xenologer: (vagina)
Friends, I was linked to the most amazing thing this morning. I can only hope you will be as delighted as I was. See, anti-choicers seem to be even more off the rails than I had suspected; if you know me at all you know this must be pretty impressive.

It is.

Kevin Swanson is amazing.
I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.

RH Reality check explains why this is wrong but I feel like they are missing the sheer joy of it. This is nothing short of hilarious. If you have a uterus and have ever used birth control, you are the host of a teeming internal nightmare, an unconsecrated fetus graveyard!



This is beyond misogyny. Misogyny is ordinary. It's tired and boring and DONE. This is a brave new world and we are moving with the times! Misogyny is passé. Nobody cares anymore. It's 2013 and it's time for gynephobia. Wombs are scary and haunted! There could be anything in there!!! Sluts (by which we obviously mean any women on birth control) aren't just dirty and ruined, but they're probably full of disquiet fetus ghosts all up in their slutty slutslut snatches.

Kevin Swanson's account of the latest research into the eldritch terrors inside of women that we call wombs is like obstetrics and gynecology written by the authors of American Horror Story (spoilers) or Jim Balent.

xenologer: (bye bye)
Whenever discussion of the declining space program comes up (example story about the Mars program, and another about our suspended shuttle program), it makes me sad because I feel like it's one more piece of our nation's love for science that we're leaving behind. It's a sentiment I heard echoed at a sci-fi convention by the friendly science-loving folk who attended, and I definitely can feel it, too.

At the same time, I hear Gil Scott-Heron in my head whenever people are talking about the billions of dollars we ought to be spending on the space program.



So while I'm sad about the fact that we allegedly SUDDENLY can't afford the space program, realistically we haven't been able to afford it for a long time. Unfortunately, that money is going to get used to pay for war and not for the things I'd like us to be dreaming about instead. With the cost of putting a few physically-perfect highly-educated and well-trained professionals into space, what could we do about AIDS? What could we do about malaria? What could we do about cholera? What could we do about ill-funded schools or food deserts?

Makes me upset when the closing down of the space program is framed as a lack in our ability to dream. It probably is, because it'll probably mean more of our money goes to making war. It probably is about us failing to dream big enough or well enough, but it wouldn't have to be, because I think there are far more important things for us to spend our money on.

It's just sad that we probably won't.
xenologer: (vagina)
There's no reason to have arguments about whether abortion is okay and when and how and all that jazz if at the end of the day we're all willing to agree to disagree and let everybody control their own bodies and consent or deny consent to medical procedures based on their own consciences.

As long as we can respect each other's consciences, at the end of the day we're all on the same side. I don't have a problem with anybody else's personal view on abortion as long as they're willing to let me control my own medical decisions.

These conversations only get ugly when an anti-choicer walks in, because you can't have a respectful conversation as an equal with someone who doesn't think you're morally mature enough to control your own medical choices. If someone doesn't believe that I'm qualified to make my own medical choices, then whatever they say, they don't respect me, and why should I expect that someone who thinks so little of my ability to reason is actually paying attention to my reasoning when I present it?

But as long as we're all willing to say, "Your choice wouldn't be my choice and that's okay because I will fight for your right to be the one with the final say," then we're all friends. That's important to remember. There is an "agree to disagree" position. There is an "I respect your opinion and your values" position. It's called being pro-choice.
xenologer: (objection!)
Dear people who believe that Big Pharma is keeping marijuana illegal because they are afraid of its panaceic majesty:

Marijuana seems like it has a lot of health benefits and potential for treatment for lots of things, but it's hardly a replacement for pharmaceutical research. For one thing, if you like having things like studies to back up the medical treatments you use before you use them, universities aren't the only people doing those.

Pharmaceutical companies are no less in need of a critical eye than any other company, but the problem is not the drugs they produce (which go through a lot more testing and refinement to prove relative safety and efficacy than any drug I can buy on the street from someone who grew it in their yard or made it in their house). The problem is having medicine be a for-profit industry at all.

I mean, it's not like "alternative" medicine companies are any less excited to squeeze money out of desperate sick people. At least companies whose claims are regularly evaluated by the FDA have some supervision to curb their more callous and ruthless impulses (which is not to say that they don't have them, because they certainly do--otherwise we'd never have needed the FDA to tell them to do things like stop using antifreeze as sweetener in childrens' medicine).

I just worry more about the companies the ones who want sick people's money just as badly as pharmaceutical companies but don't have to jump through ANY of the regulatory hoops that actual medicine needs to be put through.

I know this is sort of a tangent, but just because pharmaceutical companies are run by brutal and callous assholes who think that other people's sickness should be an opportunity for profit doesn't mean that people selling alternatives to medicine are being hocked by people who are terribly different. Those people just aren't required to prove anything about their drugs, because as long as they don't actually make real claims to safety or efficacy they can sell whatever they want and /imply/ that it's safe and effective.

So it's more than big pharma. It's the entire for-profit medical industry. The naturopaths and the homeopaths and the people who want to twist your spine to cure your diabetes and the people who think you can treat cancer by holding a crystal and standing with one foot in a patch of clover while you rub garlic into the sole of the other foot or whatever the heck are all playing the same game, and it's the game that screws people over.

And yet we have people (probably on both sides of the political divide, but I've encountered them most on the left) who are more suspicious of the people who are legally required to disclose the limitations and side-effects of what they sell than the people who can sell whatever they want as long as they do it in entirely-unregulated supplement circles.

But again. Focusing on "big pharma" as though they're some kind of uniquely evil cabal of kitten-eating reptilians from outer space seems short-sighted to me. As the kids these days put it (or perhaps as they used to put it like twenty years ago, I dunno): Don't hate the player, hate the game. I would add that you can hate the player if you want, but at least try and give the side-eye to the other players, too. It's never just one.

Signed,

A person who treats her illness with science, not conspiracy theories or magic.
xenologer: (human monsters)
Day Five: Apologism Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

I know there are still people reading this--if they haven't defriended me over it--who insist that the real intolerance here is mine, that the real bigotry, hatred, and harm comes from compiling these links and not from the organization whose actions have been reported on. These people are apologists, who will say and do anything to defend their church because that is what they have been taught they must do. Is it loyalty? Is it fear of being cut off from salvation without the church? I don't know, you tell me.

But here's my problem with this sort of apologism. When someone says, "A priest molested me as a child and shamed me into silence," apologists are the ones who say, "Yeah, but not all priests are like that, so try to express your pain in a way that doesn't make Catholics uncomfortable." When someone says, "I was locked in a workhouse and assaulted physically and sexually when I wasn't actively engaged in forced labor," apologists are the ones who say, "That's really sad honey and Imma let you finish, but the church does a lot of charity work and I'd like to derail this conversation to talk about this other thing for a while." When someone says, "Scientific journals have criticized the RCC for their habit of lying to at-risk populations about AIDS," apologists are the ones who say, "Yes, but a condom is just like a cigarette filter! What do doctors know about epidemiology that the College of Cardinals doesn't?"

In short, apologists are the ones who take a conversation that makes them uncomfortable and put their own feelings at the center of it so that rather than talking about the victims of the RCC's wanton callousness, racism, and unvarnished cruelty... we're talking about how sad it is that victims' advocates hurt Catholic people's feelings by pointing these things out. The real problem with apologism is that when you come into this discussion defending the Catholic church, what you are really saying is that you don't like us talking about harsh realities and would rather we discuss a comforting fantasy. Well, you can save that horseshit for church where it belongs. This is the real world.

In the real world, the Catholic Church probably hates you. Stop defending it like a battered wife who's sure her husband really really does love her, he's just got a funny way of showing it and you're sure that if you stay and show the church love and don't make trouble and be everything it asks you to be, it'll understand what it's been doing to you and everything will turn out like the RCC promised you it would be.

It's pathetic. Stop it.

If you missed it, here's Day One: The Church Hates Gays, Day Two: The Church Hates Women, Day Three: The Church Hates Africa, and Day Four: The Church Loves Child Rapists.

Hope you've enjoyed my blog series. This is a topic I've gotten tired of hashing over again and again and again, and now at least I have something I can just link to people when I'm too lazy to deal with the same regurgitated apologism. Feel free to do the same, if you're so inclined. Just link back to me so that I can pat myself on the back and feel useful.

Love, peace, and suchforth,

me.

April 2016

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