veronica_rich: (medieval)
One of the wonderful things about the women's movement has been that by and large, in this country at least (I'm only American; I can't speak for any other nationality), it's considered just as normal for a young woman to not be a virgin, as it is for a young man. I'm not suggesting that's any great feat to be lauded for either gender; what I'm saying is that the sexual double standard for women isn't rigid like it used to be. In most quarters, I would term sex as a "live and let live" situation for men and women. I would say very few men expect their brides to be pure for the marriage bed, as opposed to what their grandfathers and great-grandfathers might have expected.

Of course, I'm more impressed by the fact women have a chance at all the same careers as men (well, maybe not Calvin Klein male underwear model) - a side effect not only of the women's movement, but long before that, mostly originating in WWII and the need for domestic labor as most of the working-age men went off to war. I experience the benefit of that all the time, by being a journalist.

Someone is going to call me an old prude, but at my age and level of life experience, I've decided I don't really mind what people think of my opinions. )
veronica_rich: (Default)
I don't know if someone's already posted this, but screw it. It's important enough that it ought to be up at least twice:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060726/ap_on_go_co/interstate_abortion

If you don't like links )

I really hate to make this a boy-vs.-girl issue, but honestly, if males could get pregnant, this wouldn't even come up; there'd simply be medical guidelines for safe abortion procedures. I said some time ago that the Republicans are desperate enough that when gay marriage banning and flag burning banning didn't work, they'd go to abortion. Next up will be limits/bans on birth control access, you wait and see ...
veronica_rich: (Default)
Found this article courtesy of a childfree community to which I belong. The link for purists is at http://www.standard-freeholder.com/webapp/sitepages/search/results.asp?contentID=118779&catname=Go!&type=search&search1=child-free but I've also put it behind the cut:

Childfree Women Stand Up )

Fortunately, I can't say I've ever gotten too much flak for my decision to not want children. My aunt bugged me about it when I was in college, with the old, tired "you're not a real woman if you don't reproduce," but I didn't feel particularly pressured - although I was kind of annoyed by her attitude (you'd have to know that my aunt isn't exactly the best mother in the world to know how little her opinion affected me *G*). On rare occasions I'll make the brief acquaintance of someone who goes on about "when you have your own" but I generally let it go through both ears - I much prefer being able to occasionally dote on someone else's kid and then send them home with their mother at the end of the day.

I do know women who've gotten some grief over this decision, but I figure that's from parents who are either miserable with their own decisions and want company, or from people who simply cannot imagine a world large enough to encompass doing more than one thing with one's life. Why else would it matter to a body what someone else is doing that doesn't directly impact the worrier? (Then again, I feel much the same way about people against gay marriage - how does two men marrying affect YOUR marriage? You afraid your hubby's going to up and leave you for his best friend Bob?) Again, fortunately, nearly all the mothers I know are good moms, enjoy their kids, and don't feel the need to justify their decisions by having others around them make the same one.
veronica_rich: (chimpenfuhrer)
This is a tale of one woman's confusion with the state of the world - well, scratch that. The state of my own country, specifically.

I've known a certain LJ friend in real life for several years, since she was a teenager - we'll call her N. She's like my second younger sister. Sooo, I know quite a bit about her medical history, including the fact she suffers from an almost-continual period. There's blood, clots, cramps ... you get the picture.

When she was about 19, she told me her doctor determined she had a condition which made her more susceptible to uterine cancer than the average woman, but that she couldn't have a hysterectomy until she was at least 21. After she turned 21, I figured she'd rush right out and have it removed, but she said her doctor wouldn't do it. This flabbergasted me, especially since I know N has no interest in being a mother and has a very REAL interest in being rid of pain and the inconvenience of continuous bleeding. I thought perhaps she hadn't made herself very clear to her doctor; why else would he refuse to remove an organ giving her so much trouble? This is the 21st century - there's hormones that make it quite easy for a woman without a uterus to continue with life as normal.

It wasn't until I had surfed the Internet a few more years and was exposed to a wider world that I understood N was not alone, and I realized it wasn't a misunderstanding that has kept a malfunctioning, renegade organ in her body at least six years longer than normal: It's plain old sexism.

How do I figure? Today alone, I've had to read four posts on my LJ f-list from frustrated women pulling their hair out over the inability to get doctors to listen to their reasons for wanting tubal ligations, IUDs, and other forms of birth control. This isn't the first day I've had to read this, and I know it won't be the last.

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of me and every other woman being treated like a uterus with a hairstyle. Worse yet, I'm tired of this bullshit coming from other women! A man who tromps all over a woman's rights - at least I can safely presume he simply doesn't know what it's like being female, and I have a hope of educating him. But a fellow woman - that's fucking treason, sister.

I'm tired of hearing "we can't do that because we might get sued." Well, guess what? Viagra makes men see blue! Not that that's stopped many of them. Viagra can KILL some 70-year-old, and yet, not only can other old farts keep getting it, they can have it paid for by the same insurance that WON'T cover birth control, abortions, tubal ligations, OR mammograms until age 40. (Because we all know no woman under age 40 has ever died from breast cancer.)

I'm tired of my body and the bodies of my female friends being treated as shrines for The Almighty Clump of Cells. Yeah, women can gestate babies. Yeah, they're the only ones who can do it. Many men - and far too many women - act like this is some unfair advantage women have in biology. Well, let me tell you what: I'd happily trade it tomorrow for a body that doesn't bleed at least once a month for days at a stretch for 40 years. Do you know what a menstrual cramp feels like? Imagine someone getting their hands inside your lower intestines, SQUEEZING AND PULLING AND TUGGING AND FOLDING THEM FOR SEVERAL HOURS STRAIGHT. At least.

I'm tired of the dominant cults in this country - Catholicism and various branches of fundamentalist Christianity - having more say over what happens to my body than I do! I say FUCK YOU. You want control of my body? Fine. Feed it. Keep it in clothes. Keep it properly examined and medicated (I haven't had health insurance in five years because it costs too fucking much). And while you're at it, don't require me to work, pay taxes, and be sure to properly lobotomize me, because contrary to the opinion that drives this sort of behavior, I DO POSSESS A WORKING BRAIN. (No, I don't have a penis to house it, but I've managed somehow for almost 34 years with that handicap. Incidentally, if I did have a penis, I'd have little to no problem getting the little tubes from balls behind it snipped. No, there's no sexism in regulated medicine.)

I'm REALLY really tired of pharmacists who won't dispense properly-prescribed birth control or the morning-after pill, because it goes against their beliefs. I've been in the workforce since I was 15 years old - nearly 20 years now - and I've had to do a LOT of things for customers and clients that I personally wouldn't do myself. I've had to help people do things I don't even believe in - legally speaking, of course - in the interest of getting a paycheck that is a mere fraction of what a pharmacist gets to take home at the end of the week. Wah, cry me a river - fucking just shut up, suck it up, and save your prosthelyzing for Sunday (or Saturday) morning.

This trend of treating women like they don't know which end is up is demoralizing, demeaning, and illogical. To ban abortion, for example, is to treat every woman the moment she gets pregnant like either a child to be ordered around or slave property to be watched and controlled at all times. She who is forced to gestate against her will is no longer a person, but an incubator. She who is kept from having a harmful, inflammatory LARGELY UNNECESSARY body part removed to improve her health is basically being told her life isn't worth the shit that comes out of it.

Apparently it's okay for us to work, pay taxes, and contribute to society, but not to govern our own life choices. And I find it wholly ironic that legislators and religious folk have no problem treating women like they don't know much when it comes to their own bodies, but they're instantly acceptable to raise the next generation once they roll out of the birth canal. But as I stated above, what really twists the knife is hearing any or all of this bullshit being seriously spouted by fellow women. I mean - damn.

Of course there is no organization to this. It's a rant, bitches. There's a lot more I could say. But do I have to?


(EDIT: Because this thing is getting more traffic than I expected, I removed my friend's specific tag; I'll just call her N for her privacy.)

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