May 5 • 8M

Yeah, Matt Gaetz is a Piece of Shit

Obviously.

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Charlotte Clymer is a writer and LGBTQ advocate. You've probably seen her on Twitter (@cmclymer). This is the podcast version of her blog "Charlotte's Web Thoughts", which you can subscribe to here: charlotteclymer.substack.com
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(credit: Alex Wong // Getty)

[Pride Month is just weeks away. Looking for a speaker? I’m available. Click here for more details.]

I was 30,000 ft. somewhere over Mississippi or Alabama when the news broke, and I wouldn’t know about it for a few hours.

I had left my phone charging in my lap, and just as we neared the runway in our descent, it began buzzing uncontrollably: push notifications from NYT and Politico, hundreds of messages across various Signal group chats, and many, many texts from individual friends and colleagues whose own shock I could feel through my screen.

I deplaned and sat near the C35 gate, reading the original article and the adjacent reporting and the snap reactions from the voices in reproductive rights and constitutional law whom I respect the most.

It was late. Maybe a half hour past 11pm. The other passengers had long left the area, and that sad cul-de-sac of gates at DCA was empty, with the exception of the cleaning crew now diligently vacuuming the area.

I didn’t even go home to put down my bags. By now, there were hundreds of protestors at the Supreme Court making known their outrage, and I wanted to be with friends.

I got a ride share and headed that way. And I thought about that night in 2016.

That night—yes, that one—that now feels so long ago that I sometimes wonder if I really lived it.

I’m not gonna give the whole rundown of that evening, despite how vivid it still is, but I specifically remember two different types of reactions: women and queer people, of all backgrounds, saying Trump’s election would be the end of Roe, and primarily white cis men telling the rest of us that we were being melodramatic, that “nothing will really change”, that there is not real difference between Democrats and Republicans, that Roe is “settled law”, that we were simply being too emotional.

I was angry then, and I don’t even know how to characterize my rage now. My insides have felt like they’re on fire for many days now. It’s not just the shameless cruelty of anti-woman conservatives but the appalling silence and indifference and downplaying by primarily grown cis, straight, white men if only they would listen to us for one goddamn second.

Let’s be clear about something: this decision will not end abortion. It will only make it much harder to have access to a safe abortion. It will lead to more death and more suffering and more shattered families and all of it needless, just to satisfy a movement that has sought since day one to cruelly control women.

Republican men will continue to pay for the abortions that result from their affairs and fly the women they impregnate to Democrat-led states to get the procedures. Their hypocrisy and cruelty will continue to be blatant.

Abortions sought by white conservatives will never end.

The anti-choice movement has never cared about the “sanctity” of life or the struggles of families or the welfare of children. The only thing they care about is cynically weaponizing fear and ignorance against the most vulnerable and pretending that makes them closer to God.

The anti-choice movement will celebrate the end of Roe and go back to not caring about health care, not caring about child poverty, not caring about the death penalty, not caring about every other issue permeated with human suffering.

The end of Roe is about hatred of women. Period.

Today, that insufferable dipshit Matt Gaetz tweeted this out because of course he did.

I wanna give a special shout-out to all you over-educated women out there, or as Matt Gaetz would put it: any woman who's graduated high school.

What a punk-ass loser. What a disgusting piece-of-shit this guy is.

So, what do we do with this bullshit?

We fight back. We don’t stay silent.

Laurie Bertram Roberts is the Executive Director of The Yellowhammer Fund, a 501(c)3 abortion fund and reproductive justice organization serving Alabama, Mississippi, and the Deep South. It’s an org run by a Black queer woman who understands what’s needed at the grassroots level in the Deep South to protect the most marginalized among us.

Laurie had a great idea: throw Matt Gaetz’ words right back in his face and while doing it, support women, trans men, and non-binary people who need access to abortion care.

So, we made this sardonic shirt:

We started selling it late this afternoon, and much to our surprise, more than 900 have been sold in a matter of hours, raising more than $15,000 for the Yellowhammer Fund, so far. You can buy it right here, and if you’re not a woman, buy it for a woman in your life.

It’s a small step toward a future in which we’re all going to need to band together and rely on each other for support and remind each other that experiences are valid, that rage is completely healthy and even necessary, that we have an obligation to each other to fight back.

I know things seem pretty bad, right now, and I’m not gonna lie: they are certainly bad.

But when I got to the protest at the Supreme Court, late Monday evening, I saw people of all backgrounds, all ages, all genders, all races, all religions, all these people dropped their evening plans to show up and make it clear they support abortion access, regardless of what this absolutely ludicrous Supreme Court says.

I’m going to focus on that. That’s the future I want to believe in.


Hi, I’m Charlotte Clymer, and this is Charlotte’s Web Thoughts, my Substack. It’s completely free to access and read, but if you feel so moved to support my writing, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription: just $7/month or save money with the $70/annual sub. You can also go way above and beyond by becoming a Founding Member at $210.