{July 20, 2011}   Wahoo!!

I really hope I find a lot more articles like this one in the future.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for more forward strides with this. Finally a step in the right direction!


{July 15, 2011}   Abortion Stigma

I found an article from August 2010 about a TV show (“Friday Night Lights”) that discusses abortion. My understanding of it (I’ve never seen the show) was that a teenager asked her principle for help, and the principle provided her with an assortment of information with all of her options. When the girl decided to have an abortion, the principle was held responsible. (Feel free to correct me if you’ve seen the show or read the article another way.)

I really appreciated what FNL did with this episode (or my understanding of it, anyway.) I’m probably going to look it up online to check it out first hand. The article talks about how gutsy it was for the creators to step up and fight the stigma surrounding abortion, and I agree. I think that this could have easily happened anywhere in the country. And, although this certain instance isn’t real, I saddens me that this could actually happen to an accomplished educator who was considering her students rights and options without trying to sway the student with the teacher’s own standpoint/beliefs. Bravo FNL!

From there, I got curious about what sort of information teenagers can find on their own. I remember being a teenager and researching sex and mental illnesses, hiding the search history from my parents, and hoping (and often assuming) that everything I read was accurate and true. But that’s not how the internet works, of course.

So I Googled the word ‘abortion’. I was pleasantly surprised to see that reliable websites popped up on the first page of results. (NARAL, Women’s Med Centers, and of course, Planned Parenthood, all made the first page.) But in between these results I found all sorts of other sites that used intimidating language and skewed facts (mostly by throwing in opinions stated as facts) calling for Pro-Life choices to be the only options available.

I found a woman named Gianna Jessen, a so-called ‘abortion survivor’, who makes public appearances to ‘put a face’ to the crime of abortion. And don’t get me wrong, if I were in her shoes, I would probably feel the same way. But I also can’t help but notice that she was born in 1977, to two 17 year old kids (who were probably scared out of their minds) and the mother was 7.5 months along in her pregnancy. Months!!

My problem with Jessen is that she’s speaking out against all abortions. She’s not taking into consideration the fact that her parents were scared and desperate teenagers, she’s not accounting for the medical practices used in 1977, and the advances we’ve made since then. And she doesn’t address the fact that, at 7.5 months, the mother is in her third trimester, and most doctors would advise against abortion at that point, anyway. (unless their was threat to the mothers life, of course) It’s well past the 50% survival rate (if the baby were born naturally but prematurely after that) and considered ‘viable’. (Viability refers to the point in development where the fetus can survive outside the womb.) So in other words, Jessen was fully formed at the time. Sure, she would have been tiny and would have to be well cared for, involving hospital care  for premature children. 7.5 months is definitely not an ideal time for a baby to be born, but it’s not the same as a first or second trimester baby. And that’s where I feel the problem is.

Without arguing semantics and beliefs of ‘when life begins’, or at what point a fetus becomes a baby, (and not a sea-monster looking thing) I think that abortion is a fine option until the fetus can live outside the womb. And yes, the lines here are vary vague, and I’m not the person that should be deciding where to draw it, seeing as how I have no medical license. But I think there’s a huge difference in aborting at a few weeks and aborting at 7 months.

I digress. The reason I posted the article was because it really upset me that so many laws are being put into place about educational information. It sickens me that, by law, a doctor may withhold information from a patient. Where are women, teens especially, supposed to find the right information? And how do they know who to trust? Everything abortion related has a Pro-Life or Pro-Choice sway to it. And this is one of the biggest decisions that women have to make. Why should anyone with an agenda (one that doesn’t consider any circumstances the mother is in, just that there’s a fertilized egg that might become a life, inside of her stomach) be allowed to speak to these women at this delicate time in their lives? It’s sick!

Whatever happened to giving people the facts and letting them making their own damn decisions???? Why don’t we allow people to think for themselves? Why do we keep them in a little bubble where the truth can’t touch them? It doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t keep them safe. It just makes the people with the agenda’s feel better about themselves.

Kids should learn all the horrible (and dirty) details about sex and health and abortion as early as they can. Maybe then they would be able to really understand what they’re looking at when they face it in the future. Then maybe they could make the right choices, the safest choices for their situation, without all the bullshit stigma that we put them through. Pop the bubbles, take down the safety nets, and start teaching kids the truth.

Let me preface this post by saying; I’m a noob. I’m not going to pretend I know everything about feminism, and I don’t want anyone reading this to take my opinions and quandaries as facts, or even as a ‘voice’ of feminism. Like I said, this is a new thing for me, and while I’m proud to consider myself a feminist, I know that I still have a lot to learn, and a long way to go. The reason I’m writing this post is to ask for clarity. I want to hear other people’s opinions. (and, yes, I’m aware that I just invited a bunch of assholes to comment with sexual innuendos and/or oppressive rape culture talk. I know that comes with the territory. I just hope that there are also intelligent comments from people who actually care about this topic, as well. Fingers crossed.)

So… what is feminism? Seriously. I’m asking you. What does it mean? I started this discussion yesterday with my friend Steve, who I credit for introducing me to feminism. (I did do some kicking and screaming at first, so he deserves a lot of credit.) And Steve has done a lot more reading than I have, and he’s always telling me that I’m ‘stuck in the patriarchy’ or reminding me to check my opinions because of the ways I’ve been raised and shaped by gender roles and the patriarchal society, blah blah, blah. (just using these terms makes me cringe. I’ve always hated douchey people who want to be modern day hippies and throw out these terms in casual conversations. But, much to my chagrin, I’m becoming one of these people. Because, let’s face it, once you open your mind to these ideas, there’s no going back. You question everything with these terms. And while a part of me still cringes and screams ‘Mags, you sound pretentious!’ I can now recognize another part of me that (finally) sees the potential and the importance that these words bring to people’s lives. I guess what I’m saying is that there’s a constant struggle in my head, between being ‘normal’ and fitting in with the society in the way I was raised to, and the part of me that is rebelling against the norm. I know that these questions need to be asked, and these ideas need to be researched. It’s just a matter of adjusting to the ‘big change’ that happens when you except that everything you’ve ever known is being questioned.So forgive me if I shudder a little when I use the terms ‘gender roles’ and ‘patriarchal society’ because I’m still adjusting. I’m still adapting. It’s a process, and I’m working on it.)

But I digress… back to my conversation with Steve. He made the comment ;(and I honestly don’t remember what we were even talking about to provoke this comment. It really doesn’t even matter.) “Of course you think that, you’re still caught up in the patriarchy.”  Now, for me, this is becoming a slap in the face. When I hear the word ‘patriarchy’, my first thought is “that means I rely on a man.” Whether he meant it that way or not, him telling me I’m stuck in the patriarchy basically challenged all of the personal independence that I’ve spent my whole life fighting to achieve.

So it hurt. And I got defensive. I demanded that he explain to me how in the world I’m ‘stuck’. I want to know what it is about me that makes him think he has a right to say I’m not independent. (What can I say, my independence is important to me, and I am very defensive about it. I don’t want to be another woman that relies on a man. And I don’t want other people seeing me that way, either.) -And again, I know he’s not attacking me, he’s challenging me to think differently. But in the heat of the moment, I got lively and uppity in my defense.)

So, what was his response? What was his reasoning behind the comment? He very simply said “You paint your face every day. You care about what you look like, or more specifically, what men think when they see you.”

And, again, I got defensive. I mean, his comment isn’t totally wrong, but I don’t want to be thought of as a girl that does girly things to get men to notice her. I don’t like the idea he was projecting, the idea that I need a man’s attention to live. Or, put another way, I live my life based on how men will see me, and I’m desperate for their approval, their attention. (again- it’s not what Steve meant, but you can see why I would jump to this thought, right?)

So I told him; “I wear make-up when I go out with the girls. I wear make-up when I’m simply going to a girls house. If I wore make-up solely for the purpose of getting a man’s attention, why would I waste my time dolling up for the girls? ”  I feel like this is a fair point. But he responded with something along the lines of; Society has taught you to wear make-up. Society is stunted by the patriarchy. Therefore, by following the rules of my society, I’m not fighting the patriarchy.

Long story short (at least this is what I heard during the debate) I am not allowed to be a feminist because I wear make-up. I mostly wear women’s clothes and I accessorize like a woman. Being feminine is anti-feminist. (and this isn’t the way Steve thinks, he was just re-iterating the thoughts of some feminists.)

So I asked him; what is a feminist? What does a feminist look like?  If the only way to truely stick it the the patriarchy is by being a butch-y dyke, (to prove you don’t need a man’s approval) then how do we stay true to ourselves? There are ‘feminists’ who believe that, just because I like men, and I like to have relationships with men, I’m allowing myself to be taken over by the oppressive patriarchal society.

And I don’t think that’s fair.

I don’t think it’s fair that there are hard-core feminists out there who are excluding me, are not letting me in their feminist club, just because I like the color pink and I like to dress up and go on dates with boys. And because I like to date boys, I’m allowing them to oppress me into their societal norms.

But I don’t feel oppressed. And I like to think that I respect myself enough to tell the guy to take a hike if I did feel oppressed.

So being independent, living alone, and taking care of myself without the assistance of a man is apparently not enough to make me a feminist. All of that is negated by the fact that I like boys.

(and, just to be clear, I’m not saying that all feminists think this way. And I’m not trying to imply that a feminist can only be a feminist if she hates men and is androgynous. I’m just saying that, apparently there are a lot of people that do feel this way, and I find that hurtful. Because where does that leave the rest of us? How do I get them to let me into their club, without changing who I am to conform to their ideas?)

Does anyone else run into this problem? Am I just being insecure? Am I allowed to call myself a feminist? (who decides if I am or not?) Should I even be this upset by their thinking? Or should I just call them antiquated bitches and move on with my life? Is just wanting to be a feminist enough to make you a feminist?

How do I join their club?!  (Do I even want to? If I have to conform to those rules?)

{May 24, 2011}   Prepare to be Raped!

Planned Parenthood sent a link to this article to their followers earlier this week.

I really can’t say anything more than the article does. It talks about a Republican lawmaker (a man) who is telling women that they should invest in some sort of  abortion insurance, ‘just in case’ they are raped. That’s his solution. Instead of allowing  actual insurance agencies to cover it, he thinks women should ‘plan ahead’. That way, when they get raped, they’re prepared. One commenter said;

“Call me crazy, but I really don’t want to tell my
daughter that she needs to expect to be raped some time in her life and
that she should plan ahead for it now. What kind of world is this?”

I really don’t think there’s anything else I can add to this… I mean, who really sees this as a good idea? Am I missing something? Why is this even happening? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!!

And again, I have to remind everyone; Federal funding does not go towards paying for abortions anyway. There were already laws in place that prohibited that. Planned Parenthood got de-funded because women could get abortions using their own money (or insurance) to cover them. Nobody’s tax dollars are providing this service. To my knowledge, tax dollars never did. (correct me if I’m wrong.) Challenging their health care coverage and possibilities is nothing short of an attack on women.

If you’re against abortion, alright, great. Good for you. Whatever. The issue was never about you paying for abortions. It was about you paying for gyno visits and breast exams. (How many times do we have to say that before people actually hear it??) So your soul or morality or conscious, whatever you want to call it is clean of baby murder. But how does that conscious feel, knowing that you’re causing a lot of women to live without cancer screenings? (and, may I just emphasize that, without the screenings, there is no care, or check ups. And these women may live with cancer-without knowing about it- until it’s too late. Just because some asshole congressman didn’t want tax dollars to keep not going towards paying for abortions. (yeah, that was a mouth full… read it again to be sure) These women (some with kids, or husbands, or families)  can die because a lawmaker was too ignorant to see what the bill he signed actually said.

So, somewhere in that ramble, the point I was trying to make is:  The bill didn’t change anything about abortion. The only thing it did was take away healthcare. Do people still not realize that?

Here’s an article from the NY Times. Maybe they’ll be more convincing than I am.  (And hooray that the federal government is sticking up for us, since the state won’t. Let’s hope this thing ends soon.)

I found this online today. It’s an article about a lawsuit against an Iowa sheriff’s dispatcher being fired for sexual harassment.

Maybe it’s because I’m running on 3 hours of sleep, or maybe it’s because I want more information, but I can’t decide how I feel about this.

I mean, from a feminist view, this shit happens all the time. If it was a guy telling another guy to ‘not let his pipes get rusty’ there would be no discussion. They would chuckle and high five each other, and say something like, “Seriously, dude, I hear that chick in research is hot for you!”

Maybe it’s because I’m around guys all the time, but I see nothing wrong with these comments. I usually feel like ‘one of the guys’ in the locker room, having a chat. I don’t feel singled out because I’m a woman, because they’re talking to me the same way they would if I were a man. My sexuality doesn’t feel like an issue, because they’re not using me as a sexual object. (or a sexual anything, for that matter.) They see me as ‘a cool dude with long hair.’ Just one of the guys.

I guess my point is, she didn’t go around slapping guys’ butts, or commenting on their bodies, or talking about ‘tapping that sweet ass.’ (insert whatever it is women say about Johnny Depp or George Clooney’s thighs, butt, face, etc.)

So was she really harassing anyone? If she were a man, would this have been ‘inappropriate’? (I admit, asking someone about a down-under piercing is not appropriate for the work-place, but again, I think a guy would ask, and I know I would ask.) But, aside from that instance, the only one-at least mentioned in the article- where she directly talks about a certain mans genitalia, was she totally in the wrong?

Personally, I talk about sex whenever and wherever I can. I think it’s important to know the truth, and it absolutely astounds me the way I hear people talk about it today. With all the information and facts available online, I can’t believe people still don’t know anything about STD’s, pregnancy, orgasm’s (women’s specifically. You’re not helping anybody by faking it, ladies, come on!) sexual roles and responsibilities and just plain health care facts. I always thought that getting crabs/herpes/whatever from a toilet seat was just a stupid rumor that no one believed anymore, like Bloody Mary in the Mirror, but I have been dumbfounded by the number of people that still believe that.

Again, all of this stems from the fact that we, as a society, deem sex ‘dirty’, ‘gross’, ‘taboo’, and take discussions of it off the table. People really need to educate themselves! Desperately!

But I digress, my original point was, when I hear these rumors or lies or misconceptions, I speak up. I say “Hey, I don’t think that information is correct. Here’s a reliable web-source, let’s check it out.”  While I don’t discount  the possibility that Willey’s demeanor might not have had an educational undertone, I still don’t see the problem with talking about sex is. (This is the part where I need more information, as to what was said.) They’re adults, and from my experience, adults talk about sex with dirty innuendos in office setting/places of employment all the time. Men get goofy and flirt with each other, they flirt with secretaries, most of it’s just silly conversation that isn’t taken seriously. Now, if someone starts to feel weird or uncomfortable, then yes, things need to change. But that ‘someone’ doesn’t have to be female.

And I just have to reiterate my quandary; would this be an issue if she were a man saying these things? (and slapping someone in the balls, calling them a ‘pussy’, or asking if they ‘banged the chick in accounting last night or not?’ I admit, all this sounds weird if you picture a woman saying it. But women are saying it now.  Is it equality? Or is it harassment?

On the other hand. I applaud the men who (assuming she is a slutty hoe-bag like they make her out to be) don’t take advantage of her. I applaud the men who value their marriages and jobs more than a casual hook-up. Men are allowed to feel judged, ridiculed and uncomfortable, too. And (in keeping with yesterdays blog’s theme) we can’t just throw out their feelings because they’re men. (Yeah yeah, they’ve been doing it to us for years. I get it. I’ve seen it happen. But the rules shouldn’t apply to only one gender, either.) Men have rights, too, and if this woman was truly making everyone uncomfortable, then I can understand why they chose to let her go, and I support their decision.

Now, after having said all that, I realize this post is incomplete and there are many more topics, ideas, issues, opinions, etc. to be brought up. But like I said, I’m running on empty (and this blog is too long already.) So let’s leave it here, and hopefully come back to these ideas later. So please, bring up some comments, enlighten me a little. I want to know what am I missing here.

Topics for later (feel free to bring them up in comments to continue the discussion): Is locker room chat ever appropriate? Does the fact that she’s a woman automatically exclude her (and me, for that matter) from discussing sex with a man? Can men and women only discuss sex in the context of them being partners? (and if that’s the case, when men talk to each other men about sex, is there an undertone of possibly becoming homosexual partners there? I.E. why can’t we discuss sex with people we don’t actually want to have it with?) Why don’t we talk about sex in culture? Why are we afraid of putting the facts out there, widely distributed? (if your answer is ‘to save our children!’ I’ll ignore you, and also be annoyed that you think children shouldn’t know about sex in the first place.)  I have many more ideas, but I’ll see where this goes from here.

I’m going to apologize in advance, because this is a topic I could discuss for days. And I’m still learning about it and developing my own standpoint. Plus this is a tough subject to approach without outraging feminists. So bare with me.

I came across this news story (about a group of guys (ages 14-27) raping an 11 year old girl) that made headlines last year, but it’s still a front-page headline on And while I think the whole article/debate is just fucking ridiculous. (I mean, seriously… she’s 11!!) The author touches on something important that I’d like to bring up: the boy did what he did because of ‘peer pressure.’ Which I don’t think is limited to just peers. I think it starts with their parents. And every boy (and girl, and transgender) who has ever lived has known peer-pressure.

I know that, in that article especially, it’s a touchy situation. He’s a kid, he doesn’t know better. But, how much is a 14 year old boy supposed to know about sex and love and relationships-or even violence and rape- in a country that doesn’t talk about sex, deems the deed dirty and punishable, and doesn’t teach proper-sex education?  (sex education is a blog for another time though.) While, at the same time, throwing cliche’s,  music videos, and mis-information at them?

So what am I talking about? I’m talking about the way we raise our kids today. (cuz we never get tired of hearing about that, right?) Feminism covers the girls, the sickness of ‘Purity Balls’ and abstinence and seeing virginity as innocence or a gift, so on and so forth. But I want to talk about the pressure that’s on the boys.

Let’s start with the way people talk. Not just kids, but adults, especially with slang. We throw around terms like “Man-up!” “Sack up!” “Grow a pair!” “You fight/scream/cook/bust a cap like a girl!” and of course the good old fashioned “You’re such a fag!” and “That’s so gay!” Again, the homosexual debate is left for another day, but feminist and homosexual authors have used these terms to prove how offensive it is to women and gays, without discussing the effects it has on the people using the terms. (Don’t get me wrong, women and gays are totally justified and I support them. I mean, what’s wrong with fighting like a girl? I hear Xena kicks a lot of ass. And I would love to have Black Widow’s abilities.) But usually the kids (and adults) using these terms are either unaware of effects, or just simply raised that we should judge people who are different. (And we’re all raised that way. It’s unavoidable.) I think it’s up to us, as adults, as role models, and as parents/guardians/friends/teachers, to realize the pressure that we put on men with these terms, too.

We’re finally to a point in time (Halle-fucking-lujah!)  where women can work, wear pants, vote, and all the fun stuff that we’ve fought so damn hard for and are entitled to. But what has that done to men? It means there are more ‘feminine’ things that are, essentially, the same as ‘masculine’ things. Going back to how we raise kids, how many fathers get upset when their son wants to play with a barbie doll? Ever notice how parents are fine when their daughter chooses the blue action hero toy but are simply outraged when their son picks up anything with pink on it? It’s fine for girls. We’re equal now.  But we’re still teaching our sons that pink is for girls, tea parties are gay, and painting their nails is just creepy. But why??

I guess the overall question is; what does it really mean to be a man? I see my guy friends struggle with this all the time. But as a ‘man’ they’re required to keep quiet about the dilemma. Because men don’t talk about feelings. That makes them gay. Men pick fights. Men aren’t ‘men’ until they get laid. That 14 year old boy in the article above was probably called ‘pussy’ and ‘fag’ until he agreed to rape the girl. He probably thought that participating in the gang-rape would make him cool among his ‘peers’. Because they all have sex. So he’s a coward or an idiot or just a ‘little bitch’ if he doesn’t ‘sack up’ and have sex with the girl.

I hear these terms (hell, I’ve used these terms…) all the time from men. And I see fathers telling their sons not to cry in public, that pink bikes are for girls, that you’re not supposed to sit down when you pee, and you need to have a killer right-hook in case someone crosses you.

I believe that’s where the problem starts. Boys are supposed to be in blue pajamas, and girls in pink. Then the girl wears the blue pajamas and there’s no problem. But the second that the boy tries on pink? You have to tell him it’s wrong and explain ‘manliness’ and it’s importance. We implant the idea in our children from the day we take them home to their pink or blue nursery. (I mean, seriously, yellow is ‘gender neutral’? I don’t think so.)

Maybe if we stopped pressuring our kids- in this case our boys- to pick certain toys, or to hate the color pink, or just plain ‘be a man’, they could figure out who they really are. (And what ‘being  a man’ really means.) And they could discover that manliness has nothing to do with smelling like Axe, oogling Scarlett Johansson, getting into drunk bar fights, or getting emotional in public. Being a man is about loving your partner (and/or family), and caring for them, supporting them, and providing for them. That’s also what being a woman is about. Taking care of yourself, and loving others.

So why do we have this division of masculinity and femininity? Why does it matter? Personally, I see it as a worthless social construct that limits our abilities, and places unnecessary stress and pressure on people.

So please, next time you’re invited to a birthday party, give your son/nephew/grandson/friends kid something pink, or simply encourage him to let his Freak Flag fly high. And let him know you’re proud of him for being himself.

(this is an on-going topic for me, so expect more in the future.)

{May 6, 2011}   Letter published in NUVO

The most recent news I have is that NUVO published a letter I wrote in regards to Mitch Daniels signing the bill to defund Planned Parenthood. They chose to put the letter next to their article about the bill, instead of just on the Opinions page. Which is a big deal for me. As an unemployed writer, begging for work, it’s nice to have something to add to my resume. And it feels pretty damn fantastic to know that someone cared enough about my thoughts and opinions to actually print it in a well known news-source.

The only problem I had with them publishing it was that I was afraid of what my mother’s reaction might be. In the letter, I detail my personal experience with rape, and the challenges I faced in overcoming the attacks. (Which I kept secret for years, even some of my best friends didn’t know until the article came out.) Planned Parenthood was there for me. They’ve always been the first place I’ve turned to when I worry something is wrong with my body.

The following text is what they published in the paper. Unfortunately, they didn’t post it online, so I can’t link to it. But I will provide a link to their article about the HEA 1210 bill, because I feel it’s important to be informed, so that you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I am a young, white, middle-class, well-educated woman who has been to Planned Parenthood of Indiana many times over the years. But I have never had an abortion. Then why have I gone to Planned Parenthood over the years?

Because as a struggling undergraduate, Planned Parenthood made it easy for me to afford health care, including check-ups, breast cancer screenings, pap smears, and educational information. They provided all these services on a sliding scale based on income, even when I had no income.

More importantly, Planned Parenthood helped me after I was the victim of sexual abuse while at college. This man threatened me and manipulated me into thinking that the whole thing was my fault. But to this day, I can’t think of anything I may have said to him that could have been inferred as “Please, slam my head against that concrete wall.” or “Please, hold a pillow over my face while you force me to have sex with you, so that I can’t scream for help.”  Yet, for years I believed it was my fault. I thought I should have been smarter, I should have been stronger, I should know how to pick better ‘friends’.

Now I am smarter. And I’m gaining my strength by sharing my story. I couldn’t have done that and I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for Planned Parenthood of Indiana.  They provided counseling and encouraged me to get out of the situation. They helped me get vaccinated and treated for the STD he gave me. They gave me discounted testing and the information I needed to stay safe in the future. They provided their services to me at a low cost because I couldn’t hold a job due to the trauma I’d survived and the mental anguish it caused me.

I am one of Planned Parenthood’s 22,000 patients whose health is being jeopardized by HEA 1210. I don’t claim that all of the others are in the same situation that I was. But some of them are.

Why are we challenging these women in their time of need? Why are we forcing Indiana women to go to great lengths- often at the risk of their own health or even life- just to obtain health care? Don’t all women in Indiana deserve the care and the chance at a healthy future that I was lucky enough to find at Planned Parenthood?

Maggie Moore

Indianapolis, Ind.

Here’s the article about the bill.

They toned down my voice, and I originally had some strong words for Daniels, but I understand why they edited the way they did. But if you’re interested, I decided to post bits of my original letter as well. The middle part was about the same, so it’s not included below. And I apologize for this post being so long.

I am a young, white, middle-class, well-educated woman in Indiana, and I’m deeply hurt by what’s going on with the War on Women. It absolutely astounds me that the government can even CONSIDER de-funding Planned Parenthood. It infuriates me that people are still using the word ‘abortion’ as an umbrella to overshadow all the health services provided by PP.

I have been to Planned Parenthood many, many times over the years. I have never had an abortion. Why? Because PP provided me with birth control. As I was struggling through as an undergrad, PP made it easy for me to afford health care, including check-ups, breast cancer screenings, pap smears,  and educational information. (More importantly, unbiased FACTS about what is really going on, and how to stay healthy.) They provided all these services on a sliding scale because I didn’t have any income.

I am one of Planned Parenthood’s 22,000 people who’s health is being jeopardized by the bill Mitch Daniels is signing in an attempt to help his campaign. I don’t claim that ALL of the others are in the same situation that I was. But SOME of them are. Why are we challenging them in their time of need? Why are we forcing them to go to great lengths- often at the risk of their own health or even life- just to obtain health care? Don’t they deserve the care and the chance at a healthy future that I was lucky enough to find? Why is our government taking their hope and safety away, just because the word ‘abortion’ is such a sensitive topic?

It’s unfair. And I won’t stand for it. I want Daniels to know how much he’s hurting me- and thousands of others- and I want him to know how truly ashamed of him I am. A real leader stands for those who need him, not the people who strike down issues like health care, and are too afraid of being disliked to do what they know is right. What kind of leader are you, Mitch?


Oh, and just for the record (I still have to date in this town, ya know?) The STD was chlamydia, and I found out about it in ’06, and after a long row with antibiotics, it’s been cured. I’ve been tested for it every year since then (at Planned Parenthood) and always come back with negative test results.

{May 5, 2011}   My Enlightenment.

Just for the record, since this is all very new, I would just like to say that I never considered myself a political person. I never voted. I never cared. I always felt that it was too difficult to keep up with every representative and to be sure that I made the right choice. I always said I didn’t have time to make an educated decision, so I would exercise my right not to vote, if I didn’t feel secure in my decision.

But current events have pushed me into being more aware of what’s happening in our government than I ever cared to be. I admit, this is all new to me, and I don’t claim to be ‘right’ because there really is no ‘right or wrong’ in politics. It’s all opinion and appealing to the masses to make yourself the more popular candidate. (which is the main reason I despise getting involved in politics. It’s not about helping people, it’s about helping someone gain popularity.)

I digress. The most current issue I’m dealing with is the attack on Planned Parenthood. It makes no sense to me that they’re cutting off such an important health care provider in our community, just because the word ‘abortion’ has turned into an umbrella term to cover up the facts about what’s really going on.

I won’t pretend for a minute that abortion isn’t a hot-topic. I understand the moral dilemma’s involved with the pro-choice and the pro-life sides of the argument, and I am willing to concede that both sides have equal rights in their agenda’s. At it’s core, abortion is a difficult decision. It’s a woman’s decision to end something that could result in a life. That’s hardcore. So I understand why it’s a topic that most politicians are uneasy about answering.(Although, I think that’s mainly due to the way in which it tends to shifts people’s votes.)

But to be clear, I consider myself pro-choice. And the attack on Planned Parenthood, especially here in Indiana, with Mitch Daniels getting ready to sign the bill to de-fund them, is really threatening to me. Not only on a personal level, as someone who is unemployed, with various disabilities that make it difficult to hold down a job. But also because I look around at my NAMI meetings and see what is really happening in society: struggle.

Struggle to pay rent, struggle to find a job, struggle to keep a job, struggle to help family, to provide for that family, to find ‘ourselves’, to be healthy, to find a good doctor, to afford required medications, and the struggle to deal with life’s ups-and-downs. And I see how much harder it’s becoming to obtain good health-care. (This will be a recurrent issue in this blog, I think. Between my stance on care for the mentally ill to the medical needs of low-income families, and young adults just trying to make it through life a little easier, it’s going to be something that comes up a lot.)

So that’s what’s going on. And that’s what I want to talk about. I intend to be very personal in this blog, honest about my own experiences as well as my opinions. I encourage feedback of any kind, and I thank you for taking the time to read this blog.


et cetera