Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Things in the news that make me happy

Go Vikings!

Minnesota becomes the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriages. I know this one is a technically too old to be "news" but I am so happy that we are coming closer to nationwide marriage equality becoming a reality. Love is winning the fight! This specific link is to Fox News only because I'm pretty sure the power structure there hates reporting on it, and the fact that they have to is another things that makes me happy.

 Go Angelina Jolie!

 Okay, so the circumstances surrounding this powerful opinion piece do not make me happy, of course, but the fact that she went public about her decision in an effort to advocate for other women does make me happy. I have always liked Angelina Jolie both as an actress and as an agent for social change but coming out about something this personal, especially as someone whose livelihood is so wrapped up in her outward appearance, is just amazingly brave. I also love that she recognizes that access to this genetic testing and the medical care that came afterward is out of reach for most women due to cost and that she's advocating to change that.

Favorite quote:
It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.
On the face of it, this should be an easy choice for anyone at risk. On paper, it would almost be like being told "There's an 87% chance your appendix will kill you." Obviously, you would choose to have it out. However, breasts are so tied to feminine identity and beauty (and a fixed ideal of beauty is so widely prioritized) in this culture that this type of reassurance is truly necessary for anyone facing this difficult and life-altering decision.

 Kermit Gosnell Convicted

 Kermit Gosnell was convicted of killing several women and viable infants while performing illegal abortions without a license or proper training. I am so glad he is being punished for these heinous acts, but my favorite thing on the Internet about what our reaction as a country should be to this case comes from Melissa McEwan at Shakesville.
A person who doesn't want to be pregnant will do anything zie can to not be pregnant. Including going to a charlatan in a filthy clinic. That is a reality. The only serious conversation to be had is how we address that reality in a way that preserves the safety of breathing patients.
Yup. The whole narrative in our culture that women just need to think it through longer, or see an ultrasound picture to fully understand, or whatever other paternalistic bullshit that lawmakers use to justify unnecessary hurdles to access for a legal medical procedure only provides fertile ground for monsters like Gosnell to peddle their horrors.

Even if you believe abortion is murder, the only thing that ever lowers the rates is wide access to reproductive health and preventative measures as well as strong and well publicized access to help for children that are born. Tightening restrictions on reproductive healthcare has only ever resulted in atrocities, and promotion of these restrictions by people who ought to know better is a clear case of promoting an ideology being more important than protecting lives. Culture of life my ass.

 Cute Pictures! 

 Also via Shakesville, I ran across this adorable spread of 5-year-old pictures where the little girl is mimicking poses of real women role models like Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart. My favorite is the Coco Chanel one. Both Chanel and the little girl are exuding a real sense of power and it gives me hope for the future.

 Happy Wednesday!

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