Short Friday Round-Up, and a Puppy

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been reading today:

Alaska Republican Says Women Should Have to Get Permission From Men to Get an Abortion

Specifically, from the men who impregnate them, effectively giving those men more control over women’s bodies than the women themselves. Awesome! While we’re at it, how about men seeking to treat ED with medications like Viagra be forced to obtain statements from the partners they’re presumably trying to pleasure stating that the medication is necessary for treating sub-par performance? You know, for equality.

My Rights as a Pregnant Woman, Or the Lack Thereof

Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism on what it’s like to be pregnant in the current political climate. To sum up, terrifying.

Obama: ‘If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.’

In (somewhat) better news, The Atlantic Wire covers Obama’s response to the outcry over the Trayvon Martin shooting. I’m amazed and so happy that this has made it into the national dialogue in this way.

AZ Legislator Would Like to Make Women Watch Abortions Before They Can Have Them

Feministe comments on the words of Terri Proud, an Arizona legislator and woman who not only has apparently no idea what an abortion is actually like, but also has extremely limited capacity for empathy and logical thinking. Lovely.

Tennessee Bill Would Expose Identities of Abortion Providers and Possibly Patients

As if it weren’t already dangerous enough to be an abortion provider (or woman seeking an abortion, for that matter), a group of vindictive legislators in Tennessee would like to make it mandatory that the identities of those doctors and women be available in an online database. Because, you know, screw patient right to privacy (HIPAA). It’s almost enough to make me think that some lawmakers may not be aware of our nation’s laws.

And finally, because it’s Friday, have a picture of a White German Shepherd puppy.

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Thoughts on Anger

I seem to be able to do nothing but parrot other people’s much more eloquent thoughts lately, but for right now, that’s okay. If my tiny little no-readership blog can give a tiny little signal boost to something important, I’m going to be content with that. 

The inimitable Rejectionist has a post up about anger and why it’s important. I’m posting an excerpt because I think she’s right, her prose is beautiful and cutting, and I think she’s put into words what we should all be feeling.

I have been getting pretty visceral lately with my anger and it comes up in strange ways, hot wide surges of fury as unthwartable as magma, and I don’t always like it either but what else do you do. The older I get the fewer fucks I give. These days I am an open wound, a walking gash–oh, do you see what I did there–a woman whose anger radiates outward like a heat haze. I am angry about a lot more than Jonathan Franzen–I am an ace at anger, a real multitasker of fury. I am large, I contain multitudes. I have energy to spare, believe me, I have energy to fire up a nuclear bomb. I can be angry about so many things at once, I can be angry about the big things and the little ones, the massive injustice of Trayvon Martin and the gnat that is Jonathan Franzen’s opinions, I can be angry about the abortion ban that just passed in Mississippi and the books that are being banned in Arizona, and I am not in any way saying that these things are the same things, that they are weighted equally, but we have to live with all of them, and here’s the thing. Nobody, but nobody, gets to tell me what to be angry about. What it is and is not okay to be angry about. I think you know how to be angry about a lot of things, too. I think you know anger is not a pie: there is always more to go around. Let us never be less inventive than the people who hate us, do you understand? Our thoughts be bloody or nothing fucking worth.

 

Reddit win!

I don’t go on Reddit often – I ended up in their /nosleep forum once, and it was completely terrifying – but their new /waronwomen subreddit is pretty amazing. People are collecting links about everything relating to the latest brand of GOP Crazy, and they’ve already got a great compilation. I would say something like, “Well, they’ve got it covered over there; guess I’m done!”, but it doesn’t really work like that. Like I said in my last post, I really think that we all have a responsibility to get this information out however we can. In that spirit, I may be hopping over there to contribute when I have the time.

Keep it echoing.

Eclecta Blog, which I discovered recently, has a post with an excellent point that I think needs to be shouted across the internet again and again until its echoes are still resounding come election day.

The GOP has, in recent months, revealed a part of its agenda that it would have been much better served by keeping private: They hate women.

It sounds extreme because it is. I’ll pull the links later, when I’m not stealing studying-for-midterms time to write this, but as I pointed out in my last post, you can find examples of this almost anywhere you turn these days. Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Texas…bills attempting to restrict women’s access to reproductive healthcare and freedom are literally cropping up everywhere

In my last post, I wondered how one copes with the reality of a United States gone mad. Well, I think I figured it out.

You let people know. You direct people to the information. You explain it to them if they ask you to. You say it over, and over, and over again – as many times as you need to. Every person that understands what the Republicans actually want is, in all likelihood, a vote that they’re going to lose. (Obviously not in every case, but I do think that most people have at least a modicum of common decency, and so many of these things fly in the face of that. Ignorance is, in my experience, the biggest factor that keeps people from being outraged.)

As the linked article says, 

My only fear is that this story broke too early. This is something women need to be reminded of every day until the election. Because if they aren’t, they’ll be reminded every day after.

Those of us tracking this need to be those reminders. 

How do you cope with a United States gone mad?

The title may seem like an exaggeration, but it doesn’t take much reading right now to prove that it isn’t. The United States is in trouble, and everyone knows it – especially, I think, the GOP. Their strategy of diverting attention away from real, important issues by focusing on what they perceive to be “wedge” issues – the “morality” of access to contraception, women’s healthcare, legal abortion, etc. – is a woefully misguided final gasp of a dying party that doesn’t have any answers. Unfortunately for them, access to birth control is not a wedge issue in the United States. Even among Catholic women, who ostensibly subscribe to the belief systems of an organization that has consistently railed against all kinds of birth control, including condoms, for years, the numbers are ridiculously high. Approximately 98% use or have used contraception. If that doesn’t tell the GOP anything about the opinions of the American people on something that they’ve increasingly tried to paint as divisive, then I doubt anything will be able to convince them otherwise. 

One of the most frustrating aspects of this whole thing is the rampant misinformation politicians and pundits have been throwing at us. Almost exclusively men, they’ve proven over and over again that they have little to no idea how contraceptives actually work. From Jezebel, which I love linking to:

Falsehoods about what birth control is, and what the birth control mandate does, are so rampant that they’ve been given a place in the debate alongside actual facts. Bill O’Reilly seems to think that there are “thousands” of federally funded health care providers who distribute free birth control to anyone who just waltzes on in, Santorum funder Foster Freiss thinks that simply not having sex will do all of the things that birth control does, Fox News pundit Greg Gutfeld thinks that giving everyone access to low-cost birth control is the same thing as hating poor people, Sean Hannity thinks all birth control costs like $9 per month, regardless of the prescription, and another Fox anchor seems to think that condoms should do just fine for every woman, no matter what her situation or preferences. O’Reilly tells his viewers that compelling insurers to let female employees who pay premiums use their premiums to purchase birth control is akin to forcing Bill O’Reilly to personally buy Depo Provera injections for every Tri-Delt in America. None of these things are remotely facty.

Reading the news lately has become a struggle. It’s hard to know that, by sheer dint of having ladyparts, a significant portion of not only the population but of political leaders think that I should not be trusted to make decisions about my body and my life. I thought we were better than this. I thought we were beyond this kind of misogyny. I thought our political leaders actually cared about at least looking like they cared about 50% of the population. But there they are, up on the public stage, spouting off whatever nonsense they please without consequence.

I honestly don’t know how to cope with this.

Thursday Update: Sick Minds

I’ve been gone for quite a while – lots of things going on right now, which has left little time for even keeping up with the news, let alone writing about it. But there were two things I wanted to mention.

The first is Representative Terry England (R), a lawmaker from Georgia who for some reason thought it was in any way acceptable to compare pregnant women to livestock, and then suggest (and introduce legislation) that abortion after 20 weeks should be completely outlawed under any circumstance, forcing them to carry stillborn fetuses to term.

There are no words. Or rather, there are words, but I don’t have them. Here’s a much better post by PZ Myers on the bill. And if you’re wondering why this really is such a bad thing, given that humans are animals just like pigs and cows, please go read about tissue decay (histolysis), sepsis, the trauma that women experience during stillbirthing, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If your brain hasn’t exploded from rage or you haven’t given yourself a concussion from facepalming, the way I nearly did, here’s another delightful gem from The Internet:

#ToMyUnbornChild: If you’re gay, I’ll [insert horrific act of violence here]

It’s an actual thing on Twitter. Here’s a collection of over 100 tweets featuring that tag:

100 Real Tweets from Homophobes Who Would Murder Their Gay Child

I don’t care if any of them were kidding. This kind of thing actually happens, it’s not something to joke about, and now I’m going to go do something else because this is ridiculous.