Good Cop vs Bad Cop ~ by Eeyore

Recently I was standing by the door at the clinic when Tim arrived. He cupped his hands to his face, as he is wont to do, and stood for a few moments before starting his spiel (sometimes he’ll stand like that for over a minute – I’ve timed him – with his hands at his face not speaking, I guess waiting for divine inspiration. It’s creepy, like he just turns off for a bit). It went pretty much along these lines . . .

“Mothers, we aren’t here to judge you, we are here to help you. We can help with your bills, we have a beautiful maternity home that you can stay in for three years for free. And men who are in there, you are sitting next to a murderer. You are with a woman who is going to murder her baby.”

Did you notice that subtle shift in message? Yeah, me too. Part of me wanted to walk up and tell him that just because he addressed the last bit to men doesn’t mean women’s ears stopped working. Or maybe he thinks saying men switches everything to a masculine frequency that women can’t hear. Sorry Tim, that’s not how ears work. The woman you wanted to trust in this offer of loving, non-judgmental kindness just heard you call her a murderer in literally the next sentence. See, right there, that’s you judging her. So now she knows you’re a liar and rarely do people look to liars for counsel.

It’s not an uncommon experience on the sidewalk. If a client approaches from a distance and a protestor gloms on, they will often start with the “we are here to help, we just want to love you, god loves you” rhetoric. About half way to the clinic the talk turns to a pleading whimper saying “don’t murder your baby, you know it’s wrong, mommy don’t kill me”. As the client turns the corner to enter the clinic the anti’s frustration breaks and the damnation and shaming spews forth “don’t do this, god will punish you in the fires of hell, don’t make this baby pay for your mistakes”.

The thing is, you can’t play both sides by yourself. That’s why in TV shows where they’re doing the good cop/bad cop routine there’s always TWO cops. Working alone would make a person look insincere at best. The person being questioned by good/bad cop won’t trust him, the audience won’t trust him. All of his words and deeds have become suspect.

I’ve often been amazed that the anti’s don’t see something so obvious and focus on one message at a time.Why not just stick with playing the good cop routine? It would probably have better results. I think that in their minds, though, they’re never playing bad cop. Love and punishment, help and judgment, sex and shame all go hand in hand. To them it’s all the same message.

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8 thoughts on “Good Cop vs Bad Cop ~ by Eeyore

  1. The anti “We just want to love you” line. That really creeps me out, and I’m a male. If someone approached me on the sidewalk and said that I’d be mentally cataloging them so that I could initiate a search at my earliest convenience to see if they had been required to register with the state.

  2. I drove by the clinic yesterday morning after working an overnight shift. It was the first time I had been in the area to actually see it all for myself. HOLY CRAP! Even in the cold pouring rain, the sidewalk was packed. I so wish I could be out there with you guys. Maybe when I change jobs I’ll have a different kind of schedule and I could actually physically help.
    I DID pull over and thank a couple of you orange-vested people on a corner. They were so much friendlier than the angry dudes behind them.
    So, thanks to ALL of you for what you do, rain or shine. It was a miserable Saturday morning, but you were there anyway helping woman access abortion. You rock!

  3. I am always amazed that people who probably grasp and observe social conventions in all other aspects of life toss them aside (and apparently think everyone else will as well) when it comes to abortion.
    The concept of what is considered socially appropriate distance from people unless invited into more intimate space has been studied at length. Sure, we sort of voluntarily suspend these rules at times, like when we board a crowded bus or train with standing room only. However, a side walk is not generally considered a place you invade a strangers space for no reason without consent.
    The lack of personal space, along with insisting on discussing reproductive health with unwilling strangers makes people look creepy. Following a woman, especially if she is alone, brings to mind images of stalkers. Also, just a tip for any lurking antis, the image of 5-7 people forming a circle around a woman while insisting she be forced to participate in a discussion about her lady parts evokes images of gang rape, not love or concern.
    This moves me right along to shouting. The reason humans respond to shouting to begin with is because we don’t run around doing it all the time. Shouting generally conveys extreme emotion, distress, danger or fear. When 50 of you do it for hours it becomes just like conversation to be tuned out. I know antis think shouting, bullhorns and personal PA systems show that they have a right to free speech. What they don’t get is that imposing their speech on unwilling people just makes them bullies. As the antis like to say “just because is legal doesn’t make it right”-or effective.
    The last thing they don’t seem to grasp is that no matter how they spin their behavior with more socially appropriate terms they are still inappropriate. You can call a stalker or busybody or shrieking preacher a counselor until the cows come home. Most people don’t buy it. Also, your prayer warriors need to put down the signs and cell phones. There is no part of any religion that requires signs or filming. You are there to protest, so own it.
    Finally, the caps lock key is a tool of Satan. So is the overuse of !!!!!!??????!!!!!!
    So just stop all of it. It doesn’t work. (See how I said\wrote that without yelling?)
    P.S. If you could learn to spell on Facebook, that would be awesome. It is abortion, not aboortion. You should call people murderers, not merderers. Satin is a material, not the devil.

    • “When 50 of you do it for hours it becomes just like conversation to be tuned out.”

      There’s a “open air preacher” who goes to Portland and Seattle to harass people on a fairly regular basis. We happened to be at Pike’s Place one weekend when he was there. I was morbidly fascinated and paused for a moment to stare. He addressed me – I don’t even remember what he said. I answered, “Nah, man you’re just background noise” and we walked away. It’s annoying at first, then you just tune it out, like you would any other worthless noise.

      And I’m forever asking people who “Satin” is. Is he Satan’s less charismatic younger brother?

  4. Very, very well said.

    I do believe the anti’s are being sincere about their feelings that abortion is akin to murder…but it’s very obvious that is secondary to their feelings of vitriol and desire for self-righteous satisfaction in being an ******* for Jesus.

    These are absolutely the LAST people I’d turn to for help having a baby.

  5. It’s like the stages of bereavement, applied to protesting.
    Denial – “I can totally convince her to change her mind. Let me try being nice and say what great things we can do for her.”
    Anger (usually as soon as they turn the corner, you’re right!) – “Don’t kill your baby! You’re going to regret this forever! How can a mother kill her child?”
    Bargaining – “If you just come out and talk to us for just a few minutes, that’s all we want! You don’t have to make a decision, just come talk to us! WE’LL ADOPT YOUR BABY!”
    Depression – I’ve seen this one last for about 2 seconds in most of them. Realizing the client is coming out.
    Acceptance – usually a sigh and move on to the next protester.

  6. I really like this post, Eeyore, particularly since it shows a different aspect to the same person I wrote about on Wednesday. That’s what I really appreciate about escorting – there are so many facets to it all, and we each bring a different slant. Thanks for sharing your perspective and insights.

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