The Wolfeboro Fourth of July Parade: A parable

Heather Christle grew up and went to school in Wolfeboro. She was in town this week to visit her parents and attend the Fourth of July parade that occupies a small but significant piece of her heart.

Mitt Romney has a $10 million, 13-acre estate on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro. He was also in town this week. When he marched in the Fourth of July parade, he did not cross paths with Christle.

"If you are looking for a metaphor for Republicans’ desire to control the bodies of women," she says, "here’s a story for you.”

We wanted to quietly let Romney know that we, as women who grew up in this place he’s now colonized, did not appreciate his presence. We wanted to be seen not celebrating—to be seen mourning what feels to us a great misfortune.

But we weren’t allowed. The men in Romney shirts surrounded us. They blocked our dissenting faces with their bodies, and when we told them they couldn’t stand in front of us like that, one of them said we had to move back or the Secret Service would make us….

And so these female bodies, these bodies that wanted merely to be present, be recognized and counted as saying no, were hidden from the cameras, not allowed to gaze upon the body of the man about to approach.

I never got to see Mitt Romney. That’s okay. That’s very okay, but what I find deeply troubling is that he never got the chance to see me.