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.

 

Because I’m not a Christmas Card sender

I’ve tried before, a couple of years I even got the cards out in time.

I felt very accomplished those years. But it’s been a long time.

So in light of the fact that I’m not organized or competent enough to send out individual paper cards, here:

Also, in the tradition of those lovely people who do a family update letter every year at Christmas, I will do this.

2011.

The year started out like they all tend to do.

Resolutions were pretty much abandoned by week 2.

I turned 31.

The institution of marriage was defined by people in all different ways.

Ava lost her first tooth. Max lost several of his.

Lucy turned one.

Josh and I decided to go back to school, and we had our 5 year anniversary.

Josh was in many plays. I was in none.

Max and Ava and Dan were also in plays.

I started going to a for real shrink.

My sister got married.

Osama Bin Laden was killed.

Occupy Wall Street began.

Josh said goodbye to his grandfather.

I registered my domain name and began to blog with fervor.

Josh and I finished our first semester of school online.

And oddly enough, that seems to be all of note I can really remember.

I am giving myself this week of mostly leisure, so you may not hear from me for a while.

I love you.

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.

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.