Friday, November 21, 2008

Enforced Birth Control

I was having a conversation with a group of female friends the other day. They were each bemoaning the effects of birth control on their bodies, which always seem to wreak havoc by altering a woman's hormones and changing the way her body works.

Me: I never understood why birth control is always about finding ways to enable vaginal intercourse. There are so many other ways to have sex, so why can't we just do those?
Friend: For the same reason that you wouldn't neuter your dog.
Me: *blank stare*

During the course of this conversation, I apparently forgot that, in our society, male penetration of the female genitalia is deemed an irrevocable, inalienable right (even if the woman doesn't want to). Obviously, random dudes need to have continual access to our bodies in order for society to go on.

Isn't it interesting that the only way we approach the topic of birth control conceptually is to enable the act of penetration without fertilization? There are so many sexual acts that can be performed that don't result in pregnancy, including oral sex, manual stimulation, anal intercourse, and so on. The majority of women (70%) don't orgasm from vaginal penetration alone anyway, so what's the big deal?

Hormonal birth control methods such as pills, shots, and IUDs are not exactly unhealthy, but the following side effects are considered "common" for women undergoing them:
  • Nausea and vomiting (particularly for the first few cycles)
  • Dizziness
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Vaginal infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of libido
Wow. So anyways, I don't believe that there is anything wrong with hormonal birth control, but I think it's important to examine why we consider it to be the obvious solution to a problem with so many other side effect-free options.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


After a very intense couple of weeks, I just wanted to share this lovey picture with you all. It is a picture of Martin mid-jump trying to catch some bubbles. And I, of course, am in my pajamas. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This Just In: Racism Solved Overnight!

As you may have heard, America elected its first African-American president to office this week. When the results were announced, I was shocked and incredulous, stunned into a manic silence. Could it be true? Did it really happen?

After the awesome news sank in, I settled back into the daily grind and tipped my ear toward any cultural reaction I could find. And, as usual, the media has decided to grossly oversimplify the profound meaning of this event and break it down into terms that are easier to digest for the American people.

As the news of Obama's victory spread through the crowds on election night, the cameras quickly located the African-American individuals and focused on their jubliance. Through the lenses of the newscasting crews, it was clear that we were supposed to think that Obama's election to office was merely "a black thing." Apparently, black people voted for Obama because he is black and because they want to rule the world.

Obviously, for any candidate to win a national election, both black and white people have to show up and vote for him or her. Both white and black people wanted Obama to win because he was the best person for the job. By attributing Obama's victory to large voter turnout in the black community, his intelligence and capabilities were completely undermined.

It's also a fallacy to spread the notion that only black people stand to benefit from the end of racism. By depicting a crowd of African-Americans celebrating, it implicitly sends the message that Caucasians are not celebrating, and are therefore disenfranchised by the event. This is a common theme of any anti-movement, whether it be rhetoric against the end of racism, misogyny, or classism. Let's all try to remember that equality means a better world for everyone.

Consider this conversation broadcast on CNN right before the news of Obama's victory broke:

Anderson Cooper: I mean, if he [Obama] does become president, and it still is an if, does anyone know what this means in terms of change of race relations in the United States, or perception of?

Bennett: Well, I'll tell you one thing it means, as a former Secretary of Education: You don't take any excuses anymore from anybody who says, 'The deck is stacked, I can't do anything, there's so much in-built this and that.' There are always problems in a big society.

That's right, folks! No more using that silly "racist oppression" excuse. Now that we've elected a black president, our country is officially NOT racist in ANY way, so get over it already!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Fallacy of Democracy

In honor of election day, I present to you this post that I originally wrote for Dismantle Civilization:

The Fallacy of Democracy

In America, there’s a lot of hoopla going on right now about the upcoming election. American citizens are given several choices for a presidential leader, and must choose the one that they feel represents them the most. Then a new dude gets elected and we’re all happy and get on with the next four years of our lives.


Democracy is one of the biggest delusions we have been taught to believe. You want to know why? First of all, the elections are controlled by the people already in power. The people who have the most access to campaign resources (and the most money to buy them) will obviously have the most successful campaign. Second, we are given two choices for a leader. Two. Yes, I know there are a whole list of independent candidates on each ballot, but election propaganda sets up political freedom as an either/or choice; You pick this guy because you hate that guy. And since the majority of Americans vote for one of the two main candidates, even if you do support a minority party, your vote pretty much doesn’t count and usually ends up working against you in the end.

And the more subtle fallacy at work? A president is not elected based on popular vote. It’s electoral votes that count. So it’s easy for the people in power to do their research and figure out how they can manipulate the votes in certain areas and get a chosen candidate elected. And if that doesn’t work, then they can just “lose” or “misplace” a few thousand votes and call it good.

Of course, there is still a bunch of red tape rigamaroll invented to trick people into thinking their votes are very important. Voters must be registered. All votes are anonymous. Voters must go to the proper precinct to vote. All of this crap, and the president isn’t even chosen by us! Not to mention that the current voting process makes it impossible for low-income individuals to vote. How do they know where to get their registration forms if they don’t have a phone or internet access? How do they pick one up if they don’t have a car? How do they vote if they have to work a 10-hour shift that day, and don’t have the postage to send in an absentee ballot?

But I digress. I’ll lay my cards on the table and admit that I’m planning on voting on November 4th, and I’m really excited about the idea of having Barack Obama as a leader. But on the other hand, I know that nothing I think or say or do matters when the same old boys club is going to be reigning in the White House until the end of time. And I wish everyone else could see that too. Some do, but they still allow elections to divide them and break them down. Can’t we start believing in something other than the republic? How about ourselves? Or our communities? Or anything else that hasn’t already become corrupted by out-of-control, unbridled power?