Friday, October 1, 2010

So Wonderful

My wonderful TORCH kids' contribution to the It Gets Better Project. I couldn't be prouder.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Asher Brown was brutally bullied by his classmates at a middle school in the Cy-Fair Independent School District—he was subjected to constant verbal and physical assault—and not one of his tormenters were ever punished, no one was suspended, no one was expelled. Asher Brown, in despair, took his own life.

Tyler Clementi, a gay freshman at Rutgers University, has taken his life by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge last week after two classmates secretly filmed him having sex and then broadcast it over the internet. Two Rutgers University students have been charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly placing a camera in the 18-year-old student’s room in the Davidson residence on the Busch campus.

Seth Walsh is the 13-year-old boy who attempted suicide last week after enduring years of bullying at the hands of his classmates and peers in Tehachapi, California. Seth was being home schooled because the abuse at his middle school was so severe. But the bullies didn't relent: they harassed Seth at his home, on the street, in parks. Seth Walsh was removed from life support and died on Tuesday.

It's really hard not to let this get to me, not to let this drag me down. These three stories are, sadly, not rare or unique by any means. At least two lgbt teens right here in Appleton have committed suicide in the past few weeks. People are doing something, like Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project, which he created after reading about the death of Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old from Indiana who took is own life after merciless bullying and an anemic reaction from school officials. I'm glad projects like this exist and I'm actually planning to make a video for the project, but these three recent stories really got to me this morning. I don't know . . . I should go for a walk.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brandy Alexander

I've been very bad and haven't posted since I've gotten back to school. Whoops. In my defense, adjusting has been kind of nuts but I think I'm starting to get into a rhythm that I'm happy with. There was some initial relationship (now un-relationship) drama which was difficult but it also forced me to confront a lot of my own issues regarding relationships in general, namely -

1. Sometimes people who (supposedly) once cared about you do bad things to you. Sometimes they will not feel bad about it. There's nothing you (I) can do about that. That doesn't give this person a pass, but dwelling on the cruelty and thoughtlessness of others isn't good for me. They have to live with themselves and their choices, and I get to move on with a clear conscience and an open heart. It's harder than it sounds, but I'm trying.

2. My dad once told me, "A sign of adulthood is the ability to live with ambiguity." Sometimes closure just isn't possible, and there's nothing you (I) can do about that either.

3. What I can do something about is make decisions that are good for me, seek out healthy friendships and relationships, and enjoy the little time I have left in my liberal arts bubble.

Coming to terms with really being single for the first time since I was 18 is tricky. I spent so much time centering my life around other people, organizing my time and energy around Us rather than me. I'm not complaining - I made the choice to live that way, and I was happy for a long time, but right now the only way for me to move forward is to get to know myself again as an individual, not as one half of a relationship. It's time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Going back

to school tomorrow. Kind of freaking out. Deep breathing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

To Do

1. Pack like a fiend. I used to enjoy packing, which sounds insane now after I unpacked and re-packed over 10 times this summer. I'm not good with change, but being a sort-of nomad has forced me to be more okay with it.

2. Get new phone. The screen on my poor little phone has pretty much died, so my dad was kind enough to lend me his for a few days but for the life of me I can't figure out how to turn of the T9. T9 drives me crazy - I NEVER can find the word I want, it makes me want to chuck the innocent phone at the wall, etc. I'm currently trapped in that epic battle between good and evil - Android vs. iPhone. Still not sure what I'm going to do about that but I need to get on it pronto.

3. Make sure I get to see everyone at home that I want and need to see. I think I've done a decent job during this home visit, seeing and spending time with everybody who is around and a close friend. I hate leaving and feeling like I ditched somebody or didn't see as much of someone as I would have liked.

I'm sure there will be more to add to this list, but for now I'm drawing a blank.

Kisses and contraception,

Monday, September 6, 2010


Being home has been fantastic. Probably the best at-home break I've had in a while. To be fair, I've been completely ignoring my responsibilities (cleaning, packing, etc.) and spending a lot of time sleeping, hanging out with people (Andy, Joe, Robin, Deb) and eating. I also spent a few days in Minneapolis with high school friends Joe, Dan, Jess & Betsy. I highly recommend all of their blogs if you're at all interested in gender warfare, libation creation and general intelligent discussion. I love these people and am proud to still be close with them even though we don't see each other very often.

The school year is rapidly approaching and while I'm not in full-panic mode, I'm starting to get a little anxious. This past school year was...a challenge, to say the least. Calling it "hell" may be a bit hyperbolic, but it was no picnic, let me tell you. I want this year to be better. I need this year to be better. Right now I'm practicing deep breathing and telling myself that I have the power to make that change. I DO have the power to make that change.

I came across this picture last year and it helped me more than I really care to admit. I hope it helps you too:

Kisses and contraception,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The "Inconvenience" Myth

One of my favorite pro-choice blogs, Abortion Gang, recently made a post regarding the common anti-choice assertion that most women who choose abortion do so out of "convenience." While to me this argument sounds absurd from the get-go, this post articulately deconstructs what arguments like this are really saying:

If you’re a pro-choicer who has had any experience with anti-choicers, then I’m sure you’ve heard something like this: “Rape/incest only makes up for 2% of abortions. The rest are done because the pregnancy is inconvenient.”

Yeah. Right.

There are quite a few things in life that I consider to be inconveniences. For example, having to take the stairs because the elevator is out of order is an inconvenience. Having to wait to be seated at a restaurant is an inconvenience. Having to stop at a red light when you’re late for work is an inconvenience. Nine months of pregnancy is not an inconvenience, and neither is a life time of motherhood. Nothing that is life changing, possibly life ending, and potentially traumatizing (as pregnancy can be) should ever be described as a mere “inconvenience”. Do we say that being raped is an inconvenience? No (at least, most of us don’t). Do we claim that having a family member or other loved one die is a mere inconvenience? Absolutely not. Does anyone ever call cancer an inconvenience? Hell no. So why do antis think it’s okay to call pregnancy and motherhood a mere “inconvenience”?

I believe this has everything to do with undermining women’s experiences and needs. Antis are infamous for doing this. They pretend that pregnancy and motherhood is no big deal. They lie to women and tell them that they will regret their abortion while telling women who don’t regret their abortions that “they will someday”. They neglect the experiences of rape survivors by telling them that going through a pregnancy will make everything better, that it will make the trauma go away.

One problem with the inconvenience myth is that it implies that having an abortion is a convenient option. If you ask anyone who works for an abortion fund, you will hear that many women have to jump through hoop after hoop in order to obtain an abortion. Many young women either have to obtain permission from their parents to get an abortion or find out how to get a judicial bypass to be able to make their choice. Some women have to find a way to have an abortion behind her abusive partner’s back because he disapproves of the procedure. Poor, underprivileged women, in many cases, have to pawn some of their possessions and borrow money from friends and family in order to have an abortion, but by the time they collect the money, some of them have to collect even more money because they are further along in their pregnancies. Ask any of these women how convenient it was for them to have an abortion.

Now, if you ask an anti about the inconvenience myth, they usually end up saying something like “most women say that they had their abortions because they didn’t want to interrupt their education, because they want to carry on with their career, or because they just didn’t want to have a child” and they equate this with “inconvenience”. In other words, they’re saying that a woman’s needs never matter. They portray reasons such as a woman’s career or education as trivial, immature reasons for having an abortion, as if the only reason the woman is having an abortion is because she would rather splurge on $1,000 purses from Saks Fifth Avenue (and honestly, even if that is her only reason, who are we to judge her?). They neglect the fact that men are not the only ones who need an education and a job, and that women don’t all want to be (or can be) stay at home moms. They call a woman who is not ready for a child “selfish”, because she is recognizing her own needs and capabilities at the time instead of entering the world of motherhood prematurely. In other words, they’re telling women that they don’t matter, that their mental and physical health does not matter, and that their future does not matter, and sadly, none of this surprises me. The notion that pregnancy is a mere “inconvenience”, like having to take the stairs instead of the elevator or having to wait to be seated at a restaurant, is ridiculous and misogynistic. It’s another way to hold back women and to demonize them for caring about their own health.

It’s never selfish for a woman to take care of herself. As the saying goes, women hold up half the sky. How are we supposed to hold up half the sky without taking care of ourselves first?

Kisses and contraception,