Wintry Mix

photo of holiday versus christmas pictures
As I may have mentioned, I can be a bit less than fuzzy during the holiday season for a few reasons. A friend of mine was, I kid you not, referred to as a terrorist the other day at work because she told someone “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”

A terrorist.

Anyway, though I lived in the mountains for five years (not like Katniss Everdeen or actual terrorist Eric Rudolph, but it was the same mountains) and delighted in the weather (it is not often that I feel that it is cold enough for me to need to wear long pants outdoors, but there, I could feel cold even when thoroughly bundled up. A bit of a pain at times, but wonderful, and highly preferable to being too warm. You can always bundle up more—even if you are alone or in the right company, you don’t get any less dressed than naked, and being naked and still being too warm is the worst. And where I live now, well, even a light dusting of snow would be a pleasant surprise. It has been in the 70s for a total of like a week this December, and, as I write this, we are only two weeks into the month. Blurg.

Right, so. This time of year, I do have some music that I enjoy listening to. It is not really the traditional music* for this time of year (i.e. Christmas carols—I don’t really hear Spin The Dreidel in grocery stores too often), but it is my playlist, and I enjoy it. So here it is! Because . . . feminism.

Ahem. Here is my playlist. I call it “Wintery Mix,” because forecasters say that and because I am easily amused.

1) Christmas Tree, by Lady Gaga (featuring Space Cowboy)

This one is pretty obvious. I love this song. I love the sound of this song. I love the lyrics to this song. I love the attitude. If you are, for some reason, unfamiliar, the line: “Ho, ho, ho, under the mistletoe” should provide you with a clue. I love slutty music. Also, I assume that by “Christmas tree,” she means her lady-parts, but I have not the faintest idea how she’s seeing it as a tree. But whatever.

2) Cool, by Gwen Stefani

This one is, um, really just because of the song title? I know, it’s abhorrently simple. But …

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Paul Ryan: A Legitimate Danger to Women’s Rights

Photo of Paul Ryan
I have to admit, I was pretty shocked when Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate.  I’d been almost positive his veep candidate would be female, in large part because Romney’s ratings among women are pretty abysmal.

Playing that card failed miserably for John McCain four years ago, but believe it or not, Sarah Palin almost seems sort-of-kind-of-at-least-a-little-bit acceptable when you take a closer look at Paul Ryan.

I knew relatively little about Paul Ryan when the news broke, other than that he’s a Congressman from Wisconsin and something of a golden boy in the Tea Party.

I received a forwarded e-mail from my mother today, however, that concerned me.  Deeply concerned me.

Now, the subject line was “5 Facts About Paul Ryan and Women”, and since I know what side of the political spectrum my mother hails from, I wasn’t surprised by its existence.  I get mass e-mails from all directions of politics (someone–I’m pretty sure it was my brother despite his denials–signed me up for Rick Santorum’s mailing list), and it’s always interesting to see rhetoric at work, to observe two completely different spins on the same issues, the same numbers.

In other words, I read all political mailings with a grain of salt.

Usually.

The e-mail I received today, though, a forward from Ultra Violet, was a bit different. It had the usual hard-swinging, attention-catching lines, but it also included footnotes … in other words, the wild accusations against Paul Ryan’s political stances on women’s issues are well-documented.

1. He voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Think women deserve to earn the same pay as men for the same work? Paul Ryan doesn’t. And the pay gap costs women and their families close to $431,000 over their lifetimes.

In a nutshell, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is, as its name suggests, legislation intended to ensure that women have the same compensation opportunities as their male colleagues. It is, to be fair, very complex and not as clear-cut as Ultra Violet would have you believe.

That being said, The National Review admits that “many conservatives question the existence of a wage gap in the first place” and that “instead of helping workers, the Paycheck Fairness Act could actually make their jobs harder by increasing costs to the businesses that hire them.”

2. He opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. It’s not just that Paul Ryan has voted 59 times against a woman’s right to choose—which he has. He would even rather let a woman die than allow her to have an abortion. He’s supported a bill to allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care to a woman, even if she could die without it.

Yes, this is also true. Frightening as hell, but true. In fact, Paul is not averse to women being prosecuted for having abortions. Prosecuted.

From The Daily Beast:

This disregard for the exigencies of women’s lives—the dismissal of their choices as amoral exercises of “arbitrary will”—was thrown into high relief during his 1998 run for congress against Democrat Lydia Spottswood. Both candidates backed a ban on so-called partial-birth abortion, but Spottswood believed there should be exceptions in cases where a woman’s life or health is endangered. “Ryan said he opposes abortion, period,” reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He said any exceptions to a ‘partial-birth’ abortion….

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What the Hell is Wrong With the Duggars?

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar Announcing 20th Pregnancy

When I heard that Michelle Duggar is, in fact, pregnant with what will be her 20th child, my initial reaction was, “What the hell?”

I don’t suspect I’m in the minority.

The gist of the shock and concern seems to be based around the dangerously premature birth of the youngest Duggar, Josie, who was born at a shocking 1 pound, 6 ounces.  Michelle Duggar’s pregnancy with Josie was shortened by her diagnosis of preeclampsia, a condition identified when she was initially hospitalized for gallstones.

Josie spent four months in the hospital after her December 2010 birth, and had to return shortly after being released because of vital sign concerns.  She didn’t, for all intents and purposes, get to go home from the hospital until she was six months old.

The idea of a baby having to spend her first six months of life in the hospital is tragic, as is the notion that nineteen kids were almost certainly getting a degree of shafting from parents obviously concerned about ..

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Are DIY Abortions What the Pro-Choice Movement Should Strive For?

photo of scared woman facing an abortion pictures

A recent Slate article discusses the popularity of at home abortions, a development many in the pro-choice community are probably horrified by. Oft considered the worst option for women who do not have available care, especially in areas of the United States where clinics are few and far between, or a relic of the pre-Roe v. Wade time, DIY abortions are most associated with coat hangers and other violent imagery. Taking abortion into ones own hands has never been part of the pro-choice rallying cry. In fact, the pro-choice movement has largely focused their efforts first on legalization, and second on reducing the stigma surrounding it so that women wouldn’t have to give themselves …

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