When we first moved to Dexter, Michigan nine years ago, among other important things like finding a new doctor and a veterinarian for my pets, I needed to find a new hair stylist. I set out to a salon one day that was recommended to me by a person I knew in the area. I was greeted in the lobby by a young women, probably in her early 20s. She was beautiful and very sweet and she gave me a great haircut.
So, just like that, I had my new stylist.
Every time I sat down in her chair and she would immediately ask me a question based on what she remembered from our last visit. She remembered every detail, even if it was six months between visits. Details about my dogs and my husband and our vegetable garden. She also knew that I was an active Democrat and that I photographed President Obama and other White House officials many times, and although she always asked about my political photography she never shared her thoughts on politics. I knew nothing about her political views and out of politeness I never asked. I figured she would tell me if she wanted to but, since she never did, I assumed she was just not political, or that she was a Republican and just kept that to herself.
Like her political views, she also kept her personal life pretty private, as well. Even when I asked her questions she would keep her answers vague and talked mostly about neutral things like recipes. All I really knew about her was that she was married to a musician and that they wanted to get a kitten.
It was in April 2013 and I sat down in her chair and she started off the conversation like she always did. “Photograph anyone famous lately?” she asked. I replied, “Actually, yes.” I had done a fundraiser in Detroit with Cecile Richards. I told her about how Cecile talked about how supportive the President was and about her last visit to the White House. I told her about a few other things that happened at the event and then things got quiet for a few minutes. She finally broke the silence and asked, “Who is Cecile Richards?” I told her that she was President of Planned Parenthood of America. She perked up and then responded delightedly, “Ohhhhh!”
Then she said, “Can I tell you something?” I said, “Sure.” She leaned in very close and whispered, “I love Planned Parenthood.” I told her I did too. Over the next 20 minutes I learned more about her than I had over the last 6 years. She talked about how she and her husband got a kitten because they weren’t ready to have kids. She talked about birth control and complications with the pill. She talked about how Planned Parenthood helped her and her husband figure out what was best for them so that they could have, as she put it, “A loving husband and wife relationship”. She talked about how Planned Parenthood was only one bus stop from her apartment. She went on and on.
She then said the most political thing I have ever heard her say, “I’m so glad to hear that Obama supports Planned Parenthood. I don’t know what I would do without them.”
We’ll finish the National Pink Out Day series here at Eclectablog with an important message about how critical it is to make a contribution to Planned Parenthood, no matter how small, from Dan Savage:
We have to stand with Planned Parenthood now. When it’s a little difficult. When it’s a little awkward. When they’re under fire. We need to stand with Planned Parenthood. I stand with Planned Parenthood and you should, too. I’m going to make a donation to Planned Parenthood today and I’m going to ask YOU to make a donation to Planned Parenthood today. Go to PlannedParenthood.org and click on “Donate“.
I’ve said this before – if you’ve been listening to the show long enough to hear me come to Planned Parenthood’s defense in the past, you’ve heard me say this – you don’t have to donate $500. You don’t have to donate $1,000. You don’t have to donate $25. If all you can spare is five bucks or ten bucks or twenty bucks, go donate it. Go make that donation. Because Planned Parenthood cannot only point to the amount of money it raises from the public as evidence of it’s support, it’s broad support, but the number of donors is another figure that really matters. Another data point that really matters in defending Planned Parenthood, in Planned Parenthood defending itself, and supporters of Planned Parenthood defending Planned Parenthood. Both those numbers have equal weight, equal value. The amount raised from the public and the number of donors, private donors, out their in the public who support Planned Parenthood.
So, even if you can’t inflate the numbers of dollars that they’ve raised, you can inflate the number of donors that they have, the number of supporters that they have who are motivated enough to donate. So, even if you can only spare five bucks, MAKE. THAT. DONATION. Stand with Planned Parenthood. Now. Now is when it really matters most.
If you’re in Michigan, make your donation HERE.
[Cecile Richards photo by Anne C. Savage]