Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Seriously
12:30 pm, September 6th | by Maggie Murphy
I remember the summer that my older push-up-bra-clad cousin introduced me to three important things: SunIn, Diet Snapple and Judy Blume. She gave me the book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret under the condition that I wouldn’t show my parents. “It’s a teenager thing,” she told me.
I don’t know what my ten-year-old self expected to get out of the book, but I do remember learning about breasts and bras and periods and great writing. I remember looking into the future, middle-school and puberty and realizing that becoming a woman was, to use the verbiage of our time, for realsies.
But that was in the 90′s. So in my room, secretly glued to the book while I worried about armpit hair, my parents downstairs worried about me too: about raising a daughter in the age of an internet, in a culture where supermodels reigned, and in a country where college was getting expensive. What they weren’t concerned about was my eventual and hypothetical access to birth control, or cancer screenings, or a clean, safe and legal abortion. And it definitely never crossed their minds to worry that if in 2012 I were to ask for these things I would be attacked and degraded by the public and silenced by politicians.
Now they do. My parents were watching Sandra Fluke take the stage at the DNC yesterday to site insane reality of our time, a time in which women are forced to “re-fight they battles they have already won.” They saw the stream of vicious Twitter comments. This is not the world they believed they were bringing me into, and not the world I envisioned for women, for myself when I read that beloved paperback.
Yesterday, while Fluke took the national stage to defend women’s healthcare, Judy Blume went public with her fight with breast cancer this summer. Her cancer was caught during a routine ultrasound, the exact type of pre-cancer screening that Fluke was mobilizing voters to protect last night. The future of women’s health can look as uncertain now as my future did for me at age 10, but it’s much, much worse than armpit hair. So, God, if you’re there, its me, Margaret (you can call me Maggie) and well, things are a little scary down here. I think we could use some help. Below, you can see Sandra Fluke’s address to the DNC: