Monday, July 14, 2008

Picking on McCain is So Easy, It's Not Even Fun

Consider McCain's quote to the New York Times about gay couples adopting:
Mr. McCain, who with his wife, Cindy, has an adopted daughter, said flatly that he opposed allowing gay couples to adopt. “I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don’t believe in gay adoption,” he said.

What's wrong with that statement? And I don't mean morally, I mean logically. couples would still provide two parents...his statement is actually an argument against single people adopting.

Mr. McCain, I offer you my favorite quote: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Food for Thought

I came across a comment on a feminist blog I read regularly and it made such a good point that I thought it was worth posting here. It just really made me think.
“Now, I firmly think abortion should not be used as a form of birth control, but holy shit.”

While it does certainly suck that your friend had such a shitty encounter, I have an issue with the above sentence. If abortion shouldn’t be used as another form of birth control, what should it be used for then? Should it only be legal in cases of rape, incest, and health?

When talking to anti-choicers they use they same rhetoric because it feeds into the notion that women who have elective abortions are heartless selfish bitches who enjoy killing babies. Having an abortion is not easy, as you can see from calling all the clinics. I live in Northern Nevada and there is only one abortion clinic and it will cost you $600 cash only. I highly doubt that there is a woman who thinks, in the heat of the moment; yeah I could use a $3 condom or $25 pack of birth control but nah I will just wait till I get pregnant so I can have a painful $600 abortion. If a women used abortion as her sole method of birth control she would have more than 30 in her lifetime, seems pretty costly to be.

I just don’t think we should judge women who have abortions.

Of course, the problem with making abortion legal only in cases of rape, incest, and immediate threat to the mother's health are all problematic, because they all need to be legally defined. Does the woman have to prove that she is a victim or rape or incest before she can get an abortion? If that's the case, she'll never be able to get one by the legal cutoff for the late term abortion ban kicks in. So then she is screwed by the legal system.

Making exceptions only for an immediate threat to the woman's health is also problematic, as this story shows. Just something to think about. And keep in mind, John McCain and others who agreed with him voted against requiring health insurance companies to cover birth control. Not a lot of options if you don't want to be pregnant.

My Feelings for John McCain in a Nutshell

Beautifully done!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why Obama Trivializing the Ban on Late Term Abortions is Problematic - and Arrogant

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama recently clarified his position on late term abortion to the publisher of Relevant magazine:
"...I have repeatedly said that I think it's entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don't think that "mental distress" qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions."

Did that sound okay to you? It probably would to most people. But here is one of the best cases I've ever heard for not marginalizing "mental distress", and requiring and "immediate" risk to the mother's health, for exceptions to the late term abortion ban.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Poll - to Shop with Bitchy Cousin, or Not?

I have no idea how many people actually read this blog, but what the hey, I'll ask for some user feedback. My brother is getting married in September, yay. My mom and I have been stressing about finding dresses for the wedding. We looked once and saw NOTHING. And we looked at nice places, like Lord & Taylor, Macy's. Either they were sun dresses or waaaaaaaaay too expensive. I didn't even go into Nordstrom's, the store that sells $300 scarves. And then, you probably imagine how difficult it can be to go dress shopping if you're not a size 6.

Anyway, we need to buy dresses, soon. My mom called me the other day and said that my cousin, X, wanted to come with us. Now, I am less than comfortable with this for a couple of reasons.

Let me start off by saying I'm not fat, but I'm not thin. I'm not exactly toned and athletic, and I could stand to lose some weight and be in better shape. But I'm not obese, I can shop at most normal stores, and the tops and Lane Bryant are too big for me. Also, I used to have eating disorder issues. I was an obsessive dieter in high school, and in college I graduated to constantly dieting, obessing about my weight, starving myself or making myself throw up if I did eat something "bad". It took four years of therapy to get past that and put it in perspective, and I have a pretty healthy attitude about it now. It was a big issue for me. Thank God I got a handle on it (with the help of a good therapist) before I really hurt myself with it. I did get to the point where I had low blood pressure and low energy, but thank goodness, it never got to the point where I was throwing up after every meal, or losing hair, etc.

But in the past, this cousin, X, who weighs 80 pounds and wears low rise jeans and skintight outfits (even though she's 39) has said some pretty insensitive things about my weight. And has just been insensitive about weight in general. I remember once, when I hadn't seen her for a couple of years, she actually said "You look really good! Last time I saw you, you were kind of fat." Goddamn. What do you say to that? In case you were wondering who actuallly says things like that, my cousin X does.

Other times she's just done things like make incredibly fattening meals that include things like bacon, bacon grease, bread and pasta, and then after the meal, revealed how much bacon grease was included (I had no idea bacon grease was an ingredient), and how obviously you couldn't eat this often or you'd be a huge fat pig (here she used her arms and puffed out her cheeks to mimic a huge fat person). You guessed it - I barfed up as much of that meal as I could a few minutes later in the bathroom. My mom caught me. That was when she first took seriously the idea that I really had a bona fide disorder related to food.

My cousin, X, is the kind of woman who doesn't have very many female friends, at least not good ones. She has guy friends, and likes getting male attention. She has a reputation for being spoiled, catty, selfish and bitchy. To put it lightly, she's not usually considerate of others. At all.

So how the hell am I supposed to go dress shopping with her? I am not a fan of shopping anyway. Partly because it's not easy finding work appropriate clothes, especially since I'm an in between size. Size 12 at some places, 14 or even 16 at others. Sometimes I'm all of those sizes all in the same store, which is mind boggling. I know people who gasp when they hear me say size 12. Apparently I don't look like a typical size 12, whatever that means. But shopping is a bitch. I don't do it often. In fact, I put it off as long as possible.

Just to clarify, I know that in front of my mom, she's not going to say anything as overt as she has in the past. But she is really good at backhanded all know how that is. Ugh. I could try and explain this to my mom, but she has a hard time dealing with the fact that her neice can be a bitchy bitch, so she might just sigh with exasperation and say that I'm holding grudges, and I need to let things go and let the past be the past. Fine and dandy, but my cousin is still insensitive and bitchy, but my mom wants to get along with her because she's family. But, I really don't need to have my self esteem ground into a fine powder because she makes some patronizing comment about how a dress "does so much for me". I'm really tempted to just make an excuse not to go. What do you all think?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vent: Sex and the City

Okay, with the Sex and the City movie, and Sarah Jessica Parker's new clothing line called "Bitten" (the web site features photos of her as a singer, and something called 'SJP's Manifesto'), and the news crowing about wow, this movie made a lot of money...hmmm, maybe women over 30 are a demographic worth considering when making movies...I have to vent: I HATE SEX AND THE CITY!!!! HATE HATE HATE!!!!!

You may wonder, why do I hate SATC so much? Well, I'll tell you. Everyone who I've ever talked to who likes the show says they like the fact that it's "realistic" and "true to life". All of these people make under $100,000 a year and do not live in New York. And of course, it's a matter of fact that SATC's main characters are all thin and attractive - no bad complexions, crooked teeth, round faces, health problems, etc. Soooooo...the obvious question (to me, at least) is how the FUCK is SATC representative of real life experiences of lower and upper middle class women? No one I know has Carrie's cushy joke of a job, or her ridiculous wardrobe of hideous runway fashion, or the show's obsession with all things superficial and shallow. Let's see...clothes, sex, money, cosmos, underwear,fashion, relationships...yup, that's pretty much it.

In contrast, the realistic worries and problems of the lower and upper middle class women I know who like this show include:

  • money - most people right now are worried about the price of gas, food, and the quickly growing numbers of homes in foreclosure
  • weight - most women I know are not happy with their weight, or their appearance in general. But weight is definetely the insecurity to which no woman is immune, and most women who work and/or have kids don't have the luxury of personal trainers, dieticians, or just being naturally thin with no effort whatsoever
  • clothing - most women who are fans of SATC are nowhere near being able to afford the clothes that the show's characters wear, and honestly, most of them wouldn't want to look like such a freak anyway. If you give me $10,000 to spend on clothes, I'm not going to look like an idiot whose friends lied and told me that yeah, this HUGE ruffled organza skirt really does look good, especially with the pink bandana tied around my forehead.
  • race - the show's main characters are all fact, I think the show's characters are all white. I've seen one whole episode and the 8 million commerdcials that were on TV, so I can't be sure, but I think it's true.
  • work - the rest of us don't have the luxury of working at odd hours, from home, on our laptops. We actually have to buy work clothes, and commute to (gasp!) an office, where we report to our superiors and deal with annoying coworkers, customers, etc. And we don't get paid nearly enough for it.
  • free time for all the cosmos you want! The people I know that watch this show all work full time, and most of them have significant others, spouses, kids. So they don't have time to sit around at bars drinking cosmos and talking fashion and sex with their best gal pals...ever, really, let alone daily. And apparently the characters on SATC aren't concerned with things like making the mortgage, keeping their jobs, the trials of raising kids, not having time to exercise, health problems, or - improving the world. Doing ANYTHING that shows some kind of desire to contribute to the world in a positive way. This one irks me the most because as a single woman in my early 30's who is not married (I live in sin) doesn't have kids (I don't want them), I am recently compared to these women, and not only do I have nothing in common with them, but I can't freaking STAND them, and they're not even real people!!!

So, in a nutshell, that's why I loathe SATC more than words can describe.