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.

 

Untitled because I can

This week is drawing to a close and oh my GOD can you believe it’s December? That is just crazy. Really, insane.
I mean December is for Christmas and holidays and Hanukah and Kwanzaa.

Max asked me one year if we could celebrate Kwanzaa. However I wasn’t really sure what all that entailed so I told him we could have a menorah and that seemed to appease him.

I generally despise Christmas.

I love giving gifts, it’s one of my favorite things in the world. I just don’t like giving gifts on a strained budget. I want to buy everyone the iPads and iPhones and xboxes they want and I want to watch their faces light up because they got a kickass present from someone who loves them. Me.

I just can’t do that yet. Maybe one day.

Oh, and there’s some exciting happenings with school stuff, maybe I’ll be able to fill you in soon. Yeee!

I am out of sorts with the weather. I love the cooler, but it’s moving a little too quickly into bitter ass cold. And that’s not cool.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Lucy has a permanent marker.

Pornographer

Yesterday, something happened that I never expected.

I mean, it’s not something anyone would have expected because it’s just so random.

I got an email from Ava’s teacher, and lo, Ava drew a naked lady at recess.
As her sentence, she has to miss activity period today.

So, I asked her about it when she got home. Apparently some boy had said he could draw a better naked lady than she could, and my girl would not be outdone. So the lady was drawn.

The thing is, I’m not so bothered by the naked lady. The kid has probably seen me naked (child abuse) a thousand times, not to mention Barbies and dolls and pictures of paintings (culture, people). I’m more bothered by the fact that she let herself be put into the situation to do something because someone else wanted her to.

Although now that I think about it, why is it such a big deal? Isn’t this what breeds such forbidden fascination with ding dongs and hoohas and wahoos? Besides, I mean, is naked such a forbidden thing? I’m pretty sure everyone is totally naked at least every other day. If not, well, those are your issues.

These are my thoughts, anyway. I suppose I’d feel differently if she’d drawn some “Dear Penthouse” nudie show, but this doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me. Am I wrong?

I am woman. Hear me… more?

(Last night was the election, but to spare you political yammering, I’ve asked Lindsey from Campfire Song to grace us with her presence. I found her on Twitter, and I think I love her. Also, if you’re new here, you can follow me using one of the buttons on the right. I love it when people do that.)

When I asked Emily for a topic to write about today, she suggested, among other things, maxi pads.

I really wanted to write about maxi pads, just to see if I could do it.

Annnnd, I couldn’t.

But I thought for a few days about her suggestion, and what maxi pads mean in the world today… or at least who uses them.

Here goes – sort of.

I’ve never really considered myself to be a feminine woman. I know I’m attractive and all that, but somehow I’ve always thought of myself as slightly masculine. It might be the short haircuts I sported during my teen years or the fact that I’m an awful dresser or that I don’t have a cutesy voice or that many of my friends are men – I don’t know.

At face value I can identify myself as a woman in terms of being a wife, mother, sexual being – but what power does being “woman” give me? What makes me special to the world as a female? What do I offer that a male can’t?

Femininity can’t be all about hemlines and boobs and a sultry perfume, right?

Are my best qualities what they are because of my gender, or my personality? What makes me different from my husband, for example, might be

• my sensitivity
• my generous spirit
• my ability to make our house a home
• my desire to take care
• my drive to do what’s right, even facing adversity
• my profound ability to talk (much like every other woman, right?)

Recognizing the benefits of the female gender is difficult for me because both sexes have their strengths and purpose. Many of my best (and worst) traits are also shared by men. An individual’s actions don’t represent the entire gender. And gender transformations lend to the idea that femininity might not be all about biology or looks, either.

Maybe it’s… a feeling?

Some women don’t feel like women unless they’re done up in the mornings. I don’t feel feminine without a great hairstyle. For some it’s clothing, others it’s pampering, yet others it’s attention from their men that makes them feel powerful.

To me it seems to be something that’s in our heads. It’s a desire to embrace who we truly are, without conforming to societal expectations, that allows us to truly be feminine.

Have you ever wondered why you were born the sex you are? Or what your responsibility (if any) is to fulfill that role in your life? I’m still figuring out what my femininity is for.

Because some days (like when I’m 40 weeks pregnant or PMSing) I’m sure it’s a curse.

Lindsey is mom to four kiddos under the age of five. She writes at Campfire Song about life as a military wife and SAHM, growing up, social media and funny stuff. She’s @dashingly on Twitter, and she sometimes haunts Facebook too.

Friday night glam

Josh and I have said countless times how we were going to go to high school football games.

The weather’s perfect, football’s great, lalala.

We have maybe gone to one high school football game (aside from when we lived in Jackson and we were ALWAYS at those damn private school games).

Last night we intended to go, and then we went to eat and Lucy would have none of anything but coming home and going to sleep.

So that’s what we did. Josh worked on a website and I knitted, and after we were finished wringing the dregs of life from our Friday night, we went to bed.

Sometimes I think we’ve turned into such duds.

I mean, where’s the zing? The romance? The spark?

Is there a female alive who would turn away a little bit of corny sap from the person they love? No. However, I happen to be married to Ray Barrone and his mind apparently doesn’t work that way.

And then I realize that twenty years from now the kids will (maybe) all be gone and perhaps we won’t still live with Dan, and we’ll have all the time in the world for zings and sparking.

So for now, I think it’s okay. I’m saving up to buy stock in blue pills and bathtubs to put out in the forest and on the beach.

10 things my mom doesn’t want to know

Seriously, Mom. If you’re reading, just stop. Life will be easier.

(also, Mom, since you’re cheating and reading anyway, have I ever told you how great of a sport you are? I say all kinds of stuff about you. You really are a gem. I love you so much.)

1. I let my kids curse, and I let them do it a lot. Our agreement is that they can say whatever they want when they’re at home, but when they’re around actual people who have manners, they have to keep it to themselves. They aren’t great at the control yet, but I like to think it keeps them from turning into foul little shits around other people – since, you know, they’re free to be foul shits at home.

2. I have sex toys. A whole naughty drawer, in fact. As a matter of fact, I’ll just be honest – I think I would be excellent at working at a “novelty” (read: sex toy) shop. I’d make people feel better about their sneaky dirty deeds.

3. Along those same lines, I’ve considered (quite seriously) an, ahem, intimate piercing. I didn’t go through with it because I’m chicken, but I was totally set to do it at one point.

4. I had sex before marriage, completely rending in twain all my Baptist upbringing, and *gasp* I don’t regret it. I don’t even think it was a big deal. Try before you buy, you know?

5. As a matter of fact, I think I was more wracked with guilt over masturbation than I was premarital sex. For real, guys…I really was scared I was going to hell for that one.

6. I have (obviously) become much more comfortable with sexuality in my ancient age. Face it, we’re all somewhat preoccupied with getting/keeping/having sex a lot of the time, so why be all coy about it?

7. I kissed a girl, and I liked it.

8. I married a boob guy, and as a result I have seriously considered implants. It’s okay with me.

9. If I could always have my belly covered (because of stretch marks and weird wrinkles), I’d be totally okay with being naked all the time.

10. My vibrator’s name is….well, she doesn’t have one. I was totally prepared to make one up, but screw it. Honesty. I just know she’s a girl because she’s pink.

Well, there you have it.

I’ve changed.

Kind of in keeping with yesterday’s post, I’ve been doing some introspection.

I went through some pictures, remembered some people and places.

I’m so much different. So much has changed.

Before, I was so unsure of myself. I was unfocused and judgmental. I had a narrow view that only encompassed the things I knew to be right and sure. I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I wanted so badly to be in love, but I had no idea what it was like to love myself.

Some things haven’t changed. I’m still insecure. I’m still unfocused, and while I try to keep them at a minimum I can’t swear that judgmental thoughts never skirt my mind.

But I can say that my views are no longer narrow. I know how to love, and judgment mostly comes from the completely opposite side that it would have come from before. While I’m still not perfect, I like to think that I’ve made some giant leaps.

I’ve always heard that people don’t change. If that’s true, then I…well, I know that’s not true. I could tell you deep dark secrets to prove my point, but that’s not really the point. And besides, I don’t really have any deep dark secrets. Does anyone? I mean really, with Facebook and twitter and what have you, everyone’s life is pretty much an open book.

I’ve often wondered how my life would’ve panned out if the Internet and texting and social media were as prevalent when I was a teenager/college student as they are now. Basically I knew even then that I was way cooler hiding behind a screen than I am in person, so that’s why I jumped on with ICQ and AOL IM as soon as I could. Too late, though. Too late.

I say all this to say that people do change. In light of that knowledge, I wonder just how far I can go and still be me.

Sex Ed with the Hills

(make sure and watch all the way to the end. Awesome.)

Ok, so here’s the thing.
My parents are pretty much Hank and Peggy Hill. As closely as flesh and blood people can resemble animations, that’s the level of resemblance.

I love my parents. I could not have asked for better.

But here’s the thing.

My parents never acknowledged that sex exists. Not to me, at least. My sister told me the facts of life one afternoon while we were standing in the bathroom of our childhood home. I don’t even know what we were talking about or why, but I remember telling her that babies were made by kissing and she got all business and spilled the beans.

I don’t know why my parents chose never to broach this subject – well, I mean, I do, I guess. My parents and their utter Baptist stiff neck prudery were never more uncomfortable than when something a bit off color was mentioned. To be fair, mostly this refers to my mother – whenever the conversation seemed like it might perhaps be in danger of going anywhere near nakedness or kissing or getting naked, my dad would just go shoot or build something.

I remember once I asked my mom what a condom was.

I grew up in the eighties, man. AIDS was the hairy ugly unknown sexmonster and Whoopi Goldberg was on TV almost every night taking about condoms and safe sex.

I had no clue what a condom was. I was what, eight? So I asked, and for some reason I’ve always remembered my mother’s answer.

“It’s….it’s like a rubber glove.”

To be totally fair, this is not inaccurate. After all, it IS like a rubber glove. For man parts. But Mom left that part out, and for quite some time I pictured a condom like a magical Michael Jackson glove that for some reason protected sexers magically through their hand pores.

Anyway, my kids know all about sex. I decided long ago to take the completely opposite approach with them than my parents took with me, because once I started having sex, it was not only a huge dirty secret (let’s face it, my parents didn’t even know I knew what sex was, much less how to do it – and I might as well say it here…Mom, that time you read in my journal about my angsty teenage sexual escapades, and I told you it was a creative writing experiment? Yeah….it wasn’t. I feel much better now), but they’d have shackled me down if they thought I was even thinking about it.

So, after watching the Sex Ed episode of King of the Hill the other night with my kids, I think I’ve made the right decision. after all, if they can laugh with me about grownups who are scared to say “penis” and “vagina,” surely when the time comes, they’ll know that I can be trusted to confide in.

Right?