I was having a lovely breakfast with some colleagues this morning and two of us were discussing our experiences of being in DC on the anniversary of Roe V. Wade in the midst of the largest pro-life rally in the nation. My friend talked about her trying to get to a museum with her young son and being surrounded by many graphic photos. For me, well, it was my b-day (ironic to many, I know) and I was enjoying MY day (not Roe day) despite walking by thousands of people carrying signs that called me a murderer.
As my friends and I were talking about our experiences, we were interrupted by a young couple sitting on the other side of the room, who both interjected: “Anti-Choice!” “We call them Anti-Choice!”
And, there you have it. That’s war. You can’t even call people by their own preferred name and you cannot let anyone around you chose their own language. You create us-them dynamics all the time and try to draw others into it with you, without even inviting conversation.
It was rude and disrespectful to me and my friends to be CORRECTED BY STRANGERS for a conscious and purposeful choice that we have made to refer to a group of people by the name they choose (pro-life), and also rude and disrespectful to a group of people that we can assume, this young couple sees as their enemy.
We really must afford everyone their dignity and respect and move on from the practice of policing each other’s language. Policing language does not solve our conflict, it just intensifies it.