Needing someone to talk to: Family first

By Justina Van Manen

There have been many posts in my news feed recently about Stephanie Gray’s GoogleTalk, so I decided to check it out. Stephanie was, as usual, fantastic, and the video has gotten over 40 000 hits so far. Different conservative news sites were gloating over the fact that her talk has received more than forty times the amount of attention that Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards’ interview on Google has received so far, despite Richards’ interview being published months earlier. So I gave Richards’ video the boost of an extra view.

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One of the reasons Richards’ talk was less compelling, in my opinion, was because it was done as an interview. However, she was well-spoken and managed to convince me that she truly believes she is more empathetic than any of us on the ‘other side’—as she referred to us. I listened to all the regular talking points that were flogged to death by Planned Parenthood officials in the baby-part-selling scandal, and I felt all the regular feelings of frustration, disgust, and disbelief that are consistently present when I pay attention to anything to do with this particular organization. 

What did hit me though, was a comment Richards’ made towards the end of the interview, during the Q & A session. As part of a response to a young woman, Richards’ declared that: “People think young people come to us because they just want birth control. Mostly, they just want someone to talk to. About relationships, am I normal . . .” 

Young people go to Planned Parenthood because they just need someone to talk to. To me, this was yet another clear picture of what is fundamentally wrong with our society. I too, have had questions about relationships. So I talked to my mom. Mom gives the best advice ever. When I didn’t feel comfortable talking with my mom, I went to my older sister or sister-in-law. Sometimes I went to my dad or my brothers. And if I kind of wanted whatever I was talking about to be a secret from my immediate family, I picked up the phone and called one of my aunts. The point is, there were so many people I could go to. The trouble I had was not wondering who I could talk to, it was which person to pick.

That’s family. That’s what I wish on every single girl who’s feeling alone or scared. That’s the way the world should be.