Monday, October 28, 2013

And pregnant women across the land rejoiced

You know how random strangers tend to act like pregnant women belong to them? Everyone thinks they get to ask questions, offer advice, make overly personal comments, touch bellies. (I'm trying really hard to keep our contraception/abortion battles out of it, but it sorta seems natural that since we let random strangers have so much say in those things, it's no surprise that the busy-body-ness continues with the pregnancy. State legislators, lobbyists, church groups, and others feel they have the right to control some decisions regarding conception and pregnancy, so why shouldn't they think they get to control the whole dang 9 months?)

One of the frustrations so many of my friends have expressed is this thing they have experienced with people they barely know: the idea that said people are welcome, entitled even, to touch the pregnant woman. Never mind that touching women without their consent is technically a crime. In my state, it's misdemeanor battery to touch someone without her (or his, but we're talking about pregnant people here, so her) consent if that touching is done in a rude manner. I argue it is inherently rude to presume you're allowed to touch a woman just because she's pregnant. I suspect a lot of pregnant women throughout the country wouldn't mind yelling at those people. And I wouldn't be surprised to learn many of them are secretly cheering at this story.

A man in Pennsylvania was charged with harassment for hugging a pregnant woman and rubbing her stomach. It's not even a misdemeanor. It's like a ticket. Pay a fine and go home. Not some big life-altering event. But maybe this guy, and other intrusive people who see this story, will think twice before touching another pregnant woman without permission.

It's not cute or sweet. Not everyone's pregnancy belongs to the entire world, or even to all the people that particular pregnant woman knows. A woman doesn't lose all right to privacy when she becomes pregnant. She doesn't become just some soulless vessel whose precious cargo can be claimed by the entire human race. Women, even pregnant woman, are autonomous beings who actually do get to decide how they want to interact with others. It may be a small thing, but it's nice to see one prosecutor in Pennsylvania respecting that.

Monday, October 14, 2013

And the Nuttiest Member of Congress is:

In the past few days, Louie Gohmert has gone out of his way to prove something. In these days of record low approval ratings for Congress and general disdain and contempt being heaped on pretty much the whole lot, he wants everyone to know beyond a doubt that there is no contest for the title of Nuttiest Member of Congress. No matter what any of the rest of them do, he wins it. Hands down.

He's always stood out with the racist, zenophobic, stupid, horrible things he says. He's not backing down from bringing the stupid when he says now that he's no sure if he'll vote for a bill to avoid default, but he is sure it will be an impeachable offense by the president if default happens. (Wouldn't that be sort of like my employer being unsure whether it would issue my next paycheck, but declaring it will sue me if I don't get a paycheck?)

But maybe he's just so blinded by Obama Delusion Syndrome, that makes sense to him. Lots of people in Congress are irrationally desperate to impeach Obama for something, anything. So he decided he had to go one further to really set himself apart.

So he declared that a certain senator from Arizona (you know, John McCain, decorated Naval officer, former presidential candidate, six year prisoner of war) supported al qaeda (you know, the sworn enemy of the United States).

Now, I'm no huge fan of John McCain. I disagree with him on a lot of policies (though I also agree with him on things). I think his temperament would have been disastrous in the White House, so I'm thankful he wasn't elected. But I have never once doubted that our disagreements are between two people who both love our country and want what's best for it, but sometimes have different ideas of what's best or how to achieve it. Unlike Gohmert, most of us are capable of understanding that having different takes on foreign policy isn't equivalent to supporting terrorists.

I really want Texans to shut this guy up already. (By which I mean vote him out, of course.)
I know, I know. You're all wondering. Where the heck have I been?

Well, real life has been a bit rough of late. Things have changed, probably irrevocably, and that's hard to take. We may know as we age that these things have to happen eventually, but we're still never quite ready for them when they do come. Some moments have been encouraging; some days have been incredibly discouraging.

Through it all, I just haven't had much time or emotional energy for anything else. My presence at the office has been spotty at best. My house has turned into more of a dumping grounds than a place a person actually lives.

There's not much I can do about it, though. So I really need to take steps to make myself do daily things, like dishes and laundry and ranting about things. This is a start.  I'll call this good for a while and go back now to sitting on the couch, glumly stewing over things I can't fix. That seems like a productive use of my time, don't you think?
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