Tuesday, October 30, 2007


what does balaam and the bush administration have in common?
talking out of one's ass.

Justice Dept. Official Regrets Remarks - New York Times

Monday, October 29, 2007

election 2008: the evangelicals

The Evangelical Crackup - New York Times

interesting article. though this piece is further proof of a growing split within the political-evangelical wing of the religious right, i don't think the 'crackup' is as monumental as the writer thinks. most of the folks leaving the radical right aren't necessarily leaving because they think the religious right is going in the wrong direction; they're leaving because they thought bush was too weak to support their conservative social plan.

in other words, bush didn't go far enough.

i think that's sort of scary.

in the past 7 years, i think bush has gone pretty far; his two ultra-conservative supreme court picks now sit on the court, affecting the course of our civil liberties for several lifetimes; he's been successful appointing folks hostile to reproductive health access for women; scientific fact has been increasingly replaced with 'faith-based' pseudo-science and he's used the budget process to reduce or eliminate funding to social programs important to vulnerable or marginal populations.

if all this regressive social policy/judicial activism isn't good enough for them, imagine what it is they *do* want.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

oh, and if anyone wants to know what religious right pragmatism looks like, there's this.

the religious right *heart* pragmatism

Who Doesn’t Heart Huckabee? - New York Times

what i like about gail collins' piece is this part:
Huckabee’s problems say more about the leaders of the religious right than about him. They’re united mainly by their hatred of abortion and gay marriage, and a desire to win. (my emphasis)

winning isn't particularly christian. i mean, when you're supposed to be turning the other cheek and shaking the dust off your sandals, what's winning got to do with it? but collins puts her finger on a real ugly aspect of the christian right's involvement in politics: their growing pragmatism and willingness to compromise. to an evangelical fundamentalist, compromise is tantamount to cavorting (naked) with the devil. and if i was still a fundamentalist, i'd be worried about the growing corruption of my religious cohort.

collins' point about other aspects of his personality, aspects that may better conform to a more 'christian' image of charity, and how they are proving 'unwinnable' to leaders in the christian right is interesting. no, it's more than interesting; it's a great big spotlight on hyprocrisy.

take the romney thing. every good religious fundamentalist knows that there is NOTHING to bridge mormonism and evangelical christianity. there are more than enough doctrinal differences between the two faiths (if even a fundie will consider mormonism a 'faith' rather than a sect or cult) to make a mormon virtually unrecognizable to a baptist. the southern baptist convention is very clear they think mormonism is extant to the word of God on their apologetics site; walter martin's The Kingdom of the Cults, a classic in evangelical apologetics, is unequivocal in labeling mormonism outside of christian orthodoxy. (how do i know this? i had to read this for bible study when i was a teenager.)

yet fundamentalists who will battle for every scrap of scriptural ground like they're in a cage fight are suddenly finding it 'maybe okay' to entertain thoughts of romney. the doctrinal and exegetical purity that forms the foundation of their thinking on homosexuality, feminism, sex education, abortion, war and terrorism has suddenly become a wispy, trivial thing. you have to wonder at the sudden change in those Values Voters.

(fantastic articles here and here about romney's evangelical problem from my favorite religion/politics writer, amy goodman.)

the religious right, if they decide to throw their considerable weight behind romney, will have to find a way to reconcile their private doctrinal beliefs and their public thirst for victory. it won't be an easy reconciliation because getting in bed with a cultist is to commit apostasy. to get in bed with a cultist is to embrace a pragmatism that would sicken most church folk. politically, it would be the right thing to do but is the religious right willing to endanger their salvation to win an election?

hard to say. if they are, romney's their guy; if they decide that ideological purity is more important than winning, don't count out huckabee. what should the Dems do? since they, too, want to win, they shouldn't be afraid to make the mormon the Other, but they shouldn't ignore ignore the Other in their midst - hillary clinton - because the evangelicals certainly won't.

what should the GOP do? maybe they should pray. because they're screwed.

i'm enjoying the sight of the GOP suddenly realizing their religious friends are a whole 'nother animal. they're beginning to see that such an association comes with a price. hasn't that always been the way with matters of faith - a sacrifice is required of the truly faithful. if they had spent more time in bible study, perhaps they would know that.

it's also fascinating to see the the religious right, after years of winning with the help of power-thirsty republican politicians, discover that winning can be a hard drug to kick. the heady thrill of victory can induce lust in any puritanical breast and if a fundamentalist knows anything he knows the destruction of unbridled lust.

this for how some grassroots religious folk are looking at the huckabee run and what the internal religious gossip is. i wonder if Democratic strategists ever hang out on these things to see what the right is doing.]

[and i'll post about the Dems and reproductive issues tomorrow. it takes a while to collate all that info!]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

candidates '08: hands off my 'single issue'

yesterday, i reluctantly started to research the presidential candidates and what they think about a woman controlling her own fertility. i discovered they suck. republicans, predictably, suck more, but the dems aren't particularly better. (i'll cover the dems later.)

giuliani - meh. he could be totally uninterested in overturning Roe v. Wade, but his recent suck up to the religious right makes my left ass cheek twitch. he also says he 'hates' abortions and would rather states made their own decisions. i think we already know that 'state's rights' is code for 'horrific, regressive social policy.' woe betide the woman who lives in a backassward state filled with baptist zealots.

huckabee - speaking of baptist zealots, candidate huckabee is one dedicated anti-choicer. not only does he want to overturn Roe v. Wade, his ideal world is one in which anti-choice idealogues hold positions of power in his administration, all pro-choice legislation would be vetoed, contraception is neither available nor taught, 'life begins at conception' and abstinence becomes public health policy and 'unborn children' carry more rights than living, breathing women. lovely.

hunter - who? if you take a huckabee and add a dukakis hairdo, you get duncan hunter, a man who wants to 'provide blanket protection to all unborn children from the moment of conception.' it just gets worse from there. his views on 'life' are here. what does he think about birth control? if he thinks a person is a person at conception, i don't really see him being a big fan of anything that prevents...person-making.

mccain - eh. i want to like the man but if he can't figure out if contraceptives prevent the spread of HIV, how can i trust him to be thoughtful about a woman's right to control her own fertility? (nevermind his whole stance on reproductive freedom is rather restrictive.)

paul - who can tell me what a 'pro-life libertarian' is? like huckabee and hunter, he believes a fertilized egg is a person, doesn't want to fund int'l family planning, supports a federal abortion ban but says EC is ok. he doesn't think abortion is a private matter and that abortions are an uneccessary answer to social ills. (whatever that means.) will he respect the right of a woman to control her fertility as she sees fit? i doubt it.

romney - i used to think that the fundies would shun a guy whose doctrine is so clearly extant from the literal bible, but the fundies surprised me; they're not so ideologically pure, after all. again, we have a candidate who seems to have failed simply biology. he, too, wants a fertilized egg to be called a person and thinks that birth control pills are 'abortive drugs.' the man's an idiot and i don't want his political hands on my private parts.

tancredo - by now my head is spinning from reading about all the idiotic men who want to run this country and make decisions about my health and body for me. tancredo thinks so-called 'crisis pregnancy centers' (that offer no medical care other than showing you an ultra-sound and telling you not to kill your 'baby') are preferable to Planned Parenthood centers (that actually offer healthcare services), which he wants to de-fund. the many low-income women who are served by Planned Parenthood thank you, candidate tancredo.

thompson - somehow, the schiavo case warranted a respect of privacy but his support of anti-choice legislation and ideologies says that a woman's fertility does not. thanks, fred.

these candidates' opposition to abortion comes as no real surprise; the more the GOP panders to the socially conservative values of the anti-woman religious right, the more we'll see republican candidates morphing into political dimmesdales, all the more willing to emblazon women with a great big scarlet A. what is surprising is the speed with which their moralizing gazes are turning to birth control.

years ago, i predicted the right wouldn't quit with abortion rights and birth control would be next; from experience i know the mind of a fundamentalist is narrow and can find still more ways to restrict pleasure and inflict punishment. but i still held out hope that modern politicians were reasonable people who knew that certain things are a good idea: birth control benefits everyone. clearly, my hope was misplaced.

i'll just come out with it: reproductive justice issues are my litmus test for this election. more than iraq, more than foreign policy, more than the environment, more than poverty, more than education, more than healthcare - protecting the borders of my physical body and my autonomy is my 'single issue.' the big boys of political strategy may not like 'single issue' advocacy, but it's not their bodies they have to protect. it seems the boys of political punditry and strategy care about bodies when it's war.

for me, this is war.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Conscience of a Values Voter

To pander: to act as go-between or liaison in sexual intrigues; to cater to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weakness; to pimp.

Dear Mr./Ms. Candidate,
Thank you for coming to my church service/summit/breakfast meeting/conference this weekend. It was a pleasure to host you and hear your views on my views. It's so reassuring to know we're on the same page.

But, I must admit that I have been feeling a bit ... oogie about your visit, of late. Some questions have been cropping up with an alarming regularity. I honestly don't know where these questions are coming from - this doubt. It can't be from your speech; your words were fiery, inspirational and resonated so deeply within my own bosom it was like you peered into my heart and wrote my words with your own pen.

I can't help wondering, however, what your visit meant.

What happened there? I mean, I guess your visit and our welcome of you was a signal that we were for you - or, that I am for you. But what is it that I am getting? Do I get everything I want from you? Are you promise-bound to do what I want? Does this mean you, Mr./Ms. Candidate, are my own personal genie?

What will I have to bring you in return? What is this bargain we've made? Or have we even made a bargain?

I hear the media and pundits call your visit 'pandering to the base.' What does that mean? If I may be so bold as to use the language of pandering - am I the john, or are you? Who's the prostitute? Is this you? I would prefer you be the prostitute, but then this makes me your client, and this is what makes me feel ... oogie. I don't know what kind of transaction this is or who benefits.

Back to my fears: if I'm the john, then all I get is a quick fuck and possibly a disease that will make me ooze from an orifice (please excuse my language. The political world is so new to me.) If you're the whore, all you get is a quick bang; if you're the pimp, however, you get all the cash. Is this what happened? Are you the pimp? But if I'm the pimp...hm. You can understand how confusing this all is for me. I think I'm having an identity crisis here - and you prompted it!

Or maybe we all take turns being the pimp and john and whore. Like a giant game of dress-up. Or a political orgy. Or a weird threesome where no one knows who's tupping who.

Of course, those scenarios do nothing to allay my fears that I have participated in something...unseemly. If I really had to ask what Jesus would do, I believe he would refuse to be the whore, john and pimp.

So you see the quandary I'm in.

Anyway, thank you for your time. Enclosed please find a check to your campaign. I gave your autograph to my sister and she's thrilled I had a chance to meet you at our church service/summit/breakfast meeting/conference this weekend.

Perhaps this time, next year, I may have the honor of calling you Mr./Madam President.

The Values Voter

my obsession: weddings in the times

Deneta Howland and Bryan Sells - New York Times

if i was premenstrual, i'd be in tears right now.
their story has all the things that get me: earnestness, long distance, interracial couple, yearning, deflection, and dogged pursuit.

i'm obssessed with these stories.

burning questions...

is it horribly wrong - when someone you've hooked up with in the past (and with whom you hoped to continue a casual liaison) appears to have taken advantage of an improved mental state and moved on - to feel sort of put out by it?

was watching the unbearable 'tell me you love me' with Roomie the other night; is it true that married women are really stunned that their husbands look at porn? i mean, really. who is stunned that men look at porn?? for that matter, isn't it understood by now that women also look at porn? (or is this a generational thing?)

speaking of TMYLM, how can i scrub the image of jane alexander, naked and having sex on a chair, off my inner eyeballs?

can we please have movies about neurotic people of color now? i mean, i'm getting sort of bored by all the representations of quirky/conflicted white folks in popular culture now. and i don't think the tyler perry movies count.

i guess what i'm asking is: who's the Wes Anderson for brown people? (great critique of wes anderson's work here.)

why is the #66 chicago bus the most crowded motherfrakker ever? hm? and why don't the folks who ride the #66 understand the Move to the Back rule ?

why isn't every parent of daughters reading Packaging Girlhood? i bought it for my sister and it's so good, i think everyone should read it with their daughters. (if i had a daughter we'd be talking about this book.) they even have a website.

Friday, October 19, 2007

did they grade on a curve? IL fails woman's health test

woo hoo! IL fails the 'binge drinking' prevention test!
(i know i've done my part.)

overall, the nation sucks when it comes to addressing important issues for women's health - and not just on reproductive issues. like the american occupation of iraq, women's health in america fails to meet nearly all benchmarks.

National Women's Law Center Report Card - State Report Card

read more to learn more.

birth control = sluts

a new director of family planning has been named and this time, it's a woman. dr. susan orr used to work for the Family Research Council, a conservative organization known for its anti-birth control stances, and is now going to be in charge of family planning for low-income people.

what does dr. orr think? she thinks contraception isn't a medical necessity because 'fertility isn't a disease.' well, no shit. contraception is just something we women need to have because, otherwise, we'd be pregnant all the frakking time.

i'm truly puzzled at this administration and folks who don't see what's wrong with this picture. birth control is good. it allows a family to control its fertility; it allows a woman to determine when and if she is going to get pregnant; and when access is wide, paired with education about contraception, abortion numbers go down.

but you know what it is: birth control = sex.
when a woman is on contraception, it's a marker that sex is in the makin' and unless you're in a proper heterosexual, monogamous marriage then having sex makes you a slut. (and if you're a dude, having sex just makes you more of a dude.)

so...birth control = sex = slut.

so basically, orr's appointment is just another step in the social conservative's movement to shame/punish women who have sex.

of course, planned parenthood has sent out an alert to oppose orr's appointment.
you know what you have to do.

The Associated Press: Family-Planning Appointment Denounced

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Advocacy Alert: Tell the CW No Never Means Yes!

from the ywca metropolitan chicago:

Tell the Media that No Never Means Yes!
In August, when the CW network announced Kevin Federline was going to guest star in a few episodes as a front man of a band called ‘No Means Yes,’ we asked the producers of the popular show One Tree Hill to change the name of the band before the season began. We thought the band name winked at sexual assault – an all too common reality for their target demographic. YWCA USA CEO Lorraine Cole, YWCA associations from Illinois and Greater Los Angeles agreed. The name of the band had to change!

But the CW is silent. Maybe they didn’t hear us. Maybe they don’t take sexual assault seriously.

For the YWCA’s Week Without Violence, send another message to the CW and tell them that No Never Means Yes!

Go to their Advocacy Action Center to send an email. Spread the word!

[and i am not exactly a disinterested party here]

update: if you need a good reason to protest, here's a guy who didn't even give women a chance to say no and raped women he met on Match.com. and he got away with it. totally gross.

Monday, October 15, 2007

random dating rant

when does anyone have time to date?
i'm totally serious. between job, friends, volunteer obligations and such, where does anyone find the time to meet someone new?

right now, as i write this, i'm also working on now national advocacy campaign for my agency that could be great or could go down in a conglagration so huge the flames of it could be seen for miles. tomorrow morning i have an 8 am breakfast panel to attend. i'm prepping for our agency's big fundraiser this thursday which is just physically exhausting. i have medical appts, coaching appts, life appts.

when the heck am i supposed to have time to date? while i'm riding the bus?
have you noticed that no one looks at anyone while on the bus? we're all plugged into our mp3 player or reading a book; there's no eye contact. a truly hot guy could be sharing my hand strap and i'd have no idea. or maybe i'm supposed to date in the short walk from my office to my bus stop; or maybe when i'm picking up my birth control at CVS. or maybe a 38 year old woman doesn't date anymore. she just reads her PDA and schedules her next meeting.

i only feel slightly guilty that the guy i was seeing over the summer i've let totally drop off the face of the planet. sorry i forgot to call you, dude.

you know what will solve all this angst of mine? shoe shopping. yeah, that's it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

MRA: just another name for Hermit

Feministing is up for a blog award - and they so totally deserve it. they are smart, hip, relevant and utterly fearless. oh, did i mention they're smart?

they're so smart, and have a serious shot at winning Best Blog Ever, the whiners on several MRA sites are trying to set up a dummy site to 'defeat' them. it's sort of sad but also a source of much comedy.

here's a commenter on a MRA comment:
'Sorry, I must go away now, I have been called to action by one of the MRA commenters:

"Men: the time for discussion is over. Don't get married, don't co-habitate, protect yourself from sperm-snatchers, don't father any children unless you're sure you can pay the child support without going broke. Stay away from the public sector, college, big corporations, or any other place where diversity bigots can discriminate you at leisure. Set up your own business if you can. Keep informed. Spread the word. Don't argue. Pass this on to as many men as you know."

A team of comedians could brainstorm for a thousand years and not come up with anything that funny. I myself am burning my high school diploma, putting my sperm in vials in a briefcase handcuffed to me at all times, using only private roads, and selling macramed (sic) hats over the internet to support myself.'

i'm still giggling.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

two articles of note

this editorial was somewhat educational:A Nation of Christians Is Not a Christian Nation - New York Times

as was this one: Aging and Gay, and Facing Prejudice in Twilight.

i thought this pairing gave a nice view of values as practiced in our culture.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

what is rape compared to war?

in a previous post i hinted that women may look at war differently than men. for men (pundits, commentators, strategists, etc.) war might just be a 'political' situation, an intellectual problem or some theoretical exercise in national identity. for women caught in the crosshairs of war, either as civilians or soldiers, war can sometimes mean something else entirely: rape, sexual violence, and sexual exploitation.

the following article is a patently clear example of what war, or any civil conflict, means to women in these areas.

BUKAVU, Congo — Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, cannot bear to listen to the stories his patients tell him anymore.
Every day, 10 new women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair.
“We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear,” said Dr. Mukwege, who works in South Kivu Province, the epicenter of Congo’s rape epidemic. “They are done to destroy women.”
Eastern Congo is going through another one of its convulsions of violence, and this time it seems that women are being systematically attacked on a scale never before seen here. According to the
United Nations, 27,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2006 in South Kivu Province alone, and that may be just a fraction of the total number across the country.
“The sexual violence in Congo is the worst in the world,” said John Holmes, the United Nations under secretary general for humanitarian affairs. “The sheer numbers, the wholesale brutality, the culture of impunity — it’s appalling.”

one of the consequences of such widespread rape is that sexual assault against women and girls (the doctor has said that his youngest victims are 3 years old) has become normative in society.
While rape has always been a weapon of war, researchers say they fear that Congo’s problem has metastasized into a wider social phenomenon.
“It’s gone beyond the conflict,” said Alexandra Bilak, who has studied various armed groups around Bukavu, on the shores of Lake Kivu. She said that the number of women abused and even killed by their husbands seemed to be going up and that brutality toward women had become “almost normal.”
Malteser International, a European aid organization that runs health clinics in eastern Congo, estimates that it will treat 8,000 sexual violence cases this year, compared with 6,338 last year. The organization said that in one town, Shabunda, 70 percent of the women reported being sexually brutalized.

so, what are 'women's issues' compared to war?
apparently, they aren't very much.

Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War - New York Times

Thursday, October 04, 2007

it's not over: Harassment in Aurora

i almost did something bad today.

a coworker showed me a mailer she got in the post sponsored by the folks at Pro-Life Action League. it was chock full of ridiculous inflammatory misinformation about Planned Parenthood ("they encourage sex before marriage! they think babies are smelly!") and it made me so angry that i did something that was a little nuts:

i looked up the home address in aurora of eric scheidler, the communications director for Pro-Life Action League and son of joe scheidler, the zealot patriarch leading the local charge against the folks at Planned Parenthood.

i copied the address. i thought about posting it here and telling pro-choicers to use it and send the scheidlers a little taste of their own harrassment.

but i had an icky feeling. in a rare moment, i felt shame at taking a political fight to the doorstep of a family of 10 (they have 8 kids) to scream at them for hating people like me, for thinking that their grip on righteousness allows them to harrass and violate the privacy of women like me.

why don't the pro-lifers feel that shame?

Real Time: Harassment in Aurora RHRealityCheck.org

(p.s. pro life folk say Planned Parenthood slandered joe scheidler with one of their ads. this interview with eric zorn says otherwise.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

niice: bush vetoes health plan for kids

Bush Vetoes Children's Health Insurance Plan - washingtonpost.com

i can see it now:
a commercial with a cute little brown or tan or light pink 5 year old, preferably with curly hair.
the tyke looks up at their appropriately colored mother and asks, "mommy, why do republicans hate poor kids?"
the mommy sighs, looking at her stack of bills. "i just don't know, sweetie. we just can't get a break."


so...who are the 15 brave republicans going to be to break with their party and do the right thing to override this asshat veto?

what the military needs: more porn

i can get the snark tone coming from archpundit. what's porn compared to a frakked up politically motivated war? i get it.

but...is it such a bad idea to protest more porn in the military?
i mean, considering the military's already frakked up record with sexual violence against women (both within their ranks and outside of them), is this really a bad idea? i don't think we should pooh pooh it.

of course, there's the question of whether porn contributes to an environment of misogyny and sexual violence? well, it doesn't necessarily encourage the porneur (my word: porneur - one who reads or watches porn) to see women in ways other than a wet pink hole in the service of masculine power and sexuality, so i'd say yes - porn contributes to misogyny and sexual violence.

and, of course, one needs to ask if porn, misogyny and sexual violence is less important than war?

well, if you're a woman in the military, already keeping your head down from all the sexual harrassment and covered up rapes going on, and you're surrounded by all these guys reading hard core porn - or if you're an iraqi girl just minding your own 14-year old business surrounded by a bunch of drunk, angry soldiers reading porn that strongly suggests there's nothing better to solidify male bonding than a gang bang of a barely legal hot chick - then i'd say that you would find the situation pretty damn important.

historically, where soldiers are so exists rape, porn and/or a sex industry where women's individual or collective empowerment has never been the object. in the crimean war and as the british empire spread and british soldiers were stationed in far off 'exotic' colonies, so proliferated the creation, sale and dissemination of pornographic postcards, pamphlets, stories and pictures that reinforced the notion of british masculine hegemony and the racially marked 'whoredom' on the part of those colonized which offered an excuse to the occupying military for raping 'native' women; the existence of forced prostitution and camp bordellos for german officers, soldiers and collaborators during world war 2; japan's use of 'comfort women' and the enslavement of asian women for forced prostitution, also during world war 2; and during the vietnam war it was estimated that 400,000 prostituted women in thailand were procured for american soldiers on leave, as well as the now confirmed stories of american soldiers raping civilian women. more recently, the stories of soldiers raping civilian women during the serbian/croatian conflict, the ensuing trafficking from that conflict or even the current events in darfur as woman are raped by rebel soldiers?

what's porn compared to war? for women who are unfortunate to get caught in a male fantasy of control via sexual power over a woman's body, porn is war.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

strong arm of Authority

abc7.com: Aftermath of Food Fight Triggers Protest at High School

here's the story: there's an alleged food fight in a school cafeteria; there's a girl who drops a piece of cake; there's an armed security guard who tells her to clean it up; she cleans it up; he doesn't like the way she cleans it up and wants her to clean it up better; she tries and then gets up to leave; he grabs her, throws her down on a table and fractures her wrist. there may or may not have been a racial slur said.

but there's another kid taping the incident with his phone; he gets thrown down and arrested. the girl who dropped the cake is thrown down and arrested. the boy's sister who tries to intervene on his behalf is also thrown down and arrested. oh, and get this: the girl's mother, understandably upset that her daughter had her wrist fractured by a school employee, gets irate and then she gets arrested and suspended from her job with the school district.

(before anyone gets all judgmental about the 'out of control black mother' imagine your emotional response if your precious child was assaulted by a hulking, armed, over zealous school employee and then expelled and arrested for battery, during which she was the object of battery, not the subject.)

exactly who is overreacting here and who are these schools hiring for security? Blackwater USA??

this is another story that brings to mind more than just the weird racial politics of living in southern california. we have another instance of armed force being used against children who defy authority.

my sister, who teaches high school in l.a., is of the mind that authority is authority and should be obeyed; that kid who was tasered at ucla? my sister thought he got what he deserved. sometimes, my sister lives in a seriously weird world where you obey first and ask questions later. ok, that's one point of view. but whatever happened to the idea of civil disobedience?

(not saying that the girl who didn't clean up the cake to the satisfaction of some bohunk security guard was engaging in a political act of resistance. she's a teenager and thought she picked up all the cake and wanted to leave because she was being humiliated.)

when i was young i participated in all sorts of acts of civil disobedience. in 6th grade, i circulated a petition protesting the rigid and regimental recess rules at a new school and organized a recess sit-down in protest. if i did that now as a 6th grader, would that get me expelled and arrested? should that get me expelled? if i refused to end my sit-down during recess, would that get me slammed against a table and my wrist fractured?

i don't believe that authority should automatically be obeyed.
i don't believe that initial obedience automatically means Authority has the right to unfettered abuse in the future.
i don't believe in chaos and anarchy either.

but is it just me or is there something something in the air - a change in our social training that is repeatedly demonstrating that one must obey Authority or suffer to consequences, even for something like dropping cake? do you want to live in a society like that?

clinic to open in illinois!

Feministing has the news: Planned Parenthood's clinic is set to open in Aurora! congratulations to the planned parenthood folks!

(but you know they're in for it. it's going to be a siege on the clinic, the employees and the women who use their comprehensive reproductive health services.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

accessing birth control hits home

Behind the Price of Birth Control RHRealityCheck.org

for the first time, i'm on birth control. when i was 18 i was briefly on the Pill to regulate my irregular and heavy periods. now, almost two decades later, i'm back on it. Seasonique is my new best friend. and each prescription roughly costs about $140.

i'm not on birth control simply to prevent pregnancy (though that's an added bonus). seasonique is preventing ovulation to assist in the shrinkage of my fibroid and to give me more of a chance to increase my iron levels - which would be dangerously low if i continued to ovulate and bleed every month.

what if i couldn't afford to buy Seasonique? i'd be screwed. my doctor and i would be in a tough spot - i'd keep ovulating and bleeding, my fibroid could possibly get bigger and more unstable and my anemia would continue unabated, affecting my overall health in a very dangerous way.

for social conservatives who think every woman is just like any other and all reproductive health issues are all the same, and simple, my being able to buy my prescription of Seasonique is no big deal. to some extent, it's not, really. i'm middle class, employed and have great health benefits through my employer. the odds of my not being able to afford a prescription for my birth control is fairly low. but what if i lose my job? what if my job changes? what about other women - what about women in the service industry who most likely don't have comprehensive health care plans, women who are working poor, or student women?

but the paucity of social conservative's rhetoric is patently unthoughtful: 'don't have sex' is their solution to complicated problems like access and, somehow, women who want to control their fertility or must depend on medication to address a reproductive health situation are 'irresponsible.' for these people, living like a religious celibate or 'letting nature, sickness and illness' run its course is preferred to prevention.

birth control has become the newest battle to control women's autonomy and i don't think women (any woman) can afford to be complacent about it. think about what life was like for women before the Pill - no, do more than think about it. research it. look at the laws and policies governing women's bodies before the Pill became available to women and think about what changes that brought to women's lives.