Thursday, June 29, 2006

What Happens When There Is No Plan B?

i have no idea why i missed this article but the story this woman tells is compelling - and a damning finger in the face of those who are now trying to curtail a woman's access to ALL forms of birth control.

"Although I've always been in favor of abortion rights, this was a choice I had hoped never to have to make myself. When I realized the seriousness of my predicament, I became angry. I knew that Plan B, which could have prevented it, was supposed to have been available over the counter by now. But I also remembered hearing that conservative politics have held up its approval."

read more below.

Dana L. What Happens When There Is No Plan B?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

must be election time: the values argument. again.

here's a novel idea for democrats: how about actually DOING something, instead of just worrying about the frame for your message.

as a progressive woman of faith, i'm getting just a little tired (yes, tired of even beloved obama) trotting out the tired 'we have to compete in the churches with the religious right.' my advice to the dems is a bit more...feisty. as a progressive woman of faith i'd like to see my fellow democrats stand in front of something without flinching when the crap starts to fly. as a progressive woman of faith i'd like to see some policies on the ground that demonstrate our progressive policies are the best for us and this country.

(hello, paid family & medical leave; hello, increasing the eitc; hello, increasing the minimum wage; hello, broadening access to higher education.)

unfortunately, we don't see too much of that when we're too busy watching our politicians genuflect and share their conversion experiences. thanks very much but i remember my own conversion experience; i was thirteen, brushing my teeth one sunday morning. i didn't feel anything so i accepted jesus a few more times that day, just to make sure. (ah, the joys of growing up baptist.)

and i'm reminded of my baptist childhood watching the dems 'try on' faith just to rack up some votes with the same awkward earnestness that's really just a fear of going to hell.

not to say that the democratic party should ignore issues of faith; rather, they should realize that having faith doesn't make you an easy mark for a con. and that's what this feels like to me - a con. it's great that suddenly everyone wants to talk about jesus, but i'd rather see you manifest jesus in what you do rather than trundling down to some black church on the south side and clap on the 1 and 3 instead of the 2 and 4. (y'all know what i'm talking about.) those of us in those churches know exactly what those visits mean and for any politician, black or white, that kind of hospitality is eventually going to dry up. you are pimping us out.

eventually the whore gets tired, you know?

this is what's disappointing about obama's speech; he gets awfully close but fails to put his finger on the pulse of the problem: the left can't make much ingress into these communities of faith now because, at last, folks are waking up to the fact that they've been played. after two election cycles and the dems still haven't brought home any of their promises, who's going to look better? the people who say what they mean and act on it. sure, their message is narrow and awful and retro and won't look after the interests of regular folk, but it feels right. it has the feeling their conversions didn't. instead of talking about the discourse of faith, obama needs to say how faith is about how you WALK - and then tell the dems they need to start walking if they want to see anything fruitful.

if the left really wants to be the party of change, then BE the effing party of change.
fracking grow a set and be like jesus: walk into the temple and raise some hell.

Obama urges Democrats to embrace faith Chicago Tribune

dangit! timing is everything!

too bad this isn't going to be the same weekend as my trip to newark in august!!

but if you're in the area, you should go.
and then write me an email and tell me how great it was. (sigh)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

enough about you.

you may already know i work for a women's organization, a moderately-progressive and feminist organization. while many different people work for us, our staff is a rather self-selecting lot. we've been around for over 100 years, we all know what our mission is and we all like that over 80% of the staff have ovaries. contrary to stereotype, ours is a surprisingly even-keeled environment* and the team i work with is a good one - it's high performing and we're particularly mission-focused. so it was a surprise when, during a meeting yesterday, the only male staffer on the team got his Hanes in a bunch and just walked out.

context: we were discussing the idea of instituting a series of feminist salons, home-based discussion groups, and one of us was in the middle of explaining the history of the salon.

staffergirl: during the 18th and 19th centuries, prominent women opened their homes to artists, politicians, thinkers, writers to discuss current events. it was a way for women to enter the public sphere, become politicized, and it would be a good idea for us to engage people now -

stafferguy: excuse me, what people? (cupping his ear with his hand)
staffergirl: uh, young women. we think it would be a good idea to engage young women in these discussions and -
stafferguy: which people? (the cupping thing again)
staffergirl: women.
stafferguy: i'm sorry. i'm sorry. i just don't like it when you forget that not all of us are women. (bundles up his lunch and starts to walk out)

staffergirl: i'm sorry, but - don't go - this is what those groups were! i'm sorry, i didn't mean to offend -
stafferguy: but you did, staffergirl. you did. (door firmly shuts and stafferguy is gone.)

the rest of us sit there a little abashed and stunned.
into the silence, i say, 'i'm sorry. we are a feminist organization. we are a women's organization. hegemony is tough.' i shrug and sip my diet pepsi. after a few seconds, our discussion continues without stafferguy. but at the end the manager wants to talk about it.

everyone is silent. then i and a recovered staffergirl say that, sometimes, a person who enjoys a certain amount of class and gender privilege has to acknowledge that it's not all about him all the time. if he is going to be a feminist man, then he has to recognize that sometimes that requires him to not be the center. sometimes, there are limits.

i said we see this limit in other political groups; while there are alliances between feminists of color and not, at some point there has to be a recognition that sometimes our interests divide and sometimes, we brown feminists aren't going to be thinking about what our white sisters might feel or want. in another instance, while we progressive straights can certainly be allies with our gay friends, we have to take a back seat when it comes to that community defining what's best for their interests. sometimes, the dominant discourse has to learn when to shut up.

in other words, sometimes the Other doesn't want the Master around.

[*this is not to say our workplace is perfect. some women have sniffed that it could be 'more woman-supportive' but for me, having come from at least two corporate, testosterone-heavy firms, working in an all-female office is like running on the beach during one of those 1970s kotex commercials. it's that refreshing.]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

staying the course, even if it kills us. literally.

resolve for the sake of being resolute is not necessarily an admirable quality. it just means you're either too dumb or too slow to know when to change directions or reevaluate your situation. if we believe in human fallibility we must believe at some point that not all decisions will always be correct, for the context surrounding those decisions (both at the time and afterward) will change.

but here we are, at the mercy of an administration that will create:

'a central line of attack against Democrats from now through the midterm elections: that the withdrawal being advocated by Democrats would mean thousands of troops would have died for nothing, would give extremists a launching pad from which to build an Islamo-fascist empire and would hand the United States its must humiliating defeat since Vietnam.'

i guess some GOP self-awareness would be a little too much to ask. perhaps it is entirely outside the realm of reality that someone on their side stand up, raise their hand and say, 'hey, guys. guess what? these thousands of troops have died for nothing - really. and it's funny you mention vietnam...'

but i guess what we're seeing is the power of mythology - the mythology of democracy (apparently, we, the most democratic of nations just can't fuck up the course of democracy faster), the mythology of american moral superiority and even the myth of american strategery. in religious parlance i guess you could describe this historical moment as The Moment Our Government Began to Name it & Claim it. if you're not familiar, name it & claim it is the spiritual voodoo that says the reality you create is the reality on the ground; name your desire, claim it in the name of jesus and see your blessings follow. to my non-theological brain, it's the low-rent version of Providence.

it's also a neat religious trick but when you're actually naming/claiming off the bodies of dead soldiers and civilians, it's just a little gross.
a couple of nights ago, on the daily show, they showed a clip from the debates on the non-binding resolution to 'support our troops.' i remember most clearly a representative saying that he was glad that Murtha hadn't been involved in the vote to intervene in the second world war or we'd all be speaking german or japanese right now.

these are the people who are making global, life/death decisions for us, the american people. these are the ignorant blowhards who have the power to make this 'war' on terror a perpetual state of existence for us, until it no longer registers and becomes a low hum in the background of our lives. (it already has become so, hasn't it?)

at least they have family values.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

i knew stress was good for something...

we were told to be fruitful and multiply but clearly, post-lapserian peoplekind didn't know about stress back then or there'd have been a caveat: 'be fruitful, but only with therapy.'

Stress can make women infertile

[h/t feministing - check out their rather good paranoiac reading of future research]

Thursday, June 15, 2006

pitch call: holy muse

i know you're out there: budding writers, impassioned essayists. if you want to write but have no idea where to submit, here's a place: Holy Muse

it's a digital magazine that just launched and they're looking for contributors.
pitch call below (if you're interested, just go to the site and contact the editors):

If you're interested in any of the themes below, we'd love if it you could send
us a quick line or two summary of the idea by June 21st (for August Issue) and
July 21st (for September Issue). We'll let everyone know the next day who should
proceed. We are only trying to be organized so three of you aren't writing on
the same topic and it ends up that we can't use two of them after you've taken
the time to write.

We'd love to have finished pieces for the August 1 release by July 15 and pieces for the September release by August 15.
August In the middle of hurricane season, we're talking about what else... the environment. Big oil, global warming, stewards of the planet, that whole deal... you know it well. Green peace vs green paper. Main articles(where you really tell us how you feel - 1500-2000 words). Bush bashing is easy -feel free to bash but at least have some good substance as well - what we as "truth seekers" are to do in regards to our decaying planet. If it's even decaying...

September It's back to school. Good stories, or opinions about homeschooling, religious schools/education, public schools - why they're good, why they suck - and of course, the whole evolution/creation debate. Should we care, why, and about what
in regards to the existence/creation of the world. Again, for the big articles
1500-2000 words but if you've got some quick thoughts, let us know.

BOTH ISSUES We're always looking for good gripe pieces, media reviews, and/or
anything else that might be on your mind. We're pretty open and you're all great
writers who have good things to say, so if you've got something brewing around,
let us know.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

why never to date a pastor

this made me snort:

Where breakup books excel, however, is in detailing breakups worse than yours. In Love Hangover: Tips for Christian Singles, for example, the author describes being dumped by a pastor who explained only, "God told me to do this."


[thanks to bookslut]

Thursday, June 08, 2006

amen, brother

this post below is a truer post about prayer than i've read in a while - and it's from one who is probably what we're comfortable calling an Unbeliever. i don't know if the eventual change from 'god' to 'God' has significance, but the intellectual change (if not spiritual) within the author is more important than typography.

he writes:

I looked up prayer in the dictionary. I looked up prayer in the Catholic Encyclopedia. Interesting, but I didn't feel down with submitting myself to the will of a being I probably didn't believe in.

Finally, I decided that I would just try to say things that were true. The main problem with even this strategy is that it's just about impossible not to be disingenuous when you think you might be talking to god. It's all about making a good
impression, and it takes a while--I think it took me a good 30 or 45 minutes of trying to slyly bullshit god--to turn off the part of your brain that's always calculating, the part that makes you act humble to get more dessert, or less cancer, or whatever.

Expendable Organ: Prayer

oh, and if you can spare a prayer for him, please do.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

committee of pain

as anyone who's ever worked in a church knows, com'tee work can either be an uplifting experience that makes you want to run around a grassy knoll with arms outspread OR it can be the gaping maw of hell.

guess what kind of com'tee i'm on?
oh, i'm sorry - guess what kind of com'tee i'm chairing??

(roll of eyes here)

the Person who totally guilt-tripped me into taking this position deserves flaming hot pokers to be inserted into her arse. you hear me, Person?

(obscene gesture with fingers here)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

it's been a while...

but here are the highlights:
the guy i dumped back in january came back and, surprisingly, i rejected him again! some things are left better to die.
yes, i will be going to new york with my dad at the end of the summer. (and new jersey!)
yes, i've been working my arse off.
no, i don't think i'll ever have fun again.

and my sister, cruel cruel wench that she is, said to me recently, "You might as well get used to saying you're 37 now. It's right around the corner." Thus plunging me into a startling and deep pit of anger/depression - depranger. bitch!

off for drinks at NoMi with some presbyterians.