kcobweb: (sex ed)
Today is the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, and thereby Blog for Choice Day. I don't usually get into these things in this space, but I'm feeling in the mood for it today, somehow.

The Roe decision was handed down on the day I was one month old. I think of that, every year on this anniversary - if she had wanted to, if I had not been the result of a planned pregnancy, my mother would not have had any legal options. That makes me squirm a little bit, on her behalf. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be forced to carry a pregnancy I didn't want. (Being pregnant when you want to be is *wonderful*; my pregnancy only made me more pro-choice, as does having a daughter.)

I have been pro-choice as long as I can remember. Somewhere in the late 80s, while I was in high school, there were a bunch of news stories about abortion (Congress? the Supreme Court? not sure....), and I remember my 15-year-old self being very offended and appalled that a bunch of white old guys in suits and red power ties who were 2000 miles away could decide my fate like that (yeah, that's pretty much how I phrased it back then). And I was *years* away from having sex - but I knew that this impinged on my bodily integrity in a way few other things could.

My first real job out of college was working in an abortion clinic. These days, I lurk - and sometimes comment - in [livejournal.com profile] abortioninfo, which is a fabulous community dedicated to providing unbiased factual information without any pressure (either way, really) to girls and women in need. There is so much fear around the abortion decision and especially the procedure itself, even though an early abortion is something like 11 times safer than childbirth. Because it's a taboo issue, most people don't know of anyone around them who has had an abortion - in reality, 35% of women will have had an abortion by the time they turn 45.

I read that community because it makes it *real*. I do think that the pro-choice / pro-life debate tends to get bogged down in the rhetoric and it all becomes hypothetical, semantics, etc. This is not a hypothetical or a theory, this is someone's life, and that's what's on display in [livejournal.com profile] abortioninfo. The one thing I'd say I took away from my year working in the clinic is that everyone has a story, and every story is different. I see that in [livejournal.com profile] abortioninfo too, and that's what keeps me there - the stories.

I vote. [livejournal.com profile] galagan has accused me of being a one-issue voter, and that's actually kind of true. But as I said to my friend Z the poli sci professor, abortion rights is a litmus test for me: if I agree with a candidate on abortion, it is a fairly good indicator that I agree with them on a whole range of other issues. ([livejournal.com profile] sanj suggested that queer rights/gay marriage were also a good litmus test.)

Personally, I come down on the side of prevention - there's nothing inherently wrong with abortion, but it would be unnecessary surgery if the pregnancy didn't have to exist. I continually find it damned *appalling* that nearly half of the pregnancies in this country (to women of ALL ages) are unintended. We need better access to contraception (as well as emergency contraception), and comprehensive sexuality education, for children of all ages. I fully intend to be the cool mom who will answer all questions - my daughter can (hopefully) bring home her friends to ask me questions, and I will have a drawer with a boxful of condoms that people can take without my watching over them. Because knowledge is power.

Source for statistics here.
kcobweb: (Default)
So, I was thinking about this topic, and decided to ask the ever-wise flist.

[Poll #702332]

By the way, I'm trying to figure out how gender affects this, which is why I said hetero situations. If anyone has any insight about same-sex situations, please expound in comments. In fact, I'd be very interested in lots of expounding in the comments section, because I'd love to see what people think.

Background behind the cut )
kcobweb: (Default)
As I mentioned yesterday, I have half-written posts in my head. Whenever I try to transcribe them, I forget a whole bunch of things. So here's the other half of yesterday's post.

E's favorite game lately is tickling us. She now knows that when she sees our bare feet, she can tickle them and we will laugh. The expression on her face when she realized for the first time that she did a thing and that caused us to laugh was just priceless. She has now learned that if you tug at the bottom hem of someone's shirt you can expose their belly, and bellies are good tickle spots too. Even when she's in her worst mood, this inevitably cheers her up.

We have been watching Sesame Street in the mornings - not the whole hour, maybe half of it. The other day, they had a short segment of Grouch Eye for the Nice Guy, in which Oscar and fellow grouches tried to grouchify Bob. ([livejournal.com profile] kassrachel, I thought of you.) I *do* like that show. Even Elmo (who can drive me crazy) occasionally has some great puns and one-liners. And "Trash Gordon"??

I read a lovely book this week. I think it might be out of print, which seems like a shame, because I rather enjoyed it. (I picked this up at a used book store just 'cause I liked the look of it.) Called A Scrambling After Circumstance, by Margaret-Love Denman, it is the reflections of an elderly woman who is trying to "settle" her mind and the events of her life before she dies. It takes place in rural Mississippi throughout most of the 20th century, and much of it is contained within Eula B's reminiscinces, threaded through with interruptions from the present day. A sweet, somewhat melancholy book, with a great sense of voice in its narrator.

One last item: this week's alumni magazine had a little blurb in it concerning the "growing proportion of women" at colleges and universities across the country - but our admissions director says our past as a men's colleges and "strong math, science and athletic programs" have "kept the numbers in balance." Um, WTF? I hope someone is writing an angry letter, but it won't be me, because every time I try to compose something it contains the word "boneheaded" and the phrase "don't make me sorry I went there," and then degenerates from there. Besides, in typical girly girl fashion, I didn't really take advantage of the math, science or athletic programs while there, so I'm not really the best counter-example. (Ooops.) But really, fellow alumnae, wouldn't we have all been happier if they'd just had a Home Ec department for us?
kcobweb: (Default)
I've had a mental list of things I was going to post, but of course, my sleep-deprived brain is more addled and sieve-like than usual. But there are a few key points.

* We went back to weigh the EB on Friday and she had gained 7 ounces overnight, from our new feeding regimen. (That's something like 7% of her total body weight in 24 hours.) It was amazing. We're still supplementing, and now I've started pumping as well. I was scared of the pump at first - but once I actually started doing it, I like it, and am so pleased and happy with it now. We'll go back to weigh her Monday and meet with the consultant again, though [livejournal.com profile] galagan was talking about sneaking into the Family Birth Center at the hospital where EB was born (just down the street, actually) to weigh her today, and make sure she's still doing okay.

* I've said it before and I'll say it again. [livejournal.com profile] galagan is a prince among men. I know so many women whose partners are barely involved with baby-raising, or not around because they couldn't get the time off work, or whatever. I CANNOT imagine doing this all by myself. With him around, we can at least take turns: one person freaks out and the other is the rational one. :) Feeding is a job requiring at least 4 arms right now - sometimes a few extra arms above and beyond that would even be useful. Thank the gods he insisted on his full leave (under the FMLA) and his employer complied.

* At some point in my rants about the gender-separatist baby clothes out there, [livejournal.com profile] galagan came up with the idea of marketing blue clothes for baby girls with the slogan "I can wear blue if I want to!" Well. I had mentioned this to my sister at some point, and so last week, her boyfriend (whom I haven't even met yet, but is clearly a pretty fine guy) spent his whole afternoon silk-screening his design of this onto a couple of blue onesies. The aforementioned slogan, with a fist holding a rattle aloft in the female power symbol. They so totally rock - it's just beyond belief. Amazing, and so cute. I owe this guy big time.

* It's all still pretty overwhelming. It's amazing how the hours can fly past. Everything takes longer. :) She's sleeping more now (now that she has actually been eating) and that helps: we can grab little moments here and there to do things - like LJ or email, or washing dishes that had been the sink since I went into labor, or reading.... We got about 5 or 6 hours of sleep each of the past 2 nights - and that was keeping to a fairly rigid feeding schedule. As she gains and eats more, we're getting less rigid. (Also, 5 or 6 hours is not as effective when it's broken up into blocks of an hour to an hour and a half.) I keep repeating, this will get better. And it will.

* She's still awfully cute. I can't quite believe she's mine, though. :)
kcobweb: (Default)
In the course of running errands this morning, I was at Target, and found myself poking around the Infant department. Everything is so gendered, and put into its neat little compartments. This bugs me to no end. (The pink outfits have flowers; the blue ones have trains or puppies.)

Then I found the little packaged sets - several onesies with matching socks, or something. It was clear which you were supposed to pick boy- or girl-wise. The Pinky-Girl package had one that said "Little Princess" across the front. The Blue-Boy package had "Baby Genius" in the same place.

After MUCH hunting and searching, I managed to unearth a gender-neutral package (i.e. yellow and light green) that said "Baby Genius" as well.

Can I just not participate in this entire process?? I think this part bugs me more than anything else. I want to take back my announcement of the gender findings of the ultrasound, and tell everyone we're just having an it, in the hopes that I won't be inundated with frilly pink and Little Princess and lack-of-Genius.

But I know that's too much to ask.

It's just all so sick and wrong.
kcobweb: (Default)
--Voted this morning. (last primary in the nation)

--As I was leaving the poll, a man asked me if I wanted to sign his petition putting a measure on the state ballot in November to ban gay marriage. His sign said (in case there was any room for doubt on where he stood) "One man. One woman." I looked at him and said "You've got to be kidding." I wish I'd said the other thought I had, which was "You should be ashamed of yourself." But I was too busy walking away and not looking back.

--I get to watch the movie "Real Women Have Curves" at our teen meeting tonight - I've heard excellent things about it, and can't wait. I love that my job sometimes encompasses fun movie nights!!

--We are collecting ideas for future movie nights here - something relating to some aspect of sexuality - and we'd really like things with a positive upbeat message. It gets so tiresome to always show movies that are depressing. Your ideas are welcome.

--Welcome, [livejournal.com profile] xen_opus!

--I'm tired. Time for early dinner.

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