on the other side of the road
October 25, 2008, 3:22 pm
Filed under: rants and such | Tags: , , , , , , ,

this scenario greeted me on the way to the middle school i spoke at this week, and it was too much to pass. there is so much oversaturatyion of information and opinions about the current election, that even though it occupies my mind daily, i have not felt compelled to write about it. Partly i am just terriefied. i feel like i have been holding my breath for the past couple of months, not wanting to spit out trite and overly used thoughts about either candidate.

i also still feel in this between space of belonging elsewhere, of not being really part of america, of knowing i fit in some outside space where my citizenship status does not even allow me to vote. at the same time everyday i am confronted by political ideas, not in democrat VS republican, but in the way kids at school understand gender, or violence, or sex. in the way i can’t afford medical care, or my daughters orthodontist’s bills. there are politics in oona and florence learning from school that sex is only something a married man and woman do, or that poverty is shameful.  there are politics in every inch of my life, that in the end will be affected by who is president. what is striking is that this whole election feels like a battle where both factions equally believe in their righteousness. on one side we have the obama sub-development, and on the other the mccain’s. i just can’t believe it’ that simple. no matter what ideals are behind these decisions i find that people want the same things: a sense of safety, of belonging, and the chance to have a meaningful life. but there is little talk of common ground, because it doesn’t serve political strategy. there is such palpable tension between people, at least in indiana, to the point that it would seem impossible for an obama supporter to sit at the same table with a mccain voter.

i just don’t see how it’s helping anything. it’s hard. no doubt. it would be incredibly difficult for me to calmly talk to someone that believes women are inferior, or people of color. it would probably physically hurt to have a discussion with people that don’t believe a woman should have the right to chose what to do with her body, or that anyone should be free to love and find sexy whomever they wish. but it seems like closing communication will only be hurtful for everyone involved.

amendment 48
October 1, 2008, 1:08 pm
Filed under: gender violence | Tags: , , , , ,
  • i have been trying to stay out of the election talk and of current events because they seem to flood every space available already. i started writing because i wanted to put out there a personal, experiential perspective on things that are political, but that are also part of everyday life. however somethings are just to a level on insanity right now i might have to branch out every once in a while. as a person that works with survivors of violence, and a mother of 2 daughters, and a survivor myself i couldn’t believe the proposed amendment 48 that will be up for voting on nov 4th,  here is a quick breakdown of the facts:
  • Fetal (or in this case, even embryonic) “rights” trumping women’s rights? Check. The amendment would officially change the definition of “person” to include “any human being from the moment of fertilization,” therefore endowing all embryos in the state (whether they’re implanted in a woman’s body or not) with “inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law.” 

  • Co-opting feminist language? Check. The group backing the amendment is called Colorado for Equal Rights.

  • Not just anti-abortion, but anti-contraception? Check.“This amendment would make the pill and IUDs illegal because they keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.”

  • Ties to “some of the most virulent paramilitary antiabortion groups in the nation”? Check. Dr. James Patrick Johnston — who is linked to groups like the violently Army of God — is handling the “national outreach” to antichoice doctors and pharmacists on behalf of Amendment 48.

  • A coordinated, national effort masquerading as “grassroots”? Check. There has been tons of laudatory coverageof Kristi Burton, the 21-year-old face of the embryos-are-people-too movement. But really the Colorado campaign — as well as a similar attempts in Georgia, Oregon, and Montana — were coordinated by a national group, the ultraconservative Thomas More Law Center.

  • A disproportionate effect on young women, women of color, incarcerated women, and low-income women? Check. Defining a fertilized egg as a person doesn’t just restrict access to abortion, contraception, cancer treatment, and fertility treatment. It opens the door to charges of child endangermentagainst pregnant women, typically those who are women of color or low-income. Basically, it allows for the policing of pregnant women’s bodies and behavior. And which pregnant women get policed? Usually not those who are white and wealthy.
  i don’t want to go on an analysis of why i think this is fucked, because it think it’s more effective if each one of us does that for themselves, but it you are against it,here’s what you can do:

Please help defeat Colorado Amendment 48, which you may know as the “personhood” amendment. Amendment 48 would define the term person to include a fertilized egg in our state constitution.
A narrow minority with an extreme political agenda is pushing this amendment, the first of its kind in the country. It threatens quality health care and patient privacy.
It is hard to believe, but Amendment 48 would actually change Colorado’s constitution to deny women access to things like birth control, in-vitro fertilization, as well as banning all abortions, even for rape and incest victims or to save the life of the woman.

That’s why the Denver Post has already called Amendment 48 “absurd”. You’d think most Coloradans will see how ridiculous Amendment 48 is, but we can’t take any chances. It’ll take all of us working together to defeat it. Start by adding your name to the petition opposing Amendment 48.