There’s been a lot to think about lately. It’s very overwhelming, as far as I’m concerned. So, I’m just looking a look at a small part of the picture today, instead of going into all of my feelings about recent events – it would take a very, very long time for me to write about the big picture right now.
Thinking about some of the stuff that goes at the clinic, it seems impossible to see where the protesters are coming from. Today, as a family walked away from the clinic after walking in with a client, a protester told a 5 year old that her mom was a murderer. Is this supportive, empowering, helpful, necessary, appropriate, and does it contain a shred of decency? No. Is that rude, insensitive, and incredibly small-minded? I think so. I also see it as inexcusable and unforgivable. For an adult to act that way is simply ridiculous. It seems like such an immature, below the belt low-blow sort of choice to make, something that any sane person would feel totally ashamed for having said. But to the protesters, that’s just another Saturday. This is just one example of how the protesters fail to provide support, or even be decent human beings.
I’ve been thinking a lot about support, and particularly how that ties in with escorting. I know that this is such a huge subject to talk and think about, and everyone has their own view of support and specific examples of amazing support and totally crappy non-supportive actions. But in the smaller context of escorting, support plays such a huge role.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking: escorts provide support, period. This support, as far as I’m concerned, comes from a non-judgmental place, where there are no winners or losers, no doubt that a person is very capable of making the right decision for their circumstances, and so forth. This is not true of whatever “support” the protesters may claim to be giving clients.
Escorts are there to support clients and their partners, friends, and family members when they arrive at the clinic (or even before, if they need help figuring out the parking situation), as they walk in to the clinic, and if they walk out of the clinic for whatever reason. When escorts obtain consent to walk with people to or from the clinic, they remain supportive through body language, by providing a barrier from protestors, by making small talk (when and if it seems appropriate), and so forth. Protesters are there to provide… well, certainly not support, so I guess harassment?
A lot of the protesters do offer “help,” but here’s a little secret: the support that they offer (a pack of diapers and a free ultrasound) is very limited, if it can even be considered real help. It comes with strings attached and plenty of guilt. While they don’t offer a car seat to the clients walking in to the clinic with an infant in an ill-fitting and unsafe carrier, they are quick to offer their opinions (“You’ll regret this for the rest of your life if you walk through those doors!”) and say that they can help or support the client. But isn’t support really about being there regardless of the choice(s) made?