Please Stop Making Roe About You

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Roe and Casey are about to be overturned.

If you do live under a rock, my apologies. Last night, a leak from within the walls of the Supreme Court was published in a Politico article, which included the opinion of the Supreme Court, which has effectively taken an internal vote to overturn both Roe and Casey. This will throw abortion and other healthcare rights back to the states, which will have an avalanche of consequences, including the return of back-alley abortions, and an elimination of privacy for everyone. It also, effectively, makes travel even through a state with outlawed abortion a non-option for millions of young women, as even travel through will be subject to criminal proceedings should a woman later terminate a pregnancy that was merely conceived in the state, in passing. Here is a link to that article; if you need to go read it, we’ll be here waiting when you’re done: LINK.

There is little less in this world quite as grotesque as the actions and words of many within hours of the publication of that article. I am sure more will come.

If I were to include an incomplete list, it would include:

1. Men, like Congressional Representative Eric Swalwell, making this into being about him:

2. Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and the DNC/Joe Biden fundraising off the issue:

3. People who have been promising to protect women for decades, only to repeatedly fall short of doing so

And the big one:

4. Men who believe they have a right to pontificate on how women are allowed to respond, react, feel, and vote/not vote on this issue

And that is, fundamentally, what I am seeing of the most. Men, and a few women as well, taking to Twitter and Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram – everywhere really – to pontificate and bluster about how this is the fault of young people who didn’t vote in 2016, or this is the fault of people, especially women, that are critical of Biden and the Democrats now.

The problem with that is that it fails to acknowledge history, and the gift that Democrats have been given over and over again over the last 50 years, only to take that gift for granted, much in the way women are often used and abused and then thrown to the side when no longer needed in every day life.

Even if we just consider the last couple of administrations, since the Supreme Court evidenced itself to be a political body in Bush v Gore, you have to accept that:

-In 2009, Obama had a super majority in the Senate for 5 months. Prior to this, he had campaigned on codifying Roe into law, and yet as soon as elected, his agenda shifted and this no longer became a priority. With that super majority, nothing was done.

-In 2014, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked to retire, and she was either too selfish or senile to oblige. People claim that she wanted to wait until a woman was president, but this foolish viewpoint is a grim statement more (in my view) of why the Supreme Court should not be a lifetime appointment; that an age limit should be enforced.

-In 2019, as highlighted above, Biden campaigned on codifying Roe, much like Obama did. And while he has not been gifted a super majority, his weak leadership has only made the problem worse. When asked to expand the court, he created a commission to study it. After spending our tax dollars to research the issue, the group created a 300+ page document that simply provided a history of the Supreme Court, and issued no recommendation. Since then, the issue has been dropped, mentioned now only in passing when things get bad. Moreover, in fall of 2021, the House passed a bill that would codify Roe into law, and the Senate has remained in gridlock on the issue. Most notable though is that a handful of senators did not even show up to vote on the issue, Biden made no public moves to lead with an iron fist on the issue, and to this day he continues to take zero position in favor of nuking the filibuster – even for a carve out on this singular issue, which they have done before, on military spending.

And these last 24 hours, the people in power have again shown us who they are. Pelosi and Schumer issued perhaps the weakest joint statement they have ever issued; Biden did much of the same today. It was more “let’s wait and see what happens,” as if time is not of the essence in this issue, as if the clock is not about to strike midnight. Fundraising, because women’s rights are a big money maker; and moving on to their agenda for the day of passing more money for Ukraine.

In the end, the military and the economy is really what this is all about anyway. If women continue to stop having babies, the economy cannot grow. Right?

But all of that is neither here nor there, in the final analysis. The damage to this point is done, and now it is only a matter of time before women in this country are subjugated in ways we never even believed could happen. Interestingly, over the decades, abortion statistics have remained static, through illegal and legal times. The only difference, fundamentally, has been whether or not they are safe.

Then again, were we the ones foolish and senile on this issue? The people in power in this country – the elite oligarchy of Democrats and Republicans, and a handful of progressives who still have more cash on hand than the rest of us – have systematically shown women what they think of us for a long time. There is no universal childcare. No equal pay, truly so. No paid family leave. Women’s healthcare has been on the downslide for decades, with abortion being the final nail in the coffin.

And it’s more than that. It’s the rise in toxic masculinity that is pervasive to daily life. It’s people saying they don’t want to wear a mask to protect others because it makes them feel “weak,” and “feminine” to care about others, have compassion and express feelings like kindness. It’s feeling threatened when a strong or intelligent woman enters the chat. It’s being a woman and calling the cable company, only to have them ask if they can speak to your husband. It is exhausting to be a woman in America today, this decision by the Supreme Court is more of the same.

It’s a country of men mansplaining to women how they are allowed to feel and react, and – again – how to vote or not vote in reaction to their fundamental right to choose being taken away.

Please stop making Roe about you. Please stop posting your hot takes, turning it into your own issues, using it as a fundraising tool, and telling women their frustration with their supposed-allies is invalid. Even if you are an older women, consider that this only symbolically affects you. For young women – women under 50 all over this country – the stakes are much more dire; for you it’s posters and cries to resist, for them it’s life, death, and back alley abortions.

Consider this: when you tell a young woman who is now faced with the consequences of the world created for them, a woman who has to plan travel around not even going through states that outlaw abortion (unless they want to later on face possible criminal proceedings)… when you tell them that they cannot vote how they want, feel how they want, or react how they deem appropriate, because the Democrats said so and the two party system is just what we have:

You are doing the same thing that the Supreme Court did by voting to overturn Roe and Casey.

You are taking away a young woman’s autonomy. You are deciding for her what she is allowed to think, feel, and do.

Please stop making Roe about you.

I Hate Gays Because FREE SPEECH; or, Why We Should All Get Over The Duck Dynasty Fad Already

HA!

Okay, first: I don’t hate gays. I love the gays. I love the straights too. I am a straight, I have a bagillion gay and lesbian friends. An old friend took his own life a few years back because of a depression stemming over his family’s rejection of his homosexuality. If my children ever come home and tell me they are gay, not a damn thing will change. I’m not going to tap dance around this for fear of losing followers: I believe in equality for the homosexual community in every way, shape, and form. People are people, regardless of what they do in the bedroom.

If you have a problem with that, you can get the fuck off my blog page. Now.

I’m Catholic. That means I’m a Christian, by virtue of the fact that the Catholics worship and try to follow the teachings of … wait for it … Christ.¬†Christ (the bearded guy who died for all our sins – sins I can only assume did in fact include ancient-style homophobic hatred) preached one thing above all others: love.

Love, motherfuckers. LOVE.

Not judge. Not hate. Not make moral judgments for which you have limited moral understanding. Not claim that you could actually – in a million years – know with absolute certainty God’s agenda.

Love. That’s it.

So are we clear on these things before I go on? Okay, great.

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So this whole Phil Robertson-Duck Dynasty thing has got me super riled up. It didn’t start out that way. At first I didn’t care, because seriously I do not understand why in the actual fuck the world is so enamored with those long-bearded hillbillies. Then as the day wore on, I saw more and more people on Facebook and Twitter and all of the other areas of the Internets (which I am now convinced should really be called the “Everyone’s An Expert Soap Box”) claiming that this guy’s right to free speech was being violated because he was suspended from the show for making homophobic comments. Phil Robertson for President Facebook pages were popping up. Keep Calm and Boycott A&E shirts were being sold.

Put down your shot guns and slow your fucking roll, hillbillies!

My friend Ava over at Journey of Jordanna East said it perfectly: “One of the biggest problems with America is that Americans don’t actually know how their own country works. It’s so sad.”

It is true that we have a freedom to speak what’s on our mind in this country. That is – essentially – the essence of the first amendment, though there are limitations. One of those limitations is that it truly is with regards to free speech on government matters. And it does not protect freedom of speech in areas like sedition or treason. I could continue, but this is a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo that’s deviating from the point. Did Phil Robertson have the right to make whatever homophobic, racial, or otherwise comments he wanted? Sure. Of course he did.

That right to say whatever he wanted, though, did not in any way, shape, or form protect him from the consequences of those hateful and hurtful words. That’s just not the way the constitution works.

People don’t seem to have gotten that, though. In fact, even when confronted with this logical discussion, and the basic facts of the constitution, people just seemed to be screaming louder and louder – FREE SPEECH FREE SPEECH. As if just saying that over and over again will refute any and all truth.

1504935_586891554731885_366015547_nAnd as the day wore on, it got worse. Suddenly the world of Twitter was discussing what everyone’s opinions about the first amendment and the definition of free speech is. I’m sorry, huh? Opinions? Interpretations? We aren’t talking about varying interpretations of the color of a person’s bowel movements here. We’re talking about an empirical and constitutionally upheld fact. Are you on the Supreme Court? Then all your fucking opinions are INVALID.

Here we have the reason why I think it’s about time we all get over the Duck Dynasty fad the nation has been enthralled in for years now: all this hillbilly TV has just further contributed to our collective stupidity. Instead of learning about things like the actual freedoms protected by the constitution, we slap ourselves down on the couch for six hours of television every, single night. We scream FREE SPEECH from behind the safety of our computers, all the while refusing to actually read about and understand what freedom of speech really is. And we do it not only behind the security of a computer screen, but under the sanctity of our religious views.

This is why so many people think religious people are ignorant anyway Рbecause they choose ignorance over intelligence time and again, out of laziness and a general sense that saying something (FREE SPEECH!!!!!) over and over again will make it actually come true.

But it doesn’t make it true, no matter how many times you say it; and it doesn’t make Jesus love you, because Jesus does not love bigots. No matter how much the constitution guarantees their rights to proclaim that bigotry.

The thing that is so fascinating to me about the Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty controversy is that people seem to be too chicken shit to actually say they want him to stay on the show because they hate the gays too. I mean some people are saying it, but more are just screaming that freedom of speech line and claiming Robertson had the right to speak “God’s plan.” Why all these smoke screens? Why not be real and say that you hate the gays too? That the thought of gay sex is icky to you and, therefore, Robertson can say and do whatever he wants?

Is it because of some fear that there may actually be consequences of you exercising your own free speech as well? But if you acknowledge that, then of course you’d have to accept A&E’s suspensions, which would then require you to acknowledge just how inherently wrong others in the world think your hate is.

I hate gays because FREE SPEECH? I love everyone just because.

I don’t really understand why The Gays want to get married anyway …

Marriage sucks. I mean it’s got its perks (I have yet to find many). But it’s hard. My grandmother – married for 63 years before my grandfather passed away, just this February – once said to me “you aren’t doing marriage right if it’s easy.” True ‘dat, Grandma. True ‘dat.

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When I got up this morning, I came to a bit of an epiphany. After all this gay marriage, equality talk – people turning their Facebook profile photos red, and rallying with the rainbow flags and such – I realized something rather striking: I don’t really understand why The Gays want to get married anyway.

I also don’t really get why The Straights are so opposed.

Think about it in terms of my marriage. Every day I get up in the morning and see that my husband has left for work. There was no kiss good-bye. There was no subtle waking me up to say “I love you” one more time, before dragging himself to work – like they do in the movies. My husband doesn’t have to be dragged to work; he has to be dragged home.

I get up and make breakfast. I make cereal for Pookies, a banana for me, and I see that in the sink my husband has piled dishes from his own breakfast. Rather than place them in there uniformly, or – dare I suggest – on the counter, he’s submersed them in a bowl of rancid, cold water that was soaking the stuck-on food from cooking dinner the night before. I spend a while getting the contents out of the puke water, with my bare hands, before losing my appetite.

I go to the bathroom and fall in the toilet. Still half asleep, I haven’t noticed the toilet seat was left up. I shower. While in the shower, I get soap in my eyes and the only close towel is my husband’s. I use it to rub my eyes, praying this isn’t the place he dried his balls with this morning. He’s been scratching them a lot lately. I clean tiny beard hairs off the sink and toothpaste off the counter.

Later in the day, I’m vacuuming. I get to our bedroom and on the floor are my husband’s clean socks. Rolled up. Sitting next to the dresser. Where his sock drawer is. I bend over to pick them up and put them away and a twinge hits my lower back, telling me it’s time to stop.

But I don’t. I have to make dinner, and to make the dinner I prepped yesterday, I have to get the BBQ going. On Sunday I asked my husband to clean the grill. He watched The Walking Dead for a few hours, then read about the Dodgers on his computer for a while instead. On Monday I asked him if he could please do it and he promised he would. On Tuesday at 11 o’clock in the evening, while getting ready for bed, he still had not done it.

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At 6:00 my husband hits quitting time. At 6:30 he’s still at work: solving problems, getting caught up, finishing things ahead of schedule, answering superfluous questions, and avoiding coming home. Dreading the minute I call to ask where the shit he is.

On his way home, his former carpool lady calls. Can they start the carpool again? It was so nice to have someone to talk to on that long, 50-mile drive, he thinks. “Sorry – my wife won’t allow it … you got me home late too many times in a row,” he says.

Poor Nick gets home. Around 8:30. He’s been gone since 7:30 in the morning. At this point I’m past being tipsy from wine o’clock and onto having a headache from it (I’m a lightweight). There will be no sexy time tonight. I bitch about my period coming soon. He prays to God it’s my period and not early symptoms of pregnancy.

Poor Nick is resigned to this. I’ve made chicken and rice. Again. For the fourth time this week. Poor Nick chokes it down with something of a smile. I complain that he never tells me my cooking is good, my hair is pretty, my ass isn’t fat. He goes to put on pajamas and sees I didn’t make the bed. I never make the bed, and this annoys him.

Around 11 we go to bed and play the game of “these blankets are mine,” “no these blankets are MINE” until it’s time to get up again in the morning.

Now you all may be thinking this is a pretty miserable situation, and you would be right to think so. There are of course the good times, and the reasons for being married, together forever. But there is all this other stuff that makes so many people say “marriage is the hardest thing you will ever do.”

So why in God’s name would The Gays want this?

If The Straights are so against The Gays; if they really think it’s that gay sex is wrong, or it says it’s wrong in the Bible or whatever, why not LET them have all this bliss? All the hairs on the counter, the numb complacency, the wine o’clock headaches, and the nightly fight for the covers? This misery, this daily difficulty – it would serve them right. Right?

On a serious note, I think I know the reason why The Gays want to get married, legally. Because this isn’t an issue of The Gays or The Straights, or what your religion says, or what mine says; but that of human rights. It isn’t really gay marriage anymore than it is straight marriage, just like they aren’t any more The Gays as we are The Straights. We are all human beings and our sexuality, just like our race, creed, religion, or underwear color preference has nothing to do with being treated as such.

As a Catholic, with many family and friends that are Catholic, I struggle with this and many other political issues. Fortunately, with my family and friends, we are able to disagree and still maintain our close ties; which is why I am fine with saying that I am in full support of anyone’s right to marry, regardless of their sexuality. It’s just that when I think about it, I remember that my religion is not the religion of everyone – so why should I have the right to tell people that may not believe the same as I do what they should do? And that there are a lot of things the Bible says to avoid that people don’t – like eating shellfish. Who still abstains from shrimp, which the Old Testament unambiguously states is a punishable sin? (Get it: times change). More than any of that, as a Catholic and a believer in my faith, I believe that Jesus preached love. That’s it. Love and equality. Maybe I’ll burn in hell for being in support of gay marriage; maybe one day I’ll lose someone important to me because of our opinions.

But I think that when push comes to shove, my belief in love above all will prevail. Isn’t that what Jesus taught anyway?