Admitting this will probably cement the fact that I do, indeed, live under a rock, but I really didn't know the extent of the fallout after they spoke these words:
“Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.”
We got the movie for the IVF talk. Which stirs up its own controversies in conservative America.
I think my mouth was hanging open as I watched the movie because it seemed unreal that an entire career could unravel and need to be knitted again simply due to 15 words. And not very hateful or controversial words at that. Criticising the president--that's as American as apple pie. New politicans and activists just started their careers opposing this war. And ordinary citizens should speak up--I'm fairly certain that the people who sent the Dixie Chicks death threats and destroyed their CDs would not choose to live in a country where free speech is suppressed.
There is a scene where they're going on stage to play a show knowing that they've received a letter informing them that Natalie Maines will be shot during the performance. And all I could think about as I watched that scene was that she's a mom. And the two other chicks--Emily and Martie--are moms as well. From IVF. And they didn't go through all of that just to bring the kids into this world--they went through all of that so they could raise those kids. And the idea that someone out there could think that it's better to silence someone who is critical of the president and allow children to grow up without a mother terrifies me. It terrifies me that there are people who think this way. Choosing not to purchase her albums and sending a message with your wallet--fine. I don't agree, but if someone wants to do that over 15 words, I can understand the impulse. But to be so angry that you suggest strapping her to a bomb and dropping her on Baghdad? Or telling her to shut up and sing or her life will be over?
I know I talk a lot about being careful of how we speak to one another and the damage that can be done with words. But, by fuck, the other side of the story is to not allowing words to carry a greater weight than their intended meaning. I'm not talking about hate speech, because hate speech does have a rather large intended meaning. But the things we say in passing. The things we say without thinking. Or the things we mean wholeheartedly and are technically allowed to express in this country without consequences as large as the ending of a career.
We bought their album to support two fellow stirrup queens who sing about their experience with infertility with their song "It's So Hard When it Doesn't Come Easy."
It felt like a given
Something a woman is born to do
A natural ambition
To see a reflection of me and you
And I'd feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn't give
And could you be happy
If life wasn't how we pictured it
And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it's so hard
It's so hard
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's the 13th song on the album. Just in case you were waiting for it.
But another song that spoke directly to my experience with infertility was probably more about the fallout from the controversy. Marriages either become stronger or fall apart in a crisis. I applied these words to those moments after you're done crying and there is nothing more to say and your husband simply holds you:
But I just want to hold on to the
Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
To my husband, who holds the world at bay when I can't face it and gives me a few moments alone to collect myself after an ill-timed negative beta. Who creates the peaceful quiet moments when he holds my hand in the waiting room. Who knows when there is nothing more to say to me and instead just curls against me in bed. And makes the easy silences for when I can't talk about it anymore because one more word will break my heart. I love you.