Being legitimate

Someone had to know I would broach this. It was inevitable.

 

In an interview aired this past Sunday, Todd Akin, a Republican candidate for Senate in the great state of Missouri, made this statement when asked about his feelings on abortions resulting from rape circumstances.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

He really said that. Really and truly.

 

Now, let me start by saying, as a woman – he has no right to an opinion. Really. I don’t get all up in his scrote and he’s never carried a baby, so we should just agree to keep our politics out of each others’ crotches.

And secondly, as a rape victim – fuck you, Mr. Akin.

Legitimate rape?

What are the other kinds? Illegitimate? Imagined? Maybe she didn’t say no loudly enough? Maybe she was “asking” for it?

I realize that people are falsely accused of rape. I know that happens, and it is a sad thing to know that someone would abuse such a delicate area for whatever reason.

But the majority of rapes (60-68%, according to a quick Googling) go unreported, and do you know why? Because of douchebags like Todd Akin. Because the first thing asked of anyone claiming rape is not, “What can I do?” not “How can I help?” it’s…..”Well, what happened?”

Because its not enough to be taken advantage of. It’s not enough to be violated. It’s not enough to matter so little that you don’t even get a choice in what happens to you.

You have to justify. You have to prove what you’ve claimed. It’s no wonder that women and men in staggering amounts just choose to opt out. Why prolong things and expose yourself to embarrassment…criticism…shame?

It happened to me. And just because it wasn’t a stranger in a dark alley doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. It doesn’t mean I deserved it. It doesn’t mean I hurt any less. It doesn’t make it any less legitimate.

 

So while Mr. Akin sits in Missouri with whatever opinions he wants to have about situations he will never face, I will try with all my might to let everyone know that things like this are not okay. It’s not okay to trivialize someone else’s hurt. It’s not okay to make blanket statements when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

Help a little more, talk a little less. I think that’d do some good for everybody.

 

Today

Today is Election Day.

People all over will go and vote yea or nay or red or blue.

And I live in Mississippi, where the only time we make national news is because we gave birth to Elvis/Oprah/Britney/a million fantastic southern writers or because we’re the fattest state.

Well, now we have a new claim to fame – today we vote on Initiative 26, and if it passes, it’s a big deal. It’s a precedent for the whole country.

Now, I have opinions about this. Of course I do.

For just a minute, though, let’s not talk about what I think. Let’s talk about what this will mean.

Less birth control, in a state with the highest number of counties (17) featuring 40+% infant poverty. Not to mention the infant mortality rate (10.5 infant deaths out of every 1,000 live births), or the scads of children waiting in foster homes or institutions so they can be placed.

Fertility treatments….sure, as long as they don’t involve selective implantation or frozen embryos.

Raped? Pregnant? You carry that asshole’s baby because the law says so.

There are far reaching consequences regarding ectopic and molar pregnancies that I don’t even have the stomach to research (this is not hard hitting reporting, people).

Under this law, the miscarriage I suffered in January of 2008 may well have been the death of me, because only an abortion stopped the bleeding and saved my life.

The thing that bothers me about this is not that people disagree with my sentiment that this is one of the most offensive pieces of legislation I’ve ever heard. People disagree with me all the time.

No, what bothers me is that there are fifty bintillion churches who – over and over and over – have pounded into the hearts and minds of their faithful followers that this initiative is penned directly from the heavens. That by voting yes, they are personally winging their way into each Mississippi womb and cuddling thousands of fertilized eggs that may or may not become people.

It bothers me that if my preteen niece gets assaulted and molested, there won’t be a morning-after pill just in case. Her life could change and it wouldn’t have been her choice at all.

I respect the right of everyone to believe what they want. I do not respect anyone telling me how I have to believe and behave. Especially when they do it simply because a pulpit told them that was the right thing.

So go vote. If you live in Mississippi, please know what you’re voting for.

On a lighter note, tomorrow we’ll have a guest post from Lindsey at Campfire Song. This will be totally fun, you’ll see. She even mentions maxipads.

Day 05 of 30 day challenge

day 05- A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life

You were not planned and not expected.
You were gone as soon as we knew you were there.
Maybe you knew without knowing that our life was not quite ready for you yet.
I think of you more often than I ever thought I would. I wonder what life would have been if you had become a part of our lives.
I would never have been able to decide to wait. You must’ve known it wasn’t the right time. So you made the choice we never could have. You left us with nothing but a memory, and none of us will ever know what might have been.

They said you were never more than a few cells. You never even had a heartbeat.

But I still think about you. I think of your hair, your chubby hands. Trucks and mud. Barbies and lipstick. All the toys and diapers.

And I think of the gift you gave us, in giving us a few more years.

I wonder if there’s a shadow of you in what would have been your little sister. I wonder if you’d have had the curls she does. If you’d have still been in our bed when she came along.

Thank you for the minute we had with you. Thank you for the perspective you gave me on what life is.

I don’t know if I believe in an afterlife, but if there is one, you are well met. You have great grandparents who are no doubt loving every minute I’ve missed.

And if there is something after this, I can’t wait to hold you.

Thank you. I love you still.

Love,
Mama

With a nice, tall glass of shut the hell up

I get it, you know.

I did it too.

There were things I’d always do, things I’d never do.

I always thought the whole “never say never” thing was such a cliche.

Turns out it’s more real than scaly feet in the summer.

I’m talking about those people. You know there’s at least one in your life (more like six, seven, or even 15 thousand, amen), and you know you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Twitter is what got me started on this line of thought.

I know that many people just don’t “get” Twitter, and I didn’t either for a long time, but once I did, I fell in headfirst.

It’s so easy to declare your life away in 140 characters. To make huge, sweeping statements that can, if you’re not careful (and sometimes even if you are), make you appear to be just a little bit of a huge, enormous, whopping, judgmental ass.

I know how easy it is to condemn a mindset, a choice, a practice when you have absolutely no clue of its reality. I’ve done it all my life.

Parenting.
Religion.
Sexuality.
Abortion.
Politics.
Divorce.
Monogamy.
Abuse.
Finances.
Depression.

….do I really need to go on, or have I made the point? All of these things and oh em gee so much more, I’ve had hard and steadfast beliefs on. And all of them I’ve eaten my hat about.

So to repeatedly read (via Twitter or Facebook or your sister’s diary) someone’s ADAMANT statements regarding issues they have not faced, well…

It used to anger me. Now it’s more amusing than anything else.

There are people I follow on Twitter for this very reason. Just to read their spew (and weirdness) and know that one day they’ll no doubt be eating their words, whether it concerns foreskins, gluten, or Tylenol.

So I guess the moral for today is be careful what you condemn, because you’ll be there one day, guaranteed.