Archive for the ‘politics’ Category
One of the annoying things about expressing any interest in politics is that People get your email address and then bombard you with Petitions and requests for Money. It was bad around the elections. But it has been worse this entire past week.
While I like to think of myself as logical, I cannot come up with any scenario where my $3, $5, $25 or any size donation will help bring the end to this budget crisis. I did not create this. The people I sent to Congress had a hand in creating it. Why should I support them even further?
Will my money be used for attack ads? Like the one I saw calling John Boehner a crying baby that featured a crying little girl throughout? Sorry, I want no part of a sexist attack on the man. Apparently crying boys were hard to find the day they filmed it.
While I am encountering email after email asking for my support, no one who was elected is working in Washington. I refuse to count the Tea Party trolls standing around the monuments shouting blame and castigating National Park Service personnel.
If a business didn’t follow through on what they promised and then wanted more money, I would laugh them straight to the Better Business Bureau every time they sent another email demanding more money. I would gleefully do my best to make sure everyone I knew understood how they did business and how bad they were at following through with what they promised.
Unfortunately, we Americans are being held hostage by our elected representatives. I wonder what would happen if I withheld my income taxes…
Because I see some of these baboons being re-elected yet again.
Except this time I am so skeeved out by this ad that I cannot contain myself. I’m not even embedding this in the post because it has made me so furious.
Backtracking here, I am normally not a thin-skinned person. I don’t see Halloween costumes called “Naughty Kitty” and immediately think “sex.” I don’t see little girls licking lollipops as being sexual. I don’t look at Kodak print ads of tree branches and think sex.
But this pap smear being administered by Creepy Uncle Sam (aka CUS) gave me nightmares. I resisted watching for so long. I think my brain was trying to tell me something. But I watched…and am completely perplexed by the message being sent.
As most women will tell you, being spread-legged in your doctor’s office with your feet in stirrups is not a pleasant thing. I’ve never been a woman who enjoys her pelvic exams. I’m not saying those women don’t exist, but I don’t know any of them. Which is why seeing this young woman wondering where the hell her doctor went and then seeing this caricature of Uncle Sam appear between her knees is awful.
Whoever created this ad is a demented, woman-hating, sadistic bastard. And they were hired by the Republican party to create this ad as a way to encourage young people to forego health coverage. Because we know young people are never in accidents and never get sick. Not!
When CUS pinches the forceps at the end, I wanted to punch him in the puppet face and kick him in the balls. That’s how much he pushed all my buttons. I cannot be the only one.
Moving past all the woman-hating that went on to create this piece of dreck, I am going to point out the outright absolute hypocritical message of this ad.
The Republicans don’t want anyone to have health care. They can’t even pass a budget bill without attaching pieces about birth control and abortion. They are morally and politically against the vagina.
Except when it comes to probing our uteruses (or is it uteri?!) with ultrasound wands if we want abortions. Then it’s okay. Because women need to be punished for having sex and wasting the almighty man’s sperm. That’s what it boils down to. You know it. I know it. They know it.
But the hypocritical buffoonery doesn’t stop there. Because Republicans want babies born something terrible, they are willing to cut off all aid to women and children in need. Because once a baby is born, they want nothing to do with it. They think fairies morph out of the landscape and provide food, shelter, day care…it certainly doesn’t take money! Or government assistance!
Here’s their train of thought: abortion is bad, birth control is bad, sex is bad, women are bad, abortion is bad, children are bad. There’s no making these people happy.
I wish I could say these were only men doing this. But there are Republican women who believe these things also. Apparently, they nor anyone they know has ever enjoyed sex. I almost feel kind of bad for them. Not! I’m guessing the Republican men they are sleeping with have strange pap smear fetishes that make sex an uncomfortable subject…
Despite my declarations of being media free, I have not been. Between the Facebook announcements people share and the news feed email I get daily, I’ve been inundated with articles. I’ve even been paging through Yahoo news. (Which is actually an oxymoron because half of the things reported as news are anything but news. For instance, the hazards of emoji, a really big boat, and Lindsay Lohan anything is not news.) I’ve also been guilty of scrolling through the trending topics.
But yesterday I cut myself off cold turkey. No email, no twitter, no facebook until after dinner. And then I only went through email to delete the unwanted (newsfeeds were included) and see if, unlike every other day of the week, something important had come through. I spent the day reading an actual book (a really good one!) and relaxing.
Without the news, it was relaxing. I had no idea what was going on in the world. Even at the restaurant for lunch I saw CNN on the television and ignored it.
Today I pretty much avoided the news until Facebook. Then I found two articles that pissed me off and made me grumpy as hell. This is why I need to avoid the news.
See, I’m beginning to understand that I really can’t change things in the world. Because mean and nasty people run the world. Mean and nasty people don’t play fair. Mean and nasty people are winning.
I know, it sounds melodramatic, but it’s true. The media tries to distract us with stories of the Kardashians and Justin Bieber while things like election fraud, corrupt politicians, and personal rights are being dismantled under our noses. It’s not right.
I wish I knew how to fix all of this. But I don’t. Unfortunately, being morally right no longer matters.
I don’t know what to do…
Did you think I was being abnormally silent on the outcome of the death of a young black man? I had to think carefully how to respond. I didn’t want to be one of the people on Facebook who called a dead boy a “thug.” I didn’t want to be the person calling for George Zimmerman’s head on a platter.
As I do a lot lately, I blame the media for fueling the fires of this case. Talking out of both sides of their mouths, they managed to send people into a frenzy. Some days it’s hard to keep track of who we’re supposed to be hating! I made it my mission to keep a level head.
I feel the pain of Trayvon Martin’s family. I am Trayvon’s mother. Every time my sons leave the house I have to worry. I don’t think parents of white boys worry in the same way. Maybe I’m wrong and we all open our doors and feel terror as our sons go into the streets.
No one really knows what happened that night. There are always three sides to every story. Watch the story end up in court and the story tellers multiply as experts are called to testify. Usually experts paid for by the side they are supporting. That’s not exactly unbiased story telling.
This was a tragedy on so many levels that I cannot begin a dissection. But I can encourage you to make some changes. Because we can’t change the past. We can only change the future.
Yes, you…we…us have the power to make the changes in our society. We do the voting that puts the people into power. We can vote. If we don’t vote, we also have exercised our powers in an apathetic way. We can elect people who reflect our values. We can not vote for people who are consumed with the greed of politics.
We can encourage politicians through communication and petitions to guide our local and state governments in the direction we would like. We can investigate who is behind certain laws. Are they truly states people who want a stand your ground law? Or is a political think tank responsible? Who benefits most from legislation? The people of your community or the businesses?
Our power is in our vote. And we need to exercise our power whenever possible to save our country from people who don’t have its best interests at heart. I know, I sound a little conspiracy geeked here. It seems politicians have lost sight of who government is here to support: The people.
When “less government” is being defined as let me into your uterus and your bedroom to see what you’ve been doing and cutting food stamps for women and children in need, there is something fundamentally wrong with America. I guess we no longer have to worry about the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. Unless they are they huddled board members of some investment firm who misappropriated funds and required a bailout and a change in laws to make it easier to save their asses. And we only want the homeless and tempest tossed if they don’t require any assistance of any kind and can work for minimum wage to line to pockets of the big box store owner, but can’t afford housing and healthcare.
Seriously, our priorities are all screwed up. And only we can make a difference. Educate yourself. Do your research. And vote.
After last week’s exhausting news developments, I decided I need a break. Remember when I declared Motherhoot a happy shiny place? Full of fluffy clouds and cuddly bunnies? Pictures of kittens and puppies? Well, I meant to declare that at some point. Then I got a little activist going. Health At Every Size. Reproductive. Women’s. Environment. Justice.
I don’t know about you, but I need a break from the media. I have gotten obsessed. I am spending good emotional energy worrying about things that I cannot change. At least not in the big picture. I will do my best to change my little part of the world, but I need a break from saving everyone.
So I’m cutting myself off from the news. It’s going to be hard since I have a ritual of going through the Yahoo news articles. Sharing and commenting, and ingesting the drama from all over the world from things happening to other people.
It’s time to center myself. Take a deep breath and look for the fluffy things again. Cheery, happy things.
Oh, I also considered kicking my Facebook game addiction at the same time. Then I figured out my head would explode so I’m delaying that. Can you send me some Bubble Witch Saga lives, please?!
Last week I nearly went on an unfriend spree on Facebook when links appeared to articles about the Texas pro-choice protesters being devil worshipers. It seems several “trustworthy” news sources (e.g., having “red” or “conservative” in their titles) reported that there were women chanting “Hail Satan” at the protests.
I did my research. I looked for a reliable news source. Hell, I would have even read something by Fox. I did find something at MSN, but I got the feeling from the comments that the source might not be neutral.
I saw a video of one girl walking by saying something. People have assured me she’s saying “hail satan.” But on my video it looks a little off. Another source said five women were chanting the offensive phrase. Five women can not be representative of the tens of thousands of women at the protest.
Still the stories were shared on my Facebook feed with comments like: “see who you’re really supporting when you support abortion” and “forgive them, they know not what they do.” Lumping all the pro-choice women in with the devil-worshipers. How offensive is that?!
See, I am vehemently pro-choice. I will fight for the rights of everyone. Even for the rights of people whose opinions I disagree with. It’s what America is all about.
But lately there has been a change in our country. We are no longer a nation founded on religious freedom, respectful of all people despite their differences. We have become a nation at war with ourselves: the people who wish to support the original wishes of our founding fathers and the people who want to control everyone with their narrow views. Instilling their limited brand of religion into politics where they don’t belong. Calling people who disagree with them devil worshipers is just another weapon in their arsenal.
I guess that’s easier than actually being educated on what happens during a woman’s reproductive cycle, what is included in a rape kit, and what happens during a rape. It’s easier to spread fear and disinformation than actual facts. It’s also more profitable (getting Koch brother money) to stomp on women’s rights than to actually earn campaign donations from pleased constituents.
Where I come from, Jesus taught us we had free will. We get to decide what we do and deal with the consequences. But in today’s society, the politicians want to dictate their values on anyone under their control. Unfortunately, it always ends up being women and minorities, but that’s a discussion for a different day.
They preach their twisted message from God, scaring people who disagree with them with eternal damnation, and reaping the benefits. Although I’m not sure what benefits come from forcing women under any and all circumstances to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Add to it a reluctance to allow birth control and we’ve got a hot mess of not making sense soup.
Basically, we’re battling over a woman’s free will. It’s her body, her choice. It is a decision to be made between a woman, her partner, and her doctor.
No one else needs to be involved. No one else needs to make judgments. No one else gets a voice.
See, it’s not devil worship. It’s human rights.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Senator Wendy Davis, the Texas senator who filibustered for 11 hours, preventing the passage of a restrictive anti-abortion law that would have basically made the state clinic-less. She’s been all over the news. All over the internet. Even her shoes–she grabbed her dusty running shoes as she went out the door–have become an internet sensation. She took them with her as she left in the morning because she knew she’d be standing for quite awhile last Tuesday.
Stand she did. She stood and talked non-stop. Stayed on topic. Talked. Talked. Talked.
And prevented the bill from being passed. Even though the opposing team tried to turn back time to get it passed on time.
I know you’ve heard this…and I hope you admire Senator Davis half as much as I do. But do you know that Senator Davis wore a catheter for her filibuster?!
She. Wore. A. Catheter.
She didn’t take the offered IV drip but she did take the catheter. While filibustering, the speaker isn’t allowed food, drink, or to leave the floor for any reason. They also aren’t allowed to veer off-topic or sit down. Senator Davis faced even harsher restrictions as the opposition also wouldn’t allow her ice chips and hard candy–which are usually allowed for other politicians.
This is a seriously dedicated politician. She came prepared to fight, armed with information and stories, and she prevailed.
Seriously, though, they wouldn’t let her sit? Go to the bathroom? Have a drink of water? Isn’t that torture?
I’m serious here…we give prisoners better treatment after murdering gazillion people but we can’t give something to people working the democratic process?!
This is where we’ve ended up, people. In order to win, one side fights dirty and the other side works their asses off. While one side bases all their platform on the ideals of a few rich white men, the other side listens to the people and responds to them on their own level. While one single woman dons a catheter, the other side refuses her food and water.
But you elected them. These are the people you’ve chosen to represent you. Mean, cantankerous, vengeful people. Don’t you deserve better?
P.S. Losing doesn’t count these days in politics, so a special session has been called to pass this (and two other issues that were lost in the shuffle). Texans, don’t you wonder where the money for this special session is coming from? What cost politics?!
Recently, I read a letter seeking advice from the girl next door in Men’s Health. A man was confused because his wife said she needed no special plans for their upcoming anniversary and he wasn’t sure she meant it. Of course the girl next door set him straight–and told him that his wife didn’t mean it. After all, women don’t need to communicate clearly what they need from their partners and in their relationships!
Ladies, this is the crap we have to stop doing. We cannot go around chanting “no means no” and then expecting the people around us to know when we really mean “yes.”
If you are an adult women in an adult-type relationship, stop playing games. Making your partner guess what you mean is a trip to disaster lane. You’re mature enough to be married? You’re mature enough to say what’s on your mind. Really, there are few things you can say that will scare off a partner.
I’m not saying men have carte blanche to do what they please. Don’t misunderstand me. In any sexual situation, no does mean no. And no man should attempt to read anything else into the statement. But women do have a responsibility also. By communicating clearly and concisely, your needs will be known and hopefully met.
As for the wife not requiring special anniversary plans, I completely understand. Being the most unromantic female in America, I require nothing special on an anniversary. At this point, I’m just in awe as the years pass by, proud of Jim and I for amassing quite a few. I don’t want candy or flowers. A trip or some jewelry, maybe. I mean, I got a Dremel for my birthday/Mother’s Day and was pleased!
I am concerned that a column in a men’s magazine written by a woman (hopefully that part is true!) goes about perpetuating stereotypes of manipulative women who need to be coy about their needs. What is wrong about not needing a special anniversary celebration? Is it not female enough? Not committed enough? Why couldn’t the advice simply have been: well, she said she needs nothing, so she needs nothing. The End.
It’s 2013 and the time for games are over. As women we are fighting for the futures of ourselves, our daughters, our granddaughters, and every female around us. As women’s rights are being chipped away and cowardly men feel the need to wrest some control over their spinning worlds, we need to stand strong and confident. Every time you act coy and let your man guess what you want, another ultrasound wand is stuck up another vagina to prevent an abortion. Because women don’t really know what they want and the men need to make sure we know what we’re doing!
Stop playing games and learn to speak up. If you don’t know how or you need some encouragement, let me know. I’m here to help you!
But not for the reasons you suggest. See, some of us have the luxury of staying home with our kids. But we do without a lot of frills. But a lot of us don’t have the option of not working. Because the cost of living in the United States is outrageous. So we need to work for things like food and housing.
When I was working with people who are homeless, we quoted a pretty sad statistic about the amount of time someone working a minimum wage job had to work to afford an apartment. Since the required working hours was so outrageous it usually meant more than one adult working a few jobs to survive. Logically, women need to work in that environment. (The minimum wage has changed, housing prices are higher, so I’m not going to guess what the actual figures are at this point.)
Before that job I worked at a childcare center in a fairly affluent community. The childcare center catered to children in need who would be attending the local elementary school for kindergarten. Imagine my surprise when we visited with the kindergarten teachers about school preparedness and were handed a list of things the parents were expected to teach their children before they entered school: count to 100 and read a few words were the ones I’ve never forgotten.
Seriously? We tried explaining to the teachers that these parents didn’t have the means or the time for these things (many parents didn’t speak English and were working multiple jobs). Instead of being sympathetic, they were disdainful. Which pretty much sums up my opinion of the entire educational system in our country.
At a time when more women are working, schools have decided that parental involvement is mandatory for the teaching portion of education. Gone are the days when kids spend the day memorizing times tables and learning phonics. Instead, they are whipped into algebra and sight words before the basic foundation is laid for learning. Where kindergarten was once a transition for a child from no school to school, it has turned into a full-day frenzy to catch up with the rest of the world.
Instead of doing things like learning and discussing topics, the curriculum at my kids’ elementary school was based on getting good scores on the ISATs. Good God, achievement tests are supposed to be measures of what a child has learned, not be the entire basis of an educational system! But that is what has happened when every school and every teacher is judged on the scores of the children in their midst.
More moms work, so let’s pile on more homework so we can catch up to other nations. Good idea when mom and dad work and come home to cook, clean, parent, and supervise homework. And let’s make most of the homework busy work because there are mandatory homework time requirements for each day. Oh, and let’s not forgot to give first and second graders homework. Nothing builds a love of learning like having over-stressed mom and dad scream at you for not writing your spelling words out five times each fast enough.
Of course, busy work doesn’t mean just silly worksheets night after night. What about the plethora of projects? How many landmarks does a school really need? My personal favorite was the Halloween night homework. Yes, after taking your kids out to trick or treat, you were expected to sit down to help them sort candy and count it. That was always such a fun time with kids strung out on sugar!
Or pasting 100 Cheerios to a piece of paper for the 100 days of school celebrations. Food waste. Paper waste. Waste of time.
So, you see, Governor Bryant, you can blame all the working mothers that you want, but that won’t fix the fundamental problems with an educational system that doesn’t know what it’s doing. I know the politicians want to think that the never-ending rounds of testing will solve the problems; instead they feed them. By taking the fun and adventure out of learning, we are doomed. Instead of working with families to make everyone’s lives easier, teachers are panicking and sending home outrageous amounts of homework. Probably because the time they would like to spend actually teaching kids has been replaced with test prep.
It’s a vicious circle, and won’t be solved by blaming the people who are just doing their best to survive. Moms have enough guilt for working or nor working, thanks for adding a little more to their plates.