My Choice: Protecting my Children

My little neighborhood is quiet and working-class. We’re fairly near an interstate, (it’s hard not to be in DC) and the main drag through town is a very busy and trafficked many-lane road with dozens of stoplights, turn lanes, shopping centers, markets and office buildings. It’s probably a lot like just about Anywhere, Major Metropolitan Area, USA.

Lately though, I’ve noticed one particular truck when I head out- today it was to register my kids at school and then to the grocery store. You know, basic mom stuff. This truck is a large, cab-over multi-axle truck, probably twenty feet long, and would be entirely un-noticeable, were it not for the giant, gruesome, bloody photographs of aborted fetuses emblazoned on the sides and on the back roll-up door. The first time I saw it, I thought I had seen wrong, and squinted in horror as it was an intersection ahead of me. I have since seen it three more times. I can only assume that this driver’s mission is to drive up and back on this main thoroughfare spreading his message.

My question is this: Do community decency standards apply to something like this? Without even going into personal opinions on abortion, is it acceptable to flagrantly, where one simply cannot avert one’s eyes (hello, driving) assault the general public with bloody images of dismembered human remains?

I find this infuriating on so many levels- and today, when I had my children in the car with me, I quickly turned into a parking lot, lest they have those terrible images burnt into their young minds. I’m not in any way against a person holding whatever position they personally choose on issues— moral, political, economic, social, whatever. What I am aghast at is my children, whom I take great pains to protect from media and television and movies that might give them inappropriate images and messages, being assaulted on a public outing in our community.

My six-year old has no ability, nor should she, to comprehend such images or ideology, and this person us using a cluster-bomb to get their message across, and is hurting innocents in the process. My eight- and ten-year olds are equally unequipped, and I hope to keep them that way as long as possible. This kind of social bombing infuriates me. Hold whatever opinion you like, but do not harm my children in your expression of said opinion.

What recourse does a mother have?

5 thoughts on “My Choice: Protecting my Children

  1. When we lived in Henderson, Nevada which is right next to Las Vegas, we were also visually assaulted every time we drove near a taxi. Large advertisements of mostly naked women greeted us on a daily basis. It was so infuriating!

  2. Letter to the editor of the local paper? I’m not sure what I would do. I would be completely aghast at such photography and doing everything in my power to shield my children as you did.

  3. There is a line between tolerance and stupidity. It’s a fine line, but it is a line, nonetheless. Collectively, we have crossed the line in many instances – on both ends of any political issue.

    What can you do?

    Be aware of things like this regardless of political positioning and fight all of them regardless of political positioning. Go directly to your city government center and explain your horror – not just at this but also at something similar that might be presented by someone on the other side of this issue. Tell them that you have NO problem with those pictures being put up in a private setting or one where there is not reasonable expectation of children seeing them but that they are inappropriate in that open a setting.

    Speak out – but keep the exact political issue out of it.

  4. That sort of thing is an abomination. We had one in our area for awhile and we just drove the other way when we saw him coming. To my knowledge, there is nothing that can be done about it.

  5. I have been known to cast paint in my time. In this case, the color pink comes to mind…

    We have a gang of similar folks who stand on the side of the road in front of what is presumably an abortion clinic with very large similar signs. I have been tempted to stand next to them with equally large signs of dead Afghan or Iraqi children with “The price of Democracy?” or “Here are the WMDs you’ve been looking for.”, but Mom says two wrongs don’t make a right, and she’s right about that. These are street trolls. The only way to kill them is to starve them.

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