The Feminine Actif

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Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Strong Women Need Not Apply

Here we go again!

The Texas Legislature just keeps pounding on Women’s Rights.  This time a Democrat has entered the Anti-Woman Legislature fever.  It’s not just Conservative GOP members any more.

Texas Senator Eddie Lucio has introduced SB42.  Essentially, it mandates that if a woman intends to have an abortion, she must go through what is called a Pre-Abortion Adoption Course.  What is so repulsive about this bill is that there is no difference in reasons.  In other words, a woman who is pregnant from rape and wishes to abort the baby must take this course.  How many times must a rape victim be raped?

What is not clear about this bill is the length of time it takes to receive the course.  Remember, just a few weeks ago, Senator Wendy Davis fought hard against the now passed abortion bill that limits most abortions past 20 weeks.  At this time, SB42 was introduced at the end of the second special session called by Gov. Rick Perry, so Lucio’s bill will be considered in an already promised special third session.  Bureaucracy being what it is – what happens if the paperwork goes past 20 weeks?  Oh, well.  Does the blame once again fall on the woman?  Where is the man in all of this?

In researching this particular bill, I could find nothing that spells out the semantics of the language other than Texas Health and Human Services will be required to formulate a 3-hour course on adoption services available.  Nothing is spelled out concerning if all abortions are required or if there are any exemptions.

In Texas, the Child Welfare Services, which falls under the umbrella of Health and Human Services and would handle these adoptions, is already beyond available manpower and cannot keep Social Workers.  Children are falling through the cracks at an alarming rate.  My question is this.  If you already cannot handle your caseloads, how can you handle any more?  There is no guarantee of money from the State to help.  And this helps how?

Again, it is not about pro-life.  Now, the war on Women’s Rights is becoming Anti-Woman.  As long as women remain silent and allow these men to continue to pass legislature that keeps women “in their place,” we will continue to lose the rights gained by our foremothers – Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cody Stanton and the brave women and men who fought so hard together to win women’s suffragette (link).

You may think this is an overreaction, but little by little our rights are being whittled away as we sit by and allow these bills to go.

What is so humorous to me is the fact that Gov. Rick Perry called the filibuster and protest of women a “Mob Convention.”  This is the exact wording of a women’s meeting at the 1853 World Fair in New York City at the Broadway Tabernacle.  I quote, “It will go down in history as ‘The Mob Convention,’ marred by ‘hissing, yelling, stamping, and all manner of unseemly interruptions.’”   Remember the tampon issue?

I’m just one voice here in California.  I was born and raised in Texas, and am shocked and appalled at how women are denigrated in my home state – that is, unless they take on the role of the Stepford Wife.  It seems in Texas that strong women need not apply.

Are You Without Sin?

After a heated debate on Twitter yesterday, I think I have processed enough that I can write about it rationally.  The debate started as a discussion between myself and a few other progressives about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial which included a thread about the fact that if the previous behavior of Trayvon Martin was relevant to the case then so should have been the previous behavior of George Zimmerman.  According to a Washington Post article written on May 28, 2013 by Jonathan Capehart, George Zimmerman’s past included resisting arrest violently with a police officer, a restraining order from a former fiancé resulting in a dual restraining order, and logged approximately 46 calls to the Sanford, Fla. Police department concerning suspicious behavior by African American males.

Although, eventually, Trayvon’s past behavior of marijuana possession and use, fights at school, and suspension from school did enter into consideration by the defense to justify Zimmerman’s acts, Zimmerman’s behaviors and altercations were deemed irrelevant in the case.  So went the discussion.  Enter into the mix a few people who called themselves conservatives to debate the act of self-defense on the part of Zimmerman.  Somehow, this lead to pro-life and anti-abortion rants.

I will admit that I should have stepped away, but after being called a slut and whore because I claimed that in order to be pro-life, one must honor all life.    That means that killing in self-defense as in Zimmerman is wrong as is killing in war, and even, gasp, the death penalty.  Well, that really got the Conservatives going and before I knew it, not only was I a slut and whore, I became a baby killer, a murderer, and a racist. (Oh, by the way, I have been married to the same man for 39 years and have enjoyed a healthy sexual relationship with him only and no one else before and during our marriage).  Today, I was accused of being a “dumb ass.” Me?

So, I will address these accusations not for my own sake but, well, because I just need to.

First of all, I do not believe in abortion as a means of birth control; however, I do believe in choice.  My point is that it takes the male sperm and the female egg to create life.  If a man and woman wish to have consensual sex, then the responsibility of birth control falls to BOTH partners.  It is the woman who gets pregnant and lives with the consequences far longer than the male.  So, perhaps, the responsibility falls more on the male partner.  He does not worry about pregnancy and can walk away anytime.  She cannot.  My viewpoint is that it is up to the male partner possibly more than the female.  And, no, I do not see a baby as a bad consequence – quite the opposite.

In the case of rape and incest, the decision is up to the woman and her physician – not a governing entity.  The trauma of rape is far beyond what most men can imagine and a pregnancy of rape or incest can be a far reaching trauma.  To force a woman to carry until full term so that the baby can be adopted seems to be cruel and unusual punishment.  I acknowledge that the baby is an innocent victim as well, and this is a devastating decision to make; therefore, counseling and discussions with health and mental care professionals is best for all.

In the event that a carried pregnancy could affect a woman’s health or possibly cause her death, again, this is a decision of all parties – woman, partner, and physician – and not the government.  No one knows the mental and emotional health of the woman and her partner; therefore, no one has the right to tell her what she should and should not do.  Of course, that follows with all abortion decisions.

I, myself, had fertility problems and miscarried until finally I was blessed with two very beautiful daughters.  It took me and my husband six long agonizing years to finally conceive.  We attempted adoption in the process – even asking for hard to place children – and were turned down three separate times because we had no children, and we were too young.  So, I fully understand the agony of infertility, and it is hard for me to even imagine aborting a baby.  But, that being said, I also fully understand the ramifications of having a baby that is not wanted.

I am a product of an unwanted pregnancy.  My mother attempted several times to abort her pregnancy which resulted in physical and health issues in me.  And, believe me, growing up knowing that one’s mother wished her not to have been born is traumatic in itself.  I could have ended in foster care where many unwanted babies are found, but I had caring and loving grandparents that took over.

So, besides personal experiences and intelligent research and understanding, I feel fairly qualified to take my stand.  The next time a debate ensues, I will bow out.  Name calling does not bother me, but judging and casting blame and shame on women who are forced to make devastating decisions does.  My question to those that would cast stones is this – are you without sin?  I think someone asked that already, right?

Return to the Good Ole Days

Wow, those so-called pro-lifers have sure been busy this month.  What amazes me is that we have been doing just fine for the past 40 years of Roe v. Wade.  To be sure, there have been times that those pesky anti-choicers have raised their ugly heads and tried to infringe on women’s rights, but the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade has always stood for freedom and liberty for women and their choices over their bodies.  That is until the past few years when something called the Tea Party began their crusade to take away liberties while they cried loudly about Constitutional Rights and our Founding Fathers.

This morning, as I sit at a Starbucks watching people come in and out purchasing their Café Mochas with double and triple shots, I wonder why, in this country where we have fought for civil rights and civil liberties, a very loud minority political party would take away liberties for some, yet scream that our country is falling away from the Constitution and everything it represents.  And why is abortion their flag and not creating jobs for the millions of American citizens without work or working at jobs without a livable wage?  Control of women!

I remember, as a girl, the Women’s Liberation movement with Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem at the forefront as a continuation of the women’s suffragette movement.  Women have fought for their rights in this country since the early 1900s when they fought for the right to vote.  It has been a long and hard fight with small victories here and there.  Roe v. Wade was a major victory that shook those good ole boys right to the core.  And until our country voted in a Progressive Democrat African American President, there did not seem to be a clear avenue to put those pesky feminists back in their places and show us who is boss.  Enter the Tea Party!

Here we go!  And we will use our little women to promote our cause because they know their place – under the thumbs and oppression of the patriarchal oppressive religious conservative right men.  They will do exactly as we say because they know who butters their bread.  So, the Sarah Palins and Michelle Bachmans became the poster girls for a movement that intended to end feminism and the very rights for which our founding mothers fought so hard.  And these women have become the face of the Tea Party.  Why not use the very gender that needs to be controlled?  Make perfect sense actually.

Abortion is not really the cause – abortion is just a smoke screen because it speaks to strong emotions.  Just the thing to tug at the hearts and minds of the uneducated and ignorant masses.  Women who are entrenched in the old ways of thinking straight from the Bible and fundamentalist religious views believe that men should the heads of the house and women are to submit to their husbands.  Therefore, they are quick to point out what us women who are strong and independent and desire to be treated with respect and equality are the devil’s own tools that will destroy our country.  Abortion is the banner that is proof of our evil ways.  And it’s working!

Texas, Ohio, and North Carolina are the most recent states to create anti-abortion bills, and yet what these states are really doing is taking away rights of women to receive quality healthcare and keep women under the rule of the very men that see women as merely objects of their own desires.  What strikes me is that the men that donate their sperm to fertilize the eggs are not held accountable at all.  Oh, wait!  According to the ultra-conservative religious Tea Partiers, it is always the woman’s fault.  Really?

I remember those dates when the boys would try to “go all the way” by saying, “If you really loved me, you would.”  How girls are tricked by this one?  It is not the guy that can get pregnant – it is the woman.  How many boys and men coerce the girls and women into having unprotected sex?  “Don’t worry.  No one gets pregnant the first time.”  Really?  And let’s not even consider date rape and incest!

As a woman, myself, who experienced the wrath of a boy refused, I fully understand this experience.  Telling this boy no resulted in a very painful date rape in the back seat of his car.  When he unceremoniously dropped me off and I told my grandmother what had happened, the visit to the local hospital to address the injury resulted in a cover up.  You see, his father was the Sheriff in town and a fine upstanding deacon of the First Southern Baptist Church.  Of course, it was my fault for “teasing” the poor boy.  I’m just grateful that it did not end in pregnancy.  I was lucky.  Not too many girls are.  If the Tea Party has its way, we will be back in the days when girls were sent to those “Wayward Girls” homes to have their babies under shame and guilt.

I propose that, if the Tea Party really cared about constitutional rights, they would make sure that the phrase, “We the People,” was the mantra of truth instead of the mantra of sound bites.  What is occurring now under the flag of Pro-Life is a gross violation of the Constitution.  I cringe when I hear them say that they wish to return our country to what the Founding Fathers governed.  Excuse me, but in those early days, the majority of the founding fathers were slave owners, and women had no rights at all under the thumb of those fine upstanding male church leaders.

So the next time, you hear Pro-Life and a return to the Constitution, keep that in mind.  Because that surely is the exact desire of the Tea Partiers, Right Wing Conservatives.  Return our country to a time of slavery and no rights for women.  Really – is that what you want?

Freedom of Religion and Women’s Health?

Freedom of Religion and Women’s Health

Should Freedom of Religion also include Women’s Health Issues?  Evidently, Freedom of Religion has everything to do with Women’s Health, at least, according to the newest bill up for vote in North Carolina.

Today, the Atlanta Wire broke a story about North Carolina’s House Bill 365  in which the state’s Anti-Sharia Law bill now includes Anti-Abortion laws.  Why?  Well, apparently, not only are the state’s women being “corrupted” by Muslin law, but women cannot make decisions concerning their own health either.

According to the Atlanta Wire story, the bill introduced late Tuesday is not being called the “Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act of 2013.”  Please, someone tell me how does disavowing and violating the First Amendment have to do with family, faith, or freedom protection.  It seems to me that this bill directly violates the protection of freedom and faith in that it prohibits one religion from exercising its religion.

I fully understand how many find Sharia Law abhorrent in our country, but quite frankly, many find the exercise of fundamentalism Christian Law just as abhorrent.  How many American citizens would agree that snake handling  is a part of Christian practices that prove one’s faith?  And yet, there are no bans on that practice.  How about “spare the rod, spoil the child?”  How many Americans today find it proper to whip a child with a belt or any object?  No, that practice is considered child abuse by most.  And yet, while there are laws against child laws, there are currently no states that specifically ban the act of spanking.

I am assuming, just for argument’s sake, that the “Family” part of the bill has to do with the anti-abortion issue.  Please, stop mistaking the abortion issue for women’s health.  Defunding Planned Parenthood has nothing to with “family.”  It has to do with control over women and their health.  Planned Parenthood provides valuable health services to women that otherwise could not afford such.  Women utilize their services on a regular basis– and guess what!  Not for abortions!  No, for gynecological checkups, birth control, and mammograms.

What this boils down to is not about preventing abortions at all.  If a woman gets pregnant and does not want to keep the pregnancy, she and her male partner will find a way.  No, once again, it is about one group of men that intend to maintain control over and keep women in oppression and servitude.  And yet, that same group of men promote medication for men to aid them in having sex, called erectile dysfunction.  How many advertisements for Cialis and Viagra are viewed daily?  What a mixed message this sends.  Women, you have to have sex, but if you get pregnant, well, sucks to be you!

What is so abhorrent about this issue is that the very women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their well-being are the very women at the greatest risk of unwanted pregnancies and are the very women who are at risk of losing the financial aid needed to care for the children that are unwanted.  You can bet that those wonderful men that impregnated that woman will be long gone!  So often, these children wind up in the foster care system and are the forgotten lives about which no government cares once they are born.  Or they are raised by a woman struggling to find work because she has a child and cannot make ends meet, let alone pay rent and buy food.  Resentment builds, and there you go!  But, boy did this so-called Pro-Lifers care before they were born!  Whose life are you for anyway, and where are you when that child and mother need help?

Every time a state institutes control over religions that are not Christian and include women’s health issues in budget bills, anti-religion bills, and other dissimilar bills, civil rights are violated.  Human rights are violated.

The conservatives cry about our personal freedoms being stripped, yet they are intent on stripping away very personal freedoms.  Remember, if you fail to speak up about even the smallest of personal freedoms being stripped away, you are guilty yourself, and you risk even greater freedoms being taken away until one day there are none.

Freedom of Religion, Women’s Health, State Budgets?  None are related if rights are gone!

Pro-Life? No, It’s Anti-Life!

If there was any doubt that the right wing conservatives are continuing the oppression of women and perpetuating the war on women, then the past month should be proof that removes those doubts.  First, let’s break down just a small part of the battles.

Last Tuesday, the Texas Senate was to vote on an anti-abortion bill that would be the most restrictive in the nation according to all sources.  Through a valiant effort of Senator Wendy Davis and a powerful filibuster, the bill was stalled giving a win to Women’s’ Rights.

Today, Texas governor, Rick Perry, has called a special session to reconvene to vote the bill into law.  The conservatives, including Gov. Perry, have spent the last week casting stones at Senator Davis attempting to cast her in such a negative light that she would be discredited.  It seems that these so-called Christian men have forgotten the teachings of which they are so fond of quoting.

This week, Ohio Governor John Kasich, signed a budget bill into law that included massive restrictions of funds on Women’s Health Clinics.  Funding to Planned Parenthood was cut. Funding to any Rape Crisis Center that even said the word abortion to a rape victim was cut. And get this, if a woman does receive an abortion from a health clinic and suffers complications, she cannot be transferred to a public hospital but must find a private hospital.  Otherwise, she is left to die.  Pro-Life?  Hardly, let’s call it what it is – Anti-Life!

Here’s another one for you.  Last week, North Carolina passed a health education bill that requires middle schoolers to be taught in sex education classes that abortions are the “cause” of future pre-term births.  Remember that there is no medical evidence proving this little “fact.”

These are just three examples of an out of control GOP and conservative base that is dead set to put women in their place.  The issue of abortion has become a false flag to hide the ultimate agenda of an old patriarchal, man controlled group that will not stop until women are out of the workplace and back home, pregnant and barefoot, and under a man’s control.

I am not even sure that these men understand the science of reproduction.  It takes a man’s sperm to impregnate a woman’s egg.  If there is no sperm, there is no fertilization.  I wonder if male masturbation and disposing of sperm could be considered illegal.  They are killing sperm that could create life, right?  And what about spermicides and condoms.  Just thinking about all of those poor sperm cells not reaching their potential in life should be enough to cause the same conservative groups that cry pro-life to pass bills requiring the storage of any unused sperm.  Failure to do so would be illegal.

But, again, it’s not about life.  It’s about oppression of a gender.  These groups are so intent in preventing a woman to have choices that they are forgetting all of the times that they told their wives, mistresses, and girlfriends not to worry about getting pregnant.  Remember, that only happens to sluts.

What I wonder is how many of these zealots have coerced women into having sex and forced them to have abortions.  Perhaps, this is why they are so adamant.  It is usually the guiltiest that cry the loudest.

These new so called Pro-Life laws have nothing to do with life, but everything to do with preventing choice.  And pity the woman whose life is in danger from a pregnancy – let her die.

Pro-Life?  No, it’s Anti-Life!

About Feminine Actif

Welcome to all of the feminists, both women and men!  Here we choose to call ourselves FeminActifs meaning that we are the active part of being feminine.  Being a FeminActif means learning what women’s rights are all about.  It is not about being pro or anti anything.  It is about being active in making sure that women enjoy the very same rights and equal treatment as men.  It is about understanding that, while there are distinct differences between women and men, fair and equal treatment is a human right not a gender right.  It is understanding that no one group, race, nationality, religion, or gender has the right to make decisions for another and certainly has no right to impose its will on another.

We are FeminActifs!  And we join in solidarity with our sisters and brothers worldwide to ensure that all people enjoy human rights as humans.

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