Saturday, September 20, 2008

And I'm Sittin' Here on Capitol Hill

Sometimes, things happen that are awesome. This is one of them.

I saw a commercial for it about five minutes ago, and it was marketed as "just in time for the election," and is apparently being sold with an election-tracking map so kids can keep up with which candidate is winning which state.

In case you're unclear on why this is awesome, let me tell you a little story about my childhood.

In whatever grade it was that we started to learn about government, I became enraptured with the idea. We could pick who we wanted to be in charge. It was up to us. And on that glorious day that I hit the age of eighteen, I could join the ranks of people who helped to choose who ran our country. I would play pretend, and my games would involve my imaginary character's eighteenth birthday, on which she was given a voting license by her mother or something, and this was the best possible present. (Clearly, I did not understand the rules of registering, but I think that knowing you need a license to vote at seven is fairly impressive, right?) Other kids wanted to be eighteen because they wanted to be grown-up, to drive cars, to stay up as late as they wanted, and, after puberty, because they could buy cigarettes and porn or whatever. I wanted to be eighteen because it meant that I would finally, FINALLY be able to vote.

Perhaps if kids watch this Schoolhouse Rock thing, they'll get excited about voting like I was. Perhaps they, too, will look forward to the day that they can decide who they want to be president or governor or mayor or senator or head of the PTA or whatever. Higher voter turnout by excited young people could only be a good thing.

Also tangentially related to the Bill on Capitol Hill is some crappy stuff. Here I'll quote from the fabulous Cara of Feministe and The Curvature who has said it much better than I could: "I have previously written about the dangerous proposed Department of Health and Human Services rule that would endanger women’s access to reproductive health care. The rule, if instated, would allow health care workers to prevent women from knowing all of their health care options, including those regarding birth control — and would call government-funded providers “discriminatory” for refusing to hire such people, thus removing their funding.

The comment period for the proposed rule closes on September 25th."

Seriously, go say something about it. (They even give you a form letter for us lazy folk who can't think of anything more eloquent to say than "L. E. SMASH" on this matter!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Please Do Not Pump Them Up. Please.

Alright, so coming up on two Saturdays ago, I went to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Alas, I was a virgin and everything.) Now, I’m pretty sure everyone with a functioning sex drive will agree with me that Frank N. Furter, for all his psychotic Meatloaf-eating and straight-kid-seducing ways, is pretty much made of sex. And if you don’t, I guess my only response is to stare slack-jawed and break my brain trying to fathom why. (Possible reasons: You have not seen the movie; maybe Tim Curry is eternally Nigel Thornberry for you; etc. These are okay reasons, I guess.)

And then, something strange happened. Instead of wondering how someone could not want to have this Sweet Transvestite break into their cheaply-filtered guest room, I wondered why I did. I mean, honestly, I’ve got no attraction for Tim Curry outside the stockings, pearls, and heavy makeup. It was then that I started to think about The Seventies.

I recently learned that, during the “lost weekend” in these aforementioned The Seventies, already-rather-pretty-boy John Lennon stole May Pang’s flower-decorated jeans because they fit him. Being a nerd for John Lennon, I thought this was maybe one of the greatest things ever. (Also, now that I think about it, it means that the dream I had long ago where George Harrison followed me home from Wal-Mart and permanently borrowed my pants because his were ruined in the rain makes a lot more sense.)

I have conjectured that everyone, deep down inside, somewhere in their heart of hearts, would totally do David Bowie. I stand by this conjecture, and will write off any evidence anyone can provide to the contrary as mere outliers and flukes that don’t usually occur in nature. No, I don’t care. Really. La la la la la, I can’t hear you.

I watch anime and have a fondness for Japanese pop culture. That...that’s really all I need to say about my love of feminine men, isn’t it?

I wonder if it’s a coincidence that I came across all these wonderful things (especially Japan) during puberty. I know that, as a child, I really bought into that “gender roles” crap, once I came to terms with the fact that they wouldn’t let me be a Boy Scout because I was Not a Boy. (I still want to go swimming in a lake with fish in it. No fair.) But, somewhere along the line my ideal guy changed from my pre-pubescent fantasy of some short-blonde-haired, blue-eyed, business-suited Soap Opera Hunk to my current, post-pubescent fantasy of a delicate-featured, long-and-silky-haired, glitter-covered Asian in tight leather pants and go-go boots.

Imagine if I hadn’t been exposed to glam rock and hippies and J-pop at such a formative age? I might have been dating some square like Brad Majors these days.

P.S. No, I hate Twilight, don’t even ask.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Let's Talk About Abortions! Yay!

So I was poking around Feministe about ten minutes ago and found this. I had about two thoughts. The simple one was, "Samantha Bee is made of win." The one I'm going to talk about went something like this: "AAAAARGGGHH L. E. SMASH!" (Told you I was violent on the inside.)

What is it about anti-choice buttwaffles that makes me angry enough to punch babies and kick puppies? Honestly, I'm not sure what about them pushes me quite so far into Capslock Harry territory, but I do know why I get angry in the first place.

My paternal family is pretty solidly Irish Catholic, and throughout my childhood took a much bigger role than my maternal family in raising me. (This might have something to do with the fact that my maternal family largely migrated from Jersey to Florida while I was not yet a hatchling.) I've lived with my older sister through two of her pregnancies and developed love and emotions for one-month-old fetuses in her belly. I don't think I need to go on much farther here; the point is that I don't want to get an abortion ever. I wouldn't want my future daughter to get an abortion ever. I wish there honestly was never any need for any woman ever to get an abortion. (This fantasy could perhaps maybe happen someday if we could get some affordable birth control and comprehensive sex-ed already for the love of all that ever was or could be holy.) Technically, yes, I'm pro-life. Incidentally, this also means I'm anti-war, anti-death penalty, and basically anti-anything that involves a human life being taken away.

But you know what? I'm open-minded enough to know that my experience is not everyone's experience. My personality is not everyone's personality. My circumstances are not everyone's circumstances. This is why I'm pro-choice. I'm not pro-murdering-infants. I'm not pro-punching-pregnant-women-in-the-stomach. I'm not pro-mandatory-abrotions-for-everyone. I'm pro-choice.

I'm pro-choice because I can't pretend to know what everyone who considers an abortion is going through. I'm pro-choice because there's no real definition of when a fetus stops being a clump of parasitic cells and starts being a person. If they find that line, then I'll absolutely agree to no abortions past it, but until then I'm not about to call someone a murderer for doing something that could be equivalent to swatting a fly or using antibacterial soap. I'm pro-choice because I don't think, when a teenage girl gets pregnant because the condom broke, that the only option should be to shrug and say, "Well, there goes your youth." I'm pro-choice because having sex does not warrant a punishment, and a human child shouldn't be seen as one. Ever, by anyone.

As a white girl with enough money to buy condoms and birth control, and a decent enough education to know how to use them so they work, I choose to avoid having an abortion unless there is some kind of horrible emergency. That, right-wing wankers who make me froth about the mouth, is what pro-choice means.

(Fun fact: I wanted my next post to be about how David Bowie et al turned me pseudo-gay, but this came out instead. Don't worry, I'll get around to that too. Probably. Maybe.)