Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Abortion Means to Me

I don’t remember learning what an abortion was. I don’t remember anyone ever explaining to me about Roe VS Wade or the difference between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. I just remember always knowing. I always knew my body was my own. My mom made sure we knew that. Our body was our own and was not to be violated by anyone. Whether it is someone who might try to violate us in the most literal sense or the government in the most legal sense.

My dad was pretty conservative (though I find him to be quite liberal and every bit the feminist I am in his older years, oddly enough) but I’ll always remember one afternoon leaving the local mall with my dad. We had to drive past our local planned parenthood (where years later I would receive my first birth control pills). There was a crowd of people outside as there always was then. We came to a stoplight and came to a stop right next to a group of Pro-life protesters.

My dad rolled down the window. I was expecting him to say something encouraging to the protesters and my little tween heart began to sink. Outside of his window was a woman with a sign that said something along the lines of “Adopt: Don’t Abort.”

“Hey lady!” My dad said. The lady looked at my dad. “How many you kids you have?” She answered something like 4. My dad nodded. “How many of them did you adopt?” The lady looked at him a little surprised. “Well, none,” she answered. “That’s what I thought. Put your sign down. And when you’ve adopted a couple kids, then come back.” The light turned green and we drove away. “Hypocrites” my dad mumbled. I sat up in my seat and smiled.

Another View

I’ve always felt so much anger at the ignorance associated with extreme Pro-life views. So much anger that doctors had to wear bulletproof vests. Anger that these pro-life supporters felt they knew my life better than me. Anger that girls facing the darkest moment of their lives had to do it completely stripped of dignity, privacy, and understanding. Anger is the only thing I can think of to describe how I felt every time I debated the issue with anyone. Anger.

Then I got married. And I had a miscarriage. And another miscarriage, and another. Only they used the term abortion. Spontaneous abortion is what they called them. Each and every one wanted even more than the one before. Each one we prayed God would let us keep. And each one God decided to spontaneously abort.

All the pain and grief I felt washed over my whole life like a tidal wave. And I thought about the girls who were a few miles away choosing their abortions. And I ached for them. Because I knew that even though they had made their choice and God had had made mine, we were both suffering the same loss.

The difference was, I was being showered with sympathy and love from everyone around me. They were being called murderers and being forced to look at pictures of aborted fetuses as they went into the clinic.

From that moment on I took the assault on abortion doctors (no different then the ones who performed my own D&C) and women having abortions personally. Their pain was mine. I knew the weight of their decision and I knew the grief they felt.

Now I have a daughter. And I know that the reality is someday (Heaven forbid) she too may face an awful choice. And anyone who dares to question her ability or right to make that choice will feel my wrath. So help me.

Dr. Tiller

The pro-life extremists have been spreading hate all day. Saying that today Dr. Tiller “the baby killer” died.

No. Today someone’s husband died. Someone’s father was killed. Today, 10 children lost their Grandpa. And each one of them has a parent that’s going to have to explain why.

President Obama talked just a few short weeks ago about meeting in the middle with regards to abortion. Yes. I agree. We should not be talking about abortion. We should be talking about better sex education in schools. Better counseling services. MAKING ADOPTION EASIER. Yes, on all of this.

But I’m not going to be willing to meet anyone in the middle if they’re willing to shoot a Grandpa in the middle of church.

Not a chance in hell in fact.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Skinny Jeans Can Suck It

When you see me running around town in flip-flops & my pajama bottoms in the middle of the day you'll probably think one of three things,

1. “Oh My God look at the lazy slob!”
2. “Wow I sure wish I could ditch these heals & slacks for her outfit.”
3. “Hey look she’s wearing the same PJ bottoms as me, we must both shop at Target!”

What you’ll never think to yourself is, “Good for her for taking care of herself like that! Kudos to safety!”

Well, you may think that AFTER you read what I have to say here. While researching something, I have no idea what now, I came across this article, “Can skinny jeans cause health issues?” Without even have read the article I answered, “Yes of course they do.” Skinny jeans have caused me much grief since the birth of my son. They taunt me. They tease me. And they sit collecting dust in my closet daring me to get back on weight watchers.

But as it turns out mental health problems was not what this article was referring to. It meant physical health issues. I was intrigued. According to the article skinny jeans can cause a very uncomfortable condition known as, meralgia paresthetica.

It begins when tight-fitting jeans compresses a nerve in groin area close to the surface of the skin. Once enough pressure is put on the area the whole nerve reacts, running from your groin, to your outer thigh and down to your knee.

The article then goes on to talk about the joys of bacterial infections that can come from thongs, the countless pains that UGG’s and stilettos can cause your back and of course the dangers of heavy handbags, among a few other injuries caused by fashion.

So to the skinny jeans stashed away in my closet waiting for the day I lose all my baby fat (Does the term hell freezing over mean anything to you?) I have this to say, suck it death pants.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Feminism: Time to Stand Together

I recently read an article in the Nation that sparked a heated discussion over on MOMocrats and then later on Twitter. And though all the ladies involved certainly remained respectful and kind while discussing the topic, it still left me thinking about it all day. And now here I am at almost midnight writing about it.

The women’s movement, or feminism, or whatever you want to label it, has got to be the most frustrating battle ever fought in the history of the world. Why? Because it should be over by now. It’s 2009. We should not have to STILL be fighting for equal pay. We shouldn’t just NOW be writing laws to offer better maternity care and leave. Domestic violence is the dirty little epidemic that should have been drug out from beneath the rug long ago. And in 2009, we should not have to be explaining to women in other countries why being tortured and raped on a regular basis is not how life is supposed to be.

And we certainly shouldn't have to be screaming at the top of our lungs to ensure we see a third female Supreme Court justice. I mean really, even if it does turn out to be a woman (which it better) it’s still going to be infuriating. We’re celebrating only the third, in 200 years? Give me a break.

So why do I think that this battle has not been won? Because the women’s movement has never really been able to mobilize as one group. The closest we saw was the women's suffregge movement and they were a force to be reckoned with. When all of them finally stood together as one voice, they were unstoppable.

They stood up and said, We are moms, we are young single women, we are daughters, grandmas, and sisters. We are women. And we deserve the right to vote, and you’re going to give it to us.

And they did.

That is why now, more than any other time in history, is it important for us as women to embrace the labels we wear. So what if you don’t get the mommy thing. You want your career instead. Great. But you want equal pay to do it too, right? You want the same opportunities that are given to your male counterparts so you can climb just as high on the corporate or political ladder as the guys, right? Of course you do.

And moms. You’re a mom. You want maternity leave, health care, and the ability to work and raise your child, or stay home. You want to breastfeed in public without worrying, or maybe you want to formula feed without ridicule. You want to make sure your children have a good education and are healthy. Right?

Well, these are ALL of our goals. We’re all in this together. But instead of getting that, people have to divide up onto sides. Create this divide that doesn't need to exist. And that’s why the women’s movement still has so many struggles to fight, because we can’t rise up together.

What we, as women, need to do is break the barriers in between us. The barriers of race, of social status, family status, career status, and stand as women. We are seeking the same thing here. The failures and wins of each feminist are the failures and wins of women everywhere.

The time for talk is over ladies. We’ve talked ourselves to death. The time has come for us to stand together once again, like the suffrage movement. And tell the world that we are here and we are not going anywhere. And we are in it together.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said, “Men say we are ever cruel to each other. Let us end this ignoble record and henceforth stand by womanhood."

Amen, sister.