I didn't really plan on writing a diary today. I am supposed to be working. The first notice I got that the buffer zone legislation had been overturned was from Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
I kind of shrugged. You know why? Because I expected it. I tried to go back to work but I just can't.
I can't because I was directly involved in the passing of that legislation at a city level, while I worked for an abortion provider, as Director of Security. And I was Director of Security the day Dr. George Tiller was shot.
So for those of you who write "not a student of abortion clinic violence lol" listen up, because I am. And I'm going to tell you how it is.
There is much talk lately of a pass-and-run on the part of House Republicans.
My question is, where are they going to go?
Let's hope so!
I've written before about my parents. They live in Wisconsin, where I grew up, and my mother is now retired from teaching. My father is a retired engineer who now has several chronic medical problems that would keep him from buying insurance on the open market.
Recently, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, though, they both have Medicare. And my mother has her pension.
The latter item was making me very worried yesterday so I called to ask them if that pension was in the stock market, and if so, perhaps they should rethink that. I braced myself for an onslaught of blatant denial and "screw you, I got mine" and boy, did I get it.
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end -- The Doors
My husband and I were in the car driving to the farmer's market, early yesterday morning. We were discussing politics, like we do sometimes. We agree, so we tend to not talk about politics much.
He is very opinionated, as a rule. A solid progressive who hated Reagan, even though he was only in high school at the time. He likes to say he is a social liberal but a fiscal conservative. Most of his political viewpoints come from a financial point of view that that it makes fiscal sense to care for the needy, except those views that are reactions to attempts to harm women, because he's like that.
I usually don't say anything, because honestly, it is definitely not to my credit that I don't know too much about economics, unless it's related to health care. I keep thinking I should do something about that but I never do. I find it boring and I am not talented in this regard.
He was talking about the debt ceiling, and the ripple effects of default.
I listened for a while, and then I just said, "it doesn't matter. It's over for us. This is the end of America as a power."
The very handsome and benign-looking ten year old was sitting in my office, in my client's chair, looking kind of bored.
I had been asked by his school to assess him for dangerousness. During recess, he had deliberately tripped a classmate and then bashed him over the head with a rock. The other child had sustained a severe concussion and was hospitalized.
Neutrally, I asked him what he was trying to accomplish by doing that.
He looked me in the eyes, smiled a little, and said, "I was bored and I don't like him."
I would really like to know who told this hiring manager it was within his rights, and advisable, to send me an email detailing everything that was wrong with me.
Of course, it included that I didn't seem "enthusiastic enough" about the position. And it also included a litany of reasons why my experience didn't make the grade. "Enthusiastic enough" seems to mean sucking up the fact that they were rude, and left me outside trying to figure out how to get into a locked building, and then somehow managing to come across as chipper when the hiring manager literally yelled at me for not having experience that wasn't in the job description.
I honestly was a little baffled, until I realized that employers now feel like they have the right to do these things. They are the arbiters of what is acceptable, "professional", and moral.
I realize I am lucky.
One day during Bush's (second) presidency, I happened to have good healthcare. I had been reading about his attempts to enshrine "conscience clauses" into the Department of Health and Services Rules & Regs. I had fairly recently had an ectopic pregnancy, during which time I held my breath waiting to see if my tubes would explode and I would be rushed to an ER...an established bad venue for appropriate treatment for ectopics. All I knew was that my failed pregnancy was not, like some women believed, "an angel in heaven" -- but rather an out of control entity actively trying to kill me.
I grew up in Wisconsin, and I went to undergrad at Madison. My parents grew up in Wisconsin, and went to undergrad at Madison. My grandparents grew up in Wisconsin, and also went to Madison.
My grandparents are dead now. But my parents still live in Wisconsin. My brother and I have relocated to our respective coasts - NYC and LA.
My mother is a teacher, and has been a teacher and respected union organizer for 40 years - her entire career. We grew up with excellent insurance and financial security. Now, my father has many chronic diseases, and my mother provides the insurance benefits that they depend on. Her union has a good relationship with the school board, but their contract is up soon, and no one can promise what will happen after that. Eventually my father will be too disabled to work. Premiums have already increased by 15% this past year.
So in speaking to my mother today, can any of you explain to me why my father voted for Walker?
I don't know whether to be angry or laugh. Laughing seems somewhat inappropriate, and being angry just seems futile. So, I am writing this in the hopes that perhaps some people will realize exactly what mental gymnastics we are dealing with here, as we try an extricate ourselves from a pending Dark Ages.
My parents live in Alberta Darling's district. My mother is a teacher. My father has reaped substantial benefits from my mother's union employment going back to the 1970s, including healthcare while he started up a small business. He would never be able to get insurance on the open market now. He currently receives Medicare and has a history of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and has a degenerative neurological disorder.
My father historically told all of us what to think politically. In an effort to make him happy, I cast my very first vote for Bush I. Then I went to Madison. And woke the hell up.
Somehow, you can live the kind of reality my parents did, and then still vote for Walker and Darling and what they represent, even as they take away your safety net, chunk by chunk.
The frog in boiling water allegory comes to mind.
Research into hormone treatment for fetuses that are intersex has been ongoing, courtesy of a female pediatric endocrinologist and a psychologist interested in the role hormones play in homosexuality. They are busily testing this hypothesis in pregnant women as we speak by injecting them with a hormone affectionately referred to as "dex."
Well, pediatric endocrinologists Drs. New and Nimkarn have indicated that this could also be a great treatment for preventing the following in the adult woman:
- "Low maternal instinct"
- Career orientation rather than baby-orientation
- Behavior that is not gender-normative and is "masculine"
It's always nice to wake up to science hell-bent on eradicating people like you because you're an "abnormal."
Yesterday, Planned Parenthood posted here about the attempt to strip Title X funding from Planned Parenthood, courtesy of Vitter.
Since that time, the anti-choice senator DeMint has introduced an amendment to the Appropriations bill to block the restoration of affordable birth control for low income women and college students.
There are many of us who have our basic human rights entangled with the propositions. Please if you get information on whether these pass or not, please post it.