Talking to those Freaking Out over Abortion Coat Hanger Symbol

abortion-coat-hangerCatholics and most Protestant religions claim an instrument of torture, the cross, as the perfect symbol for their religion. Yet they demand that another instrument of torture they created by their demanding love of the fetus the coat hanger is evil.

“I honestly can’t believe that someone would celebrate the destruction of babies (boys, and YES millions of girls) as a fashion statement for feminists,” Palin wrote in a blog post. “You know the phrase ‘they wear their heart of their sleeves?’ Well, I guess DC feminists love to wear death on their necks.”

“This is either a very sick parody or a sad reality,” tweeted Mike Warren, a staff writer at the Weekly Standard.

The coat hanger has for decades been a symbol of the reproductive rights movement. Before abortion was made legal in 1973, women looking to end their pregnancies would resort to desperate measures, including using coat hangers or other sharp objects to self-induce abortions.

I gotta get one but I don’t wear any jewelry anymore now that I don’t work in an office and loose things are dangerous. Maybe for parties. Now, there is a conversation starter.

“What the hell is that on your neck?”

“A coat hanger.”

“Why are you wearing a coat hanger.”

“Because the religious right, mostly, won’t allow women control of their bodies and pregnant women become so desperate they scrape the crap out of their cervix and vagina hoping for the best.”

“What, isn’t killing a fetus murder?”

“So, is that hamburger you’re eating. Do you really think you’re so superior to a cow? More importantly women must be able to plan their families. Birth control and safe abortions are a boon to mankind.”

“Man you’re fucked up. (we both gulp at our drinks)”

“Sorry, it’s the truth and until we support women’s rights to their body we will just flood the planet with more misery and woe. 98% of Catholics use birth control. Even many of the religious get it but wont’t talk the walk. Sometimes birth control fails. Sometimes women can’t afford it. Sometimes people aren’t educated in sex and don’t get how easy it is to get pregnant. Sometimes it’s just passion with an undesired consequence.”

“Don’t you think it sends the wrong message.”

“The message is women absolutely need to have control of their family planning and you’d be better for it too. Do you really want to pay 18 years of support for a kid you created on some random date or mistaken passion? Do you think mistakes should be allowed to flourish into full-blown, life-long misery?

“You’re angry about this? They can just get adopted.”

“What? Women should be breeders for the state who can’t possibly deal with the emotional and economic fallout? Hell yes, it’s hard to be calm when people think a fetus is more important than an adult woman who is trying to be responsible. And where are the men? They are part of it too.”

“But what if the baby were another Einstein?”

“I didn’t know we were short of smart people. Well we are but breeding more isn’t the cure, education is. Maybe it would be another Hitler. There are too many people already. We’re not short. We need people who are glad to be here, have families they love, and want to better the world. Here have another piece of murdered cow. (chomp chomp)”

“Wow, man, you’re bitter.”

“No, just really passionate about women’s rights to family planning and men’s rights to be free from supporting an unwanted child… I am not nearly as angry as the antiabortionist who have killed doctors and forced Planned Parenthood to have giant bullet-proof barriers on their counters. (awkward pause)”

“Don’t you think women will love their baby regardless? Won’t people adopt?”

“No. That hasn’t shown to be true. Otherwise, anecdotally, the coat hanger wouldn’t be so appreciated by so many as a symbol. And there are many studies showing unwanted births aren’t appreciated or helpful to society. And no, adoption is a poor remedy for a problem that shouldn’t have occured in the first place and is easily prevented. Birth control and abortions are a boon to the poor who haven’t the resources. The rich can still do pretty much what they want.”

“I just don’t think I could have my girlfriend do it.”

“What’s that got to do with someone else? Not everyone eats meat, or gets a degree. Wouldn’t you want to be able to have the choice? Do you really wish such misery on another person? … May I get you another beer?”

“What about those people who weren’t aborted? They are glad to be here.”

“If they hadn’t been born they wouldn’t be able to know.  You can’t miss what you never had. Mostly people are glad to be alive but not always. There are accounts from people who say they wish they had been aborted because they realized what a burden they were, the struggles their parents went through.

“Alright, alright, whatever. Yeah.”

You can see why my spouse thinks I am an embarrassment at parties. “Was it something I said?” Maybe it was the vernacular.

Jim Newman, bright and well

UN Cuts Gender Violence but Gives Religion a Pass

un flagIn order to include geographic areas that are dominated by religious support of vicious gender violence the UN Women’s Rights Resolution has allowed religion to support inequality. They say they are going forward but they went a step back at the same time.

 A UN General Assembly committee has agreed a landmark first resolution on women’s rights defenders such as Malala Yousafzai, despite a hard fought campaign by an alliance including the Vatican to weaken the measure.

A Norwegian-led coalition, which has prepared the resolution for months, had to delete language that condemned “all forms of violence against women” to get the text passed by consensus late Wednesday.

African nations, the Vatican, Iran, Russia, China and conservative Muslim states had sought to weaken the resolution passed by the assembly’s human rights committee, diplomats and activists said.

The excluded text was:

 “strongly condemn all forms of violence against women and women human rights defenders and refrain from invoking any customs, traditions or religious consideration to avoid their obligations.”

Good old pope has created a commission to investigate child abuse but have you noticed while the pope visits the sick, poor, and infirm he has never visited an abuse victim? Nor will the Vatican or Pope support this resolution that religion should not get a pass in its violence and inequalities to women. Same old pope, new name. I liked that Rush Limbaugh called him Marxist but as Forbes noted he’s a Peronist revealing his Argentine legacy where focusing on the poor is legerdemain for avoiding equality issues.

The Vatican led opponents to references in the draft to the risks faced by those working on sexual and reproductive health and gender rights, activists who monitored the talks said.

Bruce Gorton gets it right that religious freedoms used as an excuse form oppression. Free to oppress you and me.

Now the thing about this, is that when you get right down to it the defence of human rights is generally something that happens in a bid to change customs, traditions and religious considerations that are not worthy of respect.

In fact all protests as always in conflict with one or more of those categories, as all protests are based upon bringing about some sort of change. Even a labour strike essentially challenges corporate culture and the traditional dominance of the boss.

If under a given religious teaching a husband has the right to beat his wife, then frankly those religious teachings should not be tolerated. The state should be neutral on religion, but that does not translate into the state being neutral on wife beating.

Gorton also gets it right that separating genders whether side-by-side or front-rear, as happened at a recent UK university, is still inequality.

In its guidelines for how to deal with the invitation of controversial external speakers, Universities UK said this:

“Assuming the side-by-side segregated seating arrangement is adopted, there does not appear to be any discrimination on gender grounds merely by imposing segregated seating. Both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way”.

Now the reason for that is religious and cultural sensitivity – the problem with it is illustrated by history.

In 1937 Poland legalised “Ghetto benches” in its universities, benches specifically for Jewish students, where Jewish students had to sit. This was introduced due to the ‘cultural sensitivities’ of bigots.

The benches essentially meant that anti-Semitic professors could ignore those benches set up for Jewish students, while answering questions from the rest of the class.

It is not that the same thing might happen with gender segregation in the UK’s universities, it is that it inevitably will.

Separate but equal never works, because the point to separating people is to make keeping them unequal easier.

Let me be really clear here, separate but equal never works! This statement is a red flag that what will follow will be certainly most unequal.

If one is to allow people to invoke religious considerations for treating other people unequally, one allows one of the major sources of unequal treatment to go unchallenged.

Someone send Gorton a Happy Holidays card! In this time where we walk on egg shells to accommodate religious oppression, uhhh freedom, we need to step up to the plate and prevent abuse whether beating, genital mutilation, rape, or anti blasphemy. Even if a sky daddy says it’s necessary or you’ve always done it that way.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Gender Inequality in Film

julia30% of speaking roles in films are women. Only 10% of films have balanced roles between men and women. The average is 2.25 men for every woman. Yet, women buy half of film tickets. They are underserved. The New York Film  Infographic includes info on inspiring leads, emerging women in film, and influential women. With 30% of women wearing revealing clothes you wonder how many would be represented if modesty ruled. Would female viewing go up if men wore revealing clothes or does it take that many men to even get half of the viewing audience to be women? Would there be more women viewers if there were more women in the industry–why so many women viewers in spite of so few female roles? Are men really creating an industry for women?  It’s just simple inequality.

Having known people in film  I can attest to the necessary willingness to not have a family in this industry that thrives on totalitarian obsession. Better child care, better family support would allow women to participate more and men to be better caregivers. Otherwise it’s just a battle of who’s willing to cache the kids soonest and to whom–along with the built-in bias of generations.

As the money for women in film goes up it’s usually for roles that include values men prefer. Kick-ass women that can kiss and crush rule but that’s not what most women are or should be and I’m not sure film-viewing men really want these kind of women anyway–they just make good models on guns and cars. They now have to be both decorative, demure, and able to be violent. If film is a mirror of society we have a long way to go.

New York Film Academy takes a look at gender inequality in film


Supreme Court vs People, 1-1 Again

judicial bipolarIn a repeat of the DOMA and Voting Rights Act bipolar decisions the Supreme Court on the one hand upheld Texas in red taping the hell out of abortions which will only hurt the poor and mostly poor women, some 20,000 a year. And it did it by more red tape.

Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., wrote that the challengers to the law had not met a heavy procedural burden in asking the Supreme Court to alter an appeals court’s provisional decision to let the law go into effect while it considers an appeal.

“Reasonable minds can perhaps disagree about whether the court of appeals should have granted a stay in this case,” Justice Scalia wrote. “But there is no doubt that the applicants have not carried their heavy burden of showing that doing so was a clear violation of accepted legal standards — which do not include a special ‘status quo’ standard for laws affecting abortion.”

Hey, but who cares, the poor deserve to be poor. They need to buck up and if you can’t afford an expensive abortion why did you think you could afford a child? There are no accidents, only blessings. Did someone say money? Yep, a Texas Abortion will require a Cadillac, umm Boeing, and a full tank of gas, hmm, jet fuel.

If the Supreme Court rules the way anti-choicers want, then for huge portions of the country, the only way to get an abortion will be to book a flight on short notice—which usually means the ticket price is double or even triple what a plane ticket usually costs—pay for a hotel, and book an appointment out of state. The cost of an early abortion, which can be as low as $90 if you get a medication abortion, will now run into the thousands. In other words, it’s not an option at all for most women seeking abortion, who are more likely than the average woman to survive on low incomes.

The abortion war is about sex and gender roles, absolutely. But it’s also about class. Anti-choicers want to make someone suffer for their belief that sex is only for procreation, but they know better than to infringe on the rights of the wealthy and the powerful to have all the sex they want without having grossly unfair consequences for it. So, to be blunt, they make poor people pay. Poor women are easy to pick on, because they don’t have the political clout or money to fight back. As this fight drags on, never forget that this is about kicking poor women while they’re down. Wealthier women will endure more hassle, but low-income women are the ones who are losing their reproductive rights altogether.

Hey, the bright thing for the poor is if they breed more soon they can have more votes and change the law? Better keeping making voting difficult and expensive, upper classes.

An insane argument often used against abortion is what if Little Einstein were flushed?  Of course the problem is that millions of Little Half-Einsteins are lost every month and in every ejaculation. When science figures out a way of knowing these desired gene clusters and finding them in sperms and eggs as well as after fertilization then let’s talk. The other argument is no born person wishes they hadn’t been born. That adoption is a beautiful way for a person to enter society. Even though adopted children have their unique social and psychological problems everyone wishes to be alive. Every unplanned love baby  is a miracle and blessing. Hmmm.

If I were to have been an undue hardship to my mother I would happily not have lived. In fact, if I hadn’t lived I wouldn’t have known that I could even care. It’s a stupid question, emotional blackmail, that appeals to the survival instinct. Yet, not all of us are so selfish as to think our lives are so valuable as to be happy to have made life difficult for our parents. Some even have issues about having been born.

An abortion would have absolutely been better for my mother. An abortion would have made it more likely that she would finish high school and get a college education. At college in the late 1960s, it seems likely that she would have found feminism or psychology or something that would have helped her overcome her childhood trauma and pick better partners. She would have been better prepared when she had children. If nothing else, getting an abortion would have saved her from plunging into poverty. She likely would have stayed in the same socioeconomic strata as her parents and grandparents who were professors. I wish she had aborted me because I love her and want what is best for her.

Abortion would have been a better option for me. If you believe what reproductive scientists tell us, that I was nothing more than a conglomeration of cells, then there was nothing lost. I could have experienced no consciousness or pain. But even if you discount science and believe that I had consciousness and could experience pain at six gestational weeks, I would chose the brief pain or fear of an abortion over the decades of suffering I endured.

An abortion would have been best for me because there is no way that my love-starved trauma-addled mother could have ever put me up for adoption. It was either abortion or raising me herself, and she was in no position to raise a child. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury, witnessed and experienced severe domestic violence, and while she was in grade school she was raped by a stranger and her mother committed suicide. She was severely depressed and suicidal, had an extremely poor support system, was experiencing an unplanned pregnancy that resulted from coercive sex, and she was so young that her brain was still undeveloped.

Of course anti-choicers insist she must be mentally sick or she must be suicidal and that’s illegally ill. Either that or she hates herself to the extreme. No, some of us aren’t so egotistical to think our lives are invaluable. Even if we had souls floating around we could wait for a family that actually wanted us and is ready for us. In the same way that someone would throw themselves on a grenade to save others we might throw ourselves to the knife to make our parents’ lives more livable–even if we had the ability to make that choice which we don’t in the womb. It’s a stupid argument that should always be shot down whether you are prochoice or not.

On the other hand, SCOTUS upheld a ruling that a teacher could not preach in public schools but could have a bible on his desk.

The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Mount Vernon city schools’ firing of an eighth-grade science teacher who was accused of advancing religion and the Christian theory of creationism in his classroom.

But the court held that the district’s orders that he put away the personal Bible he kept on his desk violated his First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and therefore would not have been sufficient cause to fire him.

I wonder how it would go if my friends who are teachers here in WV if they showed up at school and kept the “God Delusion” on their desks?

Jim Newman, bright and well

Are You a Feminist?

On either side of all genders I hear how on the one hand someone didn’t know they were a feminist all these years and on the other they are sure they are not. Rebecca Searles has a quick test.

I get tired of hearing teen role-models like Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry misuse and reject the term “feminist.” It perpetuates the myth that feminists are a bunch of bra-burning man-haters, and that’s just not true. Misusing the label and sounding like an idiot isn’t good for anyone. So, I made a simple flowchart to make it easy on you.feminist test


Keep this in mind when you consider those laws and privileges.

Jim n