Equality Today: Quick List of Must-Reads

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Originally posted on Politics Power Sex:

Today is Women’s Equality Day, the anniversary of the day the 19th amendment was certified, extending the right to vote to women.  Women’s suffrage was a right that had taken 80 years to accomplish.

It rather makes me think twice about complaining about the U.S. House of Representatives’ 40 votes in three years to repeal Obamacare.

This week is also the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., made his immortal “I Have a Dream” speech.

In honor of these historic moments, I thought I’d share a few must-reads today:

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As Austin goes, so does the United States

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Lilith help me, things have been going insane in Texas. So far it has been a nonstop ride on the exploitation express. People who one would assume care about their fellow man have begun to show the darkness within their own souls.

I’ll start at the beginning. As everyone remembers, the Supreme Court has decided that places like Texas no longer need to be supervised when voting comes around. Because there hasn’t been enough voter fraud..I am assuming. *eyeroll*. So, right after that ruling, my new home state is wanting us all to have voter IDs. I’m sorry, but I have a photo id of me given to me by the state. It’s my freaking driver’s permit. I’m not going to morph into an elderly white man or Asian woman any time soon.

I understand the fear of voter fraud, but here is the thing:

Voter fraud did not happen in 2012. There is a lengthy post on this at talking points memo.

But think about it. It is a pretty sad thing to commit fraud just so “your” guy can win. If your person is worth their salt, then let them run on their merits instead of underhanded tricks and lies. I’m not saying this as a starry eyed liberal. I am saying this as a person who deeply believes that a person who is the right fit for the job doesn’t just look *cute* or *handsome*. They have morals that ALL Americans can agree to. Not just some lunatic fringe. But sadly, it seems that the fringe is getting more mainstream.

The second item that has me face palming is the ham-handed attempt of the GOP in Texas to push a bill that would make abortion after 20 weeks illegal and push unnecessary codes on abortion providers so that they would basically be mini-hospitals. That would wipe out a large number of clinics, leaving only 5 that would meet up to *code*.

First, I have a problem with a bill that needs to be passed in the middle of the night and when it isn’t passed…the other side forges a document saying it *did*.

Secondly, I am not a fan of the cut off at 20 weeks. Why do I have a problem with the 20 week limit? It is because diseases such as anencephaly and Trisomy 18 aren’t “seen” until after 20 weeks or even later. Let me explain what anencephaly is exactly. Anencephaly is a neural tube defect which causes large parts of the brain to be missing. The prognosis is very poor, as that those who have it either die in the womb or die hours after birth. And the death is not quick. In Trisomy 18, there is a double chromosome pair in the sector 18(yes I just used a nerd term to describe the 18th pair. I’m sorry). Trisomy 18 is also called Edwards syndrome after the guy who discovered the disease. In Trisomy 18, the viability of the fetus is quite low, with a large number of them dying before birth. Again, those born often die quite quite early from heart issues, breathing difficulties, etc. Something that sorta scares me is that the possibility for this illness only goes up the older the mother

“But Eggs,” I can hear, “Abortions stemming from either the fetus’ or mother’s health is rare!”. It is rare….when you look at the percentage of who is getting abortions. It’s a measly 2-3 percent when you are looking at a group of about 103 thousand. Wait..that is actually about 2,060. Throw in the fact that the fetus/baby was quite wanted, and you can understand my horror of the 20 week cut off point. The idea of forcing a woman to carry a nonviable pregnancy to term is not only cruel, but inhumane. It is akin to shooting me in the womb and denying me medical attention.

My third problem with the 20 week cut off is life itself. What I mean is that in the case of a woman obtaining an abortion; she is having to literally take time off from a job and or childbearing. She will have to put money aside for child care and medication after the procedure. Combine that with the cost of a typical 21 week procedure, and you end up needing financial help even if you are well off. If your insurance covers it, then you have a large co-pay because the clinic may be out of network.

What if the doctor ends up ill? Then you have to reschedule and meet with another doctor. Next thing you know, you are at 22..then 23 weeks. Possibly even further along if you are a teenager. Speaking of being a teenager, if you have parents who are against your decision, then you have to obtain a judicial bypass. That takes time too.

And I can hear another but coming on. It says “But they just weren’t paying attention and probably didn’t want the abortion in the first place!” or ” If they didn’t want to get pregnant they should have just kept their legs closed or used birth control.”

I have bad news for you, but not everyone uses birth control perfectly. In cases that you do use it perfectly, there is still a slim chance of pregnancy. And in other cases, there just isn’t a possibility for birth control in the first place. The woman may live in a rural area that doesn’t have a Planned Parenthood or legit family planning center. She may be in an abusive relationship with a man who rapes her or beats her if she asks for him to use condoms.

She might be a woman who doesn’t have enough money to buy birth control monthly due to being laid off, on disability, etc. She even might be a woman who was diagnosed as infertile and decided that because of xyz she didn’t need birth control(because she couldn’t have kids). She might be a woman who is in a monogamous relationship but has health issues which require different and more expensive birth control.

These are good woman. Hard-working, family having women. But for one reason or another, they are requiring a later-term abortion. It’s not glamorous. It is not beautiful. But it is necessary. If there was a way for them to not chose abortion, oh they would have found it.

But no one really thinks about the time, money, and energy that is required in making that choice. There is also the feeling of shame because our society calls women who have abortions things like ‘murderers’, ‘sluts’, and ‘freeloaders’. It is easy to call them that because once you dehumanize a person, it is easy to dismiss them. You can do whatever you want to them and keep your conscience clear. You can call me a murderer, and feel fully justified to cause harm to me or my family because of a deeply personal choice that I’ve made. No, I and the women of Texas are to be incubators for the state! We are to find a way to pay lots of money to take care of our children. If you have another, then it is your duty to take care of them with no help from the state.

And that is the sticking point right there. This bill isn’t about woman’s health at all. It is a way and manner of controlling her womb. If you can tell a woman that her abortion is a matter of the state, how much do you want to bet that women will find illegal ways to obtain one? And they don’t care about that. They think of it as a consequence of an illicit lifestyle. So this is more of a moral thing. Of adding more consequences to sex, because sex that isn’t for procreation is very bad. Because the bible/Jesus/Kronos. And the female is a wily creature that will trick you into knocking her up only to murder your young(cue hysteria).

This insanity is enough to make my head spin. I think, personally, that abortion is a private subject. It is something that a woman should discuss with her doctor, partner, and deity(if she has one). She should not be shamed or branded. And we as a society should not feed on that shame.

And if one doesn’t like abortion, then just don’t get one. It is that simple.

Heck, if you are pro-life and want to lower the number of abortions without slut shaming or other harmful tactics(I’m looking at you Texas GOP), then work for comprehensive sex education. Don’t leave tweens-adults in the freaking dark. No really. We have adults who don’t know the parts of their genitalia. Teach about birth control methods, safe relationships, boundaries, etc so that when a girl does have sex she doesn’t get burned. Lobby for birth control to be low priced or free. I’m serious. There are countries that have birth control at a cheaper rate than us and have lower instances of abortion.Have paid maternity leave. Put safety nets in place to help needy families with children. Don’t lobby for them to be removed. Because if you push against the aforementioned things, you are not pro-life. You are pro-forced birth. Nothing more, nothing less.

I sound harsh, because at this time it feels like the lunatics are running the insane asylum. Mostly because people who have very strong feelings want to force their idea of what being moral is. And that is a problem because these morals can kill. It sounds hyperbolic, but the bill, when taken to its logical point does in fact end with death. It could be from illegal abortions to a mother dying from a molar pregnancy. Either way, it ends with death of a woman.

Not cool, Texas.

Finding Your Writing Voice

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Originally posted on Sara Toole Miller - Fiction & Non-Fiction Writer:

Microphone in Fist

My earliest memories of the written word are of voice in literature.  Before I knew what author’s “voice” was, my mother was giving actual voice to the works of A.A. Milne and Roald Dahl.  My brother and I would gather around the dining room table and my mom would read from “The House at Pooh Corner.”  We would beg her to continue for hours on end because she gave every character a distinct voice.  We couldn’t wait to hear what Rabbit or Kanga sounded like. Piglet was squeaky and nervous, talking extremely fast and in an almost stream-of-consciousness way.  Eeyore was sarcastic and sad with a grumpy, deep voice that was self-deprecating while also demanding the readers’ every last ounce of sympathy.  Pooh was careless—but not in a forgetful way—although he was forgetful and rather air-headed.  Pooh’s true carelessness was more of a carefree-ness—a blissful ignorance that allowed him to…

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