Trying to Explain to the 14-Year-Old Abortion Protester Why Commenters Online Called Her a Whore

vagina-protest.jpg
Tuesday Cain, a 14-year-old Austinite, her father and a friend, also 14, attended the protest rallies in Austin during the contentious debate over a now-signed-into-law house bill banning abortion after 20 weeks. Cain and her friend took turns holding a sign that read, "JESUS ISN'T A DICK SO KEEP HIM OUT OF MY VAGINA." Not surprisingly, she took a lot of shit for that sign, both from protesters and from Internet idiots after the photo went viral.

Cain decided to respond with an essay on XOJane.com.

When my friend and I took turns holding the sign, one of the pictures of her went viral.

Then my dad went online to defend the sign on Twitter and other online forums.

That's when people started calling me a "whore."

I'm going to be honest about what it feels like to be called that as a 14-year-old girl who has never had sex and who doesn't plan to have sex anytime soon.

I feel disappointed.

It's hard for me to understand why adults would be calling me this. It's hard for me to understand why anyone would use this term for a 14-year-old girl.

Ok, my turn.

Unfortunately, Tuesday, it's not hard for me to understand. You see, people are idiots, especially on the Internet. Sure, that doesn't explain or excuse the grown man who approached you at the protest and told you and your friend, "You two should shave your heads! You should become lesbians! No man will ever want you! You're ugly!" That guy is a garden variety lunatic. He's the equivalent of the morons from Westboro Baptist Church. You can ignore him entirely.

The folks on the web are a different story.

Look, I'm not sure I entirely approve of you holding up a sign talking about your vagina or comparing Jesus to a penis, but I get the irony...and it's clever, I'll give you that. But, most people these days boil their thoughts on others down to ridiculous stereotypes, making the average human slightly more than a caricature: women are big-breasted bimbos or shave-headed lesbos, for example.

This kind of response is nothing more than a simple-minded way to grasp a world that is moving too fast for them. That absolutely does not excuse their behavior. In a way, it's worse because the same world that provides them the sound bites for their wrong-headed assumptions gives them practically free access to the collective knowledge of every civilization before them.

But, without defending them, it does underscore at least the why part of your question. Too many people are narrow-minded idiots. Don't let it get you down. There are also some amazing, wonderful folks with a deep capacity for love and compassion that goes beyond the limitations of their own worldview. Align yourself with them. Forget the assholes.

And, as clever as that sign may be, try to realize that it will open you up to some ridicule in this world. Hell, it takes very little to open you up to people's petty criticisms. Just read the comment section of any newspaper to see what I mean.

You're a smart girl. You're a tough kid. Don't let the jackasses get you down. It may feel at times like they outnumber the good ones by a wide margin, but I don't believe it. It's simply a product of the world we live in where anyone with an Internet connection and the ability to type can call you a whore and get away with it. Don't worry, to modify slightly a common breakup quote, it's not you, it's them.

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15 comments
Joe LaLonde
Joe LaLonde

a man let his 14 year old advertise her girl stuff. while i'm not for the new law, i'm also not for unfit parenting.

Allan Webber
Allan Webber

Wesley : Don't get me wrong, I am sympathetic to the underlying cause. Just think this is the wrong story.

Wesley Burnham
Wesley Burnham

And you're right. It IS reasonable to expect children to be held to the same standard as adults.

Wesley Burnham
Wesley Burnham

@Allan - Agreed. It would be so much better if the "adults" running the state didn't create such a childish situation that necessitated a child act like the rational adult. We should be ashamed of our governor and state legislature for trying to legislate morality and forcing this child to carry such an obscene sign that's clearly beyond her mental capacity to understand. Silly females. They don't need to know about sex or its consequences until their wedding night.

Daniel van Heeckeren
Daniel van Heeckeren

Not sure if I'm understanding you or not, but willing to find out... :o)

Wesley Burnham
Wesley Burnham

Dan, I judge anyone who fears progress and justifies it by their adherence to a bronze age belief system. The issue of abortion in this country was settled forty years ago by the Supreme Court. If abortions are against your beliefs, don't get one. It's that simple. Ours is a country founded on reason, not religion, despite what revisionists would have you believe. This isn't a Christian nation. This is the first nation formed during the Age of Enlightenment. It's time we acted like the rational adults our forefathers thought we could be instead of the superstitious children who fear the dark that we've become.

Daniel van Heeckeren
Daniel van Heeckeren

I really didn't expect that from you... :/ You've never seemed the judgemental type... ?

Wesley Burnham
Wesley Burnham

I can't wait for the Rapture to happen so those of us "left behind" can finally make the world a good place.

Allan Webber
Allan Webber

The sign that her father gave her to carry was pretty inflammatory. My opinion changed after reading this to one of if she can't stand the heat, she should stay out of the kitchen. She's playing in the adult world now so should expect some adult insults back. She'll get over it and it will make her more grown up.

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

not a whore but mean..."the interent can be a sad mean place sometimes"

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

source for HP calling someone who disagrees with them a whore, please.

prichard.k
prichard.k

After reading the article, I can't help but wonder why the title is not "Trying to Explain to the 14 Year Old Why Carrying a Sign That Reads "JESUS ISN'T A DICK SO KEEP HIM OUT OF MY VAGINA" Is  Inappropriate For Someone Her Age. If she is going to display a mature message of vulgarity, she can only expect to get some thrown back at her.

Dallas Hölmes
Dallas Hölmes

reading comments online (from the past month ALONE) is proof enough that there needs to be a mass extinction event on the planet. #purgethescourge

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

yeah so can the Houston Press against anyone who disagrees with them...

h_e_x
h_e_x

@prichard.k Now there's the Christian attitude I've been waiting for!

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