Tuesday, November 8, 2011

From my inbox

"Can u be a male and still be a feminist?"


 Seriously though, dude.  Check the feminist 101 links.  I don't even know where to begin...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Can't Blog. Knitting

There is a baby in the family due that is in dire need of a blanket knit by me, and as always, I am waaaaaaay behind in my knitting, so I will be MIA for a while.  Sorry about that.  Please enjoy this screencap as my humble apology.

Me, circa 1991

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today in Trans Hatred (or how I learned to stop worrying and love trashy TV)


Full disclosure time, loves:  I enjoy me some trashy television.  I will owe up to watching two full seasons of Ancient Aliens.  I know, I know.  Bad feminist, no cookie.  To be fair, I spent the entire time bad-mouthing the obvious racist and sexist undertones in said show.  That being stated, I have no hatred for people who watch these shows.  Just as our bodies sometimes need ice cream so too do our minds occasionally need a break.  I mean, it can’t all be the news and PBS.  So when I heard that Chaz Bono was going to be on the new season of Dancing With the Stars my first thought was: “Huh.  I didn’t know that show was still on.  Maybe I’ll check it out.”

But like all things good and true, the ignorant rabble had to take a piss on it. They are outraged; mostly in the name of Jesus. Keep in mind these are the same people who couldn’t have been bothered less by Kendra Wilkinson, Playboy Bunny in previous seasons (not that there is anything wrong with posing naked.  There are problems with the Playboy brand, but that’s another post).

If you dare, you could take a gander at the comments on the ABC.com message board.  I wouldn’t recommend it.  They range from “Who will think of the children!!???” to “Watch me quote Bible verses out of context because I am so stupid I think we live in a theocracy free of Constitutional rights!” (May not be an actual quote)

At first I was like:


Then I saw this video, and it took the bite out of the hate a bit.  World, meet Jackie:


If you can, why not make a donation in Jackie’s name to the National Center for Transgender Equality?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wow...

If we live in a world where Faith Hill isn't pretty enough, what chance do I have?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stop the Patriarchy, I want to get off!!!!

Trigger warning: rape
This is our rape culture at work.

And because some fucknecks (may they step on a Lego)  at Jezebel seem to think that either Jezebel made up the story or the girl made up the story, here are some more links from more "reputable" sources:

Here  and  here

If you can't see the links, I'll sum it up for you as quickly and painlessly as I can.  A teenage girl with mental disabilities was raped by her classmate.  She reported the rape to the school authorities.  Not only did they refuse to believe her, they forced her to recant her statement and write a letter of apology to her rapist. She was forced to deliver that letter in person to her rapist.  She was reported as filing a false report and expelled for the remainder of the school year.  Fast forward about a half a year and the same boy rapes her again!  A DNA match confirms her story, but the same asshat school officials now claim she didn't "use reasonable means to protect herself"

Good and pissed?  I know I am!  Now, what to do with all that spare rage?  How about using the school board's phone number to vent your spleen?  I would. The number for the school board is:  417-732-3605  Unleash hell, my sisters.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Guest Post: Choosing Childlessness

 
Hey all.  Today I'm posting the first of what I hope will be several guest posts.  This post was written by my darling friend Vickie, who I asked to write about her feelings as a woman who has willingly chosen to be  child-free in a culture that often forces motherhood on women.  I hope you all enjoy it.

Choosing Childlessness- a post by…uh…me.

When Heather originally asked me to do this I was horribly scared as far as what would come from it. Would people hate me? Tell me I was crazy and that I would eventually change my mind? Applaud but secretly hate me? I won’t know until after this is posted. I’m still terrified of what people will think. Being a writer who has not done much in her year since graduation had me changing my mind. ‘Yes! I’ll do it! Anything to write again!’

So, here I am.

Since I was 13 I knew kids would not be in my future. As much due to my OCD as my awkwardness around them. The only thing that has changed since then is (along with finding the love of my life and wonderful best friend) that these feelings about not wanting children have gotten stronger. Yes, not a typo, stronger. I do not want children. Why is that so difficult for me to say and even more difficult for others to believe? Because I’m a 23 year old woman engaged to the love of her life and ready to settle down, start a family and – no. That’s what they WANT for me. I want to get married to this devilishly handsome man and travel, see the world. I was even nervous buying a cat because it’s a 15-20 year commitment. Cats, however, shit in a box, can portion out their food and, generally, take care of themselves. (Especially mine who hates people and will avoid them at all costs.) If only children were this easy and inexpensive!

The average cost of having a child for the first year of its life is staggering. Thousands spent on diapers, wipes, powders, and various foods for their sensitive tummies. And for what? For all of it to get eaten, pooped, thrown back up or thrown away. What kind of investment is that? Something that’s going to poop and barf all over the expensive (ok, thrift store) furniture and ruin it?

Here’s something I hear ALL the time and it’s getting really annoying: “Oh, you’ll change your mind. Your friends will have kids and you’ll realize you want them.” NO. My friends already have these delightful bags of poop and fluids. I’ve seen them. I’ve held them when they shoved their ENTIRE fist in their mouth only to take it out (covered in slime) and touch it to my face and laugh maniacally the whole time. (Ok giggle, but to me, it’s an EVIL laugh.)

How about this one: “There’s nothing like the way a baby smells!” Sure there is. A wet dog that has been rolling around in road kill and his own shit for the last hour who then proceeds to lick his balls and the come in and pant in your face. Dirty diapers smell something like that. Horrid.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s wonderful that someone can be so dedicated to a tiny little life to go through the stenches, the stains, the fluids and loads of laundry only to get them to that lovely stage before being a teenager (where they hate you to their core), only to graduate and leave you. You spend all that money, hard work teaching them to not shit on the floor or in their pants and how do they repay you? By hating you and leaving. Yeah, I want that.

I’m trying to be as honest as I can here. I think it’s totally awesome when someone can know that they want that responsibility and that emotion. That’s so freaking awesome. It’s just something that’s not for me. I’d rather spend my emotions and my hard work helping the people in this world who need it rather than creating another one who will need counseling later because he/she has mommy issues. I’ve helped countless people through their own bad times in life. (Break ups, suicides and attempts,) why should I take away from them to put effort into something/someone I don’t want? Who would suffer because of this? I dedicate a lot of time and love to my friends. That is where my true passion lies, a child would suddenly stop all that and I would no longer have the time to care for those around me who need it. A baby would tie me down, tether me to a world I don’t want to be in and force me to live a life I don’t want. If anyone in YOUR life said you had to be a plumber, whether you wanted to or not, and you got stuck there, wouldn’t you be upset? Or if they walked up to you and said, “Oh, you don’t want to be a plumber? You’ll change your mind one day.” It’s a career choice. (Since most stay-at-home moms work the equivalent of 2 full time jobs) And this particular career just isn’t for me.

I’m sorry if I’ve bored you, or if I’ve offended you. It was not my intent to offend. If you are anyway, go hug your kids and love them, don’t waste time on hating me when your children need love more than they need your anger at a stupid blog post.

I sincerely hope you all have a lovely day, and thank you for reading.

~Victoria Jensen~

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Planned Parenthood Story

This is a post about Planned Parenthood.  More importantly, this is a post about my experiences with Planned Parenthood.  As always, your mileage may vary. 

The very first time I had sex and the very first time I needed Planned Parenthood coincided like a lunar eclipse of awkwardness and self-induced shame.  I had met David (aka the Future Mr. Heather-pedia) and we were very slowly falling into nerd love (the most pure kind of love there is).  I hadn’t had sex with anyone at that point in my life, but David had.  David is a bisexual and had had relationships with both men and women.  He and I were very honest with each other.  He admitted to being both young and ignorant a few times and not using protection. I admitted that I had a few bouts of ignorance-induced oral sex myself.  Being the paranoid-type of person that I am, I felt that we should get tested for STD’s before we had sex.  The question was, where?  We were poor college students living on chips and salsa and a generous-but-nutritionally-lacking meal plan.  We couldn’t afford to see a doctor, much less pay for the tests and the much-hoped-for birth control.  What could we do?

I thought about everything I had been taught about sex in my public school, promptly had a panic attack, and started to cry.  I had learned absolutely nothing about what to do or where to get help.  The sum total of my sex ed was simply DON’T DO IT!  Easy enough advice to take when surrounded by high school knuckle-draggers who’d rather stuff me into a locker than see me as a sexual being, but when faced with a gorgeous Star Trek fan with long black hair and a rakish tattoo-goatee combo, what girl could resist such charms?  I remembered someone somewhere mentioning Planned Parenthood.  I can’t for the life of me remember who, or the context of the conversation.  All I could remember was that, according to the conservative masses, Planned Parenthood = abortion.  I was pro-choice at the time (still am) and didn’t know of the other services Planned Parenthood had to offer, but I assumed that they could recommend some type of clinic or service to me, much the same way you call your dentist for a recommendation for an orthodontist.

I made the phone call alone in my dorm room, while my roommate was out and the door was locked.  If my phone could get reception under the bed, I would’ve been hiding under there too.  What was I afraid of?  I guess I was afraid of some neon sign suddenly appearing on my door, blinking bright pink and orange “Slut! Slut! Slut!” announcing my intentions to all my dorm mates and any visitors they might have.    So deeply ingrained was this notion of sex as a destroyer of feminine “goodness”, that wanting sex made me a bad person, and that planning for sex made me a dirty, filthy sinner that it was all I could do to force my shaky fingers to dial the number and not hang up the minute a person answered.  But I managed to squeak out my request: do you know of a place where I can get tested for STD’s and a prescription for birth control pills?  The woman on the other end of the phone replied with a friendly yet brisk “we can do that” and set me up an appointment.  I was surprised, to say the least.  Didn’t they only do abortions?  I had much to learn.  A quick Google search later and I felt I was up to speed.  If only I had the foresight to Google “pap smear”.

So David and I bribed a friend to drive us.  For David, it’s an unfairly simple procedure.  A questionnaire, a little blood drawn, and he’s done.  I, on the other hand, was a shaking nervous wreck.  The nurse took me into a little room and asked me questions about my health and my sexual history.  I’m the kind of person who starts to babble and make jokes when I’m nervous, and by God was I nervous!  I sat shaking in the chair the entire time, convinced that I was a horrible, dirty person who had absolutely zero business having sex.  Neither one of us did, truth be told.  I still read fanfiction and David had a figurine of baby Gonzo holding a stuffed chicken on his computer desk.  We were the last two people on the planet who should be having sex, and yet we wanted to badly.  We were in love and slaves to our hormones.  We couldn’t say no to each other anymore.  Our wanting each other had become too great to ignore, and so even though we shouldn’t, we had to, lest we go crazy and devolve into piles of pink, hormonal goo and never graduate college. 

I related all the above to the nurse, who was the picture of patience.  I’m sure I wasn’t the first nervous, blithering teenager she had to talk down, and I certainly wasn’t the last.  I got into the pink, hormonal goo part of my rant when she interrupted me.

“Well, just because you’re ready to have sex doesn’t mean you’re ready to be parents.  That’s why you’re here, right?”

This simple sentence gave me pause.  She was absolutely right.  I had sex and love and parenthood and goodness and purity and value judgments all mixed up in my head.  I wasn’t mature enough to have a child, but I was mature enough to want sex (truth be told, I wanted sex since I was fifteen and discovered masturbation, but that’s a whole different story).  And this woman reassured me that being mature enough for sex and not mature enough for children was ok. That whole paradox is why God gave us birth control (praise be to Her).  Granted, it took me a while to get over the misogynistic judgments on my worth based on my lack of a hymen, but the fact that she took the time to reassure me that not only were my feeling normal, but that I was doing the Right Thing by getting help with the not-having-kids thing helped take the bite out of the virgin/whore complex.

Sufficiently calmed down, I let her take the blood, had my first Pap smear, and got a prescription for the Pill.  David and I drove home and waited.  When we got the phone call about our blood tests, we were both on edge.  We came back with an all-clear.  We celebrated our non-STD having status by having sex that night.  It was alright.  It got better.

Four years later, we still get our Pills from Planned Parenthood.  David still has the statuette of baby Gonzo.  I still think he’s Sex-Walking-Upright.  The only thing that has changed is I know more about Planned Parenthood and its services.  I will defend them to the death, because I remember being that terrified, shaky, paranoid 18 year old and Planned Parenthood was there for me.  I may be 24 now, but somewhere there is another 18 year old like me, who needs support, guidance, and straight answers.  I will be there for her by making sure that Planned Parenthood is always there for her. 

Edit:  Please visit What Tami Said to read other women's stories about their experiences at Planned Parenthood.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This is a Thing in the world, Part 3

Also comes in pink!
Beyond the obvious squick-button pressing, what exactly makes a Bible princessy?  I've read that fucker an awful lot, and not once in my reading did a talking crab or magic carpet interrupt my religious devotion for a whirlwind adventure.

Note that the bottom says "The ...perfect gift for 'princesses' of all ages", which to me suggests that this book isn't just for the Disney Princess 4-12-ish set, but rather for all women of all ages.  Way to infantilize.  The underlying message is that girls and women couldn't be interested in a serious "grown-up" book, and the only way to spread the Good Word to our ladybrains is to cover the damn thing with glitter and unicorn farts and trick us into reading it.

Am I the only one seeing this thing as a favor being passed out at purity balls?  Ick.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spread the word!

My Planned Parenthood: raise your voice. tell your story. July 7.

I will be participating.  You should too. Come back here on July 7th to read my personal Planned Parenthood story.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

USA! USA! USA!

 New York just legalized gay marriage!  I'm so happy and excited and glad and joyful!





























How did people express their wholehearted glee before gifs?