Friday, May 25, 2012

On the subject of mom wars

One thing that has been quite enjoyable about keeping a blog is the off the cuff ranting that I indulge in. Always fun at the time... although when I read back on my last post, I realize I fell prey to  reactionary opinions regarding methods of parenting and missed the fact that these "Mom wars" are a really good foil to keep women from banding together against shockingly anti-women rhetoric that has been flouted about these days. Pitting mother against mother is remarkably easy (we do it all by ourselves!) and a very useful way of keeping people scrabbling around superficial issues. I mean really, who cares if you breast feed until your child is 5 or if you choose disposables. And for what it is worth, the environmental impact of having kids already eclipses any "green" thing you think you are doing to fight global warming. (Freakonomics) So go figure that.  The whole concept of a child rearing "system" seems increasingly ridiculous to me. Kids are not a "procedure" that need a "method". At our place, we have two very bright, curious, capable, mischievous kids and our strategy in the end boils down to: Keep one step ahead of their shenanigans, show that actions have consequences, train them to bring us beer on command. Just kidding about the keeping one step ahead of  the shenanigans part.
I don't want to fight with my neighbor about how close I hover at the park or how many cute crafts we can do and post on facebook in one day. There are serious things going on and women are all going to be affected. If we let ourselves be divided over lifestyle, we are all going to suffer.
  It's the same methods the British Empire used: Get the tribes fighting each other, then they will be too preoccupied to notice the real business going on.

We have Bill O'Reilly calling a law student a slut and a prostitute for wanting access to contraception.

"What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps."

Nice one, Bill. Oh, Was that you in the prostitute scandal over at Fox news? And you who thinks Viagra should be covered by health care? And you who is a consistent misogynist?  Just checking.

Terry England (R-Georgia) Comparing women to cattle, saying they should be able to carry to term a still born baby the same way a cow on a farm would:

“Life gives us many experiences…I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead or alive. It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.”

Buuut, let's have women do this, because it is such a sound medical and moral idea.

Oh, yes, we have the senate debate on contraceptive access:

Isn't it nice that we have these gentlemen debating the validity of religious organizations providing birth control for women. I have always wanted this necessity to be in the hands of a Priest, a Rabbi, a Reverend and a Bishop. Because it's a joke, right?

Ok, next...  “If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars. It’s a fiction.”
So that comes from Reince Preibus, the RNC chair, who decided to use  insects as a comparison tool to respond to the allegations that has been leveled at Republicans as to whether or not there is a "War on Women".  I don't agree with the "War on..." title. It is tacky and inflammatory, which I guess is the point, but it is so extreme that there is no where to go from there. In any case, Comparing women to insects is a backwards way of saying you support women, n'est-pas?

We have multiple attempts at eliminating Planned Parenthood, which many, many people use as a general health facility.
Planned Parenthood health clinics provide 750,000 breast exams, 770,000 pap tests and nearly 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. Twenty percent of all women in the U.S. have visited a Planned Parenthood health center.(abc News. ) I sure did.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure abruptly severed its alliance with Planned Parenthood  when Komen officials said would halt a grant program used to pay for breast cancer screenings and educational programs.
Komen funding for Planned Parenthood has provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and resulted in 6,400 referrals for mammograms. In 2011 alone, grants from Komen provided Planned Parenthood with roughly $650,000 in funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education. According to a recent statement by Komen, “In some areas of the U.S., our affiliates have determined a Planned Parenthood clinic to be the best or only local place where women can receive breast health care.”

Sounds like a pretty important service for women. Let's get rid of it.

Congress did pass a bill to continue financing for Planned parenthood, but 283 representatives voted against it. I am sad to say that Frank Guinta of new Hampshire was among those. Mr. Guinta, if you had the best intentions in mind for your electorate, why did you do this?
If you want to see if your representative voted against the funding of Planned Parenthood, the link is below. Also there is a letter page you can use to reach out to those who voted against Planned Parenthood.

Planned parenthood letter page
list of senators who voted to defund planned parenthood

And let us not forget the transvaginal ultrasound for those considering abortion. A procedure that has no necessity than to have a woman humiliated as she is trying to make a very serious decision. A decision in which the government has no business whatsoever.
Who is it that is crying out against "Big Government? Oh, yes. republican conservatives. Who is demanding the government intervene in the most private decisions of it's citizens? Oh, those same people? That makes perfect sense, because I live in the land of Oz.

So then we have the fact that maternity leave in the US is ranked WAY down on the list:
In at least 178 countries around the world, paid leave is guaranteed for working moms, while more than 50 countries provide wage benefits for fathers, according to the International Labor Organization. The United States, along with Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia and Lesotho are some of the only countries in the world that provide no type of financial support for mothers, according to a study done by McGill University’s Institute for Health and Social Policy. 
That is so nice to know. The United States, *Leader of the free world*  ;)   is ranked alongside these thriving, first world, industrialized nations when it comes to family support. I feel like a global leader.

Well anyway, that is the short list. I could go on and on but this is too depressing for a Friday morning.
So I will end my diatribe here and wish all of you, liberals, conservatives, independents and otherwise a  great day.

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