Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ten Things Tuesday

Two years ago today, Dr. George Tiller was gunned down and murdered by an anti-abortion activist while attending a church service in Kansas.  Last week, a man was arrested, after accidentally discharging his firearm in his motel room, and charged with attempted murder.  He had planned to go to a clinic and kill everyone he could find, then go to another clinic for a repeat performance.  Were it not for his carelessness (and cluelessness) in that hotel room, we may be mourning a mass murder this week.

For today’s Ten Things Tuesday, I offer ten of the many reasons why I’m pro-choice.

1.  I absolutely believe that if we take away a person’s (not just a woman‘s, but any person‘s) right to tend to their own bodies in the way they see fit, we remove that individual’s very person-hood.  We should all have control the one thing that is truly ours.  Margaret Sanger said, “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body.”  I think she was right.

2.  A child should never be a consequence or a punishment.  Forcing a woman to carry a child to term as a punishment for her sexual behavior is reprehensible.

3.  A woman shouldn’t have to bear sole responsibility for something she didn’t do all on her own.  If a man can (and many of them do) walk away from his share of the responsibility for bearing and raising a child, a woman shouldn’t be left holding the proverbial bag.

4.  Making abortion illegal just makes it less safe.  If we make abortion illegal, women will seek “back alley” abortions performed in unsanitary conditions by unqualified practitioners.  Making abortion illegal won’t keep abortions from happening.

5.  If we make abortion illegal, compassionate doctors will be forced to practice in secret, risking their livelihoods and their freedom if they are caught.  (also, and not for nothing, I find it interesting, and more than a little hypocritical, that is seems the people screaming the loudest to make abortion illegal are also the people screaming the loudest for “smaller government.”  How do they not see that irony?)

6.  Being pro-choice does NOT mean that one is “pro-abortion.”  Pro-choice means being supportive of a women’s choices – whether she chooses to terminate, to give the baby up for adoption, or to keep the child is entirely her decision, and those of us who are pro-choice honor and support whatever decision she makes.  To characterize pro-choice advocates abortion-crazy baby killers is a tactic used by the radical right to avoid real discussion of the issues.

7.  Even responsible, careful women can have an unexpected pregnancy.  Contraceptives sometimes fail.

8.  I object to the people who both want to limit women’s access to abortion AND to limit access to contraception.  Do not try to take away the means to limit the need for abortion, then scream when the number of unwanted pregnancies skyrockets.  This is nothing but a play to control women, and it’s disgusting.

9.  Neither the government nor the religious communities should be making health decisions for individuals.  Period.

10.  There is no scientific consensus as to when human life begins; it’s a continuum.  I personally feel that a fetus becomes a person when it can survive outside of the woman’s body – until then, it is essentially a parasite.  If we were to enshrine fetal rights into law, women’s rights would be subjugated; she would become a living incubator.

 

Here’s the thing; you are welcome to disagree with any or all of this.  I have no objection to anyone’s disagreement, and I’m not in this to change anyone’s mind.  What I object to – and strongly, at that – is anyone’s attempt to forcibly impose their beliefs on another person.  You can think abortion is wrong; hell, I don’t love the idea, myself.  What I think is more wrong, though, is having the audacity to tell another person that she has to carry and bear a child because you find the idea of abortion distasteful.  I’m very much in the thinking of the bumper sticker that says “if you think abortion is wrong, don’t have one.”  Make your choices for you; let her make her choices for her.

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Filed under compassion and connection, critical thinking, family matters, frustrations, health, Home and Family, memorials, Parenting, politics, social issues, technical difficulties, this is NOT a drill, Worries and Anxieties

Birthday Love

Today is my husband’s birthday.  In true Blue Door tradition, I offer this love note:

Mr. Chili is one of the good guys.  He’s both wickedly smart and genuinely kind; sometimes (often), that’s a tough combination to find.  He manages to pull off the traditional (it’s important to him that he supports his family, he’s the one who does most of the dirty work around the house, that sort of thing) while at the same time embracing the profoundly progressive (he doesn’t limit my or our daughter’s ambitions, he’s fully supportive of socially progressive issues, that sort of thing).

Mr. Chili understands what it means to be content, and that’s something that I both respect and admire about him.  He knows how to be happy, and is fully appreciative of happiness when he finds it.  In fact, just the other day, we had a conversation about how good we have it – it’s not enough to have it good, I think; you have to acknowledge it, too.  What’s more important (for me, anyway) is that he understands how to nurture that happiness; he is very, very good at the maintenance and upkeep of joy.

My husband is hysterical.  Really; those who know him in real life will testify to the fact that he’s got a keen sense of humor, but that it’s the kind that sneaks up on you.  He’s not showy or loud; in fact, upon first meeting, most would judge him to be kind of plain and quiet.  They’d be wrong.  Mr. Chili’s sense of humor is the kind that smart people appreciate; it’s the kind that you have to think about (or have specific, nerdy references for), and the skill of his delivery is second to none.

My husband is a genuinely good person; he is smart and funny, kind and generous, loving and steadfast.  I admire him for the person he is, and am grateful, every single day, that he chose me to be his partner in this life’s go around.

Happy birthday, my love.  May we celebrate many, many more!

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Quick Hit: My Day

A chair is on the deck.

The windows are open.

I have a good book (and another one in the wings!).

I’ve cut a watermelon into convenient, bite-sized cubes.

Sigh.  Welcome back, Summer!

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Quick Hit: The Canisters

The other day, Rachel Maddow did a bit on the canisters in the background of one of Sharon Angle’s television spots.

It had been a very long time since I’ve seen anything that objectively ridiculous.  I mean, seriously; who would actually have to have these things on their kitchen counters?  Who would spend actual money on them?

Then, yesterday, we went to my high school’s production of Alice in Wonderland.  When the props came out for the Mad Hatter’s tea party, what do you think was on the table?  No, really; check this shit out:

It was all I could do to hold it together for the rest of the play.  I may ask the kids if I can have the canister when they’re done with it; maybe I’ll stick a plant in it or something.

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Quick Hit: Alice



Quick Hit: Alice, originally uploaded by mrs.chili.

My kids are putting on an original production of Alice in Wonderland.
This is the caterpiller. I’m having a blast!

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Thought for Thursday – Rights

So.

Every week, my English kids get a writing prompt in the form of a bumper sticker.  Last year, I spent way more money than was prudent on a stack of bumper stickers from this outfit, and I’ve been putting a new one on the wall every week for this whole school year.  The hope is that the kids get to think to the big idea beyond the words that will fit on a 4×11 piece of sticky vinyl – I want for them to really get to the big and often complex points these quips are trying to convey, and to exercise their expressive capacity in explaining to me what they got from the quotes.

This week, they are musing on the idea that if you “ignore your rights, and they’ll go away.”  My policy is to offer the first writing opportunity without comment; on subsequent days (they write about the same quote all week), I’ll put critical thinking questions on the board next to the sticker that are intended to lead them to think beyond the obvious message of the quote.

As I was showering this morning (because I do most of my good thinking in either the shower or my car), I was musing about what to write on the board this morning and I had a horrifying – but what I think is ultimately true – thought; there is no such thing as a “right.”

Stay with me for a second.  Certainly, there are things that we have decided are “rights.”  Hell; we’ve even ensconced some of them in the Constitution.  We have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We have a right against unreasonable search and seizure, we have the right to not have to house soldiers in our homes, we have the right to a speedy trial by a jury of our peers; blah, blah, blah.  There are property rights and Miranda rights and voting rights.  I’m not saying that these things don’t exist or that they’re not important.  What I think I AM saying, though, is that none of these things rises to the level of a “right” as I understand the word.

In order to be a right, something should be truly unalienable.  For something to really be a right, it should be something that can never be taken from you because really, if something can be taken from you, isn’t it just a privilege?  For example, I only have the right to life until someone decides to take it away from me.  I forfeit my rights when I break laws.  If I have a right to something, shouldn’t EVERYONE ELSE have that, too, or are there some “rights” that are exclusive to me and, if so, are those things really “rights” at all?  My answer, given the current political climate, would be “clearly not,” since we seem so gung-ho about limiting (or outright revoking) the things we call the “rights” of old people, women, poor people, and homosexuals and transgendered people.

As a liberal progressive, I’m more than a little discomfited by this thought; not only does the idea that “rights,” as such, are simply a political construct and don’t really exist at all, but also by the idea that I’ve never really thought about this in this way before.  I’m not quite sure what to do with myself now….

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Filed under critical thinking, doing my duty, dumbassery, frustrations, GLBTQ/Ally issues, learning, politics, Questions, ruminating, social issues, strange but true, technical difficulties, this is NOT a drill, Worries and Anxieties, WTF?!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

We’re getting to the end of the school year.  This is kind of what my life is like right now.

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