Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fuckabee Wrong About the Bible

As I pointed out before, Fuckabee wants to change the Constitution of the United States (where is Nicholas Cage's character from National Treasure when you need him?) so that it is "in agreement with God's word." The problem is that Fuckabee's claims about what would make the constitution agree with God's word are incorrect. Check out the great article about this on Alternet. It's scary that such a religious zealot can be so wrong about his own religion.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Fight for Choice - Basic Birth Control is Under Attack Too

Two headlines on Alternet caught my eye today, because they spoke about topics I have mentioned on this blog repeatedly before:
An excerpt from the article on Huckabee:

Today, Governor Mike Huckabee is scheduled to travel to Georgia to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. There he plans to join Georgia Right to Life to lend his support, as well as the focus of the national media, to HR 536. This legislation, also called the Human Life Amendment, is a state constitutional amendment that reclassifies the most effective and popular forms of contraception as abortion. The goal of the amendment is to create a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade while also defining life as beginning at fertilization. The anti-abortion movement believes that hormonal contraception (the pill, the patch, the depo shot, the nuva ring, the IUD) can destroy a fertilized egg. By setting in law the assertion -- the unproveable assertion -- that life begins at the moment of fertilization, the most common forms of contraception become abortion. (emphasis mine)

Hear that everyone? No more birth control. You have to rely on condoms, which are not exactly the most reliable form of birth control. And if you have a baby, it's your fault, you deserve it, and you have to raise it. It's your "punishment" for having sex.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

South Park Episode About Nuclear Device In Hillary Clinton's "Snatch"

Last night, Comedy Central aired an episode of South Park called "The Snuke". The plot: Hillary Clinton comes to South Park to campaign, and Cartman discovers that terrorists are targeting her campaign rally. The police bring in a bomb sniffing pig (commentary on Bill?) that detects a nuclear device hidden in Hillary's vagina, or "snatch". Hence, the title of the episode, "The Snuke".

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude, and I usually do enjoy South Park (although the episode about The Passion, where Mel Gibson jumps around like a monkey and smears feces on himself was just bizarre), but the entire episode revolved around the fact that Hillary Clinton has a vagina. I would think that the South Park writers would come up with something more original, creative, and...funny.

What, did they sit in a room and go "How can we bust on Hillary?" "Oh, I know...she has a vagina, let's do something with that!" "And let's draw her with super wide hips and a huge ass, even though she doesn't have them." Because that's the generic formula for belittling women - make jokes about violating them, and call them ugly or fat.

This episode isn't even new, it was originally aired in March of 2007. I missed that one, and didn't see any news about it. But how ironic that now, after Clinton has shown that she is a real contender for the Democratic ticket, Comedy Central decides to re-run that episode of South Park. It's as if now that people have seen that Clinton actually has a shot, people feel they have to wave their arms and yell "Hey, she has a vagina, remember!? And we drew her with a huge ass, haw haw haw!"

South Park has done some brilliant satires of celebrities in the past, and it's really disappointing that they decided to go the old, trite, unfunny sexist route and just call attention to the fact that hey, Hillary Clinton has GIRL PARTS.

As if that weren't enough, when the authorities have the "snuke" removed from Hillary's body, they had her react as if she enjoyed the experience and it was sexually pleasurable. Yeah, I'm sure it's totally realistic to expect a woman to be aroused by having a HUGE mechanical device yanked out of her vagina. I expected much funnier things from them. I didn't expect mysogeny.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Does "Choice" Mean? Blogging for Choice Day

click to enlargeSome people think that pro choice means pro abortion. To me, choice means, well, having choices. I don't see abortion as the only choice, either. Those choices include access to education about sexual health, birth control, and sexually transmitted diseases, and access to reliable birth control. Since modern medicine has not provided us with any form of birth control that is 100% foolproof (other than long term sterilization), then yes, I think abortion should be one of the choices available to women. I don't think that people should use abortion as a preferred method of birth control (personally, I don't know of anyone that does, but people always seem sure that there are women who do this) - I would hope that all women had the information and access to birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Even then, nothing is foolproof and they all have less than great side effcts.

In an ideal world, everyone would have access to and use birth control perfectly and there would never be an unwanted pregnancy.

However, we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where many children hear little to nothing about "the facts of life" or "the birds and the bees" from their parents, because their parents heard NOTHING about it from their parents, and grew up too ashamed and embarassed to talk about sex. We live in a world where for the past 7 years, the Bush administration has pushed and promoted abstinence only sexual education, which makes it possible for teenagers to leave high school not knowing how to protect themselves against pregnancy or STDs.

We live in a world where there are politicians, well known politicians (ahem, Fuckabee), who belong to the Right to Life Committee, which believes that hormonal birth control is a form of abortion, and therefore should be banned.

We live in a world where things don't always work the way they are supposed to. There are always going to be situations where birth control is used correctly and it fails. As it is, women who use the pill and other forms of hormonal birth control such as the ring, the patch, the injection, the hormonal IUD and the implant have to be very careful about other medications and supplements interfereing with their birth control. One mistake and you could get pregnant. I had asked my doctor about a couple of methods of birth control, but the side effects were daunting: weight gain (more than just 3 to 5 pounds), irregular bleeding, heavier periods (who the hell wants that?), mood swings, depression, heavier cramping, increasing the chance of ovarian cysts (which I have a history of), exacerbating migraines (I get those too), painful insertion of IUD if you haven't had a child, and the risk of perforating the uterus. easy choices. And since I'm in my early 30's, I can't find a doctor who will do a tubal ligation for me.

This is something I've been wrestling with for the past few months. There are no easy answers. In the meantime, my boyfriend and I have been using condoms and spermicide. Well, a few weeks ago, something happened that had never happened before. The condom slid off. Neither of us noticed until afterwards. When we found it panic gripped my stomach - what were the chances? I didn't even know at that point that the morning after pill was available over the counter in the county I live in. I was really scared. And yes, the condom was put on correctly and yes, it was the same box of the same brand we'd been using. Shit happens.

At 9 am the next morning I called my gynecologist's office. The doctor called me back within 10 minutes and told me go call pharmacies until I found one that kept Plan B in stock. She asked when I'd had sex, and said that at this point in time, the Plan B would be 90% effective. Thank goodness my regular pharmacy did, so I didn't have to call several pharmacies until I found one that didn't have a moral objection to it. I ran over to get it, showed my ID to prove that I was over 18, came home, and took the first pill, setting my cell phone to beep when it was time for me to take the second pill. I had some mild cramping during the day, but Aleve took care of it. I got my period a few days later and thanked God that I was able to take control and choose to not to risk becoming pregnant.

If I hadn't gotten my period within 5 days, I would have had to take a pregnancy test. And it if was positive, I would not have hesitated to make arrangements for a medical abortion.

Some people might think that makes me selfish. I think it's selfish to put a woman in a situation where she has no option but to have a child out of a sense of obligation, even though she doesn't want that child, and doesn't want to raise that child. I do believe that every child should be a wanted child, and no woman should be forced into motherhood. My biological father didn't want me, and that is not something that any child should have to deal with. I know I don't want kids, so I will do everything in my power to make sure I don't get pregnant. If that fails, I'll do everything I can to make sure I don't have an unwanted child. Besides, the foster care system is far from perfect...once these unwanted children are born, where are they all going to go? You just have to turn on the evening news to see that no, not all parents are magically "ready" when their babies are born.

Women, even young women in high school, are having sex. Parents can turn a blind eye and try to ignore this, but it's happening. I'd much rather educate kids and make sure they know how to protect their health and prevent unwanted pregnancy than leave it all to chance and continue to see girls drop out and have their options in life limited.

Adult women, even unmarried ones, are having sex. And not all married couples want to have babies! The women that do want to have babies want to control when they have a baby - after they get their master's degree, after they get to a certain point in their careers, etc. We need to fight to keep that freedom - the freedom to choose whether or not we want to be mothers, and if we do, when.

Check out others who blogged for choice today.

Female Voters Angered by CNN Article

Gee, I wonder why? Could it be because CNN's "article" presupposed that of course, black women would vote according to either race or gender, instead of on the issues they believe in as individuals? Here are my favorite quotes from the article:

  • a woman named Tiffany who replied "Duh, I'm a black woman and here I am at the voting booth. Duh, since I'm illiterate I'll pull down the lever for someone. Hm... Well, he black so I may vote for him... oh wait she a woman I may vote for her... What Ise gon' do? Oh lordy!"

  • a reader named Joan e-mailed: "Really CNN, is this how you view black women[?] Are you suggesting that white women are going to have it easier [?] How about issues? Should a black woman consider the candidates position on issues, or should we just stick to race and gender. Disgusting!"

  • "Since Edwards no longer officially exists, as a white male I face the same choice - either I vote my race (Clinton) or my gender (Obama). Or I could just pick the candidate based on who I think would be best," wrote Michael.

Friday, January 18, 2008

How Scary Is This?

This makes me never want to live in the same state as Huckabee. Or in South Carolina.

And THIS is even SCARIER!!!

Huckabee's connections within the evangelical movement also extend to leaders whose focus is on the United States; a number of those leaders are working to transform the United States into a Christian nation governed by what they see as biblical principles. On Monday, as Salon columnist Joe Conason notes, Huckabee seemed to hint that he shares at least some of that vision. "It's a lot easier to change the Constitution," said Huckabee, "than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards."

Seriously, he wants to make The Handmaid's Tale come true!

Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric as a Vehicle for Bigotry

Someone sent this article to a child free list that I belong to. They sent it because of a couple of list members who started out voicing their opposition to illegal immigrants (fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion), and quickly crossed over into blatant bigotry. Turns out their opposition wasn't to illegal immigrants after all, it was just to immigrants, period. Legality didn't make a difference to them.

The specific target of their venom turned out to be Mexicans. I don't know if they live in an area with a large Mexican population, but this person sent an email to the list saying that Mexicans are dirty, filthy, and just keep having babies. When people responded and said hey, that's a gross generalization, the sender replied by asking "Have you ever seen a clean cut, decent Mexican?"

Nice, huh? In this day and age, there are still people filled with such blind hate. It was disturbing, but I was glad to see that the people spewing the venom and bigoted statements were far outnumbered by those who disagreed with them. Of course, at that point the list moderators jumped on it and we haven't seen any emails from the hate mongerers since.

I don't know, maybe it's because I've done volunteer work in Nicaragua and Mexico and have met intelligent, well educated, and hardworking people who were out of jobs due to policies like NAFTA, or the dictator of their country (which the US supported). I've seen people living in abject poverty, with no shoes, in shacks, gathering glass, metal and plastic for recycling to earn some extra money. And these people didn't end up in that life because they were drug addicts or just didn't try - they were born into it. There was no system in place to help them out of it.

All I know is that nobody deserves that. Every human being deserves a chance at a decent life: food, shelter, education, and safety.

There are no easy answers. But it really pisses me off when I hear US citizens go off against illegal immigrants taking advantage of our country's resources, saying that it's up to the other countries (Mexico, for example) to solve their own problems. Maybe so, but the US certainly helped to cause a lot of Mexico's problems, so don't we have some culpability?

But this was my favorite quote from the article:

I ordered my coffee and the Nepalese woman prepared it. The 60 year old woman was manning the register. As the Nepalese woman was making Mr. Metal's drink, she told the older woman what I was having so she could ring me up, but she spoke rather quietly and the woman at the register didn't hear her the first time.

"What was that?" she asked.

Mr. Metal, as this Nepalese woman made him his drink, said "Looks like this is a language barrier."

The two women kind of sheepishly laughed it off.

In the interest of information: I've been in there a million times. The woman in question speaks English very well. She just happens to have a Nepali accent. But, if you're a certain kind of guy, and you hear an accent, you get to say things like that.

Mr. Metal wasn't done, though. "You see," he said in a very patronizing and angry way, making it clear he wasn't just being folksy, "in Brazil they speak Brazilian, but in America we speak English."

That just made me burst out laughing, because the official language of Brazil is Portuguese. There is no such language as "Brazilian". And "America" is not country or continent. There is the continent of North America and the continent of South America. But that kind of ignorance is par for the course for people who share Mr. Metal's opinions.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Clinton's Campaign Attempts to Suppress Voting by Obama's Supporters

Nice. God, I really hope she doesn't end up being the Democratic candidate. The tactics of her campaign had started to turn me off already, but this...just too much.

Meanwhile, Obama takes the high road. Smart move.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Heart Jon Stewart

Click to view videoFor pointing out what a non-event Hillary getting a little choked up was. There were no actual tears, sobs, or crying. The best part was his remark: "That's the emotional breakdown that blows the election for her? I'm glad no one here ever sees me get a flu shot." AND he includes a montage of crying male politicians! I think Jon deserves a "Feminist Chicks Dig Me" t-shirt too!

All I can say is, thank GOD that The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are back - now we'll get some REAL election coverage!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm Not the Only Feminist Who Loves Colbert!

I ran across a blog today called "Feminists for Colbert". Wow. Funny, but they have actually been blogging a LOT about Stephen Colbert. Which is also...kind of sad. But, they are in Charleston, which (I learned from their blog) is Colbert's hometown, so it's not so sad.

But the segment where's Jessica Valenti appeared on The Colbert Report was great.

I love that she gave him a "Feminist Chicks Dig Me" t-shirt and he asked her "You're not going to jump on me like Jane Fonda, are you?"

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Funniest Thing I've Seen in a Long Time

I bought The Best of the Colbert Report on DVD for my boyfreind for Christmas. We watched some of it last night (it contains over 6 hours of footage!) and I don't remember that last time I laughed so hard. Ok, I do, it was a while ago when we rented Superbad. But this collection of best moments from the Colbert Report is fucking hilarious!. I had serious doubts about Colbert's ability to carry his own show when he left The Daily Show, but I have to say, he's even funnier than Jon Stewart. And I love love love the way he makes fun of politicians in the "interviews" he does for Better Know a District. My favorite is the one he did with John Hall, representative from New York's 19th district, who was in the band Orleans. John and Stephen did a duet of one of Orlean's songs. I couldn't find that on Comedy Central's site, but here is a clip where they do a duet of the National Anthem. The one with Eleanor Holmes Norton was a close second, due to her total lack of understanding that Stephen was joking, and how angry she got.

His duet with Barry Manilow had me laughing so hard I cried. Ah, Stephen, witty, and sarcastic. And he can sing! I think I have a new crush.

Monday, January 7, 2008

So Nobody in This Country Can Crap?

I didn't know this, but thank goodness that the advertising industry is here to fill me in: apparently the United States is full of people who can't crap. There are the good old stand bys like FiberCon and Metamucil. The commercials usually feature older people.

But now there is a veritable plethora of new products designed to help the average American crap. On a regular schedule.

Activia's selling point is "bifidus regularis". Which I think the "specialists" at Dannon made up. Their commercials are targeted at women of different age groups. Apparently people at Dannon think women have a real problem with crapping regularly. And bloating. Bloating is always mentioned. Female college students complain about how exams make them eat pizza, which evidently immediately causes college students to get stopped up. And for two women working at a store - eating Chinese takeout seemed to put a cork in them. The most annoying part of the commercial set om the store was a parrot that kept repeating "Activia!"

But that's not all. Kraft came up with snack foods that help you crap! On a regular schedule! LiveActive snack foods help to "maintain digestive health". Hilariously, here is even a tab on the web site called "Join the movement". Somehow I don't think then intended the pun. So far they have developed two snacsk: cheese and cottage cheese.

Well, I don't know about you, but I just had no idea that there was such a demand for this type of product. I'm just glad I'm not one of the people that needs them. Maybe that's why so many people are so grouchy.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Why You Should Care About Roe v. Wade

Take a look at Portugal, where abortions are only legal in cases of rape or the pregnancy endangering the life of the mother. And there's more:

"An abortion must be performed by, or under the direction of, a physician within the first 12 weeks of gestation on the grounds of preserving the woman’s physical or mental health or in the case of rape; or within 16 weeks if there is a risk that the child will be born with an incurable disease or malformation. The existence of these circumstances must be certified in writing by a physician other than the one performing the procedure. This certification must be accompanied by the written consent of the woman requesting the abortion, not less than three days prior to the date of the procedure; women under age 16 must have the consent of the husband, parents or, in their absence, any relative."

Recently, a doctor in Portugal was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in jail for performing illegal abortions, the doctor's assistant got 16 months, and the three woman who got an illegal abortion from this doctor were each sentenced to 6 months jail time.

Finding information on contraceptive availability in Portugal is difficult. You'd think a country that has such strict laws on abortion would make contraceptives highly and easily available, but we are seeing here in the U.S. that isn't the case, with recent laws raising the cost of the birth control pill on college campuses and clinics which serve low income women. Let's face it, condoms and other over the counter contraceptives are not 100% effective, and it's just smart to use a more reliable method like the pill as well. But now, thousands of college students and lower income women will no longer have this option, since the price of the birth control pills have risen to 3 or 4 times their previous cost on college campuses and about 400 community health centers across the U.S. So, while we are in danger of Roe v. Wade being overturned, we are also in danger of losing access to affordable contraceptives. That's what scares me about candidates like Fuckabee, who spew this "sanctity of life" crap as a reason for wanting to ban all abortion, and at the same time are members of the National Right to Life committee, which is against hormonal birth control because they think it causes abortions. Who wants to live in a country that doesn't want women to be able to enjoy sex without worrying about conceiving?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Blog for Choice Day

January 22nd, 2008 is Blog for Choice Day. NARAL Pro-Choice America is asking pro-choice bloggers to blog about why they vote pro-choice. You can sign up here, and download Blog for Choice Day graphics here. I'll be participating, and I hope many others do as well.

If you need an incentive to become active about why choice is important, read about how Huckabee won the Republican support in the Iowa caucus last night with support from 35% of the voters present. God help us, I'm having flashbacks to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


In case you all hadn't realized that by now. My feelings of hate for this man are so strong I had to illustrate them. For anyone who would like to add this graphic to their blog, feel free to save it.

Click to enlarge

Huckabee has publicly stated that he would seek to criminalize doctors that perform abortions:"I think if a doctor knowingly took the life of an unborn child for money, and that's why he was doing it, yeah, I think you would, you would find some way to sanction that doctor," Huckabee said during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. "I don't know that you'd put him in prison, but there's something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead."

But it's ok, because Huckabee has said he wouldn't try to punish women who have abortions:"The former governor said he would not support penalizing women who sought abortions even if they were outlawed. 'I think you don't punish the woman, first of all, because it's not about ... I consider her a victim, not a criminal.'

OK, first of all, just ignore what he's actually saying and listen to how he says it: "making peole alive"??? "make that life dead"? I know Arkansas is rural, but Clinton didn't speak this badly.

And now for the flaws in his statement:

  • he seems to assume that all abortion providers are men
  • he seems to be saying here that abortion providers are wrong if they charge for their services - so, what, free abortions are okay?
  • he seems to think that women are too stupid to realize what they are doing, so, when a woman is getting an abortion, she doesn't realize that she's, well, getting an abortion, so you can't punish her. Just the bad male doctor who victimized the stupid woman and made the baby's life dead for money
  • he wants to outlaw abortion completely. No exceptions for rape victims, women whose birth control failed, or women who have health problems that make pregnancy unsafe
  • so far I have not heard Huckabee utter a single word about improving the foster care system in this country. He wants women to HAVE to have babies regardless of their circumstances or ability to support children, but doesn't seem to have given a single thought to helping those babies once they are born.
  • women as helpless victims - Huckabee seems to believe that women are helpless and at the utter mercy of exploitative abortion providers (men) who want to make a quick buck by aborting the woman's child, and the poor woman doesn't understand the reality of what she is doing when she seeks an abortion.

And to make matters worse, Huckabee is a member of the National Right to Life commitee, which believes that any form of birth control that prevents implantation of a fertilized egg in the urterus is a form of medical abortion. So not only does this guy believe that abortion should be outlawed period, but he also doesn't believe in hormonal birth control. So what, he wants to FORCE women in this country to get pregnant and have babies?

Why God, why? Why are people like Benazir Bhutto assassinated while Huckabees roam the earth?

There is a poll on YouPoll about Huckabee's stance on abortion, I wish they had extended it to birth control as well. One of the comments on the Washington Post article said that they agreed that "unecessary" abortions should be made illegal. OK, well, who decides what constitutes a "necessary" abortion? If the woman used birth control correctly and it failed, or if the woman was raped, or if the woman has a health condition that makes the pregnancy unsafe for her, or if the couple finds that the fetus has a disease or disability? What about if the woman lives in a small town and the pharmacists in that town decide they don't want to dispense prescription birth control or the morning after pill?

This really scares me. These people want to take away birth control and abortion. Why do they want to force women to have babies?