lotusblog-olivia:

☪ Lotus ॐ Blog ☪
think-progress:

On women’s issues, men are quoted overwhelmingly more often than women. 

think-progress:

On women’s issues, men are quoted overwhelmingly more often than women. 

(via politicsd00d)

touba:

Images from the series Irandokht by Najaf Shokri, 2006-2009 (via). 

According to Shokri, “One day outside the Statistic and Registration Administration in Tehran, I discovered piles of discarded identity cards by the dustbins. They were all of women born in the early 1940s, who were photographed in their youth. The astonishing diversity of hair-dos – only a minority wore a scarf or chador – reflected the variety of choices that women had in the late 1950s and 60s. The ID cards also represented the many different classes and personalities of women of the time, from shy and demure to upfront, confident and glamorous. 

When I found these pictures, sometime in 2005, I wondered whether these women had died, never renewed their identity or emigrated. It seemed to me that the government was most probably erasing evidence of our recent and distant past, for these photographs oppose the current dominant culture. I was shocked that these records of our community could be discarded so easily, without remorse. Photography is more about discovering than creating. Being a finder is the dominant, innate state. In Irandokht I have tried to stitch together another aspect of our history, one that is not about throwing away, ignorance and corruption. To me, discarding history reflects the intolerance and negligence of institutions in power. The Irandokht series invites the audience to face a certain period without any judgment. These women lived in Iran, and I feel I am in some way reviving and preserving their memory.” (quote source)

(via theyoungradical)

feministcurrent:

Well this is it. The end is upon us.

By now you’re probably near-bald from tearing your hair out over the effed-upedness that we are subjected to every time Breast Cancer Awareness Month rolls around. Suddenly we’re inundated with pink crap as every company around tries to glom on to the breast cancer epidemic in an offensively opportunistic fashion.

From makeup, to laptops, to Swiffers (clean for the cure!), to ugly-ass jewelery, to one million stupid pink candles, it’s fair to say that pinkwashing has gotten totally out of control. And as if the feminizing pinking of absolutely everything (because breast cancer is so soft and delicate and lady-like) and the concerted efforts to make breast cancer all about consumerism directed very specifically at women (because effecting change can only be done by buying more stuff), there must be, of course, the pornification of women’s cancer diagnoses (because why the should anyone care about women unless they are fuckable).

First there are those idiotic ‘Save the Tatas‘, ‘Boobies Rule‘, and ‘Touch Some Breasts‘ campaigns/businesses which sexualize breast cancer by making women’s suffering about the male gaze (classy!). Then there’s this horrible video which came out of Chile recently that tries to get men on board by reminding them that breasts exist only for male pleasure. Which is, of course, why they matter. Get it? Women don’t matter — it’s their sexualized body parts that are important (are we starting to understand how objectification hurts women now?).

And finally, I somehow managed to miss the worst of them all earlier this month (I think I must have started blocking this stuff out as a coping mecanism) — the icing on the porn-culture-is-everywhere cake — having realized that they weren’t exploiting absolutely every aspect of women’s lives, Pornhub.com jumped on board (not linking to the campaign page, nope, no way) the breast cancer awareness train.

While originally the company tried to partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the organization (who is capable of making ethical decisions every once in a while) refused to align themselves with Pornhub and said they wouldn’t accept any donations from them. Apparently they are still looking for a charity to donate to.

Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub says, pervily: “Our viewers will be raising money and awareness by doing something they already love: watching porn.”

Uh huh. Right. For sure all those dudes are “raising awareness” about breast cancer via masturbation – the cure for everything.

So now porn is being presented as something that saves women’s lives. Or at very least cares about them. I’m thinking this is what the end of the world looks like.

The problems with awareness campaigns have been well documented. Most of these campaigns either don’t actually do anything and some of the companies who use ‘breast cancer awareness’ in order to sell products are actually part of the problem. Awareness campaigns tend to focus on unproductive solutions that ignore and distract from the root issues.

Organizations like Breast Cancer Action point out that “despite better treatments and increased access for many women, 40,000 women still die from the disease each year. A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. In the 1960s, a woman’s lifetime risk for breast cancer was 1 in 20. Today it is 1 in 8.”

What the hell is going on here? Is it possible that we all just aren’t watching enough porn?

Well, no. In fact porn is not the missing link.

While awareness campaigns and pink ribbon crap are on the rise, so is breast cancer. The reality is that we still have minimal understanding around causes of breast cancer, though we do know that “involuntary exposures to toxins in the environment” are a factor. Toxins and environmental factors are not addressed by awareness campaigns or pink ribbons. I assume this is because these issues have nothing to do with masturbation or profit. If only there were a way to sex up carcinogens.

Pornhub hates women. Which makes it all the more sickening to read statements such as this one,  from their actual press release:

It doesn’t matter if you’re into itty-bitty-titties, the perfect handful, jumbo fun-bags or low-swinging flapjacks, what matters most is that your kind and selfless gesture will go a long way towards helping our sisters to find a cure.

“Sisters”?? Go die.

Porn culture is the beginning of the end. If we aren’t talking about the objectification and sexualization of women as a key issue in the feminist movement then we may as well give up.

The worst part is that cancer isn’t as untreatable as people are led to believe. The FDA just banned everything useful, because profits can’t be made from helping people. (or cleaning the environment, sharing knowledge, making food accesible for all, etc etc.)

(via theyoungradical)

ajacquelineofalltrades:

miss-love:

beautilation:

At Comic Con today, I went as Black Cat. This is a shitty picture and there will be better ones of my whole costume coming up but I just want to say something. 
Black Cat’s costume has a fair amount of cleavage (conservative compared to many other female comic characters but a good amount as far as what I’ve ever shown). I guess I was not surprised to have a couple men ask to pose with me and then do some doofy “WHOA LOOK AT THOSE KNOCKERS” poses. I just make a really ugly face when I see they’re doing it. One guy with the social graces of a lemur said to me “I was this close to wearing that same outfit. My breasts are large and supple and I think it would have been nice.” Nope. Stop talking.
But aside from guys being doofy and awkward (but clearly not foul-intentioned), I did have my first truly skeezy experience at Comic Con today. 
And my first truly empowering moment as well.
This group of men from some kind of Stan Lee fan club blah blah internet video channel blah blah asked to interview with them on camera about Comic Con. I said well okay, sure. Camera is rolling. The “host” is a middle aged, rotund dude. It’s an all-male crew and lots of people (mostly guys) were beginning to crowd around. The following is the interview as burned in my mind. Keep in mind that I expected this to be about Comic Con in general.
Him: I’m here with…
Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat
Him: ..And she is HOT. Do you think I’m hot enough to pull that off?
Me: Uh, I’m not sure, I’ve never seen you in drag.
Him: I’ve got a great ass. Go on, spank me.
Me: (look at his large ass, popped up mere inches away from me then look into the camera like are you kidding me . No thanks. I may hurt you, I’m a lot stronger than I look.
Him: Aw come on!
Me: No, seriously. Stop.
Him: Damn, alright! Well let me ask you an important question then…what is your cup size?
Me: (big talk show smile) That is actually none of your fucking business.
Him: Oh! I think that means to say she’s a C. 
Me: I actually have no breasts at all, what you see is just all of the fat from my midsection pulled up to my chest and carefully held in place with this corset. It’s really uncomfortable, I don’t know why I do it.
 Him: (to the male crowd) Aw, come on what do you guys think? C cup? 
—a few males start to shout out cup sizes as I stand there looking at this guy like this has to be a fucking joke, then look at the crowd and see that no amount of witty banter or fiestiness will stop making this whole thing fucking dumb. It was clearly a ploy to single out attractive cosplaying women to get them to talk sexual innuendos and flirt with this asshole and let him talk down to them simply because they were in costume and were attractive. Whether I’m in a skintight catsuit or not, I’m a fucking professional in everything I do and I don’t need to play nice for this idiot.
Me: This is not an interview, this is degrading. I’m done. (I walk away)
Him: (clearly dumbfounded and surprised) ..Come on, it’s all in good fun!
Me: Being degraded is fun? That was unprofessional and I hope that isn’t your day job because you can’t interview for shit, my man.
And the entire crew and the crowd were SILENT. NOTHING. SHOCK, HONEY. It felt like I was in a heated fog, full of rage and pride and I sashayed away feeling like the most badass motherfucker in the whole damn room. A slow build of applause would have been appropriate, but from the looks on people’s faces, they were just completely not expecting me to do what I just did. Because cons set attractive women cosplaying vixens to be open to crude male commentary and lecherous ogling, like our presence comes with subtitles that say “I represent your fantasy thus you may treat me like a fantasy and not a human in a costume”. And maybe that will always be how the majority of people see us. But that does not mean we have to put up with shit that crosses the line, it does not mean we owe them a fantasy, it does not mean we dress up to have guys drooling over us and letting us know that we turn them on. It is not all about your dicks, gentlemen. So I encourage cosplaying women everywhere to be blunt and vocal with their rights, their personal boundaries, and their comfort level at conventions. I actually encourage girls to be brashly shameless about these things, to not be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable and to let the person doing it know that they are crossing the line. Don’t keep quiet because you’re scared of what they might say or think- because if you say nothing they will continue to see what they’re doing as OK. 



Clapping

ajacquelineofalltrades:

miss-love:

beautilation:

At Comic Con today, I went as Black Cat. This is a shitty picture and there will be better ones of my whole costume coming up but I just want to say something. 

Black Cat’s costume has a fair amount of cleavage (conservative compared to many other female comic characters but a good amount as far as what I’ve ever shown). I guess I was not surprised to have a couple men ask to pose with me and then do some doofy “WHOA LOOK AT THOSE KNOCKERS” poses. I just make a really ugly face when I see they’re doing it. One guy with the social graces of a lemur said to me “I was this close to wearing that same outfit. My breasts are large and supple and I think it would have been nice.” Nope. Stop talking.

But aside from guys being doofy and awkward (but clearly not foul-intentioned), I did have my first truly skeezy experience at Comic Con today. 

And my first truly empowering moment as well.

This group of men from some kind of Stan Lee fan club blah blah internet video channel blah blah asked to interview with them on camera about Comic Con. I said well okay, sure. Camera is rolling. The “host” is a middle aged, rotund dude. It’s an all-male crew and lots of people (mostly guys) were beginning to crowd around. The following is the interview as burned in my mind. Keep in mind that I expected this to be about Comic Con in general.

  • Him: I’m here with…
  • Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat
  • Him: ..And she is HOT. Do you think I’m hot enough to pull that off?
  • Me: Uh, I’m not sure, I’ve never seen you in drag.
  • Him: I’ve got a great ass. Go on, spank me.
  • Me: (look at his large ass, popped up mere inches away from me then look into the camera like are you kidding me . No thanks. I may hurt you, I’m a lot stronger than I look.
  • Him: Aw come on!
  • Me: No, seriously. Stop.
  • Him: Damn, alright! Well let me ask you an important question then…what is your cup size?
  • Me: (big talk show smile) That is actually none of your fucking business.
  • Him: Oh! I think that means to say she’s a C. 
  • Me: I actually have no breasts at all, what you see is just all of the fat from my midsection pulled up to my chest and carefully held in place with this corset. It’s really uncomfortable, I don’t know why I do it.
  •  Him: (to the male crowd) Aw, come on what do you guys think? C cup? 
  • —a few males start to shout out cup sizes as I stand there looking at this guy like this has to be a fucking joke, then look at the crowd and see that no amount of witty banter or fiestiness will stop making this whole thing fucking dumb. It was clearly a ploy to single out attractive cosplaying women to get them to talk sexual innuendos and flirt with this asshole and let him talk down to them simply because they were in costume and were attractive. Whether I’m in a skintight catsuit or not, I’m a fucking professional in everything I do and I don’t need to play nice for this idiot.
  • Me: This is not an interview, this is degrading. I’m done. (I walk away)
  • Him: (clearly dumbfounded and surprised) ..Come on, it’s all in good fun!
  • Me: Being degraded is fun? That was unprofessional and I hope that isn’t your day job because you can’t interview for shit, my man.

And the entire crew and the crowd were SILENT. NOTHING. SHOCK, HONEY. It felt like I was in a heated fog, full of rage and pride and I sashayed away feeling like the most badass motherfucker in the whole damn room. A slow build of applause would have been appropriate, but from the looks on people’s faces, they were just completely not expecting me to do what I just did. Because cons set attractive women cosplaying vixens to be open to crude male commentary and lecherous ogling, like our presence comes with subtitles that say “I represent your fantasy thus you may treat me like a fantasy and not a human in a costume”. And maybe that will always be how the majority of people see us. But that does not mean we have to put up with shit that crosses the line, it does not mean we owe them a fantasy, it does not mean we dress up to have guys drooling over us and letting us know that we turn them on. It is not all about your dicks, gentlemen. So I encourage cosplaying women everywhere to be blunt and vocal with their rights, their personal boundaries, and their comfort level at conventions. I actually encourage girls to be brashly shameless about these things, to not be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable and to let the person doing it know that they are crossing the line. Don’t keep quiet because you’re scared of what they might say or think- because if you say nothing they will continue to see what they’re doing as OK. 


Clapping

"

False accusations unfortunately do happen, but the number is hard to quantify. Depending on the source, the percentage of false rape reports is somewhere between 2% and 8%. Though ideally there would be no false reports, the percentage is not significantly higher than false reports for other crimes (an estimated 10% of automobile theft reports are false). Furthermore, the percentage often includes “unfounded reports,” which are sometimes classified as such if the victim is intoxicated, did not fight back, or has a history of mental illness. That is, if the victim is not “perfect,” the crime does not get prosecuted.

The myth perpetuated by Rivard’s words also implies that once a woman accuses a man of rape, he is immediately prosecuted and thrown in jail. In reality, rape is underreported and has an extremely low prosecution rate. According to RAINN, about 54% of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to police. Of those reported, only about 12% lead to an arrest and 9% get prosecuted.

It’s time for politicians to stop making unfounded statements about women and rape. Our bodies do not have a way “shut that whole thing down.” Our bodies do not “secrete a certain secretion” to kill sperm during rape. If we don’t have cuts and bruises, it does not mean that it was not a “legitimate rape” or not “rape rape.” We do not “cry rape.” And finally, some women do not “just rape easy.” When we are raped it is not our fault. The blame lies with the rapist, pure and simple, and that is where the focus should remain.

"

— Kerry Hogan, “Politicians Need to Stop Saying Awful Things About Women and Rape” (via unrelatedwaffle)

(via politicsd00d)

stfusexists:

badcgijosh:

macabre-delirium:

True story.

You look up. A slut comes tumbling out of the sky! Oh my goodness. Before you have time to ask where she came from, yet another slut comes tumbling out of the sky. This one actually hits you on her way to the ground. You stagger. There are sluts everywhere! How do you know they’re sluts? Oh, you know. You just know. There are more sluts falling from the sky. It is a literal deluge of sluts! You’re running, dodging bodies when a particularly large slut lands right on top of you, pinning you to the ground.
A respectable citizen pokes their head out of a building as the horrifying downpour of sexual liberation (oh no) and clothes that show relatively more skin than yours (OH NO) continues, shouting, “Is there anyone out here who isn’t a slut?”
Alas, buried under the ever mounting pile of people that you’ve voluntarily placed a dichotomy separating you from them that totally isn’t false on, your croaks for help can’t reach their ears.
You will die in this place

You know how a few days ago I was talking about the different ways to shut down sexist malarkey? And how I choose to kill it with fire?
This is another approach. Writing a hilarious backstory to this that makes it a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Josh, you’ve done it again.

stfusexists:

badcgijosh:

macabre-delirium:

True story.

You look up. A slut comes tumbling out of the sky! Oh my goodness. Before you have time to ask where she came from, yet another slut comes tumbling out of the sky. This one actually hits you on her way to the ground. You stagger. There are sluts everywhere! How do you know they’re sluts? Oh, you know. You just know. There are more sluts falling from the sky. It is a literal deluge of sluts! You’re running, dodging bodies when a particularly large slut lands right on top of you, pinning you to the ground.

A respectable citizen pokes their head out of a building as the horrifying downpour of sexual liberation (oh no) and clothes that show relatively more skin than yours (OH NO) continues, shouting, “Is there anyone out here who isn’t a slut?”

Alas, buried under the ever mounting pile of people that you’ve voluntarily placed a dichotomy separating you from them that totally isn’t false on, your croaks for help can’t reach their ears.

You will die in this place

You know how a few days ago I was talking about the different ways to shut down sexist malarkey? And how I choose to kill it with fire?

This is another approach. Writing a hilarious backstory to this that makes it a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Josh, you’ve done it again.

(via politicsd00d)

"‎I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

Sister Joan Chittister, Catholic Nun (via timehasflewn)

holy shit i love this quote

(via glitter-femin1sts)

I vote we stop using the term “pro-life” and change to “pro-birth”, and every time someone asks “What does that mean?”, you can explain this and the other racialized, classist, misogynist, body policing, rape culture reinforcing bullshit behind “pro-life” dogma.

(via lebanesepoppyseed)

Nuns, y’all. 

(via silensy)

(via politicsd00d)

fleurdeliser:

cheia:

Safe abortions have always been available to the rich, Dan. You simply want to deny them to the poor, and if you succeed, poor woman will be forced to get them anyway. They’ll be forced into the alleys with hangers, plungers and vacuum cleaners, risking death or mutilation. But you’d like that, wouldn’t you, Dan? You sadistic, elitist, sexist, racist, anti-humanist pig!
Saturday Night Live 3x18

This aired in 1978. Thirty-four years later, it’s still a fucking ~debate.

fleurdeliser:

cheia:

Safe abortions have always been available to the rich, Dan. You simply want to deny them to the poor, and if you succeed, poor woman will be forced to get them anyway. They’ll be forced into the alleys with hangers, plungers and vacuum cleaners, risking death or mutilation. But you’d like that, wouldn’t you, Dan? You sadistic, elitist, sexist, racist, anti-humanist pig!

Saturday Night Live 3x18

This aired in 1978. Thirty-four years later, it’s still a fucking ~debate.

(via politicsd00d)

lacigreen:

certain-indecision:

Looks like the comment I made on this got a fair number of likes. Proud of 104 people right now <3

A comment definitely worthy of 104 thumbs.  (and thank you for the support!)

Precisely.

(Source: sleepingbirdy, via politicsd00d)

somepolitics:

In a significant decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week ruled that the right to abort a pregnancy in a marriage rests with the wife and not husband.

“A woman is not a machine in which raw material is put and a finished product comes out. She should be mentally prepared to conceive, continue the same and give birth to a child. The unwanted pregnancy would naturally affect the mental health of the pregnant woman…” said the court.

Stressing that marital intimacy between a couple does not automatically translate to the woman’s consent to child bearing, Justice Jitendra Chauhan said, “Mere consent to conjugal rights does not mean consent to give birth to a child for her husband.” Welcoming the judgement, Jagmati Sanwan, All India Democratic Women’s Association national vice-president said, “If the family conditions are unsuitable, no woman would like to give birth to a child because after all, she is the one who takes care of the children for all practical purposes. We see around us that fathers often desert their families after a couple of deliveries. But children become a part and parcel of the mother’s physical and emotional world. She invests much into their well being and she alone suffers. Hence, the rights of whether to give birth or not, should be with her.”

Take note, America.

(via politicsd00d)

amaditalks:

On Tuesday, after liveblogging my read-through of Pennsylvania’s HB1077, the bill which would force unwanted endovaginal ultrasounds on most persons seeking an abortion in the state, I sent a scathing email to my state representative, Harry Readshaw, who is a co-sponsor of the bill. To be entirely fair, I dislike my representative a great deal. He’s nominally a democrat, yet he’s entirely anti-choice, he also introduced a copy of the Arizona “papers please” anti-immigrant bill in this legislative session. I don’t know why he calls himself a democrat, but he does, and I hold him accountable. I wrote:

Dear Representative Readshaw:
I know this message will fall on deaf ears as you’re firmly committed to destroying my constitutional right to control my reproductive life, nevertheless, this legislation that you are co-sponsoring is both onerous and offensive and I feel it my responsibility as your constituent to let you know that your support of this bill completely erodes any possibility of my continued support for you.
Fact: there is no evidence, from actual empirical studies, that ultrasounds change people’s minds when they’re seeking an abortion. All that these “educational” ultrasounds do is add unneeded time, expense and delay to the process and, as a consequence, increase the number of medical complications that arise. If the goal is to improve women’s health, this bill is already a failure on its face.
Fact: More than 60% of those seeking an abortion already have had at least one child. they know what pregnancy is, how it works, and what continuing an unwanted pregnancy would mean to their lives and the lives of their families. they don’t need counseling, waiting periods or extra ultrasounds to “know” as per this “right to know” concept.
Women do have independent intellect. We are able to come to decisions about important issues in our lives without being handheld or spoonfed information, and if there’s information that women want or need to know, we are capable of asking for ourselves.
The arrogant overriding of women’s agency and presumption of women’s ignorance inherent in this bill, from its very first line, and the “right to know” language makes me wonder: if women are so dreadfully incapable of independent decision making and learning, how on earth are they meant to parent the end results of the pregnancies that they’re being encouraged not to terminate? Or the children that they already have?
The illogical position that you are espousing by co-sponsoring and, I’m sure, ultimately voting for this repulsive piece of legislation speaks volumes about your inherent disdain and mistrust of women and bigotry against us. Given that, I’m not sure why you think that more than half of the electorate should support you, given that you’ve demonstrated time and again how little you think of us, our abilities and ultimately, our humanity.

Yeah, I was a little bit fired up, because this bill? Is ridiculous. (Yes, I also went to “women” rather than my normal gender neutral language. This dude is a Neanderthal, no way was he going to grasp the point of gender neutrality.)
Today, I received an oversized manilla envelope from Rep. Readshaw. Inside was a printout of HB 1077, a printout of some database’s information about me, indicating where I live, that I’m not the head of the household (why/how it knows this I do not know) and a few other things about me, like ethnicity, that no elected official should or needs to know. I’m going to have to get to the bottom of that.
Also included was a printout of my email, with the phrases “will fall on deaf ears” “destroying my constitutional right” and “my continued support for you” underlined in red ink. Apparently these phrases were exceptionally offensive? I don’t know.
And then there was the letter you see above. Handwritten by the representative himself, in all its chickenscratchy, grammatically questionable glory.
Let’s break it down together, shall we? First, note the black bar? That’s where the letter was addressed to me solely by my first name. (Government name, hence the censoring.) Not Ms. Lastname, not even Dear Firstname, just Firstname, as if he knows me and is writing to a friend. I don’t play that way. I gave him the respect of referring to him by title, he’ll do the same if he ever addresses me again.

He writes:
I know this message will fall on deaf ears but….. I do not choose to debate “intellect” vs. morals. As I believe morals should overwhelmingly be the favorite.
This is obviously a reference to my amazing assertion that “women do have independent intellect.” He disdains that, clearly. And thinks that if we choose abortion, we’re immoral. And I, by extension, am immoral for my stance. The inference is pretty clear to me, how about you? So this is a moral issue, which says to me that it’s not a legal issue. If it’s about morality, that’s not for the state to legislate to me, it’s for me to determine a course of action about, perhaps with the people I trust to discuss moral issues with, and whose guidance I can trust.
Let’s move on, though, shall we?

This blew my socks off. The arrogance and ignorance you’re about to read from a sitting elected official is absolutely breathtaking.
There should be no need to consider “what continuing an unwanted pregnancy would mean to their lives.” This can be controlled by contraception. Why create and kill? Simply, do not create….. Be responsible!
Where do I start? Apparently in whatever fantasy land this man inhabits, everyone has access to contraceptives. We know this is false. We know that this is demonstrably false. Apparently in that same fantasy land, contraception is 100% effective in every case. We know that this is demonstrably false. Apparently in that same fantasy land there is no rape, no coercion, no sexual abuse, no domestic violence, no birth control sabotage. There should be no need to consider. Nothing to think about. Just move along, you irresponsible killer sluts.
How dare he? I’m seething here. Seething.

Seven cosponsors are women of HB1077 and I do not believe any of the cosponsors have a “disdain and mistrust of women or bigotry against them.”
Once again, he misuses quotes to try to paraphrase things I wrote in my email, and does dreadful things to proper English grammatical syntax. Also? I really don’t care what he believes, the evidence contradicts him. This bill says in the very first line that we are too ignorant to understand our own pregnancies. It’s disdainful, it’s brimming with mistrust of our knowledge and our ability to make decisions for ourselves, ask questions for ourselves or understand our needs and those of our families, and I’ll stand by bigotry every day. That’s what underpins this all. And yes, women can be bigoted against other women. I think we’ve all seen and experienced that. It’s evident on its face — if you’re willing to look.

You stated my position is “illogical” and your feeling is no doubt prompted by disagreement with my stance on the subject.
Really? Are you just now getting that, Harry? Also, note that word feeling I don’t have thoughts or positions or stances, I have feelings. Little hypersensitive woman that I am. Yeah, the tone is clear, isn’t it?
Now, prepare to be appalled, if you’re not already, because he’s about to cross a line so broad and so unbelievable it will take your breath away.

I have a daughter that is not biologically capable of having a child due to complications. She cannot bear a child and you want to kill them. She has also experienced 2 miscarriages. Sorry, I disagree with your convictions.
HE JUST DISCLOSED HIS DAUGHTER’S PRIVATE MEDICAL INFORMATION IN AN EFFORT TO JUSTIFY HIS SUPPORT OF THIS BILL AND GENERAL ANTI-CHOICE POSITION.
Sorry for shouting, no, actually, I’m not. I am beyond disbelief that he believes that this woman’s personal pain, her private information, her reproductive status is fair game to be bandied around like this, to be used to score political points, as a gotcha at me. She can’t have babies and I want to KILL THEM! What kind of person am I that I could possibly support other people having autonomy over their own reproduction when she doesn’t have any?
What kills me is that he doesn’t actually know whether I’m pro-choice. My email to him didn’t say. I’m opposed to forced endovaginal ultrasounds before abortions, that doesn’t mean that I necessarily like abortions. For the record, I don’t much care for them. I wish no one ever had to have one. But that isn’t reality. Even with ideal comprehensive sexual education, universal healthcare and unfettered contraceptive access there will still be pregnancies that cannot be sustained. That’s why I’m pro-choice because I recognize reality, and because it’s not my right to interfere in other people’s medical choices.
But it doesn’t matter to him. Anyone who has support for autonomy is some kind of horrible monster who’d kill the precious thing his daughter wants and can’t have.
What he doesn’t know, couldn’t know, in his fantasy land of assumptions and presumptions, is that I too am actually incapable of having much-wanted children. (I’ll give benefit of the doubt that his daughter actually is, that he’s not making that up to justify himself.) And yet, despite the fact that being pregnant would make me incredibly happy, and won’t ever happen, I still recognize that my desire to be pregnant is not universal and I cannot expect other people to continue pregnancies that they do not want, cannot afford, cannot physically or emotionally sustain, just because of my feelings about pregnancy for me. I am not other people. I cannot expect them to live their lives as I would. That’s kind of the cornerstone of what liberty is, isn’t it?
Let’s press on, before I get all maudlin all over this thing.

As of this date, you are the only person other than 2 medical doctors that have contacted me in the negative.
Huh, doctors are opposed to a broadly invasive and overreaching bill that directly interferes with patient care and injects politics into treatment rooms. Is that surprising? Is that extraordinary? I don’t think so. And when this thing blows up, as Texas should have and Virginia has, and it will, I think that this number will change. And now, I’m going to do my best to be sure of it.
One last note, remember when I said that in the envelope with the letter was a printout of some database’s information about me? Check out the last line again:

Congratulations on your voting record it is very good!
I’m going to presume that there is some database that shows how many times I’ve voted since I registered in 1991. (The answer is “twice a year, every year, or 42 times thus far.) But why is he looking that up before sending me a letter in response to me writing to him? Why is it germane? Why is it his business? Why is it legal? Do I not get a letter if I don’t vote or vote often enough for his tastes? I’m going to be looking into this too, I assure you.
Now, the question is: what to do about this. First, I’m definitely writing him back, and calling. I have a few words to say, the first of which will be don’t you ever call me by first name again. Start with basic respect and work from there.
Other than that? I’m not sure. I’m still seething. I’ve been essentially called an immoral baby killer here, by my elected representative, and he’s disclosed information about his daughter that is reprehensible. There should be some consequences for this.
I’d say that you should all email Representative Readshaw and let him know what you think of his letter, but he only accepts email from constituents. But if anyone is inclined to send him postal mail
Representative Harry A. Readshaw 1917 Brownsville Road Pittsburgh, PA 15210 or Room 122 Irvis Office Building House Box 202020 Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020
If you’re inclined to call or fax:
Call: 412-881-4208 or 717-783-0411 Fax: 412-886-2077 or 717-705-2007
If you have other suggestions for responses, please share. I don’t think that this should go unaddressed.
UPDATE: SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY: Please read this follow up which addresses a number of the questions that have arisen in these past 48 hours. Thank you!

amaditalks:

On Tuesday, after liveblogging my read-through of Pennsylvania’s HB1077, the bill which would force unwanted endovaginal ultrasounds on most persons seeking an abortion in the state, I sent a scathing email to my state representative, Harry Readshaw, who is a co-sponsor of the bill. To be entirely fair, I dislike my representative a great deal. He’s nominally a democrat, yet he’s entirely anti-choice, he also introduced a copy of the Arizona “papers please” anti-immigrant bill in this legislative session. I don’t know why he calls himself a democrat, but he does, and I hold him accountable. I wrote:

Dear Representative Readshaw:

I know this message will fall on deaf ears as you’re firmly committed to destroying my constitutional right to control my reproductive life, nevertheless, this legislation that you are co-sponsoring is both onerous and offensive and I feel it my responsibility as your constituent to let you know that your support of this bill completely erodes any possibility of my continued support for you.

Fact: there is no evidence, from actual empirical studies, that ultrasounds change people’s minds when they’re seeking an abortion. All that these “educational” ultrasounds do is add unneeded time, expense and delay to the process and, as a consequence, increase the number of medical complications that arise. If the goal is to improve women’s health, this bill is already a failure on its face.

Fact: More than 60% of those seeking an abortion already have had at least one child. they know what pregnancy is, how it works, and what continuing an unwanted pregnancy would mean to their lives and the lives of their families. they don’t need counseling, waiting periods or extra ultrasounds to “know” as per this “right to know” concept.

Women do have independent intellect. We are able to come to decisions about important issues in our lives without being handheld or spoonfed information, and if there’s information that women want or need to know, we are capable of asking for ourselves.

The arrogant overriding of women’s agency and presumption of women’s ignorance inherent in this bill, from its very first line, and the “right to know” language makes me wonder: if women are so dreadfully incapable of independent decision making and learning, how on earth are they meant to parent the end results of the pregnancies that they’re being encouraged not to terminate? Or the children that they already have?

The illogical position that you are espousing by co-sponsoring and, I’m sure, ultimately voting for this repulsive piece of legislation speaks volumes about your inherent disdain and mistrust of women and bigotry against us. Given that, I’m not sure why you think that more than half of the electorate should support you, given that you’ve demonstrated time and again how little you think of us, our abilities and ultimately, our humanity.

Yeah, I was a little bit fired up, because this bill? Is ridiculous. (Yes, I also went to “women” rather than my normal gender neutral language. This dude is a Neanderthal, no way was he going to grasp the point of gender neutrality.)

Today, I received an oversized manilla envelope from Rep. Readshaw. Inside was a printout of HB 1077, a printout of some database’s information about me, indicating where I live, that I’m not the head of the household (why/how it knows this I do not know) and a few other things about me, like ethnicity, that no elected official should or needs to know. I’m going to have to get to the bottom of that.

Also included was a printout of my email, with the phrases “will fall on deaf ears” “destroying my constitutional right” and “my continued support for you” underlined in red ink. Apparently these phrases were exceptionally offensive? I don’t know.

And then there was the letter you see above. Handwritten by the representative himself, in all its chickenscratchy, grammatically questionable glory.

Let’s break it down together, shall we? First, note the black bar? That’s where the letter was addressed to me solely by my first name. (Government name, hence the censoring.) Not Ms. Lastname, not even Dear Firstname, just Firstname, as if he knows me and is writing to a friend. I don’t play that way. I gave him the respect of referring to him by title, he’ll do the same if he ever addresses me again.

Click for Full Sized, Text Reproduced Below

He writes:

I know this message will fall on deaf ears but….. I do not choose to debate “intellect” vs. morals. As I believe morals should overwhelmingly be the favorite.

This is obviously a reference to my amazing assertion that “women do have independent intellect.” He disdains that, clearly. And thinks that if we choose abortion, we’re immoral. And I, by extension, am immoral for my stance. The inference is pretty clear to me, how about you? So this is a moral issue, which says to me that it’s not a legal issue. If it’s about morality, that’s not for the state to legislate to me, it’s for me to determine a course of action about, perhaps with the people I trust to discuss moral issues with, and whose guidance I can trust.

Let’s move on, though, shall we?

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This blew my socks off. The arrogance and ignorance you’re about to read from a sitting elected official is absolutely breathtaking.

There should be no need to consider “what continuing an unwanted pregnancy would mean to their lives.” This can be controlled by contraception. Why create and kill? Simply, do not create….. Be responsible!

Where do I start? Apparently in whatever fantasy land this man inhabits, everyone has access to contraceptives. We know this is false. We know that this is demonstrably false. Apparently in that same fantasy land, contraception is 100% effective in every case. We know that this is demonstrably false. Apparently in that same fantasy land there is no rape, no coercion, no sexual abuse, no domestic violence, no birth control sabotage. There should be no need to consider. Nothing to think about. Just move along, you irresponsible killer sluts.

How dare he? I’m seething here. Seething.

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Seven cosponsors are women of HB1077 and I do not believe any of the cosponsors have a “disdain and mistrust of women or bigotry against them.”

Once again, he misuses quotes to try to paraphrase things I wrote in my email, and does dreadful things to proper English grammatical syntax. Also? I really don’t care what he believes, the evidence contradicts him. This bill says in the very first line that we are too ignorant to understand our own pregnancies. It’s disdainful, it’s brimming with mistrust of our knowledge and our ability to make decisions for ourselves, ask questions for ourselves or understand our needs and those of our families, and I’ll stand by bigotry every day. That’s what underpins this all. And yes, women can be bigoted against other women. I think we’ve all seen and experienced that. It’s evident on its face — if you’re willing to look.

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You stated my position is “illogical” and your feeling is no doubt prompted by disagreement with my stance on the subject.

Really? Are you just now getting that, Harry? Also, note that word feeling I don’t have thoughts or positions or stances, I have feelings. Little hypersensitive woman that I am. Yeah, the tone is clear, isn’t it?

Now, prepare to be appalled, if you’re not already, because he’s about to cross a line so broad and so unbelievable it will take your breath away.

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I have a daughter that is not biologically capable of having a child due to complications. She cannot bear a child and you want to kill them. She has also experienced 2 miscarriages. Sorry, I disagree with your convictions.

HE JUST DISCLOSED HIS DAUGHTER’S PRIVATE MEDICAL INFORMATION IN AN EFFORT TO JUSTIFY HIS SUPPORT OF THIS BILL AND GENERAL ANTI-CHOICE POSITION.

Sorry for shouting, no, actually, I’m not. I am beyond disbelief that he believes that this woman’s personal pain, her private information, her reproductive status is fair game to be bandied around like this, to be used to score political points, as a gotcha at me. She can’t have babies and I want to KILL THEM! What kind of person am I that I could possibly support other people having autonomy over their own reproduction when she doesn’t have any?

What kills me is that he doesn’t actually know whether I’m pro-choice. My email to him didn’t say. I’m opposed to forced endovaginal ultrasounds before abortions, that doesn’t mean that I necessarily like abortions. For the record, I don’t much care for them. I wish no one ever had to have one. But that isn’t reality. Even with ideal comprehensive sexual education, universal healthcare and unfettered contraceptive access there will still be pregnancies that cannot be sustained. That’s why I’m pro-choice because I recognize reality, and because it’s not my right to interfere in other people’s medical choices.

But it doesn’t matter to him. Anyone who has support for autonomy is some kind of horrible monster who’d kill the precious thing his daughter wants and can’t have.

What he doesn’t know, couldn’t know, in his fantasy land of assumptions and presumptions, is that I too am actually incapable of having much-wanted children. (I’ll give benefit of the doubt that his daughter actually is, that he’s not making that up to justify himself.) And yet, despite the fact that being pregnant would make me incredibly happy, and won’t ever happen, I still recognize that my desire to be pregnant is not universal and I cannot expect other people to continue pregnancies that they do not want, cannot afford, cannot physically or emotionally sustain, just because of my feelings about pregnancy for me. I am not other people. I cannot expect them to live their lives as I would. That’s kind of the cornerstone of what liberty is, isn’t it?

Let’s press on, before I get all maudlin all over this thing.

Click for Full Sized, Text Reproduced Below

As of this date, you are the only person other than 2 medical doctors that have contacted me in the negative.

Huh, doctors are opposed to a broadly invasive and overreaching bill that directly interferes with patient care and injects politics into treatment rooms. Is that surprising? Is that extraordinary? I don’t think so. And when this thing blows up, as Texas should have and Virginia has, and it will, I think that this number will change. And now, I’m going to do my best to be sure of it.

One last note, remember when I said that in the envelope with the letter was a printout of some database’s information about me? Check out the last line again:

Click for Full Sized, Text Reproduced Below

Congratulations on your voting record it is very good!

I’m going to presume that there is some database that shows how many times I’ve voted since I registered in 1991. (The answer is “twice a year, every year, or 42 times thus far.) But why is he looking that up before sending me a letter in response to me writing to him? Why is it germane? Why is it his business? Why is it legal? Do I not get a letter if I don’t vote or vote often enough for his tastes? I’m going to be looking into this too, I assure you.

Now, the question is: what to do about this. First, I’m definitely writing him back, and calling. I have a few words to say, the first of which will be don’t you ever call me by first name again. Start with basic respect and work from there.

Other than that? I’m not sure. I’m still seething. I’ve been essentially called an immoral baby killer here, by my elected representative, and he’s disclosed information about his daughter that is reprehensible. There should be some consequences for this.

I’d say that you should all email Representative Readshaw and let him know what you think of his letter, but he only accepts email from constituents. But if anyone is inclined to send him postal mail

Representative Harry A. Readshaw
1917 Brownsville Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15210

or
Room 122 Irvis Office Building
House Box 202020
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020

If you’re inclined to call or fax:

Call: 412-881-4208 or 717-783-0411
Fax: 412-886-2077 or 717-705-2007

If you have other suggestions for responses, please share. I don’t think that this should go unaddressed.

UPDATE: SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY: Please read this follow up which addresses a number of the questions that have arisen in these past 48 hours. Thank you!

(via politicsd00d)

politicsd00d:

think-progress:

Virginia is poised to pass legislation that would require women to endure this invasive ultrasound, for no medical reason, before receiving an abortion. 

State-sponsored rape, folks. -_-

politicsd00d:

think-progress:

Virginia is poised to pass legislation that would require women to endure this invasive ultrasound, for no medical reason, before receiving an abortion. 

State-sponsored rape, folks. -_-

politicsd00d:

The birth control skirmish is not the only regressive, anti-woman, anti-science battle being waged in this country.
- - - - - -

(Link opens in new window.)

Article © 2012 AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer and Lauren Kelley