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Archive for the category “War on women”

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

I remember in high school riding in my girlfriend Kristen’s old Chrysler with a boom box in the center console. Her radio had long quit working and we would blare this song.  We had to keep stopping to buy batteries because the boom box at max volume was a real energy drain. It was so risque and fun and even though I had no idea what Salt n Peppa were actually talking about I happily sung the words.

Fast forward to present day and now I know all about those lyrics and have two little girls as a constant reminder of what happens when the lyrics are put into action.

Today Mike sent me an article about Colorado’s experimental contraception program. The article claims large decreases in teen pregnancies and abortion due to readily available, affordable contraception.  My first thought was, “Wow, way to go CO!” When I told Mike how pleased I was that Colorado was taking aggressive action he reminded me not everyone was as excited.  He reiterated the annoying claim I have often heard naysayers scream which is:

Available contraception leads to an increase in sexual activity in youth. It makes perfectly nice girls into SLUTS!! Ugh.

Really?? Think about it… what teenage girl says, “I didn’t want to have sex and had no plans to but now I can get birth control pills so I am going to roll in the hay with any guy who looks at me!”  None to very very few.

News flash, girls have sex because of emotion based reasons. Girls have sex because they want to fit in. Girls have sex because they want a boy to like them. They want to feel grown up and accepted. Girls want to feel pretty and to feel loved. They do not decide to have sex because they can get a low cost diaphragm or free condom. Girls wait to have sex because they are confident in themselves. They choose to wait because they feel loved and cherished by someone other than a boyfriend. Girls pick a different way to display affection when they are shown praise and encouragement and have a strong sense of self worth.

Before you roll your eyes and click close thinking I am another clueless thirty-something who doesn’t know what I am talking about… I am proof. A few of my friends were also.

My girlfriends and I were all able to get birth control and were not in private schools. We were of varying faiths, popularity and socioeconomic backgrounds. None of us were considered shy or dorky or prudish (quite the opposite actually). On the surface one would not see any correlation between our decisions. Dig deeper and you would have seen ONE major similarity. Every girlfriend I had (and women I continue to meet) who chose to wait until they were ready had a strong adult mentor.

In a perfect world a child is blessed with strong parental figures.  Unfortunately this is not something we can pick. My parents were awesome (still are). They taught me how important it was to be strong in mind and independent. They rewarded and encouraged my achievements without pushing me into areas I was no longer interested. My parents never considered I wouldn’t be successful. It was annoying. They praised my scholastic endeavors and celebrated every tiny accomplishment regardless of how trivial it may be.  They reminded me I was important.  I was and still am extremely lucky to have the support of my parents.

Not everyone wins the parent lottery and has support in the home.  So then what?  It takes a village friends!!   If you know a young person, why not take them to lunch? Why not offer to help with homework? Perhaps your neighbor/niece/friend’s child is struggling.  Make yourself the adult who takes accountability for our precious youth.  I work to encourage and uplift the young women I meet.  It doesn’t matter if they are my own children.  Bonus? You will feel like SUCH a badass when you know you contributed in some little way to a child’s future.

As a mother I am fearful of the challenges our daughters will face. I know they will be pressured to drink, do drugs and have sex. They will meet people who will teach them how to cuss(never from us of course-ha!) and bully and treat people poorly. They will also meet people who are better looking than them. Smarter. Wealthier. Cooler. I know my girls will feel insecure and want to fit in. The day they come home with their first crush will be exhilarating for them and nerve wracking for me.

What can we do? I don’t have the answer (If you thought I was going to bust out the perfect plan you were mistaken).

You know what I am going to do? I am going to love them fiercely.  I am going to remind them how smart they are and about life and traveling and the big world  waiting for them to conquer. I am going to encourage their goals and remind them how much they have to offer.  I am going to attempt to explain that they are at the very beginning of a long adventure and will have many more crushes(they will not believe me).  I am going to encourage them to value their bodies and discuss our faith.  Then, I am going to tell them about contraception.  I am going to tell them where to get it and be cool but firm, explaining one wrong move could give you a child or a disease.  Finally, I am going to have a panic attack in the privacy of our bedroom while telling Mike to load the gun.

When I think they haven’t listened and they come to me because their heart is broken I am going to hold them.  When I am rocking my little girl and hating the piece of crap that hurt her feelings I am going to support her and tell her how special she is.  She won’t believe me and I will certainly think it is falling on deaf ears.  But down deep I know she will hear me.  Maybe it will remind her how amazing she is.  Maybe it will make her stronger. Just maybe it will remind her how loved she is and give her the confidence she needs to choose differently.

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I would win the argument if you knew I was fighting

elle-woods

Eavesdropping on people arguing is a fun way to think about what I would say.  I am SO much smarter when I can stand back and watch other people duke it out.  I like to refer to it as my “Jeopardy theory”. At home I pay attention to the areas of my expertise and busy myself with anything else when they move to the subjects in which I am not proficient. According to this Jeopardy graph (I found on slate.com), I have Literature, Before and After, potpourri (WEIRD that this is a category-update:OMG, I was just telling Mike how awesome it is that potpourri is a category and he just explained the meaning, and that it isn’t the fabulous scents I keep in a sachet in my underwear drawer. OOPS), animals, stupid answers and most definitely Islands in my wheelhouse.

Image

What are your areas?

The reason I bring this up is because I have noticed a great deal of people trying to argue about areas they know nothing about.  Social media tends to make an ass out of our best intentions.  Trust me, I would love to tout opera, politics, and business as my areas of expertise but they just aren’t.  When people discuss them I eavesdrop and try to learn as much as I can by both sides of the conversation.  This is one of the few times I think snooping is a great idea and could be beneficial!  Actually, can I just be so blunt as to encourage it?

My blog idea comes from the non-eavesdropping, I know everything, internet banterers.  I can’t figure out if these gem-people are just trolling or if they actually think their uneducated opinion will be well received.

When I was younger I planned to be an attorney.  I loved to debate and have always been strong-willed. After working at a law firm I realized I couldn’t Elle Woods it and decided my talents lied elsewhere.  During my time as a student pursuing the law I picked up a few tools but being a friend and decent person has equipped me with the most useful tools.

The most important tool I have learned is common sense.  If it is impossible for you to walk in someone’s shoes, you should never tell them how to feel. Unless your advice is positive and, well, awesome. If you are a man do not tell a woman how she should think.  If you are not disabled, do not give advice on how to live as a disabled person.  Do not tell a person of another race your enlightened opinion on their race.  If you are not homosexual your thoughts on gay marriage is irrelevant.

The only acceptable opinion to give to an individual whose identity you are unable to replicate is praise or empathy.  That’s it.

The next time you feel compelled to jump in and tell everyone your opinion on areas you don’t have experience, try eavesdropping.  See if you learn anything.  More important, see if your thought process changes by listening to others rather than telling everyone else yours.

Just my thought 🙂

xo Mari

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Mansplaining

I am new to the definition of Mansplain… I read about it in an article I stumbled upon and found this gem..
http://www.guernicamag.com/daily/rebecca-solnit-men-explain-things-to-me/
Mike and I both like to use quotes from others to preface a topic… He finds great political minds- I tend to think Clueless and Legally Blonde(LB) are obvious choices. I guess, it is where we differ.

LB:
Elle: Did you see him? He’s probably still scratching his head.
Paulette: Yeah, which must be a nice vacation for his balls

Urban Dictionary explains Mansplain as:
“Despite claims of superior strength in avoiding over-emotional reactions, when a man encounters even one iota of criticism of men on the internet, he must then mansplain why women suck by comparison or must be radical feminists. Mansplain–to put women down in response to criticism.”

I have been working diligently to stay away from political issues, but I CANNOT stand aside and watch mansplaining happen without my retort.

The most abominable mansplains I have seen, as of late are:

“Want contraception? Put an aspirin between your knees.”

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.

The newest graph is my personal favorite:

:

I am aghast at the ass backward ideology of people in a position of power. What is happening?? At what point did women’s rights need to be put back on the ballot? I thought the female counterpart was working toward equality, not backpedalling to a time when a law will prevent us from owning our own bodies. Dirty Dancing back alley abortion comes to mind…

Unlike Mike, I am not watching the economic plans, or the military decisions. I should, but it hasn’t incited a passion, so it isn’t a priority. My mom recently said she is excited to vote this year, because it “hits home” and is “in her own backyard”. I feel the same. How dare someone decide what is rape or not? How disgusting to think we could live in a world where a woman would need to prove rape in order to receive an abortion.

I abhor the thought of us poor little ladies needing to protect the laws in place. Some men don’t want us to worry our pretty little heads. After all, they know what is right for us, and we should appreciate how they can watch out for us simple minded creatures.
Apparently, we are all potential sluts, with no virtue, using abortion as a means of birth control.

Does a man know what a woman goes through for an abortion? Does he have any idea that the process will haunt a woman for her life? The majority of women don’t take an abortion lightly, and to make an example of the small percentage that do so is ridiculous. The women I know who have had abortions knew it was the right thing to do, but it weighs heavy on them. They will never forget every moment, and will always remember. Right or wrong, it was their choice. It was what was best for them, and not a decision made lightly.

I am disgusted at the debate over Women’s Rights- AGAIN. Haven’t we been through this?

Freeze Frame

There is nothing good about rape. That it has been injected into the debate about the legality of abortion is, how can I put this, unfortunate. On the other hand, it is a very effective way to reframe the debate.

Simply put, the rape exception or incest exception or any other exception is not a good result for pro-choice supporters. I was a bit flabbergasted when I heard Rep. Akin state that “doctors” have told him that women cannot conceive from a rape. From what I read, approximately 25 thousand pregnancies occur every year as a result of rape. Because not all rapes are reported and the possibility exists for it to be over reported, the number is problematic at best. So, let’s split the difference. Twelve and a half thousand a year. Those women would be eligible for an abortion. But they would still have to overcome the barrier of proof–that they were raped or victims of incest.

Is that too many, too few? If you answered C, none of the above, give yourself a point. Pro-life supporters have reframed the debate around exceptions. To do so they took an absurd position. Now they want to bargain to allow in certain circumstances. It’s a great negotiating tactic.  They aren’t giving up nearly as much as women will.  To the vast majority of women, this result means you have no choice at all. It is OK to be outraged at the stupidity of Rep. Akin’s comments and the subsequent ballyhoo. It is not OK to narrow this issue to the exceptions. Doing so gives up the game.

I love the irony of people who love liberty restricting choice. Samantha Bee illustrates this well here.

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