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Category Archives: Mental Health

What I Meant to Write In My Whiny Post:

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1. Damn, I am really really busy, and it’s giving me a sleepy.

2. It’s not enough to be a political feminist; you have to be a personal feminist too. You have to look at the way you treat your friends and family; you have to examine your individual biases, your contradictions. Feminism is not just theoretical. It doesn’t just apply to Other People. It should spill over into all your interactions.

3. Probably don’t tell your kid that nobody will ever love them, since, if nothing else, you should love your kid, and yes, while I get the point you’re making (“you’re a heinous bitch who no man will ever want”), 1) a huge fuck you on behalf of single ladies everywhere, and 2) wow, really?

4. Basically what I said. “Yes, he’s kind of a misogynist, but I still like him” = unacceptable. People who are sexist, racist, and/or classist are bad people. It really is that simple! Someone with biases who is working to become more understanding and aware = great! Someone who is a dick and doesn’t care = not great. Not great at all. These things are dealbreakers in much the way that puppy-kicking is a dealbreaker.

5. This part of South Dakota has some pretty scenery, but politically it is a backwards shithole, and the town is cliquey, and we suffer from a dearth of maple trees. I can haz Vermont?

6. Rape Threat Tyler is a terrible person, and I’m not sorry he got head-injured.

7. Munchausen’s Mike is also a terrible person, and I hope his life is lousy.

8. I haven’t had a normal meal since I was 12, which blows.

9. Vodka is a hell of a substance.

Also, here is a puppy with a puppy:

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Hi, I Haz a White Whine.

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  1. I cannot keep working two jobs while taking eighteen credit hours.
  2. I cannot listen to family members, who claim to be feminist, going on about how I’m a huge heinous bitch for setting boundaries and cutting toxic people out of my life.
  3. I cannot listen to “you’re going to die alone, with no one who loves you, and a huge house of cats.” Not from anyone, but especially not from family.
  4. I cannot pretend to like people who are misogynist, racist, or classist for any reason, but especially not for the sake of people who want me to perform femininity according to their exact specifications.
  5. I cannot keep living in South Dakota.
  6. I cannot deal with a former co-worker, who once pushed me against a wall, held a paper towel over my mouth, and asked me if it smelled like chloroform—who used to follow me around making jokes about murdering women—who made numerous rape threats—I cannot deal with this person harassing me on the dance floor, following me around, and forcing me to stare at his stupid weasel face while he thrusts his bony pelvis out. All I can think about is being shoved against the wall with all the hanging knives pressing into my back while he presses the paper towel against my mouth and tells me he’s going to follow me home after work. I cannot deal with this person; I hope he dies.
  7. I cannot shake all the terrible things I heard from terrible Mike, all the semi-consensual physical encounters, all the hurtful bullshit he said.
  8. I cannot eat like a normal person, and I want to. So fucking much.
  9. I should not blog while drunk.

Swooping Back In to Drop a Rant on Alla Y’all

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So I read this stupid article the other day. It was called “8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance,” and while it had some semi-decent points, it was mostly very “man, the establishment and stuff.” Education, college included, is making us all conform to…something; television allows us to live in a fantastical dream world in which actions come consequence-free (dude. watch some crime shows, ok?); and most predictably, we’re all being medicated into compliance!!!

Which, no. No, no, no, no, no.

Setting aside how steeped in privilege this entire article is (how cute that the author has apparently never had to imagine the social and economic ramifications of not finishing high school), it’s also dumb in that very special fauxgressive, elitist, cis-het-male-able-bodied-middle-class-Caucasian kind of way. And it gave me an annoyed.

(Oh, and this is kinda off-topic, but just as a side note—what is it with the hand-wringing, pearl-clutching older generations who apparently cannot fathom the possibility that people who grew up with television and other technology would, in fact, be able to differentiate between TV, video games, and Real Life™? Violence, racism, misogyny, ablism, homophobia, transphobia—their presence in the media is a problem because it’s indicative of actual attitudes held by actual people, because their popularity suggests that bigotry is rampant, and because their prevalence reassures bigots that it’s all cool, don’t bother rethinking your bullshit. But the media is not dragging people into a Big Crazy Dream Land. People create entertainment, and then the media reinforces their bigotry. It works cyclically. The No-Good Terrible Very-Bad Media is not some kind of mysterious entity swooping down to corrupt us all.

Plz to not anthropomorphize the media kthanxbai.)

Anyway, here’s what I don’t get about the Meds Are Making Us Conform bullshit: well, everything, but my biggest problem with it is that, if you really want people to be malleable and ineffectual, you keep them sick. Right? I mean, before we had meds, we had…what? Institutions, and before that, nothing. Sick people just stayed sick, or got sicker, and eventually died.

If you deny treatment to someone with a physical ailment, whether they ignore the sickness or go into debt trying to buy treatment themselves, you have weakened them and taken some of their power. Is it really such a stretch to apply this to mental illness?

Oh wait. Yes it is. Because people get weird about mental illness.

If I had any doubt about the general public’s apparent inability to treat mental illness as a real thing that actually happens and is the fault of brain chemistry, not the person suffering from the illness, those doubts were put to rest the day Amy Winehouse’s death was first reported. Because here’s someone who stated publicly that she suffered from bipolar disorder, who became addicted to multiple substances, who wrote music about her addictions—and yet, after she died, I heard tons of people essentially saying “oh well, dead junkie is dead.”

Because yeah, that’s fair. Because this is totally the first time someone with bipolar disorder has ever developed a compensatory substance abuse problem, and clearly, it was entirely her fault.

I mean really. Obviously, I didn’t know Amy Winehouse, and I don’t know what her life was like, and I’m not going to pretend I had some deep personal investment in her well-being. That would be kind of creepy. And I don’t have bipolar disorder, so I can’t personally testify to how it feels. I do know plenty of people with BPD, one of whom is an immediate family member, so I’m fairly close to it, but no, I haven’t really been there.

And yet, I know better than to blame people for not winning the neuro-lottery. Crazy, right? (That’s not to say I won the neuro-lottery myself; I haven’t really. But I didn’t fare too badly, and I have plenty of other privilege that helps compensate for the problems caused by the issues I do have.)

People love to trot out Personal Responsibility as an excuse to ignore mental illness—because like, duh, you gottta take responsibility for your problems and stuff! It’s not even that I disagree; I think that sympathy, taken too far, can become coddling, which is enabling (and one of the reasons I prefer empathy to sympathy, but that’s a whole other post). I think it’s easy to slip into the role of an enabler, and I dislike arguments which assume that the mentally ill can never have any power or agency.

But.

First, there are people whose illnesses really are so severe that they literally cannot be held accountable for their actions. They don’t comprise the majority of the mentally ill, but they are there. The degree of their illness might be temporary, or it could be permanent, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

And second, I’m not going to jump on the Personal Responsibility bandwagon until our cultural attitudes toward mental illnesses change. I’m not going to criticize people for not seeking help when the likelihood that they will be shamed for it is so strong. Actually, I probably wouldn’t criticize them anyway, but you know.

Not to be one of those obnoxious self-referential bloggers who makes everything relate back to Me and My Issues, but I’ve dealing with this problem right now—because while I am finally, after years of being really fucking miserable, coming to recognize the depths of my issues with food, I cannot pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with a counselor. Part of the problem is that I’m tired, and used to feeling shitty, and terrified of gaining weight. But another part of it is the fear that I’m not sick enough, that I’m exaggerating, that I just need to go eat a waffle and go biking in the sunshine and listen to the birds chirp. (Or whatever.) Part of it is the fear that I’m just privileged and self-obsessed, and that the counselor is going to shrug and say, meh. You’re fine. You don’t look like someone with an ED. And part of it is simply not wanting to put up with the bullshit that comes when people discover you have a problem.

Which, whatever, I’ll be fine. But this just reinforces my anger when it comes to popular attitudes in re: mental illness, because really, what the fuck? I mean, I understand that there’s magical thinking at work here: the stubborn belief that people with diagnosed mental disorders are weak, that the contemptuous magical asshat in question isn’t weak, and therefore, that zie is immune from mental illness. Ok, fine, I get it. But it’s stupid and damaging.

And it enrages me (enrages, I say) when people who ostensibly support universal health care either make exclusions for mental illness, or pretend it’s a non-issue. No, it’s not. It’s really not. And sorry, but you don’t have the right to determine what kind of illnesses deserve treatment. You also don’t get to decide who deserves treatment, or for how long, or to what degree. You just don’t.

I wish I could write more on that subject, but now I’m pissy.

All I’m really asking, I guess, is that mental illness be treated as something real, as something harmful, and not as a sign of non-comformity and exciting independence. I also want this to be a genderless issue, but of course it isn’t. I remember when Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty were both gaining notoriety in the States, and the ways they were discussed were, ah, radically different. Amy Winehouse?—worthless junkie, terrible person, and people kept making fun of her beehive and beat-up ballet flats. But Pete Doherty? He was a misunderstood genius with a boyish face, which could be totally cute if he just got off the heroin and started bathing again.

Basically, I want a world that encourages anyone suffering from mental illness to seek help, regardless of who they are, how affable they seem, how sympathetic their suffering is. I want treatment to be free, for as long as it’s needed. I want everyone to realize that no, medication isn’t Destroying Young Minds; when used appropriately, it empowers people who suffer from problems they never asked for.

I also want this post to be more coherent, but I have too many thoughts and not enough focus. Heh.

You Will Never Take Up Too Much Space

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[TW for fat-shaming, disordered eating, narcissism]

My cousin has three children. Two of them are fat, and the other one is a boy.

I mean, let’s forget that they’re all about the same build, all athletic, all bursting with energy. Let’s forget that they all eat the same food, in approximately the same amounts, with the same enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter. Because the oldest one is “all boy!” and the girls are “pretty chubby amirite?!”

Apparently, pot bellies just aren’t normal on little girls, ok? And the youngest one, well, she likes butter just a little too much. /shakes head sadly

This is what I’ve learned from telephone conversations with relatives, anyway: that my cousin has fat daughters who need to go on a diet, and her son has a baseball game tomorrow, too bad I live so far away! (Trust me, it’s no pity. Southern Ohio is a shithole.)

I don’t know why people keep bringing this up around me, considering how pissy I get.

First, people have been telling these girls that they’re “chubby.” “Chunky monkeys” is apparently a name that gets used by people who are, you know, playfully teasing them. People pat the girls’ adorable potbellies and laugh, and then they diet-police. The girls eat such rich food (seriously guys, you’re a bunch of Germans—you all eat rich food); they’re “stocky”; their legs are “solid.” Not solid in a good way—not “able to act as functioning parts of the body” solid—but bad solid, “taking up too much space” solid.

My cousin’s nine- and seven-year-old daughters are taking up too much space.

Did I mention the nine-year-old had leukemia as a toddler? Yes, let’s body-police a little girl whose body betrayed her early on. Let’s make sure she never gets to just appreciate and enjoy her body, that once it’s able to perform its job adequately, she turns around and abuses it with unnecessary dieting.

I live far away from these people, and visit twice a year at the most. But I know exactly what they’re doing to these girls, because they did it to me. It’s not my cousin’s fault—actually, she’s being shamed right along with the girls, because how dare she not lose all her pregnancy weight? (And as for the possibility that some of her weight gain was caused by depression, uh, whatever.) But as for the rest of my relatives—very few of whom have attained the level of thinness they prize in others—well, I know them, and I know how they delight in fat-shaming.

I’m not “fat”; I never have been. But that made it worse in some ways, because I had a body that needed “preserving.” My gramma subjected me to weigh-ins, and other people felt comfortable saying things like “oh, you shouldn’t eat all that candy, it’ll make you chunky.” Well, no, you see, I eat candy all the time, and I stay this weight—so either you’re suggesting that I already am chunky, or you’re just full of shit.

When I was in my late teens and barely ate, it wasn’t uncommon to hear “you know, for as little as you eat, it’s amazing you weigh as much as you do.” Granted, I was fairly underweight at this point, with jutting ribs, a visible spine, and what I can only describe as “chicken chest,” but, you know, apparently I wasn’t thin enough.

But I didn’t understand how monumentally full of shit they were then, so I believed it, and I lived on somewhere between 20-40% of the daily recommended calories, and every once in awhile I would fast, and it hurt to sleep on my stomach, because, ribcage. I would pass out occasionally, and when I came to I would crawl to my fridge, sit on the floor and eat unwashed grapes out of the bag. My head hurt, I was dizzy, when I got up in the morning I had trouble walking across my tiny studio apartment. I was broke, so dieting saved me money, and I used that as my justification for hurting my body. I was fine, and this was just my normal weight, and clearly anyone who made comments about my skinniness was just “jealous.” I was a victim of “thin-shaming.” (Now I think that most of the people who made those comments were pretty well-intentioned, although they weren’t helpful. I twisted their comments into compliments. I enjoyed being Too Skinny. I thought it was great.)

I also had a horrible…not a boyfriend. I don’t know. A dude who infiltrated my life. And he was an active member of team You Should Lose Weight, even when I was significantly thinner than I am now. So he would say terrible things, and I would believe them, and magic! I would starve and be miserable.

And then I passed out once a day for five days in a row, and I got all dizzy and fell in the shower twice, and eventually I found myself sitting on the kitchen tile eating spoonfuls of sugar straight out of the bag—at which point I said, fuck this, I’m done. And I ordered a pizza.

I’m lucky, you know, in that I never developed a full-blown ED; for that I can probably thank my parents, who are great. But I still have fucked-up attitudes about food, and massive amounts of food-related guilt, and when some stupid dudebro points at my bag of Cheez-its and observes that “those aren’t healthy, hur hur hur” my responses range from hurt feelings to raging anxiety. Not counting calories is a conscious decision, clothes shopping is a miserable experience, I refuse to look at my body unclothed and/or from certain angles, the only shirts I’ll wear with jeans come below my hips (or I’ll wear a longer tank top under a normal-sized t-shirt), and I never prepare full meals because, guilt. I snack on the sly or eat meals prepared by others, because it requires less preparation, which means I have less time to guilt trip myself.

So, my cousin’s daughters? They don’t need this shit, but they’re getting it anyway. And I don’t know what to say to them, except that they will never take up too much space, that as far as I’m concerned, they will never take up enough—that they’re healthy, that they’re beautiful, and that even if they weren’t, they would still be fantastic and important. And that their fat-shaming relatives are full of shit, a quality exponentially worse than being full of food.

Words Mean Things. Different Things, Depending On Context.

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So this comment thread over at Feministe was a bit of clusterfuck.

I read it while sitting at Pepper’s kitchen table, drinking tea and eating crackers. And I was very vocal about it. I was waving my hands around, getting all irate and shit. Because it didn’t just make me annoyed, it also made me feel like I was being an asshole for feeling annoyed in the first place. I don’t want to be That Jerk Too Mired in Her Own Ablist Privilege to Get It, but I basically think that comment thread was crap.

Because there is a huge difference between, say, the n-word, which has never been anything other than a racial slur, and a word like “idiot,” which has evolved into its current, common usage. I can never use the n-word, unless I’m, say, sitting in American Lit and directly quoting Huck Finn—but “idiot”? That’s a word I’m free to say. Words mean things, yes, but sometimes, those meanings change. That’s how language works. And most words have numerous meanings; the word “set,” for example, has four hundred and sixty-four. You don’t get to hand-select one definition and then yell that nobody else should get to use that word ever, simply because one of its meanings has a negative connotation that (allegedly) renders the entire word unusable.

I mean, by that logic, I could request an outright ban on the word “hysteria” due to its troubling sexist history, its past use as the term for a psychological disorder almost exclusively attributed to women, and the fact that it is still commonly used to dismiss women for being too “emotional.” But I don’t do that, because I recognize that it is not an exclusively sexist term, that it is a useful word in the right context.

So while it would be wrong for me to call a person with cognitive disabilities an idiot, calling Scott Adams an idiot is just plain accurate.

There were several people on that thread who argued that it would be “easy” to stop using the word “idiot,” so that’s what we should do. But, first, we shouldn’t have to, because “idiot” has multiple meanings, only one of which is ablist—and second, no. No, it wouldn’t be easy, because there are no true synonyms in English. Every word in every language means something different. It has to, because if two words with identical meanings were to come into being, one of them would die out. Faced with such a scenario, words will fight each other to the fucking death.

So I won’t stop using the word “idiot,” because sometimes, “idiot” is the word I need. I will refrain from using it in reference to the disabled, because I’m shockingly not an asshole. I won’t use words like “crazy” or “insane” to refer to individual people, because of the universally negative connotations associated with those words, the embedded implication that mentally ill people (myself included, I suppose) should be silenced and institutionalized. However, I have no issue referring to certain mindsets or situations as crazy, because then I’m not attacking individuals.

The point is that English is far too context-based to undergo so many restrictions, and that no one gets to attempt to unilaterally ban a word simply because it has one negative definition. But that same person can request that people stop using the word in its pejorative sense and expect to have their request respected. For example: if there is a chink in one’s armor, I am free to observe this fact. At the same time, I would never use that particular noun as an ethnic slur. This distinction really shouldn’t need to be made, but apparently the commenters on Feministe disagree.

I really, genuinely do not want to be the oblivious asshole who thinks y’all are being too oversensitive, you know? But calling a disabled person an idiot simply is not the same as calling Scott Adams an idiot, and an attempt to strip the language of such a common word simply because one of its definitions is pejorative is an attempt to strip the language of its richness.

It’s also pointless. Pointless because it’s impossible (words either evolve or die out, generally speaking), and pointless because removing the word “idiot” will not remove any negative sentiments regarding the cognitively impaired. The word itself, even its most pejorative sense, is not the problem; the problem is a culture that sanctions the use of that word against a marginalized group, and the way we think about the cognitively impaired overall. Were our perceptions to become less ablist, the word “idiot” would lose its pejorative meaning, and this wouldn’t even be an issue. We could keep using the word “idiot” to mean “that misogynist asshat who writes the Dilbert comics,” and Feministe could stop annoying me.

Well, maybe.

I saw a slush ball resembling the bust of Cicero, and I am tired.

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It looked like this guy. It even had the epic suspicious/seriously (!?!?!) face.

This is going to be a ramblin’ shamblin’ festival of fuck my lifery. So, you know. You’ve been warned.

I am not so far from thirty, which is fine. I’m cool with that. But I have the odd combination of a very young looking face, and an expression of contempt and loathing that can fell a PUA without a word. This is difficult for people to process.

“Why that uppity young snot!” They seem to think, “I’ll take her down a peg or three!”

I should mention that this has been a lifelong situation for me, and I fully grasp that I am the cilantro of people– people that like me, really like me, and we have a rollicking good time and everything is fantastic.  And to other people I apparently taste like soap. The people who like me outnumber the people who don’t, and their kindness more than makes up for the rest.

But. The people who don’t like me, tend to be people in positions of authority. And they tend to try to take me down as many notches/pegs as they possibly can, even though it never works.

I’m not kidding. It’s not that I don’t politely do whatever I’m asked to do (within reason), I do. It’s not that I’m not polite and courteous, I am.

I do my job, I do good work, I show up on time, and that’s it. That’s all. I am not deferential. I will politely listen and do things how you want them done, but I will not be trained in how-I-ought-to-behave. I started out low, bosses, and you will never be able to push me back down.

I understand the dues paying culture of working in America. I’ve been officially working and paying in to SSI every year since I was twelve, which is well over half of my life.

Which is the crux of my complaint. Dues, I have paid them. I’ve worked cleaning toilets, I’ve painted houses and rolled around in batshit and 100 year old dust in a museum attic laying down caulk.   I’ve cleaned up more metric tons of animal shit and piss than I care to think about. I’ve been wrist deep in animal blood and puke and name-your-fluid. I’ve assisted in the euthanasia of unwanted animals, even when it broke my heart. I’ve worked serving food, I’ve worked grooming dogs, and I spent five years as collection for an evil company that shall not be named.

Five years in collections is, by the way, a lifetime. Most people burn out before the twelve month mark because it’s a hideous soul crushing job that robs you of all compassion for yourself and everyone else. I hated every single minute of it, and I stayed only because I had no other choice and hoped that I could at least be the kinder gentler more helpful bill collector. I called people with dying spouses, dying children, who had lost their homes, who were dying themselves. I heard adults beating children, and each other, while I could sit there and do absolutely nothing.

I called a woman who had found out only a few minutes before that her daughter had been murdered (and yes, trust me, it was real. It was viscerally present in her voice) and who hadn’t even had the chance to call her family, and was so polite and so lost and in so much more pain than most people can imagine. I drove home crying 4 nights out of 5. But I stuck it out, because it was what was rational for me at the time. I quit that job only when my health began to deteriorate and a supervisor began to harass me.

I have a steel backbone, for various reasons, not the least of which is growing up in a family of Jehova’s Witnesses as a public dissenter. Like my list of jobs above, I have a laundry list of insults that were lobbed at me as a child: Whore (regular), Whore of Babylon (where are my purple vestements and my kir royale in a golden chalice? And the many headed leopard thing I should be riding?), slut, witch (this is hard to explain to secular people, but yes, they really, genuinely 100% believed that I was consorting with demons), and on, and on. And on. I was taken out of school in 2nd grade and homeschooled from there until college, which wasn’t so bad in some ways since my parents were conflicted enough about their religion to have an awesome library and let me read pretty much whatever I wanted via the process of not having their shit together and not paying attention to what was going on. But it meant that I was isolated from anyone who was not a Jehovah’s Witness, until I was old enough to start reaching out on my own. I learned to be alone, and be ok with it. I learned to love nature as refuge and a friend. I had great experiences making friends online, before and after I left home, and I am still friends with many of those people IRL, a decade on.

Anyone who has had a childhood in a dysfunctional, abusive family, can pretty much fill in the rest of the hunger, neglect, beatings, poorness bingo card. I didn’t have it worse than anyone in the world ever, but I didn’t have it great. Which is no excuse to be an asshole, and I’m not. In fact, all of these experiences have made me take the position that if I cannot treat someone well, it’s better for me to leave them alone completely. My personal acquaintance with pain has made me believe that compassion and empathy and altruism are the best things about being a social creature, and I try to practice them regularly.

However. Unless my job description specifically and openly demands ego stroking, I won’t. And no amount of pushing me around will get that out of me.

Trust me, bosses, I always feel like saying, you will not succeed where an entire doomsday cult, my family, and several exes failed.

But here we are again, right now, and I am tired. I am in pain, I have no energy, I have decided to go ahead with a hysterectomy in hopes of ending the pain and feeling better, but that won’t happen until after I finish my language classes and get my B.A. (I already have my B.S., but immigration being what it is in the US, I decided that coming back to finish my last year of language would be a good way to kill time until Mr. Lee Hales was able to get here) in May. And so, right now. I am just tired.

I am tired of friendliness being a demand on my person with no quid pro quo. I am tired of being taken to task, not for failing to do my job, or doing it poorly, but for failing to defer, failing to get in line, sit down, shut up, and take it.

I realize that the common thread here is my failure to conform to expectations of age and femininity. Women are supposed to be warm and open, giving and deferential to authority. Young women are supposed to be inexperienced. The sticky uppy nail gets pounded down and so forth.

I don’t have a point here. I realize  that I’m lucky to be working at all, even if only for 10 hours a week. I know how privileged I am to be able to have the option of coming back for a B.A., to be educated at all. I have shit loads of privilege. I am also poor, and hurting and just fucking tired.

Post me some funny comments, ok? Put up silly gifs and pictures of adorbs jumping spiders. Make interesting comments. Something. Make my day less rage inducing. I’m about ready to move to the moon.

I want a cat sized jumping spider with which to cuddle. And scare assholes. But mostly cuddle.

Welcome to South Dakota, Where Abortion Seeking Women aren’t People, Freedom of Religion Means Nothing, and Democracy is a Rule Just Begging to be Broken

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Well Hello There Stranger!

I see you’ve come to visit us in South Dakota. I’ll bet you were thinking this would be a good place to eat some hot dish, get a sweat- shirt with howling elk on it, pet a bison, feel your heart swell with anti-environmental more than a little racist patriotism, and so on.

Perhaps you were drawn in by the promise of landscapes such as these:

 

Uh. Oops. Not that one.

That's More Like It.

And This Too!

And So On.

 

My Personal Submission for Best Swimming Hole in the Universe.

Ah, South Dakota! Heart of America! Come for the Overwhelming Whiteness and Highest Rates of Rape, Stay for the Real American Values! Freedom! The Poorest County In The Nation! The Corn Palace! Cosmos Mystery Area (Multiple Entendres!)! A Great Whopping Monument to Democracy! Soybeans! A State Bird that is Actually an Invasive Chinese Species (Hackneyed Joke About How It’s All A Metaphor!)!

And yet, my friend. I must tell you something. Here, have some kuchen (it’s the state dessert!) while you listen. And some cream corn and orange jello with julianned (cause fancy!) carrots,  raisins and miracle whip in it.

You see, our esteemed Gov. Daugaard (this is the sound a bison makes through it’s nose when taking a hard poop, trufax) has recently signed into law H.B. 1217, which requires all abortion seeking women to undergo a 72 hour waiting period (but don’t despair, you can’t still buy a gun and get married much more quickly. Priorities!) AND to undergo pre-abortion counseling at a Crisis Pregnancy Center.

In order for the sole doctor who flies in once a week to perform abortions on the Eastern side of the state (it’s a big state, enjoy your 8 hour drive through the vasty nothingness!), to actually perform an abortion, that doctor must receive paperwork proving that said woman has undergone this “counseling.”

Here’s the fun and special, super-freedom, democratic, constitutional, excellent eagle with a single tear justice for all real American values catch: the CPC is under no legal obligation to provide such paperwork to either the abortion seeking woman or her doctor. In fact, neither of them has any legal recourse to make the CPC provide such proof. The woman could come to the CPC for “counseling” with three witnesses and a public notary, and this would not be sufficient for the doctor to legally perform an abortion.

Another fun fact: South Dakota has voted down a ban on abortion, twice. Now, my kuchen eating friend, enjoy this bison steak and venison sausage with frybread while I explain the gosh darned seriousness of it all.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers in South Dakota are all, without exception, arms of Christian outreach ministry programs. They are religious organizations (who also receive money from the state, because Constitutional Values!), who are not bound by HIPAA, are not required to have any licensed trained medical staff, and whose “counselors,” are not required to be trained or licensed.

That is to say, women seeking abortions in the state of South Dakota are now legally required visit a christian “counselor,” who may (probably) has no actual education or training as a counselor of anyone, is explicitly anti-choice, and has the legal ability to tell anyone and everyone that said woman was/is seeking abortion services. Including her abusive partner if she has one. Who may well have deliberately sabotaged her birth control, because that is a well documented facet of abuse.

Oh, and these people have revocation power over whether a woman who does not want to be pregnant remains pregnant. Pregnancy can end in many ways, but trust when I say that abortion is far and away the safest of all of the ways that pregnancy can end.

Of course, the burden is now on our great state (all 800,000 of us!) to prove that pregnant, abortion seeking women are not constitutionally people, with a right to privacy, freedom of religion, and freedom in making medical choices.

They should also have to prove that they aren’t fucking racketeering fascists who will gleefully subvert democracy when it suits them, but I doubt it will come up.

Now, why the Governor signed this thing into law, I cannot tell you. Planned Parenthood has already announced that they will take this to court.

And they will win, because this is a huge overstep.

We are not a wealthy or densely populated state (except in terms of Midwestern nice! We have So Much of That!), and we have a budget crisis that has been “solved” by making deep cuts to education and Medicaid, resulting the loss of somewhere between 800-1,000 jobs, and also us eating our fucking seed corn.

In short, we don’t have the fucking money to try and be all “the state has a right to legally enact our hatred of women!” and get our legal fannies kicked.

We shouldn’t be doing this because it is wrong, wrong wrongity wrong.

It is like compelling a person of color to receive “counseling” from a white supremacist. The anti-choice position is, and has always been about hating women and their autonomy and sexuality. No-one should ever be compelled to listen to someone who hates them, in order to make a private choice about their body and their life.

It is absolutely abusive and coercive in the very worst and most open way to compel anyone to submit to a religion not of their choosing in order to receive medical care that it their constitutional right. It is degrading and insulting to women to suppose that we haven’t already considered out choices, seeing as we are, you know, sentient fucking humans.

Lest you think that this on of those stupid dumb lady things, I would argue that it is an insult to everyone who voted a ban down twice. It is an insult to and a mockery of the democratic system.

This is why the whole abortion fight is a litmus test both for misogyny and for trying out unconstitutional laws on the populace. You know the drill, “first they came for the women and I said nothing….” and so on.

So, I encourage people who care about women, who are pro-choice, who are pro-democracy, who believe in the democratic model and in our constitutional rights–  protest the hell out of this nonsense, loudly. Talk about it. Expose it to the light. Come and protest with us.

Note: I will NOT tolerate any debate about abortion as such in the comments, so don’t even try it. Anti-choice trolling will earn you a perma-ban that will never, ever be lifted. This is a pro-choice blog, and the bullshit arguments of anti-choicers are not welcome here.