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Category Archives: Reproductive/sexual health

When I hate myself, I search the feminism tag on Tumblr

Content note: rape, abortion

The feminism tag on Tumblr. It’s, like 50% awesome feminist people saying good things, and 50% fuckwit MRA-types. The better half knows when I’m on the feminism tag, because at least once, I’ll start beating my head against the headboard.

And then, today, there was this. (Emphasis mine)

Rape is hard. Rape is life ruining and rape is tough. It’s horrific and cruel and any human being who has done it is clearly sick in the head. But sweethearts let me tell you that curling up and screaming over the internet is not going to get that person in jail. Screaming and yelling is not going to make you feel any better. Having that abortion only makes you weaker. Why? Because you basically gave up. You threw in the towel and quit the fight.

Let’s just say you get raped and you get pregnant. You’re broken and depressed and you feel useless. You have two roads. You can a) have an abortion because it’s easier and it’s simpler and you’ll have your friends to back you up. Or b) Keep that child. Because you know that deep in your heart that even though that child came from horrific circumstances, you will raise him/her to be better than his/her father.

If you take that first road, you are giving your rapist the power. You are telling your rapists that he won. You’re telling your rapist that it was fine that he violated your body because you were going to give up anyway. Because you are “strong”. No. In this case you are weak and spineless. You couldn’t stand up to a nameless face.

Now if you take that second road, I promise you dear you will shine in whole new way for me. Because you showed your rapist that you don’t care. You have shown him that you will not be defeated. Think about that. While you’re on your way to getting an abortion. If you keep that child, you are telling your rapist that you are stronger than the obstacles he has thrown your way.

On the topic of rape…

Like I said before, rape is a horrible and miserable thing. But it’s not an excuse to wallow in self-pity. It’s your time to shine and prove that you have a backbone.

Again if you are raped you have two roads, a) You give in and cry and scream and wallow in pity. You get coddled by friends and family. You write in a sappy diary. You eat tons of ice cream. But you have also given up. You (just like the pregnant victims) are telling your rapists that you can be walked over. That you aren’t strong. You’re breaking your own heart. You have proven yourself to be weak and spineless.

Now path two will always be brighter. Because then you’ll be showing your rapist that you don’t care. You’ll be walking with your head high. You won’t be at Slutwalks, because you’re too busy moving on with your life. You don’t have time to cry to the internet, because you’re too busy learning to love again.

Trust me on this. Having that abortion or just giving in will never help you. Because you’re not being a strong man or woman. You’re being weak, afraid and frail. And last time I checked, human beings were meant to be none of those things.

I. Can’t. Even.

I really want to write a coherent response to this, but I’m too busy shaking with rage.

I really want to make “rape is your time to shine” a tag, though.

 
 

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On Abortion and Reproductive Rights

This post isn’t about being pro-choice or pro-life, or pro-abortion or anti-choice if you use the rhetoric of the opposing side. It’s about a really disturbing pattern I’ve seen recently in various discussions, both online and off, regarding abortion rights. I am genuinely disturbed and uncomfortable when people say that their reason for being pro-choice is “What about poor women? What about disabled/mentally ill women*?” etc.

If your reasons for being pro-choice are founded in classism, ableism, racism, or any other -ism, then we’re not making any fucking progress at all. If your logic is “abortions need to be safe and legal because otherwise women popping out babies to get the DPB is going to become an even bigger problem” or “Disabled women or women with mental health problems just can’t cope with having kids, so abortions need to be available to them”—I don’t say this often, but you are fucking doing it wrong. If your reason for wanting safe and legal abortion is so that the women you don’t think should be having kids can have them, and you’re going to then turn around and shame those who do have kids even though you deem them too young, too poor, not capable, etc. etc.—then sorry, the other side’s rhetoric is way more accurate. That’s not pro-choice, that’s pro-abortion.

Pro-choice is more than access to abortions. It’s also access to effective and affordable birth control. It’s allowing a pregnant person to choose, for themselves, the fate of their own bodies and lives without indulging in slut-shaming and bigotry. It’s working towards better support for women who choose to keep and raise a child, no matter what. Reproductive rights are exactly that: the right to reproduce, or the right not to reproduce—and knowing that whatever your decision, you will be supported. If not by the government (yet), then at least by the people who are supposed to be fighting for everyone’s reproductive rights.

*It’s worth noting that abortion is not solely a woman’s issue and not everyone who bears a uterus is a woman — however, in this rhetoric people will almost always use “women” exclusively, so that’s what I’ve used here.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Reproductive/sexual health

 

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Alasdair Thompson tells it like it is

Employers and Manufacturers Association chief Alasdair Thompson has answered a question feminists have been struggling with for years – why is it that in this day and age, women still earn less than men?

Well, gee. Could it be that employers always assume that women are in it for a job, not a career, and that job will be dropped the second they fill their womb? Is it that women are consistently undermined in the office and often have to work much harder than their male counterparts to gain the same acceptance and respect? Could it be that many large corporations are still, in many ways, an old boys’ club? Is it that women are always assumed to be the primary caregiver, at all times, and therefore employers automatically assume that the mother will be the one to take the time off when their child is sick/has an important event at school/etc?

Nope.

Alasdair Thompson is sticking by his claim the gender pay gap is due to women having monthly “sick problems”, babies and needing to take extra leave.

…oh. Right.

Leaving aside the blatant cissexism of that statement for just a moment (not everyone who has a uterus is a woman and not all women menstruate, kthx): say it with me, Alasdair Thompson: period. We get our periods once a month. We menstruate. If you have to use ridiculous euphemisms to describe it, then as far as I’m concerned, you forfeit your right to discuss it.

Not to mention, the majority of people who menstruate don’t have to take time off once a month. Most, even if they do experience some cramps, can pop a Panadol and make it to work anyway.*

And babies? REALLY? This may come as a shock to you, Mr. Thompson, but some parents SHARE the responsibilities of their children. Also, solo fathers exist. Should we pay them less, too? And if there are still a shockingly disproportionate amount of working mothers who are still expected to take full- or almost-full responsibility for childcare, rather than sharing that equally with their partner — then blaming and underpaying women will not fucking help that, goddamn.

The issue of working mothers and pay rates for women is a vicious cycle. Women are paid less than men because their dedication to their career is seen as lesser, because ladies, your first priority is and must always be babies — but because they’re paid less, they are often the ones to give up working if their family situation calls for it (because them giving up work, or cutting back their hours, will make less of an impact due to the lower pay rate) — which just convinces employers that women are less dedicated to their careers than men… and over and over again.

So Alasdair Thompson, it would seem that you are woefully misinformed about the realities of the pay gap between men and women. And why shouldn’t you be? After all, it’s not like in your position, you would ever have to think about these things. Or be expected to make public statements on this very issue. Am I right?

No, wait. I don’t think I am.

*I am not one of those people. I have severe PCOS and am absolutely crippled by pain at least one day a month – usually two or three. I take a TON of sick days, comparative to my colleagues — who are mostly (over 90%) female. And yet, it doesn’t make a damn iota of difference to my pay rate — if I use up my allocated sick days, I can either take annual leave or have an unpaid day (I tend to take the annual leave). While realising this is in no way an option for everyone, taking a few days of unpaid sick leave each year will NOT drastically affect your salary in the way that, you know, discrimination will. Just saying.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Reproductive/sexual health

 

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