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Posts Tagged ‘pro-choice’


Today a video from BuzzFeed.com, “How To Confuse Pro-Lifers With Just One Question,” has been just about all over my facebook feed. The video shows a cameraman interviewing folks at a pro-life protest and their responses to the question, “If abortion should be illegal, what should be the punishment for women who have illegal abortions?” I thought this video offered a fresh new prospective on the abortion debate. The intention of the protestors becomes suddenly illuminated: they want to end the practice of abortion, but can’t say how the crime should be punished. Most reply that they’d never thought of it, others say that God will provide punishment in the end, but none suggest any method of prosecuting offenders.

The video points out a fundamental flaw in how pro-lifers perceive pro-choicers as not being sympathetic to the unborn child, while on the flip side, it becomes clear that most pro-lifers don’t think of women as worthless sluts. In fact, pro-lifers and pro-choicers share a common goal: both sides want to prevent the situation of unwanted pregnancy. The difference is an arbitrary sense of morals. Pro-choicers don’t necessarily view abortion as a moral issue; most know the difference between “human life” and “sustainable life.” Meanwhile, many pro-lifers are attached to the idea that human life is valuable no matter what, and therefore abortions should be restricted under the law as a form of condemnation. Not that there isn’t already a whole lot of cultural forces that condemn abortion, from religion to pop-culture phenomena.

What pro-lifers blindly ignore is the fact that death, and the practice of humane killing, is just as much a part of the continuation of life as having sex out of wedlock. Living wills allow people to consent to be “aborted” should they fall into a vegetative state. We put animals to sleep 9 million times per year–some because they are old or sick, most because there’s no one to take care of them. I really don’t see anyone celebrating with champagne over these statistics (well, maybe a fucked up few), but if we didn’t “abort” unsustainable lives, everyone would suffer. Abortion is similar, but for some reason, pro-lifers are far more judgmental of women experiencing unwanted pregnancies than the drunk driver that put your grandpa in a vegetive state–yet it’s easier to name a punishment for those convicted of DUI’s than those who undergo illegal abortions. Hmm, how’d that happen?

Maybe there should be less people protesting whether or not abortion is legal and more people trying to offer support to women with unwanted pregnancies through education, financial aide, and improving accessibility to birth control. It’d be nice to live in a world where we only needed the assurance of being able to get an abortion when and if we needed one.

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My good friend Amelia recently wrote a post on how she became a feminist where she gave me more credit than was due for enlightening her to the meaning of the word back in high school. I feel kinda silly that she’d so specifically attribute me in her experience because, unlike me, she can date her realization that women are equal to men to a specific moment when she was very young. But the fact of the matter is, unlike Amelia, who clued in to gender equality at the ripe age of 6, my feminist identity was more the result of teenage angst and rebellion than anything else.

Like Amelia, I also remember the specific moment when gender equality entered my mind, setting into motion my thirst for feminist fury, but it came much later and started an avalanche of enlightenment that would make me into the green-haired, pot-smoking, self-proclaimed “poet anarchist” I developed into my senior year of high school (you know, the person in that little picture on the top of the page). I had a very traditional Catholic upbringing, which was just oodles of fun. My mother was a stay-at-home mom until I was 12, at which point my white-collar father decided to move into a bigger, nicer house that required her to get a job. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, my mom was being subjected to a type of new oppression for women in the post-second wave America. She had to work just as many hours as my dad, but get paid less, at a less prestigious job, and then come home and keep house just the way she used to when she was unemployed, while caring for two adolescent daughters and an overgrown baby of a husband. In addition to all that, she continued to teach private music lessons as a way to stay connected with her passion in life. I remember most days when I’d come home from school, my mom would be with a student while periodically checking on whatever was on the stove. I never thought twice about how no matter how much my mom slaved for her family, my dad expected even more from her. In the world of Catholic Conservatives, that’s just the way the world works.

Like my good friend, my feminist enlightenment was also set into motion by one simple comment that blew the top off my head. One night, at dinner, my dad made a snide comment. He was upset that my mom never had dinner on the table when he got home from work because she was busy with lessons. He went on and on about how my great-grandmother would cook her husband eggs over-easy every morning and have a warm meal waiting for him when he got home each night. I remember him saying, “I thought I had a wife to come home to take care of me.” This type of rude conversation was pretty normal for the average Sutton-family dinner, but this night was different, because my older sister, an unabashed daddy’s girl, decided to speak up: “That’s chauvinist.”

I had never heard the word before and timidly asked what it meant. My sister went on to explain how women were exploited: they were expected to be beautiful and successful in competition with males, yet also rear children and keep house. Women were expected not only to adhere to traditional standards, yet also strive for success in a contemporary world. My dad was silenced, and my mind was completely blown. I remember posting about the event on my online journal, misspelling “shovenist” and being corrected by a friend. But at that point, I had found a new way to look at my strained relationship with my father: he disrespected women–he was sexist.

Unfortunately my sister’s outspoken attitude did not change my parents relationship. My mom filed for divorce earlier this year after my dad began a slew of affairs with women he met online who look creepily like a younger version of his mom. He once again cited wanting the envisionment of society’s perfect woman for his immature and inconsiderate actions–someone with good looks, prestige, and a paycheck that competes with his own. Not surprisingly, his quest for love continues, as women of that caliber are not only very rare, but dislike putting up with childish bullshit. Meanwhile, my mom has become the embodiment of a woman in charge of her own life: she’s bought her own home, continues to work–now getting paid more in a better position–and teach flute lessons, and has reconnected with old friends from college.

There were other factors that contributed to my coming-of-age as a feminist; mainly the efforts of my old high school’s social worker who gave an after-school lecture my freshmen year about body image issues that was surprisingly well attended. It was there that I first learned what it means to be a feminist, and knew I was one: it’s simple, if you believe in equal rights for men and women, you’re a feminist. End of story. Whether or not you’re an unaware douchebag is irrelevant, especially considering the fact that there are so many different sects of feminism that completely oppose each other in sub-beliefs.

I also have to give credit to the online community, because without people on online forums and livejournal communities continuously calling me out on my privileged brat douchebaggery, I would have never realized I had engrained attitudes that were racist, homophobic, or classist. It’s also because of the online community that I became enraptured by the abortion debate, declaring myself as pro-choice at the age of 14. “I hate babies and don’t give a fuck what other people do with their bodies” was my logic before my argument became much more complex and personal.

How did I become a feminist? Clearly the answer is complex, and still developing. As a white upper-class woman I recognize that there are many flaws in my outlook and experience; my beliefs are constantly changing based on continuing realizations of how I’ve been benefitted and disadvantaged just for being white and female. To be honest, I’ve changed a lot as a feminist as well; I no longer use the term as a blanket statement to describe my political beliefs because I also strongly believe in ending oppression for racial minorities and the working class. Nevertheless, I think it’s important for girls to become familiar with feminism at a young age in order to combat all the confusion thrust upon them, and if anyone asks, I will defend the “f-word” to the grave.

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For those of you who don’t think it’s important to include health insurance coverage of abortion in health care reform, maybe hearing Tiffany’s Story will make you reconsider:

She was pregnant with twins and had to abort one to save the other. If abortion coverage isn’t included in reform, it’s likely she wouldn’t have been able to afford the procedure, and would have lost both her children.

Although cases like Tiffany’s are rare, I still think it’s important for health reform to include abortion coverage, if not because it would otherwise screw over willing mothers, because restricting fair access to abortion violates Roe vs. Wade and a woman’s right to choose.

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It pretty much goes without saying that the media has been an integral manipulative tool to politics in the 21st century. Our president frequently exploits the talk show circuit, appearing next to celebrity powers such as Oprah and Jay Leno. Meanwhile, the story of another drunk driving pro-prop 8 republican getting arrested on his way home from the gay bar gets the more exposure on Perez Hilton’s celebrity gossip blog than on CNN. Somewhere, in the midst of all this, is Sarah Palin, doing a stand-up routine on Jay Leno. While she appeared to get knock-out laughs from the audience for defacing jokes such as “When I saw the giant moose [at the Winter Olympic closing cermonies], I thought ‘boy, I forgot to make the kids dinner,’” the live audio was apparently compromised, laugh tracks being added later. Michael Stinson, a former sound engineer, was there and witnessed the actual live show:

“They added laughter where there was none during uncomfortable portions. Well, there was some laughter. Mine, of derision. … The real heroes of the night were Shaun White and Adam Lambert – the audience was delighted, all of it, and blew the roof off the place when they were mentioned and appeared. Meanwhile, Leno’s show used the ambience to give Palin Cover. They sold her. Her book, her body, her celebrity, her future, all of it. And 70% of an audience weren’t buying it, but you can’t tell from the broadcast. I know. I was there.”

Some of you may be wondering how it’s possible for such drastic modifications to be made to a live broadcast when there were hundreds of members of the audience and crew who witnessed the actual event. Others might not be so surprised knowing that The Tonight Show is a product of NBC, where the network executives know how much a bad stint on late night can make their conservative sponsors pull out stock. And then, there’s Sarah Palin, truly an anomaly to American politics – as she should be, since she was John McCain’s desperate attempt at trumping the smooth, culturally embedded image of Barak Obama. Today, Palin stands as just that—she’s like that awful outfit your grandpa thinks is hip and fitting for a young woman. No one is really buying it anymore, but those who have put all their faith in this being the next “in” thing are not willing to back down before 2012. Republicans are doing everything they can to sell her, hoping she’ll look good if they just put her on the same line-up as actually accomplished people.

It seems like every time I hear about Sarah Palin doing some new stint on TV, I ask myself, “Why doesn’t she just go away?” People don’t like her, they don’t find her funny or charming. Sarah Palin? That’s so 2008. The reason she doesn’t stay in the past and just retire to her moose lodge with her oil-loving husband and her baby’s baby is that the Republicans have invested too much money in her to just put her back on a shelf—from August to October in 2008, the RNC spent more than $150,000 on just her outfits. You can just imagine the price tag on making a virtually unknown politician from Alaska the face of your political campaign in addition to the costs of making her look like the product of flawless beauty (as is the only way women can hope to scathe by when they’re in the lime light), and the Republicans are still waiting for a pay-off.

So, for those in television, that means there’s a face-off between the few and the many—the few conservatives that are willing to pay for as much control of the media as they can afford, and the many in the audiences all across America who would forget Sarah Palin ever existed if TV shows would just stop reminding them. And then there’s those who work in television, on the sets or behind the scenes, who really don’t get much of a say in what happens—until you get a team of writers and producers willing to attack a politician head-on. In Palin’s case, the face of this satirical attack was Tina Fey.

At first, Palin’s resemblance to Tina Fey was seen as a good thing by Republicans. When first selected as Republican VP candidate, people were eager to point out how much she had in common with the 30 Rock star—I remember the phrase “Tina Fey glasses” being used to describe her eyewear fairly often. It was as if they had hoped Palin would come to share Fey’s relationship with the younger crowd. However, it was only a matter of days before the next SNL episode came out and Fey’s spot-on Palin impression—from the former beauty queen wink to the almost verbatim Couric interview parody—came to define the former governor’s public image. Before Fey’s portrayal, much criticism of Palin from the left was dismissed by right-wing media as “sexist,” although they had made many of the same comments about runner-up Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. It seemed Palin was gaining popularity among conservative female voters rather quickly while feminists pulled their hair out in frustration.

The fact that Fey was able to satirize Palin so adequately and receive such raving reviews, as well as make that significant first blow to Palin’s since-then doomed public relationship, is a sign of a unique point in our history. On the one hand, Republicans think America is stupid enough to support a woman candidate just because she’s cute—and, unfortunately, many Americans are that fucking stupid. On the other hand, Tina Fey is able to penetrate audiences as both a woman comedian and open feminist, as well as achieve status as celebrity icon—this is something female comedians have often be marginalized or persecuted for in the past. In addition, she has gained a massive audience for the long running SNL, which allowed her to make a funny, yet poignant, wake-up call to many of those left undecided on who to vote for in the election. And, lo and behold, the Republicans lost big in 2008.

But, in the long run, sexism wasn’t defeated, I hear more about Barak Obama’s celebrity guest appearances than about the future with Afghanistan, and Sarah Palin is doing bad stand-up on compromised “live” recordings. After all, NBC aired the SNL sketches that put the nail in Palin’s coffin less than two years before giving her a comedy debut. The world isn’t really a better place because of any of this. And, certainly, female politicians are not seen as anymore legitimate because of this parade. I wonder how much longer it will be before women who want to be in office isn’t so quickly turned into the butt of a joke. But, as long as there are women like Sarah Palin so willing to get on her knees and suck the dick of capitalism over and over again on television, I can only dream of a future where feminists make all the jokes.

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Update 2/6/14: COMMENTS ARE CLOSED. No new comments will be posted. I’ve disabled comments on all posts because this blog is inactive. I urge everyone with medical questions to consult a medical professional if they are able to. If you are not able to ask a medical professional in your country, there are some professionals available here.

When most people think of the abortion debate, they forget that it’s an issue that’s been on the table for as long as human history, not just since Roe vs. Wade. Before abortion became legal and safe surgical procedures came into common practice, women used many home methods of inducing abortion. Most of these amateur methods were dangerous. However, there is a way to herbally induce abortion that has been used since Ancient times. The herbal method of abortion is not as safe as approved medical procedures; however, it is important that this method is propagated to those who are not able to access medical/surgical abortions are aware that there is a way that is considerably less dangerous than the well-known wire hanger method. I originally found this method on Angry for a Reason, and although I can’t attest to its effectiveness from personal experience, many others can. Here’s how to do it:

I have used this to positive results 3 times. Given the lack of access to bc and abortion in much of the US I would like to share this with all of you. Copy it, pass it around, send it to your friends. It is cheap and accessible to all. Obviously if there are any health problems or adverse side effects contact a doctor. My friends and I have used this with very little complications, but I just want to put that disclaimer out there as all bodies are different and yours may react differently then ours. Feel free to ask a natropath/herbalist/physician/gynaecologist.

It can only be used up to 3 weeks after a missed period, but the sooner the better. I’ve done it within the first week of missing my period and it’s always brought it back for me. The best time to start it is on the 1st or second day of the missed period.

You will need:
Fresh parsley (preferably organic…I don’t want pesticides in my vagina, so I go organic)
500 mg pills/capsules of Vitamin C (Try not to get pills with Bioflavonoids such as Rose Hips. These PREVENT miscarriage.)

The treatment can last 3 days: DO NOT EXCEED 3 DAYS!! This will work or not within 2/3 days.

1. Insert a fresh sprig of parsley as far as possible into the vagina. (parsley induces contractions, yum) Change every 12 hours. When soft, it may be difficult to remove, but this is not dangerous.

2. At the same time, drink parsley infusions. 2 to 6 tablespoons 4 times a day.

Making an infusion: use 2 1/2 cups of boiling water for every ounce of parsley (If you buy it at the store, minus 2/3 stems (for sprigs) this should be the amount of water used to make the tincture). Add parsley to boiling water, remove from heat and cover. Very important that you remove from heat IMMEDIATELY upon adding the parsley. Boiling the water with the parsley in there will make the infusion less effective. Let it steep for at least 20 minutes (the longer it steeps, the more potent it will be. I usually let it steep for 2 hours.

3. During the 3 days (or until your period starts) take high doses of Vitamin C orally. Ideally, take 500 mg every hour up to 6000 mg. You can continue using the Vitamin C for up to 6 days. Vitamin C can bring on menstruation even 3 weeks after a “late” period. you can begin taking Vitamin C immediately after unsafe sex, or if the condom broke, etc.

If successful you should start to bleed in 2 to 3 days.
Notes:
-You may have cramps (I get ’em bad after doing this) and you can take whatever you usually take for cramps or make a ginger infusion and take that.
-The chances of success are less if you regularly take high doses of Vitamin C
-High amounts of Vitmain C can cause loose stools. No one I know has experienced this, but is has been known to happen.
-Do not use if you have kidney problems.
-Watch for signs of Toxicity Specific to Parsley: Nausea, hallucinations, vomiting, vertigo, hives, paralysis, liver swollen and
painful, urine scanty and darkly colored, and tremors.

I’ve often noticed that on the second night I start emanating heat. Seriously I feel like a space heater. This is ok, it’s just a side effect of the high doses of Vit. C and to me signifies that it worked and I will get my period soon (generally that night/next morning)

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE PENNYROYAL. IT IS DEADLY AND DANGEROUS. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH, DO NOT DO NOT, DO NOT USE IT!!!

For more information, please see Angry for a Reason.

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