leticia: (Default)
Planned Parenthood is, or was, an easy political target. But half the population is female, and Planned Parenthood is remarkably effective at empowering women. Planned Parenthood keeps women in school, keeps women in college, keeps women employed. Women who use Planned Parenthood's services are more likely to break free of generational cycles of poverty. The men they love are more likely to break free. And, of course, Planned Parenthood provides services to men as well.

Planned Parenthood's 'graduates', if you will, those men and women who have benefited from the many services they offer, will, by the nature of what Planned Parenthood does, be more educated, more articulate, healthier, and better off than they would have been before. That is to say, better able to support the organization that supported them.

Sure, some will pretend "I got here on my own," or "only my birth control/abortion/pap smear is moral because I had a REAL situation and everyone else is a lying whore".

Planned Parenthood has been around for decades. There are generations of women AND MEN who have benefited from the education, healthcare, and simple compassionate respect (more valuable, perhaps, than the rest put together).

Biological bondage is one of the things that has been most effectively used to keep women and the poor preoccupied and away from the halls of power.

Planned Parenthood frees people from that. From debilitating pain that prevents gainful employment (and can be easily treated by cheap birth control, in the case of many common female hormonal disorders), to unwanted and unplanned children, to the often brutal consequences of pregnancy, to cancer detection and prevention, with many sidetracks in between.

Planned Parenthood is freeing the oppressed. It is breaking the chains. It is one of the ministries most in the spirit of Christ I know (regardless of anyone involved's religion). And yet some cowardly so-called Christians hate it because they're afraid of the oppressed being free.

But it is my belief that they're too late. Too many oppressed have been freed. And they're turning around and offering a hand to those behind them. They made it through college. They got out of the abusive relationship. They got the job. They survived the cancer. They wouldn't have without Planned Parenthood, and they know it.

And there's more coming, all the time. It's too late.

(Unfortunate the hateful buggers can still do damage before they're gone, and they will, out of hatred, spite, and desperation.)


Dec. 12th, 2011 03:53 pm
leticia: (Default)
Never shop at Lowes again: www.cnn.com/2011/12/11/showbiz/all-american-muslim-lowes/index.html

leticia: (Default)
1) The murder of a popular, beloved, easy to get along with cute blond with lots of photogenic grieving family is no worse a crime than the murder of that sullen lonely laundromat attendant that no one actually remembers the name of.

2) Being related to the victim of a murder gives no one magic insight into who actually dun it, especially if they were in another state or country at the time of their murder. Their knowledge of previous interactions with the deceased might be helpful to investigators, but even clear records of previous antagonism doesn't prove murder. In the case of near random encounters, family has -nothing- to offer in terms of proving guilt, unless they actually witnessed it.

3) "Victim Impact Statements" regarding murders have no place in the courtroom, no place in determining guilt (especially in determining guilt, since "my poor babies have no mommy now!" doesn't prove any statement about who did it one way or the other, SEE POINT 2) and no place in sentencing, since SEE POINT 1.

4) No matter how many people are convicted of the crime, and how brutal their sentences are, the dead will still be dead. Convicting the innocent is not going to bring the dead back. Putting a possibly innocent man on death row and even executing him - or even an extremely guilty one! - will not bring the dead back. Jailing everyone who was connected with the murdered person even peripherally will not bring the dead back. And if your grieving process requires blood, innocent or not, to soothe your soul, you need to see a counselor. Vengeance is not justice. Justice is not vengeance.

5) Innocent until proven guilty should not mean "Innocent until someone more white (wealthy, well-connected, privileged, fill in the blank) wants someone to blame to soothe their grief."

In other words, I am so -sick- of hearing 'statements of the family of the victim'. Shut up. Go to the funeral. Help the police if you can. But justice is not and should not be about you*. And if the deceased is dead, quite frankly, justice isn't about the dead, either. Justice is about the living and protecting society - including innocents who may be accused in a mad frenzy for closure. (Hint, you'll get better closure from not having to stick your fingers in your ears and go "I DON'T BELIEVE YOU" and then forever ever after wondering if the REAL killer is out there laughing at you somewhere.)

*Addendum - I do believe the -government- should provide some reasonable financial recompense to the victims of violent crime, or the survivors thereof, especially in the situation where the victim of a murder had dependents who have lost an income. I would consider that a part of -true- justice. But that has nothing to do with prosecution.

38 years...

Feb. 9th, 2011 06:27 pm
leticia: (outsider)
38 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman had a right to rule her own body.

That it took a Supreme Court decision is disturbing; that we still have the kyriarchy hedging in on that right every time they can is disgusting.

So many of these so self-righteous oppressors of women start with "It's about the value of human life."

The value of human life has no relevance. Given that anti-abortion political views are highly matched with anti-single-payer-health-care or even basic-health-care-access-reform political views, we can make a mockery of it right there.

But even more.

In the United States, the sale of body parts for medical reasons is forbidden. You can't sell a kidney. You can't sell your dead grandpa's liver. You can't even sell your -blood-. (You can, however, be compensated for your time while donating plasma/blood. It's a dodge. But it illustrates the essential point.)

There's a reason for that, and it's not to drive down health care costs. The reason is to ensure no one can be coerced by financial causes into sacrificing their body.

We have no laws requiring you to be an organ donor, nor benefits for being one. (Despite the fact that people die for lack of donated organs - actual, real people who have names and personalities!)
We have no laws requiring you to be registered to donate marrow or a kidney, nor penalties for not.
We have no laws placing financial duress on those who do not choose to give blood.

The law does not even require a mother to give a kidney to an ill minor child! (Much less a father.)

Yet across the nation, there are a plethora of laws doing just that to force women to give up the control of their womb to an uninvited invader.

The fetus is a -trespasser-. If the fetus is, in fact, a human life, it still has no right to my blood, my body, my home, my food, any more than a homeless man freezing to death in the park does. If a fetus is a full 'person', I should be able to get the police to serve a trespassing complaint on it, and remove it from the premises. Those premises, by the way, are my body, and the removal is what we call an 'abortion'. If a fetus is a person, rather than a part of my body, the government -owes- me an abortion same as it owes all tax paying citizens a police response to a prowler.

I clearly fall under another line of thought - the fetus is a part of the woman's body and the woman has the right to dispose of it as she will.

We admire people who give their kidneys, or their blood, or open their homes to the needy. But we do not codify it into law. Why are women expected to sacrifice control of -their- bodies, and their long term health (pregnancy is hard on the body, make no mistake, even without complications; it drastically increases the chances of a number of later life health problems) to an unwelcome individual?

38 years ago, and they're still pussyfooting around trying to apply at least financial coercion to women in need of protection.
leticia: (lips)
I realize that on my friendslist, I'm going to be mostly preaching to the choir, but, this is in response to someone who commented on wow_ladies. Since the individual in question got plenty of similar responses, and admitted her mistake, I feel no need to pile on her, but wanted to say it anyhow.

We hear a lot about how being fat is associated with lots of death and early diseases, but correlation, we all know, is not causation.

In many cases, the things that contribute to obesity also contribute shortened lifespan - diabetes, chronic pain and disability, asthma, and heart disease.

And even more, being overweight is correlated with inferior health care.

Every time you go to the doctor, you're told to lose weight; doesn't matter if you showed up with something completely irrelevant. Medical equipment is likely to be too small for you. The doctor is likely to fail to diagnose you properly, dismissing everything from chronic pain to congenital heart disease to depression to depressed immune functioning on your weight, and simply tell you to lose weight rather than treating your actual disease.

The chairs in the waiting room aren't large enough for you, and sitting in them for the long time it takes the doctor to get to you is painful, especially if you have other conditions that contribute to obesity like chronic pain. You avoid going to the doctor unless you have to, and when you do go, the blood pressure cuff doesn't fit you, the doctor wastes your time explaining (again) the (mostly poor statistics) risks of weight loss. It's humiliating, painful, and often futile.

For a concrete example, my husband is currently on a ton of painkillers for chronic back pain associated, actually, with athletic activity (unsupervised weight-lifting in high school). Because he is a very large man - over 350 pounds, and 6 feet tall - he does not fit in a closed MRI. The neurosurgeon we were referred to is unwilling to operate based on an open MRI. Therefore, my husband continues to remain on a plethora of pain meds, with all their long and short term side effects, because someone can't make an MRI big enough for him - and the hundreds and thousands of other hefty Americans.

This is undoubtedly shortening his lifespan - both the medications and the chronic excruciating pain. Is it because he's fat? Yes. Is it something -inherent- in fatness? No, it's because the medical community is all jacked up in their response to fatness.

This is why fat phobia, intended or unintended, whether outright hostile or just dismissive, is so dangerous. It actually kills people (same as racism and sexism and all these other pleasant things).

You also never know when someone's fat because they eat a lot and don't exercise, or because they have a thyroid disorder, or severe untreated PCOS (which being a so-called female complaint has no actual treatments anyhow), or because they have crippling chronic pain that stops them from exercising (or asthma, or a heart condition, or...) It's like cussing someone out for parking in a disabled spot when you don't see them in a wheelchair. Maybe a few people can change it - but with all the fat hate in our society, I can promise you most overweight people -can't-, or they would have. Who -wants- to be despised and looked down on their whole life?
leticia: (human stupidity)
One of the paper's editors just left. Her title was "Features Editor" and her primary job was editing two 'feature' publications every week - our entertainment tab and our 'Women' tab.

There was some interesting discussion apparently about not filling the position, and just ending the Women tab and rolling its information into the main paper or dropping it.

The Women tab runs a weekly story about an interesting (which usually means 'community service') woman or group of women, wedding, anniversary, birth, and engagement announcements, and some syndicated columns on romance, parenting, and finances-as-a-woman.

I presume the syndicated columns would likely be dropped if we ended the tab, and the announcements would be moved into an events sectipon in the daily, probably given a page on Sundays.

Now, note, I have absolutely no weight in this discussion at all other than doing whatever IT needs to do to implement whatever decisions are ultimately made.

But regardless of my lack of investment in the decisions, it brought back up some interesting thoughts about the original need to ghettoize these things as "Of Interest Only To Women."

What are we saying about both women and men by moving weddings - the vast majority of which include both males and females, after all (we have run one announcement for a lesbian wedding that I can remember) - and births and parenting and romance (which again tend to involve both men and women) to a special, ghettoized section marked as "Men, this doesn't interest you?"

Because that's what "Women" means. This isn't something special which is only provided to women. This is something which the presumed editors want to make sure doesn't bore the men. Women have as much invested in the rest of the paper as men do, the news of local triumphs and tragedies, the scandals of local politicians, the rants and raves of our aging community.

The entire purpose of the 'women' tab is to say "These things aren't important to normal people, but there is an inexplicable market for them anyhow, so we'll toss you a bone."

If I was more eloquent, I could say why this bothers me so deeply, but I'm still trying to hammer down the words. Suffice it to say that there is women's space which is claimed by women... and it's completely different from the reservations women are placed onto by men.
leticia: (Default)
e·mas·cu·late [v. i-mas-kyuh-leyt; adj. i-mas-kyuh-lit, -leyt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -lat·ed, -lat·ing, adjective
–verb (used with object) 1. to castrate.
2. to deprive of strength or vigor; weaken.

–adjective 3. deprived of or lacking strength or vigor; effeminate.

[Origin: 1600–10; < L émasculātus (ptp. of émasculāre), equiv. to é- e- + māscul(us) male + -ātus -ate1]

Today's sexist code word of the day, kids, is 'emasculate'. The very construction of this word indicates its nature. This is a word about how men are superior and stronger than women, about how weakness is feminizing.

The usual defenses are 'well, it's just about weakness' or 'it's not about being feminized, it's about having your gender identity assaulted'. Yes, a gender identity that's based on being the superior gender.

And no one ever seems to refer to women as 'emasculated'. Victimhood /is/, in the world-view that uses words like 'emasculated' to refer to a man's ability to support his wife or defend 'his' women, a feminine attribute. Weakness is.

If there was a corresponding word to indicate the 'male-ing' of a woman, it'd be a /compliment/ culturally. Of course, there's not, because the cultural over-bearing impression is that we should be scared of women who 'emasculate' our men by daring to not fit their appointed roles of weakness.

Therefore, whenever someone refers to something as 'emasculating' for men, my hackles go up. It can be poor word choice - but it usually links back to subconscious acceptance of traditional male privilege.

Please discuss.
leticia: (Default)
I am pro-life. Abortion is something I am not very comfortable with. I believe it to be a social ill, by and large.

And with that mildly inflammatory statement, I cut. )
leticia: (bland)
The best thing (and pretty much only good thing) about this story? They didn't charge him with murder. Okay, and they convicted the scumbag. Two good things.

(BTW, I've decided to try to get mouthier. If you don't like uppity wimmin, now would be a really good time to stop reading.)
leticia: (Default)
Apparently just 7.2% of America's broadcast media outlets - TV and radio - are owned by the 33% of Americans who happen to be less melanin deficient than your standard European-descended neo-colonialist.

Shameful, huh?

Of course, a disgraceful and disproportionate number of those 33% live in poverty, having been kept down by institutionalized racism, so it shouldn't be that surprising they own less businesses.

But that's not the point. The same people that are ranting and raving about these studies quietly point out that ...women, who make up 51% of the US population, own less than 6% of broadcast outlets. Yes. There's more of us than there are minorities (though of course, approximately 33% of us are minorities as well, and how many of THEM do you think own broadcast outlets?) and we have even less voice in the media. We're still the pretty chick whose purpose is to breathlessly read from the teleprompter with a tight shirt and some nice cleavage, when it comes to broadcast media.

I'm getting pretty tired of being dependent on the charity of men to tell my story - and the story of other women, and the story of our ongoing conflict with so-called traditional gender-based oppression.

But you know something? The FCC wants to let the big (white, male) corporations get their hands on even more. To let the same people tell you the same story even more often. To let even /accidental/ errors propogate with ease - let alone deliberate or malicious ones.

Go do something.

Both democracy and capitalism depend on actors in the market - be it shopping for cars or shopping for congress representatives - having full and accurate information - and being represented in full, having the power and voice to act on the information.

Right now, we - as working Americans who actually understand what it means to have a credit limit, as women, as minorities (which I am not, I should qualify) have neither of those.

Do something. Because if we don't, we will be sentenced to more and more coverage of Britney Spears and her custody battle for the rest of our lives.


leticia: (Default)

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