Rage Against the Machine

I’m pissed OFF. Why?

Well, let’s start with this: An Anti-Choice argument that totally neglects the word or concept of woman

First of all, it was written by a man. Sorry to be the one to break it to you guys, but your options and right to an opinion ended when you decided not to use a condom. Yep, that’s right. I do not want to hear the “She said she was on the pill, patch, had taken care of it” excuse.

How do you prevent getting caught up in that mess? Keep your semen to yourself. If it is so special and unique and god-like don’t waste it on such a whore who might abort your god-given right to progeny. Oh, and take a lesson from poor old Boris Becker. Frankly, its healthier for the woman if she doesn’t swallow. See below.

How does someone write an entire article about abortion without mentioning the word woman? He did it very well, actually. I really got the feeling that he didn’t even think about a woman being involved AT ALL. I mean really, she’s just a vessel, right? I mean, really, that whole partial birth abortion thing, women are just chomping at the bit to experience that. I know I am. In fact, I can’t wait to get pregnant just to say wee, general anesthesia and cervical dilation, gimme more, gimme more.

I can almost see his point of erring on the side on caution, but shouldn’t that caution be for the WOMAN? Denying a doctor the right to perform a potentially life-saving procedure based on the potential of a fetus is an atrocity in and of its self. What about a woman with other living, breathing children or partner who loves them? Don’t we have a medical responsibility to them, to the here and now, to the responsibilities of the actual living?

If a doctor can chose to remove a gangrenous leg to save a life, why can’t he also make the decision to end a pregnancy that threatens the very viable life of a woman? Why is this even an issue? I just don’t understand.

I don’t like the idea of a partial birth abortion. No one does. These are not given willy nilly. I know a lot of women who have had abortions. For some, it was a devastating decision, some not so much, but no one walked into it without a lot of thought. None of these were partial birth. Partial birth abortion is an extreme measure and the ability of a doctor to perform such a procedure should be left up to the doctor and the woman. End of story.

I’m not going to even get into the birth control vs. abstinence bullshit of the Bush Administration. I just get too upset. My usually extremely low blood pressure reaches almost normal when I think about the sick cycle of repression this administration has foisted upon the women of our country. Really, its sickening.

Growing up, I had no idea that my right to chose what to do with my body would ever be in jeopardy. No fucking clue that we could actually go backwards. What next? Are we going to take back the right to vote and bring back the Three-Fifths Compromise?

Which leads me to my next problem. The HPV vaccine. I wrote about this when it was fresh. The initial controversy was that American Christian parents did not want the HPV vaccine to become mandatory because it was medically suggested that girls receive the vaccine between 10 and 13 years. Why that age? Because the vaccine must be given BEFORE the girls become sexually active. And oh my god, the reaction that girls might become sexually active at 13 really threw the Christian right into a tizzy and totally missed the point. The point being that there was a vaccine that would protect your daughter from a particularly harmful strain of a particular virus. She could pick up that virus from her husband when she loses her virginity at 35. She could pick it up at 16 on prom night. She could pick it at any point in her life. Just because the vaccine is given at 13 does not mean the medical profession is advocating teen sex. Nope, sorry. It means that the medical profession understands that, contrary to the Bush Administration’s machinations, kids have sex. So rather than debating the age and circumstances that are acceptable by your god, vaccinate your daughter so she doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of having ignorant parents who left her unprotected.

And, people, please, at some point ALL of your daughters will have sex. When is totally up to them, not you, not Bush and his cronies, not the school who gives out condoms and sex education and not Planned Parenthood who makes the morning after pill available so we can all avoid the possibility of a pregnancy.

The Christian right was all up in letter writing, Fox News ranting arms that this was giving the girls carte blanche to go out and fuck anything that moved without any worry as to consequences.

Does anyone really believe that?

So then it became a controversy about abstinence rather than a breakthrough in medical research that could save 10,000 women a year from the most virulent strain and save 4,000 women from death. This is not a religious issue. It’s medical.

So, that’s old news. What has me pissed off today?

Research that shows the exact same strains of HPV can cause throat cancer in women and MEN. Oh yes, have you given blow jobs to more than five men? Have you eaten out more than five women? Guess what, your chances of contracting throat cancer via HPV are twenty five times greater than if you never smoked the pole or took a bite out of the clam sandwich. If you smoke cigarettes, its only three times as great risk. That should put it in perspective

So what do you think is happening? Oh yes, the HPV vaccine is now being encouraged, hailed and praised. They are testing the vaccine to see if it can be administered to men too. Oh wait, what does that mean? Administered to men or boys before they become sexually active. Does that mean 10 to 13 years of age? Why, yes it does. Wow, this doesn’t seem to be an issue at all anymore.

I’m happy that the vaccine is finally being seen as a positive, but I am pissed as hell that it is only when men are being effected that it gains legitimacy. What the fuck, people? Don’t girls and women mean more to you than just blow-job machines and an incubator? Why is it that women’s health only becomes a priority in how it affects men in our American society.

Which brings me to my latest personal rant. Personal irresponsibility. Women, we have choices. We have voices. We have legs to walk away. We are not Ariel, the Little Mermaid.

Fucking vote. Write your congressmen. Talk to your girlfriends. Write an article or a letter to the editor. If you want your daughters to be more than chattel, vote. If you want your daughter’s daughters to experience this stripping of rights and respect only via history books used at Liberal Arts colleges, vote. Write your congress people. Do Something.

One of the projects I am working on right now is the idea of personal irresponsibility in Expat women. Women opting out of life for whatever reason, falling into a cycle of depression, isolation and anxiety and using the fact that they are in a foreign country without the support system offered at home as an excuse to continue to opt out even when circumstances are such that it would be healthier for them and their children and their partners to change those circumstances. Opting out is a choice, but do we really want to opt out of life because we live abroad?

We don’t have to. We have options. We are the generation of women who were told day and night we could be anything, do anything, yet I hear so much misery, so much heartache about how horrible this is or that is. I am guilty of it myself. Like the hair club for men, I am not just the President of the company, I’m a client.

Before I go off on that tangent of willingly selling our souls for room and board, I’m going back to the original topic. Just because we live abroad does not mean we cannot or do not have a responsibility to fight for our rights as women. Vote, ladies. Register and fucking vote.

Personally, I would prefer you vote for either Hillary or Obama. If you are Republican, don’t bother. There are enough of you to begin with and that party doesn’t really need you and frankly, they don’t even like you. Being a woman and being Republican is a socially acceptable and encouraged form of self-hatred. Just take up cutting. At least that way you only hurt yourself and not the rest of us.

So, there we go. I think I’m done here. I have a lot more pent up, but I’ll save that for my next phone call.

In case you need your blood pressure to spike, some links. You really should know what is happening to us, by us (TUBU)

Concerned Women for America

A news source for the Christian minded

Family Research Council

Update: Here are some other links that can help us.  They all have stuff you can do from your keyboard.  The CWA has an e-mail activist team.  Let’s counteract them with our own.

ACLU

Planned Parenthood

Save Roe 

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15 thoughts on “Rage Against the Machine

  1. Yeah, uhm, between the Supreme Court and Diebold voting machines, uhm, whether we vote here in the U.S. hardly seems to, uhm, matter much.

  2. Glad to see that you are up and about and back on the blogging track. Really excellent rant today. Even tough I’m a man, and according to some that means my opinion doesn’t count on this topic, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    The only problem is that Hillary is the likely candidate for the Dems, and from what I have seen in most polls, she is basically unelectable. I don’t have a huge issue with her, though I did find her shifting positions on Iraq a bit annoying, but her nomination will likely hand the election to whatever candidate the Republicans can get behind.

    And that will be a shame, not only for womens reproductive rights, but for many issues concerning social justice.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t vote, however, as at least we can hold our heads up and say that “I didn’t elect that idiot” – much like some of us do today.

  3. Do you mind if I link this on my blog? I’m a friend of Maria’s (Country Hopping) just so you don’t think I’m a random compulsive blog reader. Although I do compulsively read this one.

  4. mm: I totally understand your point, but the problem is… the right has one thing on us. They are not afraid to complain and complain loudly. Show your boob on TV and 4000 people call the FCC. 4000 prigs caused such a firestorm that our rights to free speech have been attacked and chisled away.

    So we have to fight back with phone calls and old man letters. Go Janet. Most of the world doesn’t know what the big deal is, same with america, but our voices were only heard around the coffee pot at work. we didn’t go nuts in support or at least against the over reaction.

    We don’t all have to be Gloria Steinems. We just have to support them. You can let others scream loudly, but support those voices with a letter or a phone call. Find one or two issues that chap your hide because realistically, there are so many issues out there, unless we are simply political machines, we can’t address them all and then we give up. so find one or two issues you can address in your life. Everytime you hear about a bill up for approval that goes against you, write some one. Even if its just the local paper or your blog. Just do something so you can be counted.

    the christian right bombards people with their minority opinion, but they know how it works. The squeaky wheel does get the grease. Well, let’s make that work for us too. Bombard people.

    Be nice, be obnoxious, be vigilant. Just find a method that works for you as long as you continue to be a voice. We have enough on our side to defeat those bastards, we just can’t let our apathy rule.

    Ace1: Well, what can I say. I should amend that to say your opinion really counts in helping us retain the rights we have and geting back the rights we’ve lost. Your opinion does matter. We need men like you to support us politically. We absolutely cannot do it alone. The Us vs Them is not men vs women.

    Kara: Go for it. Pass it around. I can even post some of the old man letters I’ve written so people can copy and paste and e-mail enmass. Let me know if you’d like them.

    Dorion: Wouldn’t it be nice? Now that the Supreme court is totally fucked for a while, I think the republicans can leave happy. Seriously, its like they gave us a nice case of herpes, the gift that keeps on giving.

  5. Excellent post, Jen. The topic fires me up too especially when I think about all the rights women are loosing. Having two daughters I have a responsibility to them. I’ll write my congressman even if my vote doesn’t count. If enough women scream, our vote will.

  6. Growing up in California, I was proud of the social progress we were making. Now that I have been most of my working life in Europe, I am saddened and infuriated at the erosion of the rights in the US and the new brand of social imprisonment. It is like on the one hand the Administration is trying to perpetrate democracy by force in one part of the world and reduce it at home. What kind of a world are we in?

  7. Hi,
    I like your style and point of view, hs lady. If you care a lot about countering the right-wing slug trail right on our doorsteps, why not visit and comment on a couple of English-language blogs I’ve recently come across based in Germany and which have a strong right-wing bent, und zwar:

    http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/
    (that guy rips apart any German media outlet which doesn’t read like a translation of FoxNews)

    and:
    http://shieldofachilles.blogspot.com/
    (discover for yourself the mesmerising effect of Amber Alerts crawling across the sidebar)
    cheers,
    Ian

  8. I keep rereading this, Jen. It’s fabulous. It’s everything I want to say but you have said it all so much better than I could.

  9. This is a great rant and it’s got me fired up. The hypocrisy and erosion of rights in this country has raised my bloodpressure to stroke levels. And here is just one more example.

    By way of introduction: I live in the states but am thinking of moving abroad with my husband and small daughter. (Hence how I found your blog. I’m not compulsive or a stalker, but in looking at expat blogs for an idea of what life’s like I read your blog and Von Tauber’s and I became hooked.)

    Mind if I link to this rant, and your original article on Von Tauber’s website?

  10. @ian:

    Hi, this is Sparky, Jen’s (HS Lady’s) husband. I have to say, I read “Medienkritik” all the time. Not because its bad – rather because MOST of it is true. Admittedly, author RayD goes a bit too far sometimes, but usually his readers reign him in.

    Anyway.. he has a point. “Der Spiegel” and other German media usually IS the worst Anti-American propaganda short of Memri TV. I am german, have lived both in germany and the US and am a rather liberal, though staunchly anti-communist person (President Kenndy is my hero ;). Consequently, I find german media usually slightly more disgusting than American outlets – not everything over there is FOX.

  11. Well done, Jen
    As the mother of 2 girls, one of whom is (gulp) 12, you can be darn sure they’re going to be getting the vaccine.
    No surprise that if the boys get it, the fuss is over. After all, this is the government that will subsidize Viagra for dirty old men, but doesn’t want to fund contraceptives for the same poor women they diss for being sexually active!

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