America’s Next Bill Clinton!


40 days of anti-choice protest

Since Sept. 26, anti-choicers, in an effort to bring to light the “tragic” facts of abortion, have protested at abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood everywhere, with the intentions of changing the minds of those who have reached the decision to terminate a pregnancy. As well, they intend on making their voices known – as a way to influence politicians hoping to get elected, to climb on their bandwagon.

See: http://www.40daysforlife.com/about.cfm

Where are we as pro-choicers? We’re silent. We’re sitting there and staring back, as if the right to choose is something that’s secured for every woman, everywhere.

Although their protests are built-up as silent vigils, any of you who’ve escorted patients to an abortion clinic know it’s not true. Often times, it’s loud, obnoxious and in violation of a woman’s right to choose. Their tactics are uncanny, extreme and can be very upsetting.

I don’t mind dialogue, and I don’t have a problem with people who share different ideologies than ours. But when the revert to name calling and carrying signs with pictures of aborted fetuses, the dialogue is gone, and there’s nothing left but pure passion – that kind of passion that tears America apart, rather than heals us as a nation.

So, I am asking you – the pro-choicers whom I’ve grown to know and love, to volunteer your time at various clinics, acting as a cushion between the religious wrong, and the women who need our compassion and love – not judgment and insults.

Pro-lifers often want to be vocal about their ideals – yet they don’t want to take actions. They want to raise signs and call names, and pray for everyone, but they would never take the time to adopt. Only if they’d stop for one second and think about it – they’d know that Planned Parenthood is more than just about abortions – it’s about responsible parenting.

Let’s show them we can take a higher road. Let’s volunteer at these places, not as counter-demonstrators, but as those who are there to love and support – as those might not ever understand the decision of an abortion, but have chosen to honor the sacredness the decision between a woman, her family and her God.

Let’s be the shining of examples of what it means to love and accept. Let’s volunteer at a Planned Parenthood today.

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“Coming out” to my parents

I am on vacation, but I still want to write, simply because I’ve ran across a lot of issues worth talking about, to include a fake “abortion” clinic that I called to find out what they’re about (I’ll blog that later). I also went to a strip club with old friends last night, and hated it. I’ll blog that later, too. For now, this one is about my “coming out.”

Almost two-and-a-half years ago, I came out to my parents. No, it wasn’t the type where at Thanksgiving dinner, I announced that I liked penises now, as my dad choked on the turkey breast (what else would he be eating, right?) and my mon slowly fainted, her face in the bowl of gravy.

My coming was a different sort. I announced to them that I had declared myself a women’s studies major, and now a feminist.

I think they took it quite well. In fact, they probably saw it as a phase, one that would pass. My dad, in his sense of humor, would introduce me to the neighbors as “Marc, our daughter.”

Coming home and seeing them now, though, it’s a little different. They’re beginning to realize that I am in this movement for good.

When I told them that I would be getting out of the Army, finishing up my degree and then going to law school to be an attorney in women’s and human rights issues before trying to go into politics, their first question was how I would make money.

“Why don’t you stay in the Army for 20 years and retire to collect paycheck? You’ll only be 37 by then,” my mom pressed.

“Mom, because women’s rights can’t wait. I want to make a difference,” I replied.

They still don’t get it. They worry about money and how I’d make a living, even after I’d told them that so long as I have a roof over my head and a few nice suits to go to work in, I’d be happy. They don’t get it.

I love my parents, but they want me to do things that don’t matter to me. My calling is feminism and progressive politics. My parents envisioned I’d be a doctor or a hot-shot attorney. This time, they’d even offer to start a business for me.

“What change in the world would I make?” I asked them.

“What girl would marry a man with no money, working for a non-profit as an attorney?” my mom asked.

“Mom, women aren’t gold-diggers, and they’re capable of making money on their own. Besides, I’ve got plenty of admirers who’d want to date me. It’s okay, I don’t need money to get laid.”

They’re unhappy, but I am not going to change my life and my passion around for them. I love my parents, but I love my country more. I want to make my parents happy, but there are millions of my fellow human beings who are still being marginalized based on the sex into which they were born. They take priority.

They gave me life and I am thankful for that. But now, I will use my life to change lives. I am not going to sit around doing my best to make them happy. After all, life is a gift. When you give someone a gift, you shouldn’t expect them to do with it what you want. It’s THEIR gift.



It’s just sex …

Reading one of the Campus Progress web logs this morning, I ran across an interesting statistic – that just about or more than 50 percent of college students are “still virgins.” My question: why do we care? Why is it that, as a society, we treat losing one’s virginity as sort of a rite of passage in which a new person is born and the old, less mature person is gone? It’s to say, as if, a person’s accomplishment in life is based on whether or not that person has engaged in sex. With rite-of-passage teen movies like “American Pie” being a part of the popular culture, it seems the message we’re sending teens is: your worth and dignity is based on whether you’ve “done it.” Yet, they also get messages from the Christian-right about remain “pure” and “untouched” until marriage. The result is a clash of culture, in which, on one hand, the message is about the importance of having sex. On the other hand, the message is about “saving” oneself until marriage. What’s a kid to do, really, in that situation? If virginity is so special, how come the majority of us aren’t even in touch with the person to whom we “lost” it? The truth is when it comes to virginity, there is nothing lost, and nothing gained.

Besides, what’s the exact definition of a virgin anyhow? One who’s pure in both thoughts and mind? One who’s never orgasmed? One who’s never had intercourse? One who’s had intercourse but never orgasm? Does oral sex count? What about priest sex? It’s all confusing, really — yet we’re still obsessed with the idea of virginity.

The fact of the matter is that there are more important things to worry about in one’s lifelong accomplishment than sex and “virginity.” We see movies like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” but we don’t see movies like, “The 40-Year-Old Bum Who Hasn’t Done a Damned Thing to Make the World Better.”

Sometimes, I wonder why. Why can’t we just teach kids, from both the left and the right that sex is something amazing and wonderful that should only be had with responsibility, respect and readiness? Isn’t that a much better message than: if you aren’t having sex, you’re a loser or if you’re having sex, you’re a slut?

Wouldn’t it make the whole abstinence education debate much easier to digest? Wouldn’t it make birth control much more easily gotten? Wouldn’t it strike down patriarchy and society’s ideal of a family at its root? It certainly would. Just by changing our personal outlooks on virginity and sex, we can certainly make move the world in the right political direction.

Second point: why does society put such a strong emphasis on the act of sex? It is, after all, only sex. I don’t mean to sound like a frat boy here, but sex is just an act. It’s neither holy nor God’s gift. It’s neither divine nor special. It’s purely biological, just like any other activity that we engage in as humans. Sure, sex is certainly not making love, but it’s got a quality of its own. Just like going for a walk, having dinner or spending the afternoon with someone, sex is just an act. It only becomes special when the person with whom we are sharing it is special. Other than that, sex is just – sex. Why make things any complicated than life already is? To be sure, one should always be monogamous in a relationship, but let’s not treat sex anymore special than just a kiss. A kiss, after all, without any emotions put into it, is just a kiss.

 Kind of funny, too, how “virginity” never seems to be an issue discussed when it comes to the LGBT community. I guess to the right, “virginity” is only important when baby-making is involved.