If you're ever feeling overwhelmed or depressed because the internet is starting to feel like an ocean of cruelty and despair at high tide, I suggest checking out some of the long reads by Rob Delaney. The comedian/total beefcake might be most famous for his very active and funny Twitter account, but when he's not going on tour or tweeting jokes about buttholes (so many jokes about buttholes!..but also never enough jokes about buttholes?), he's writing eloquent and empathetic essays on depression, alcoholism and Katy Perry.
Following the recent attacks on abortion rights in Texas, Ohio and North Carolina, Delaney — a married father of two and a true feminist — has written an excellent pro-choice piece for the Guardian.
I support a woman's right to safe, legal abortion because centuries of history shows us that women are going to get abortions whether they're safe and legal or not. And when they're not safe and legal, these women will often die terribly or be damaged irreparably. In my fantasy utopia, there would be no abortion. There'd be contraception readily available and there'd be education geared toward preventing unwanted pregnancies. Adoption would be easier.
And because the subjects of abortion restriction and misogyny are forever intertwined, Delaney touches on that, too:
I don't know how to look at those who'd restrict or deny access to abortion, contraception and abortion and not see misogyny. Not sexism; that's a gender neutral word. Misogyny is the hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women. It's an ugly word and it represents an ugly thing.
And Good God, is it lazy. And disingenuous. And it is the warm and welcoming home to the idea that a pregnant woman who doesn't want to take her pregnancy to term should not have access to a safe and legal abortion.
(These are just two short excerpts of a considerate, kind and humorous essay. If you want to read the whole thing — and I hope that you do — you can do so here.)
One of my favorite things about Rob Delaney is how his very existence is a slap in the face to people who endlessly complain about the supposed "feminist thought police." Delaney's comedy is often dirty and crude — maybe some of the crudest — but he gets away with it because he's also thoughtful and smart. He can make a joke about a woman's vagina (and boy, does he) and then — at the drop of a hat — turn around and write a sincere piece about why it's important for women to have safe and legal access to abortion. This is because Rob Delaney is very good at his job.
Just ate a bunch of homemade brisket shirtless while hanging out with my two baby boys. And I support a woman's right to choose.— rob delaney (@robdelaney) July 1, 2013
Rob Delaney, you can make fun of my vagina anytime you want.