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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Infant and Mother Mortality in America

The Artist is Favianna Rodriguez.

Anthropologically speaking. H. sapiens has three strategies and three strategies only for control of reproduction (births) = contraception, abortion and infanticide/child abandonment. All three strategies are practiced around the world in every culture, currently and historically.

Those who restrict abortion and contraception make infanticide and maternal death inevitable. We have many in vitro examples of this. AntiChoice Zealots do not occupy the moral high ground.

More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising.

Our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment

Texas’ maternal death rates top most industrialized countries. Infant mortality rates vary by race.

Reproduction is serious business for women. Abortion and contraception are human rights, both part of comprehensive health care for women.

Friday, July 24, 2020

On Not Writing

I do not know what to say. I have had a lot to say for years now. Nothing. I feel suspended in goo just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hope I will improve. I hope our Democracy survives. Mostly I am taking Buddha's advice. "Think about other things."

It is also true that what does come from my fingers on social media is scary to type and feel and think. Yes, this is me the nonviolent conscientious objector snowflake saying, if a man with a gun and no formal insignia frightens and puts you in fear of injury or death, you kill him. That is your right and responsibility to yourself and fellow citizens IMO.

In the meantime, have some Dave Brubeck. I had the pleasure of listening to the Quartet on a June evening, under a tent, as the Delaware River flowed on by. Anybody else remember The Music Circus? I wore this album out. "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast." - The Mourning Bride, by William Congreve.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Flying on Thanksgiving? Shave your legs. - with Updates below the Flower Colophon

UPDATES BELOW: There is a new change in procedure at TSA since I wrote this seven years ago. Groping has gotten more sincere. Time to try my solution? Illustration from Second Story Window.

Flying on Thanksgiving? Do not even think about it. Stay home, make some hot chocolate and get out the popcorn. There is going to be a big strike at airport security. The Transportation Security Administration folks are groping the genitals of adults and children.

I am for a major civil rights action. But I say: Do not opt out of the scanner and make them grope you to protest, even though it surely will mess things up bigtime.

Too tame for me. Too much chance you will make your fellow humans mad. Make them mad and they will not support your cause. I say, give the people you are going to inconvenience some bang for their buck.

Take off all your clothes when you get to the first scanner. Every stitch. Then bend over and spread your cheeks so everyone in the airport can see your Stuff. Revolve slowly while bent over so there is a 360 degree view for everyone. Be careful, it is easy to fall down while doing this. Go slowly. Give them the Full Monty.

If you have not been tazed and/or arrested at the end of your revolution (yes, this is a pun and I intentionally committed it), calmly stand in line and put your clothes back on. Make everybody wait. Let everyone take pictures.

I think we could pay people to do this, if we have to. I did it in high heels on New York City bars for money, so I know you will not have a problem finding personnel. Be sure to have the protesters revolve (revolt?...revolutionize?) in more than one airport.  Ask patriotic porn stars to do it pro bono. Everybody wants to make a contribution.

Problem solved. Probably take about three weeks for The Suits to construct a backdown narrative and get it out there to The Media. Be the best political caucus race and general circus you ever saw. Think of the jokes on late night TV. Problem solved. Maybe I will run for President.

I wrote the initial essay above about the Transportation Safety Authority in November 2010 when folks were considering a huge protest. It is seven years later. Maybe they have gotten worse? Maybe it is time to do it my way? More information at the links.

A woman who’s dying of leukemia says that agents with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle forced her to lift up her shirt in front of a crowd so they could check underneath her bandages.
Disabled cancer patient slammed to the ground by TSA guards, lawsuit claims
Hannah Cohen, 18, was on her way home from St Jude’s Hospital when a scanner went off and led to incident that left her ‘physically and emotionally’ injured
Hands On with the TSA's New 'Enhanced' Pat-Down Procedure
The government goes for second-base. By JOHN MCCORMACK
I'm not a crazy ACLU-type. I've had no problem with body-scanners or previous TSA pat-downs. In 2009, a terrorist famously smuggled a bomb in his underwear aboard a U.S. flight. But an agent of the state should probably only touch a citizen's genitals seven or eight times if the agent has reasonable suspicion, and not because a machine is malfunctioning or calibrated, intentionally or unintentionally, to detect explosives on everyone who is tested.
I am a 'crazy ACLU type' and a rape survivor. I would announce before pat down 'Touch my genitals and I break your face.' Then do my best to break the face. I do not fly. 

Andrea Dworkin Haunts Me -or- Ghosts of Protests Past

Now that REDpublicans are proposing to put women who abort a rape pregnancy in prison for more time than their rapist, I thought I would run this again.
I'm a radical feminist, not the fun kind. - Andrea Dworkin
The #MeToo Movement's power, and the chaos that has accompanied power's expression, has me remembering Andrea Dworkin.

Ms. Dworkin was reviled for talking about pornography and the politics of rape and sex in the 70s. And is still reviled by folks making something off her strong back.
But what no one said, and what no one wrote in Dworkin's obituaries, was this: Dworkin's true legacy has been that far too many young women today would rather be bitten by a rabid dog than be considered a feminist. - Havana Marking 

Andrea Dworkin and I were in college in 1968. Different colleges. Irrepressible, furry, thinking/being Andrea is the activist Sister I turned to in my mind when I began reading #MeToo accounts. So I went looking for her and this quote sprang at me off the page. She died in 2005 and ironically has become even more relevant in 2018.
“I don’t believe rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we [women] are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.” ― Andrea Dworkin

I publish these quotes out of context. With Andrea Dworkin there is so much context. 

Poster by Favianna Rodriguez. I am a fan.

I never met any of the New York media-darling Sisters in the flesh. I read them all religiously. Ti-Grace was the Southern Belle, Gloria was effective Seven Sisters, Valerie was Artist Nutz, Florynce the Cowboy Lawyer and Germaine was a Brit. What a Meme Bouquet.

In New Jersey we were busy looking up each other's vagina with speculums provided by nurses from NOW at house parties. We were not waiting for the government to say was okay we owned our bodies. We were learning menstrual extraction.

Why Andrea? She speaks to the burning core of my condition now the WombZombies are on the march again.:
“In her heart she is a mourner for those who have not survived. In her soul she is a warrior for those who are now as she was then. In her life she is both celebrant and proof of women's capacity and will to survive, to become, to act, to change self and society. And each year she is stronger and there are more of her.”
Andrea Dworkin