Blogging for Choice

I have to admit that I’m kind of done with all these blogging for this and blogging for that days.  I’m especially disheartened by blogging for choice day because the folks who are for making abortion illegal just don’t believe that women should have control over our bodies at all times and are never going to believe that, I don’t think.

But I wanted to talk about something else Representative Bell was getting at–how the children of illegal immigrants are taking up space in our schools and costing the school systems money because they have to hire ESL teachers.

These kids are, by and large, American citizens.

Representative Bell is complaining about school systems having to meet the needs of the children in those school systems.

Let that sink in.

And then, mull over with me this comment by imfunny2:

just one more knot in the rope of “anti-choice except when it’s not my gender,ethnicity,social class or ability level..”

I think the problem is that we want Roe v. Wade to mean something more than it does.  We’ve pinned our hopes on freedom coming from bodily autonomy as represented by our ability to choose not to carry a pregnancy to term.

And that’s an important component.

But I don’t think that we can forget that there are other important components.  Do I have the right, at any time, to decline sex?  Am I free to initiate sex?  Can I get the medicines and medical treatments I need without having to ask anyone else (aside from my doctor) whether or not I can have them? Am I safe in my own neighborhood?  Can I have children when I want them?

Right now, elected officials in our state feel free to openly complain about women choosing to have children when they want them, without first considering its effect on the state.  And people see that as a reasonable complaint.

I bring that up because abortion is still legal and has been for 30 years and it hasn’t magically convinced everyone that women belong to themselves, not the state.

In fact, so deeply ingrained in us is the idea that complaints about children in our schools is an immigration issue (even though most of these children are U.S. citizens and so there is no immigration issue as far as they’re concerned) we fail to see it as an equal rights issue, even when Bell does us the favor of linking it to abortion.

But it is.

We are, first, ourselves and not the state’s.  And any time we see the state complaining about our failure to put its needs first, we ought to see it for the anti-woman bullshit it is.

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Arts & Crafts, With Woo-Woo Thrown In

I was trying to explain to Malia’s husband, DB, how much of paganism, especially when you’re bringing folks of a lot of different backgrounds and beliefs together, involves ritualized arts and crafts.

This post, I think, which isn’t even pagan, illustrates precisely what I mean.

I tease because I love, but I do wonder if people who are crafty are more predisposed to being Crafty.

Which Would Be Worse?

Being the model who had to get and keep an erection while posing for the vasectomy brochure or being the fluffer of the model who had to get and keep an erection while posing for the vasectomy brochure?

I can’t decide.

Both, it seems to me, have a monumental task.

Also, nothing tickles me more than seeing Say Uncle blame the patriarchy, even if only in jest.

Good luck, Uncle.  I’ll raise a toast to many years of unprotected, worry-free sex in your honor.

John Lamb Uncovers Secret Plot!

John Lamb over at the Hispanic Nashville Notebookhas a piece about how local hospitals are saying that local Hispanics, especially undocumented ones, are not hurting the hospitals and Lamb makes mention of the fact that there’s no wide-spread TennCare fraud perpetrated by undocumented Tennesseans.

I think this only goes to show how nefarious this Mexican plot against our state is.  First, we learn that Mexicans are plotting to come to Tennessee and get jobs and fall in love and get married and have children, not because there are jobs here and folks tend to fall in love, get married, and have kids, but just so that their children can take school desks away from the other native-born real Tennesseans who would have needed them had they not been aborted.

And now we learn that Mexicans are coming to our state in order to steal our health care and ruin our hospitals, which they will accomplish by not using our heathcare providers in problematic numbers.

Now, you may ask yourself how it can be that Mexicans sneaking into our state and not being a drain on our hospitals can lead to the ruin of our healthcare system and I’ll admit, I’m not sure, but I’m confident there’s something nefarious at work here.

Whew. 

I think I’d make a terrible nativist.  It’s hard for me to even get through that much with a straight face and I’m pretty sure that to be a nativist, you have to be willing to go on for pages and pages, each post a thinly veiled account of your fear of having to live and work with non-white people.

I’m not sure why people feel that they have the right to live in a world unchanged from how they imagine their childhoods were and I’m not sure what we can do to overcome that.

I feel like one effective strategy is to try to meet them somewhat on their level (despite what Slarti thinks–I do get why people disagree with me.  I just think that in some cases, they’re so fundamentally wrong I don’t have to do them the favor of pretending like I see any validity in their point.) and I know a lot of folks who are worried about “the future of America” are worried about the country their children will inherit.

And so I try to say, look, here we have all these children, who are American citizens and we’re talking about either sending them to a country they’ve never lived in (in order to get rid of their parents) or separating them from their parents.  Isn’t it unacceptable social policy to heap suffering on American children?

But damn if they don’t turn around and try to argue that these kids aren’t really American children or that we should strip folks of birthright citizenship–because who still needs those Reconstruction era amendments anyway?–so that we don’t have to be troubled by those issues.

And I’m not trying to argue that the only problem is these waist-high Americans, you know.  That’s my starting point–to say that, hey, if you can see that these little guys need to be considered, can’t we also consider the little guys brought here as babies?  Can’t we consider the people who were themselves once children?

And maybe that’s too 1970s Sesame Street, but that’s kind of the shape of my argument, to say, hey, we’re talking about people here.

But it seems like we never get that far.

So, here’s this article saying, hey, that fear-mongering about folks ruining the healthcare system is just that, fear-mongering and you and I both know, sure as we’re sitting here, me on this side of the screen, you on that, that it’s not going to be good enough.

At some level, you have to address their talking points, but at some other level, you have to be aware that even if you could disprove every single point they have, they wouldn’t care.  They’d still be all “These people are here illegally and we must have rule of law.”

No matter how much you can show that these folks are not the aggressors, but instead are trapped between economic necessity and laws designed purposefully to exclude them from coming here legally, it’s not enough.

And, as the economy worsens and people become even more unsettled about their job security, we’re going to see even more outright hostility towards Hispanics (undocumented or U.S. citizen), I predict.

Honestly, I don’t know what to do in the face of that.

It’s like seeing the start of a landslide and feeling like all you can do is try to help some people, knowing that folks are being hurt and that it’s going to get worse.

Sometimes it feels like all you can do is say, “I see what you’re doing and it’s wrong.”

It’s not enough.