Are You Serious?: Planned Parenthood

It’s about time this blog got real about the hypocrisy that exists in America. So, introducing a new series, entitled Are You Serious?, where I will vent about all the things that don’t make logical sense in this country, but still gains support from people who clearly can’t, or won’t, educate themselves and think logically. While these are all my opinions (based on facts and evidence), I must warn you that I still have my Always Right Card that I bought in high school, so if you disagree with me, you are officially wrong.

Today’s inaugural episode is: Are You Serious?: Planned Parenthood edition.

always right card

I signed the back, so it’s official

What Happened

The Senate voted this past Thursday on a bill that would repeal “Obamacare” and stop the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. The bill passed 52-47 along party lines, except for two Republicans who opposed the bill. My main man, Bernie Sanders, wasn’t there, but his vote wouldn’t have mattered anyway because the Republicans only needed 51 votes to pass it, and they had it. After the bill passes through the Republican controlled House, it will go to President Obama who will, of course, veto it.

The Republican Senate has had trouble passing bills like this before, due to Democratic filibustering. It takes 60 votes to end a filibuster– 60 votes the Republicans don’t have. So why did they need only 51 votes instead of 60 this time? Because they presented the measure as a budget reconciliation, which cannot be filibustered, so it only required the majority vote to pass. Sneaky, eh? Bu unfortunately for us, also effective.

Why Now?

If this bill has no chance of becoming law, why did the Republican Senate bother? Well, The Republican senators need to look good. There are elections coming up, and they haven’t delivered on their promises to stop, minimize, or repeal the Affordable Care Act (among other promises) despite having a Republican controlled Senate and House. This bill allows for political posturing; Republican Senators who are up for reelection have on record that they did something to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and end giving federal money to the evil abortion-giving, baby parts selling demon that is Planned Parenthood. This also gives some talking fodder to the struggling Republican Presidential candidates that actually have party support, who just can’t overtake Donald Trump in the polls.

Why This is Bullshit

I’m going to concentrate on Planned Parenthood here, because I can only absorb so much stupid in a 24-hour period. The Affordable Care Act will have to wait for another day.

Let’s look at the facts:

  • 84% of Planned Parenthood patients are aged 20 and older
  • 78% have incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level
  • 80% of patients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancies
  • 34% of Planned Parenthood services are for contraceptive services
  • 3% of services are abortion services

So, 3% of their services are abortion related. Do you also notice that 80% of their patients obtain contraceptive services to prevent unwanted pregnancies? Planned Parenthood estimates that they prevent an estimated 516,000 unintended pregnancies each year. They also estimate that these services prevent about 217,000 abortions each year.

popular opinion

Here’s the thing. If you’re against abortions, that’s fine. You’re the outspoken crusader for the poor defenseless babies who can’t speak for themselves, and you need to stop them being murdered. I used to be one of those people, by the way, so I get it. But you have to recognize that you are in the minority, and last I checked, you’re pretty set on us living in a democracy. The thing is- shutting down a high-quality, affordable care health clinic is not how you do stop abortions. You gotta stop listening to the lies from politicians. They are preying on your religious beliefs to get themselves votes, while ignoring your actual needs as a citizen and a person.

You want to stop abortions? You keep Planned Parenthood in business, and you fight to expand it’s services. Stop confusing pro-choice with pro-abortion.  There is not one person who would say that having an abortion is preferable to preventing pregnancies to begin with. And that comes from real sex education and contraceptives, which is provided by Planned Parenthood. Pro-choice supporters, including Planned Parenthood and their services, aren’t out to kill and sell babies. They’re out to provide everyone, men and women, with equal access to quality sexual healthcare, and promote scientifically sound, statistically proven, sexual health education. And this includes giving everyone the knowledge and services to not have babies until they want them.

How Could This Make Sense to Anyone?

This is where the hypocrisy sets in, and the illogical thinking. Let’s go over the GOP Platform’s stance on sex education, abortion, women’s rights, and government welfare, and why you, as a responsible citizen, need to smarten up and smell the bullshit. This information is coming straight from the GOP Party website:

We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with abstinence education which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually. It is effective, science-based, and empowers teens to achieve optimal health outcomes and avoid risks of sexual activity. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception.

Lets ignore the fact that we’re a country based on religious freedom and you need to stop imposing Christian “standards of behavior” on American citizens. Let’s just concentrate on the fact that you want less abortions, and less teen pregnancies, which most people would agree is a good goal.

Abstinence only sex education is the absolute worst thing you can support if you are against teen pregnancies and abortions. Obviously, not having sex is the safest way to avoid sex related risks like STDs and pregnancy. But hormones and sex drives exist, and you need to accept that and stop living in a fantasy world.

fantasy worl

Your beliefs are fantasy, mine are backed by science.

For 11 years the US has increased abstinence only sex education for youths, which has led to a steady increase in teen pregnancies and abortions. Numbers matter, wishes don’t. No federal or state funded studies show any long-term effect of abstinence only education programs preventing teens from becoming sexually active- and only one program was able to prove they had even a short-term affect. The ‘scientific studies’ that the Republicans might be mentioning are ones that have since been disproven– so they are literally lying to you when they say there is science backing abstinence only sex education as the best way of preventing teen pregnancy.

slapping

Abstinence only sex education is based on out-dated societal beliefs (usually religious family values), uses false scientific ‘evidence,’ withholds valuable information, and leaves teens unprepared to make well-rounded, sound medical decisions about their sexual health. It is also emotionally exploitative by taking youth’s notions of romance, love, morality, and fear (of STDs) and using them against them. It fails time and time again, and there is a literal cost in that more unintended pregnancies cost the government (and tax-payers) more money, and again, it leads to more abortions:

The effect of presenting inadequate or incorrect information to teenagers regarding sex and pregnancy and STD protection is long-lasting as uneducated teens grow into uneducated adults: almost half of all pregnancies in the U.S. were unplanned in 2001 [38]. Of these three million unplanned pregnancies, ∼1.4 million resulted in live births, ∼1.3 million ended in abortion, and over 400,000 ended in a miscarriage [36], [37] at a financial cost (direct medical costs only) of ∼$5 billion in 2002 [39].

Stanger-Hall and Hall, 2011.

Another fear seems to be that comprehensive sex education will lead to heightened sexual activity of youths, and even make them sexually active sooner. It’s from some misguided idea that if teens know about sex, they’ll just have to try it- ignoring the old adage that curiosity killed the cat (not knowledge!). Studies have shown that, for teens, comprehensive sex education actually delays the onset of sexual activity, reduce overall numbers of sexual partners, and increase condom and contraceptive use. You know why? Because those kids actually know what’s up, and can make intelligent decisions!

mean girls

This is an example of what not to do, brought to you by Mean Girls

So, we have learned that abstinence only sex education for youths is :

  1. Absolutely ineffective in the long-term, and only once proven to have even a short term effect on preventing teen pregnancies
  2. Contributes to more unintended pregnancies, meaning more teen mothers and abortions than comprehensive sex education.
  3. Manipulative and unethical in that it denies youths real information or presents untrue scientific “facts”, which negatively impacts their health and future.

So if you want there to be less abortions, advocate for proper sex education- which is one of the number one services Planned Parenthood provides. This way, next time your teenager is in a car with her boyfriend and their hormones take over, you’ll know she’s actually prepared with a condom, not a useless promise ring.

Now let’s move on to when it really become illogical- the Republican view on single mothers. We’ve established that the Republican Party is against comprehensive sex education, which leads to more teen pregnancies. Then they are against those same teens, who with real sex education and access to birth control may not have gotten pregnant anyway, from getting an abortion if they decide they can’t raise a baby. Then, after these teens become single mothers, they are considered the scourge of American society and the destroyers of the ‘American family.’

Some Quotes:

“Most people agree a continuation of the current [welfare] system will be the ruination of this country. We are seeing it. We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it’s falling apart because of single moms … What we have is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals.”

Rick Santorum, 2012 & 2016 R. Presidential Candidate

“We need to face the fact that when young girls have babies out of wedlock, most of the time their education ends with that first baby. And those babies are four times as likely to grow up in poverty, end up in the penal system or the welfare system. You know, I’m not making this stuff up. That’s well-documented. That’s a problem.”

Ben Carson, 2016 R. Presidential Candidate

“Can restraint be taught? Teenage mothers [shouldn’t] get public assistance unless they jump through some pretty small hoops. Making them live in group homes makes sense.”

-Donald Trump, 2016 R. Presidential Candidate

mom meme

Seems about right.

It’s now become the norm for Republican political candidates to slam single mothers, and blame them for many of the things threatening America. Number one, that they are destroying the American family unit, which they believe is the foundation that our fragile society rests upon. Many 2016 presidential candidates assert single mothers are uneducated, unable or unwilling to work, breed criminals, depend on government assistance, and in Jeb Bush’s case, even believe that we should publicly shame single mothers to discourage them from having children.

The Republican Party advocates policies that set teens up for failure each step of the way. If they had their way, teens would be denied appropriate sex education, then denied the chance to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and then demonized for a lifestyle that they were set up for.

These are teens- they are kids. If you think teens shouldn’t be having sex because they aren’t old enough to understand the consequences, in a way you’re right. But that just means they need to be taught the consequences, so when they invariably make the ‘wrong choice’ (you’re opinion, not mine) and become sexually active, they have the knowledge to handle it right. If kids don’t learn about safe sex in school, when the hell do you expect them to learn about it?

If you want less abortions, you keep Planned Parenthood around and you fight like hell to stop abstinence-only sex education.

Seriously. 

bam

 

The Promise of Tauriel: The Hobbit Saga Review

So, after waiting until there would be no crowds at the movie theater, I finally went and saw The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies last night. I have loved The Hobbit series almost more than The Lord of the Rings Trilogy so far, so I was super excited to see the conclusion to this saga. Especially since, except for Bilbo talking to the dragon under the mountain, I remember exactly zero things about how the story ends in the original book, and I was waiting to watch the movie before I re-read it so I wouldn’t ruin it for myself.

Now, this isn’t a movie reviewing blog, but still: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. In all honesty, you won’t understand a thing I’m saying unless you’ve seen all the movies anyway. I’m here to examine, not summarize. And we’re going to examining the made-up, female elf character Tauriel, who is not in the books at all. So go watch all of the Hobbit movies (if you haven’t already), and then come back and keep reading. I promise they’re worth it! Read More

Viral Right Now: Revisiting the Little Feminists

THE VIDEO:

So, everyone on the internet is freaking out about this feminism video. It’s an anti-sexism video by the organization FCKH8.com, in which 5 girls aged 6-13 are dressed up like princesses and are talking about statistical facts concerning the suppression and safety of women. However, they are doing so while dropping the f-bomb all over the place. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is. Just be warned, this is not suitable for work… unless you have headphones.

FCKH8 is asking the question: why is society more shocked and upset by little girls cursing, than they are by these horrible statistics about women in the video?

THE ARGUMENTS:

There have been a lot of reactions to this video, and if there is one thing we know, it’s that you either loved it or hated it right away. I have been following blog posts and articles about it, and writers/publications reacted in 3 different ways- Read More

Viral Right Now: Pretty Potty-Mouthed Feminists

UPDATE: Here’s the follow up post, breaking down the different trends and reactions people had to this video: Viral Right Now: Revisiting the Little Feminists


Hey guys! Have you checked out this video of the little cursing princesses yet? I heard it on the radio in the car this morning (bleeped of course), and saw it posted all over my social media once I got on my computer. It’s causing quite the controversy among adults, feminists and non-feminists alike. Check it out if you haven’t already, but be aware that there’s going to be a lot of F-bombs throughout:

In defense of a video that some people might find offensive, the video’s producer made a statement:

Some adults may be uncomfortable with how these little girls are using a bad word for a good cause. It is shocking what they are saying, but the real shock is that women are still paid less than men for the same work in 2014, not the use of the F-word. The big statistic that 1 out of 5 women are sexually assaulted or raped is something society seems to find less offensive than a little four letter word and we love how these girls draw attention to that imbalance . . . Instead of washing these girls’ mouths out with soap, maybe society needs to clean up its act.

 -Mike Kon

Now, I have a lot of opinions about this video and the reactions I’ve been seeing, but I’m curious as to what you think. Do you think having little girls use “the ‘F’ word” was appropriate or inappropriate? Do you think it’s good that the cursing garnered this much attention for feminism and caused this video and its message to go viral, or do you think that it’s going to be mostly negative attention that is detrimental to the cause? Did you know all the facts the girls mentioned here, and do you agree with their message?

Let me know in the comments below, or just in this quick poll. I’ll be writing a follow-up post later, and I’m interested in hearing everyone’s opinions!

 

Legend of Korra: Powerful Female Leads and Our Perception of Beauty

The Legend of Korra and Avatar: The Last Airbender are two of my all time favorite shows. They are complex, poignant, adventurous, and visually striking, but on top of all that, they crafted fabulous multi-faceted characters for both genders. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this article. I am not discussing story lines and plots in particular here, however you might understand this post better if you are at least familiar with The Legend of Korra.

Many interviews and reviews have focused on how great it is that The Legend of Korra features a strong female lead. And it is great! This was continued from Avatar: The Last Airbender,  where there were many strong, complex female characters on both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides of the conflicts (although very few characters in the Avatar world are ever really as simple as ‘good’ and ‘bad’). There was Katara, Toph, Suki, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee, just to name a few. They were all girls with strong abilities and complex story lines; full bodied characters that made you feel for them at various times throughout the Avatar series. They were also all very beautiful, in the conventional sense.

Read More

Welcome to Lilith in Lilies!

Welcome to my blog! This is my first blog post ever, in the history of the universe, and boy is it intimidating! Lets get started with an overview of some basic mythology, and then hopefully you’ll bear with me as we make our way towards the actual point of this blog…

In Jewish mythology, Eve was not the first woman made for Adam. Before Eve, (who was apparently pretty horrible for mankind in her own right), there was Lilith. While there are different origin stories, it is generally believed that Lilith and Adam were made at the same time. Adam was made from dust, and Lilith was made from mud and filth. Lilith believed that because they were both made from ‘dust,’ or earth, they were equals. She left Adam because she refused to lie under him while ‘procreating’. She believed that since they were equals, she should not have to be beneath him (oh symbolism!). She spoke the unspeakable name of God, and vanished over to the Red Sea. Adam complained to God, and God sent three angels after Lilith to bring her back to Adam and make her obey. Lilith commanded the angels away by speaking the name of God, and went along her merry way. From then on, everything gets a little hazy. Suffice to say, Lilith went on to do a lot of bad things that included seducing men, killing babies, making childbirth more difficult, and even giving young men wet dreams by seducing them in their sleep. You know, basic women-are-the-cause-of-everything-evil-in-the-world stuff.

In contrast to all this Lilith/evil stuff, lilies are a sign of purity. Beginning in Greek mythology, lilies were associated with the mother goddess, Hera, to symbolize purity and innocence. Later in Christianity, Mary, mother of God, and virgins are often depicted with lilies around them to symbolize their purity and innocence.Lilies are also sometimes associated with death, because many religions believed that the only way to reclaim lost purity and innocence is to die.

Now, what the hell does that all have to do with this blog? Read More