Generally speaking, I have little tolerance for the anti-choice people. By that I mean, the hardcore, single-issue anti-choice voter, the kind of person who will never even consider voting for a candidate who believes that women should be trusted to make their own reproductive choices. Those are the same people who manage to bring every single conversation around to their quote-unquote “defense of the unborn.” They are the same people voting for politicians who gut the social safety net, don’t want poor children to receive free school lunches, and want to arm teachers with semi-automatic weapons, even if it means some of those born-children are cut down in crossfire when some Dirty Harry teacher can’t aim properly. As I said, I have a low tolerance for those people. But Jessica Chastain is a lot more tolerant than me. When some anti-choice advocate trolled her social media, Jessica Chastain lurked on the woman’s social media and found out that the woman has fertility issues. So Chastain donated to her GoFundMe account.
Jessica Chastain is a girls’ girl, through and through. On International Women’s Day, hairstylist Renato Campora took a photo of the X-Men: Dark Phoenix actress with the message “We Should All Be Feminists” emblazoned across her T-shirt. To celebrate the movement’s momentum, she re-posted the image on her Instagram account, captioning it, “FEMINISM: the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
But one Instagram user, Karin Hallsten Schulz, responded critically to Chastain’s image. “Yes, feminist that believe in God and stand up for The Unborn. I would be for that kind of feminist,” she wrote in the comments. Showing compassion, Chastain spent time learning about Schulz’s story. “Yes, you can decide what is right for you. I am pro-choice and I believe that everyone has the right to make their own decision. I read about your journey to become a mother and it broke my heart,” she said. “I hope that your dream will come true in 2018! Much love to you.”
Chastain had visited Hallsten Schulz’s GoFundMe page, in which she discussed her fertility issues. “My hormone levels and egg quality aren’t the best, due to my age. We found out that we would need help to become pregnant. It was very disheartening to hear these results,” she wrote, adding that her struggle to conceive made her feel as if she had somehow “failed” her husband, and “the idea of having us to go into debt to become pregnant made me so, so sad.”
“With very humble and grateful hearts,” Hallsten Schulz and her husband asked people if they could make a donation to “help us have a family,” considering that infertility treatments are “not covered by our insurance company, and the cost is high. We would love your prayers also.”
In response, Chastain donated $2,000 to help Hallsten Schulz reached their $5,000 goal.
“Dear Jessica. Thank you for your words, for your encouragement and loving wishes. I too am a feminist!! It is ok if we don’t see eye to eye on everything. We do agree on more than we disagree!! You are my sister, and together wonderful change and more awesome things will happen in this beautiful world we live in,” Hallsten Schulz wrote afterward. “Love Always Karin.”
Is this a sweet story? Or is it just kind of meh story about Jessica Chastain having the patience of a saint? It made me think about some article I read a few years back about whether there was a place for anti-choice women in the current wave of feminism, and if there wasn’t a place for them, what does that say about modern feminism? Personally, I don’t care what it says or doesn’t say about feminism. One woman’s infertility issues don’t give her the right to say what I or any other woman should do with their body. I’ll be nasty about it too: if this woman has time to troll a celebrity’s Instagram with her bulls–t anti-choice rhetoric, then she has time to figure out how to pay for her own g–damn fertility treatments.
Photos courtesy of Instagram, WENN.