millions of people watch us as we say loudly and clearly that creating life that will go on and multiply through generations doesn’t hold a candle to holding an award that will soon collect dust and crumble in the passage of time.
We celebrate women like Michelle Williams who wear fancy gowns and praise those who kill their babies instead of love them instead of praising those like my mother-in-law who was single and nearly homeless when she got pregnant with my husband and was nearly forced to have an abortion, only to stick to her guns and refuse, despite how dire her future may have seemed.
We give standing ovations and cry with those who “speak out for their abortion” as if that one half-hour appointment is more to praise than the years and years of exhaustion, service, love, and selflessness that every mother treads through to raise little human beings. We root on women like Michelle while forgetting that she’s up there with her award simply because HER mother chose to birth her.
I watched Michelle’s speech while cradling my newborn baby. And this baby is relevant to the story in ways I’ve never shared before.
When I found out I was pregnant with Greyson, River was only eight months old. I had just started a brand new job as a Director of Advertising three months prior. Jeff and I were in a rocky part of our marriage and dealing with lots of external issues. We were filing for bankruptcy. We were at the rock bottom.
It was the worst timing I could have ever chosen. But through birth control and even stage 4 endometriosis, Greyson came to be.
When we found out we were pregnant I literally said to myself, “There’s no way I can have this baby.” And Jeff thought the same. I cried for days. I hated God for letting it happen. I felt like this baby would stop my career in its tracks, take away from River, hurt my marriage, and plunge us deeper into debt. About half of my pregnancy was anxiety-riddled.
And then he came.
We realized it wasn’t our choice, but a divine plan that he had come to earth. So we let him.
And now I see it all in a way I’d never seen it before.
My career is amazing and has only improved.
My son and my step-daughter adore their brother and think he’s the greatest thing to ever happen.
My marriage has become stronger, and we’ve learned what it means to step together in the dark and trust that there is a plan and a God bigger than us and with more clarity than we have.
Grey is alive, and beautiful and stubborn and funny and all the things he was meant to be since his conception. And I can’t imagine the world being void of him. I don’t want to know that world.
There are circumstances and situations far more dire in this world. There is rape and incest and fatal illness of the mother that have me bawling when I read the stories. And I know that my statements can’t be a blanket statement and that sometimes a tough and painful decision has to be made. I get it, and I understand accommodations and hard choices need to be made.
But statistically, these reasons are less than 1 percent in the United States. The top two reasons for abortion according to the Guttmacher Institute and the CDC?
- Relationship problems
I don’t know about you, if you’re a parent, but my love for my children isn’t founded upon how they got here or who they came from (as much as I love my husband). I don’t love them because they came at a time where I have plenty of money to take them to Disneyland each summer. And I don’t adore them because life is easy and so are they (because it isn’t. And no they aren’t!)
I love them because they’re MY children that God has entrusted to me. They have the right to be on this earth just as I have mine. They were sent down with a purpose. They have eyes that see things like no one else on this earth and they have faces that no one else has. They are growing and learning and deciding things every day. They are separate from me, special outside of me, and have rights of their own, despite the fact that they grew for nine months under my own heart.
Michelle Williams has more money than I’ll ever see in my lifetime.
She has the ability to speak and have millions listen to her. She is beautiful and thin and wears gowns that total more than my bank account. She is the star of my little boy’s favorite movie of all time (The Greatest Showman).
But she didn’t win.
As I hold my babies, poorer than her and less known than her and probably thirty something pounds heavier than her, and I can assure you–much more sleep deprived than her–I know that I, and millions just like myself, who chose to be mothers and who chose the steeper route–are the ones who won.
Because out of all the accomplishments I’ve had or titles I’ve held, none hold a candle to that of “mother”.
These babies will extend far beyond me.
And so to Michelle I will take her own words and tweak them a bit to reflect truth.
Our life is not our own handwriting, Michelle. Yes, sometimes it is scrawling and sometimes eloquent and yes, life can be a series of events that happens to you. But it’s your reaction to those events that determine how high you can rise. My life is carved by the creator’s hand and signed with his penmanship. Because I am human, it can hurt. But because I am strong, it can be beautiful. And I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without employing my trust, my stamina, my faith, and my respect for human life.
That, right there, is worth its weight in gold.