But there’s only a million reasons the penises of the world shouldn’t be making laws about body parts they don’t have. Was that an antagonistic statement? Definitely. Was Democratic Congresswoman from Michigan Lisa Brown going for shock value when she used the term “vagina” on the floor in June 2012? Maybe. When faced with restrictive abortion laws Brown spoke up, with a closing statement that exploded with controversy.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been beyond stressed out lately. Maybe it’s because I haven’t slept much in the last week. Maybe it’s because I’m struggling to juggle a full-time job, a full course load, and still maintain some kind of social life.
Whatever the reason is, I am sick and tired of being a feminist. I’m tired of constantly defending myself, of trying to explain things. Like all of this:
I am tired of female politicians getting asked silly, vapid questions. As if who your favorite designer is has ANY impact on your ability to lead.
I am tired of having to walk down the quad after class and listen to a group of fraternity brothers refer to people as “fags,” as if being LGBTQ is an insult.
I am tired of hearing my male friends complain about being “friendzoned.” I am tired of the idea that just because you are nice to a girl and give her a shoulder to lean on, she should automatically fall in love with you and/or enter into a sexual relationship with you.
I’m sick and tired of listening to male politicians trying to make decisions about MY body. I’m tired of people like Paul Ryan, the VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE of the Republican Party, trying to argue that RAPE is a form of conception.
I’m tired of not being able to have a conversation about poverty in America without someone bringing up “welfare queens.” Just like Melissa Harris-Perry, I am sick of hearing that poor people are lazy, that they don’t work hard, that single mothers struggling to make ends meet just want to suck on the government tit.
I’m tired of telling people that I write and edit for a feminist blog and getting looks of disdain and dismissal. I’m tired of people assuming anything about me or my sexuality because I’m a feminist. I’m tired of being told that I make a big deal out of “stupid” things. I’m tired of being told to learn to take a joke. I’m tired of my very righteous anger being dismissed as the rantings of a silly young person who will calm down once she’s out of school.
Everyone remember the transvaginal ultrasound state-rape law that was proposed in Virginia before an amended version was passed? Well, Texas has one of those laws on the books right now. It’s been the subject of several rallies and protests over the past few weeks because it’s invasive, unnecessary, and a violation of the bodies of people seeking abortions. Wendy Davis is a Democratic state senator from Texas, an outspoken advocate of Planned Parenthood who recently attended one of those rallies opposing anti-choice attacks on reproductive rights and justice.
This afternoon, her office was firebombed. Incredibly, no one was injured in the firebombing. If they had been, it wouldn’t have been the first time that someone was harmed or died due to anti-choice violence. You can go ahead and say that I’m making a leap, assuming that this is motivated by anti-choice politics, but I don’t really think it is. You see, anti-choice politicians don’t really find themselves getting firebombed, do they? This violence typically comes from one side of the issue. So we won’t know the exact motivations until the suspect is caught (if they are caught), but given a pattern of anti-choice violence I’m about to discuss I don’t think anyone would be surprised if the firebombing was over abortion rights.
Just a quick news update, the Personhood bill was sent back to committee by the Virginia Senate for the year, effectively killing it for this legislative session. So, you know, we’ll have to worry about it again in the future, but for now, this is quite a victory! YAY!
[Trigger warning: Discussion of misuse of the word rape and the transvaginal ultrasounds bill].
So I have a request to all Republican politicians currently talking about and actively restricting women’s reproductive rights and health. It’s a pretty simple request, I think. Here goes: if you don’t fucking know all the facts about an issue do not spout off your ill-informed opinion about it, and absolutely do not draft or introduce or pass legislation about it.
If you are going to do these things anyway, please know the consequences of your actions and don’t feign ignorance when asked the tough questions because people find your legislation to be unacceptable.
Specifically, I am talking about Delegate Bob Marshall, the author of H.B. 1, Virginia’s Personhood bill. You see, Mr. Marshall seems to have no idea what his piece of legislation would actually do, or he’s faking unawareness of the consequences to avoid opprobrium from the public. Either way, it’s not okay, and especially not from an elected official supposedly representing the
white, straight, cismen people of Virginia.
With the recent news of the Virginia House passing a personhood bill and a mandatory transvaginal ultrasound bill, I’ve found myself searching for anyone who supports these measures. In my search, I turned to pro-life blogs and news articles that discussed these issues or the issue of abortion in general. While reading, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the misleading rhetoric that the authors built upon to make their points. So, I’ve decided to highlight some phrases that I’ve come across and explain exactly why I think they are so dangerously misleading.
“Pro-Life”: The very term used to describe a person who favors the illegalization of abortion in the U.S. is unfair and deceptive. This implies that anyone with a dissenting view is, of course, anti-life. The fact still remains that a fetus is not considered a living, breathing human being. Therefore, aborting it does not mean taking away its life. Furthermore, those who don’t call themselves “pro-life” certainly don’t advocate abortions for everyone. It’s not an all-or-nothing attitude. Pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion; many pro-choice women have never and will never have one, themselves. They simply recognize that their decision is exactly that: a personal choice, and one that they don’t assume they can make for another person.
The bill mandating transvaginal ultrasounds is on its way to Governor McDonnell’s desk, and given his political beliefs and the fact that he’s gunning to be picked as vice president on the Republican ticket, there’s a good chance he’s going to sign it. (He’s already said he will). Also, you can check out this quick hit from the 14th if you need more information about what’s going on.
So call the governor and tell him that this is not okay, and that Virginia residents and his constituents will not stand for this bill. So we’ve written up some tips for you, when you decide to call him (and really, he deserves to be inundated with calls about this).
The number for his office is: (804) 786-2211. You can also email him at his official website.
Tips for calling the governor:
Make sure you say what you’re calling about – you are calling in regards to the bill mandating transvaginal ultrasounds for women who are seeking abortion.
Be concise and to the point – what does this law mean for you, specifically? (like, “This would be an invasion of my right to privacy and my right to an abortion”).
Say why you’re against it – it’s medically unnecessary, harmful to women, is a complete and utter violation of a woman’s body, is not cost effective, etc.
Give the exact action you want the governor to do – veto this bill.
Try and remain calm – you may want to call him and the Virginia GOP a bunch of stupid fuckers, but it’s for the best to save that for your blog.
And tell him to veto the bill that would mandate women have transvaginal ultrasounds prior to abortion, and let him know that state-sanctioned rape is unacceptable to the residents of Virginia.
The number for his office is: (804) 786-2211.
Do it. Now.
Because Virginia hates you, and wants to have complete control of you, your body, and your reproductive health and choices. This is just quick hit because I am so angry I can barely form words. The Virginia House passed two extreme anti-choice laws: the Personhood bill introduced by Delegate Bob Marshall (so sorry if you use birth control like 99% of women, because in Virginia it could be criminalized pretty soon), and a law requiring women have transvaginal ultrasounds before abortion (just emphasizing that these ultrasounds are mandatory meaning that the state is requiring women be penetrated with a probe regardless of consent prior to an abortion). It’s also important to note that regardless of how conservative a states is, voters DO NOT WANT a Personhood law on the books. Mississippi voters resoundingly voted one down last fall because of how extremely anti-choice it is. In case this utter bullshit isn’t enough, by the way, Delegate Todd Gilbert of Woodstock called abortion “a matter of convenience” while supporting the ultrasounds bill. To which I can only say, go fuck yourself. Anyone who would ever consider abortion to be a matter of convenience (which is simply untrue, especially given how fucking difficult it is to obtain an abortion at all) deserves no say in any discussion of reproductive rights because they clearly lack any fundamental understanding of the issue at hand. I cannot fathom the extent of ignorance and misogynist hate someone must have to say something so fucking stupid.
Oh, and I would just like to note that not just women seek abortions, men and nonbinary individuals also need abortions too. So what I mean to say is if you’re in the category of a person who might ever need an abortion, you should move.
Hey readers! Tonight at 8 PM in Miller 1101, aliasmitch and I will be representing ShoutOut! in a forum on women’s issues hosted by the College Democrats. Topics include the gender pay gap, sexual education, and abortion. I hope to see you there!