Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A shot in the arm?

Every time I begin to like Ron Paul's no nonsense attitude, he is bound and determined to ruin it.  I like that he is straightforward and has mostly good ideas, except when it comes to women and children. He just can't seem to shake the crap he is a product of.  This time it is over what he calls Honest Rape. I just kinda sat there for a second when he said that because I am still not sure what that means (as opposed to dishonest rape?).

As a woman who loves language, I am stymied by this one.  What DOES that mean?  A rape that really happened, and not in the woman's imagination?  A rape that is professed to be just that by both parties?  Or a woman who is strong enough to be honest about the fact that she was raped?  Sorry to  perseverate on this wording, but if someone like Paul is to be a lawmaker than wording is everything.  And this means nothing.

And if we are to call it it this: An Honest Rape, how do we decide what is honest and what is dishonest?  And who will have to do the proving of it? Will it be the victim of the rape?  Will she be subjected, again, to be vilified by the men who subjected her to their power the first time? Because I promise you, it won't be women who have had any experience with rape who will be a part of this travesty.

Will she have to go to court to prove it, thus delaying the right to abort until it is too late, therefore nullifying the original intent, and only submitting her to more anguish and, well, rape, by the courts? (Remember that rape is about power, and this idea of an honest rape is clearly about power).

My question is, why should she have to prove it at all?  Isn't enough that she went through the trauma in the first place?  It seems that this is just another way to create women as extensions of infants who cannot discern between an honest rape and one that they somehow brought upon themselves.

Let me be clear here.  NO ONE BRINGS RAPE UPON THEMSELVES.  Didja' get that?

It reminds me of Susan Estrich's book:  Real Rape.  She was raped in the back of her brownstone when she was at Harvard Law.  By a stranger.  And that is what people meant when they said to her, "oh, then you were really raped."  (yes, they said this to her face - kind and compassionate souls that they are).  As opposed to imaginary or pretend rape? Or even more damning, an acquaintance or a date.  or even a  spouse who doesn't want to and says no, not tonight, but is forced into anyway.

If a victim says no, then it is rape (see caps above).

Back to Ron Paul: His remedy for woman who gets raped?  Send her to the Emergency room and give her a shot of estrogen?  Um.  What about a man?  What about woman who wasn't Honestly raped, just assaulted? Free estrogen shots for all!

Now I am not a doctor, and I am not a former Ob/Gyn like Paul is, so I am really unclear about this shot of estrogen.  What exactly will that do?  Boost my period so I will have a really bad one?  Support my internal female system in the event that I am pregnant?  Help my emotions that are associated with my hormones so I won't feel abused, violated, and, well, raped?

This just does not make sense.  Not any part of it.  Not when you are female, not when you have worked with rape victims, simply know someone who has been raped, been raped yourself, or are aware of how much power men still have over women.

Or, can think for yourself, make decisions about your own body and life, and use your vote to get politicians out of a woman's uterus.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Susan Niebur has left the building

This is the blog site of a women who wrote Toddler Planet.  She died today.  Her name was Susan Niebur and she was a mom, an astrophysicist and four time ( I wish it were five) cancer survivor.  I met her at a BlogHer conference, the only one I could afford to go to, and she was amazing to the little noob.  She did nothing but encourage and offer support.

I wish I had kept in better touch with her and now feel a bit tortured that I did not.

I didn't because she was kind of a rockstar and I didn't want to take up her time with stoopid questions.  And now I can't.  And that is what is really stoopid.  I vow not to make this idiot mistake again.

The button above is the site of her blog called Whymommmy and it is a blog about how to parent with cancer.  It talks a lot abut breast cancer and gives a lot of information that I didn't know, and I am pretty well versed in cancer (sadly).

Take a second, do yourself a favor and check her out.  Google her, or type in Toddler Planet, or merely click on the button up top.  This a bad ass woman with intergrity and grit and charm, and we should all live our lives in such a way.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Larger than

My Godparents danced at their granddaughter's wedding.

I danced with both of them.

This afternoon, they were sitting at the kitchen table. like everyday.  He said he felt dizzy and then just keeled over and died.

My heart breaks for my Godmother who must have just freaked out, and yet I am filled with joy that this is the way he died.  What a great thing, to sit with the Love of Your Life, and just go.  And what a terrible thing, to watch the Love of Your Life,  just go.

This is someone who has had such a huge impact on my life.  He was a staunch Republican, although as a doctor, he did believe that people were born gay.  He was a member of the Bohemian Club and loved to sing.  He played the cello, although lost time as the song went on.  He and two grandchildren on the cello, piano and violin respectively played carols every Christmas that he insisted the rest of us sing to.  I always pretended it was reluctantly, but it wasn't.

He told me many times that I should start looking around for someone to have babies with because it I would make such a good mom.  Then when I was no longer in my thirties, he told me to adopt, and where was that man I was gonna marry anyway?

Good Question.  I still don't have an answer.

When my Dissertation was stolen and published by my adviser,  I was heartbroken and not sure I could keep going. It was a phone call from him that let me know I could. He said that there will always be people who do the wrong thing, and it was up to me to do the right thing.  Always.

I want to tell you it was a touching conversation. It wasn't. He dropped that bomb and then handed the phone to my Godmother.  He was off to the next thing that caught his attention.

This was his greatest asset and his greatest weakness.  He was interested in everything, but not necessarily for a long time.  Unless he loved you, and then he was going to insert his opinion, and heaven help you if you didn't agree because he would keep after you until you agreed.  I learned to agree and do what I wanted anyway.

Every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember, they threw a party. I worked the kitchen every year since I was seventeen for extra money as it seemed that I was eternally in college. (The only exception is when they were out of the country, or in an apartment because he was serving a stint in the Navy at the age of 50 something).

I saw the same people every year, and I know that it was him that kept the party going.  I know this because about ten years ago, she pulled me aside and said she didn't want to throw the party anymore. They did anyway, and still I kept the plates full.  This year, three weeks ago, was the first year I did not work the party or help with dishes.  I will miss the party as much as I miss him.

He was convinced that we were directly opposed on all political issues.  So we went to breakfast and asked each other questions.  We were more alike than different.  This took him by surprise.  We differed only in religious questions, with him being Old School Episcopalian and me being a lot more modern in thought and patience. At the end of the breakfast, he sat back, cleared his throat and said "Well, your opinions are a lot more well thought out than I thought they were."

This was as good as it was gonna get and I knew it.  I smiled at him, and said, "Backatcha,' Old Man."

It was an amazing charmed life and filled with so much,  We should all be so lucky to dance so much