Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dear Chief and the CapPo

Dear Chief Erwin & the CapPo:

My goodness, you cannot imagine how much I love you! You aren't going to hire trolls to shut down my FB page are you? 

I have a single daughter. Every night I pray that she will marry a man who struts instead of walking; who never smiles; who barks instead of talking; who wear a buzz cut & looks shockingly like a skin-head; who puffs out his chest and harasses... musicians! Oh, my! What a wedding under the chuppa!

I was looking at your Mission Statement, Core Values, Objectives and Commitments.

Nothing there surprised me at all!

You are such manly men and women! I love your hyper-masculinity. You know every mental health professional in the USA is in their hay-day, don't you? Smiling!

 MISSION STATEMENT of the CAP-PO:

"To project an aura of authoritarian power and control that will intimidate everyone everywhere all the time just because we can."

I love it! It is so... inclusive!

And, your Core Values are so... so... Right Wing.

CORE VALUES:

1. Power & Control
2. Testosterone
3. High & tight with painfully close shave
4. Loud deep voices
5. Puffed out chests and puffed up egos

And, my, you have such admirable and macho...

OBJECTIVES:

1. To arrest as many visitors to the Capitol as possible.
2. To earn extra points toward promotion by arresting frail elderly people.
3. To earn maximum points by causing the dangerous altos and sopranos to fall by walking too fast or by pushing them down the stairs. Or, tripping them.
4. To impress Republican bosses by tightening the cuffs on the arms of little old ladies and little old men so tight that their arms go to sleep and leave marks on them. 

VERY manly and very sexy!

Well, if I were you, I would have my testosterone levels checked immediately because this sounds counter-phobic. Look it up! It is my professional opinion that you have serious questions about your masculinity and hence, your hyper-masculine behavior. 

I love you as, of course, I love all of the wounded, ill, injured, damaged, misbegotten, ill-informed, ignorant, phony, mongrel, imperfect, inferior, baseborn, mongrels of this imperfect world we live in.

Oh, my dear! I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings. I do fear that the Cap-Po are giving men a bad name.

Love and peace,
Vivian

http://www.doa.state.wi.us/section.asp?linkid=231&locid=163

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dear Feminists - It's a BFS

Dear Feminists:

Have we just screwed ourselves - metaphorically speaking, of course?

In the interest of persuading men and women-hating women that we are as capable and competent as men, have we grossly underestimated the seriousness and significance of women's reproductive issues including menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth.

Let me put it this way. At least weekly, my father had some huge temper tantrum or became grief-stricken and cried over something such as seeing a poor child at the grocery store. Or, he became upset with my mother and threatened to leave her - he was incapable of getting through the day without her. Or, someone died and he was unable to set foot inside a funeral home because he was emotionally unable to.

Yet, no one doubted his capacity to hold a job.

On the other hand, my mother never had a temper tantrum, never missed a day of work, attended every funeral and I was 18 before I ever saw her cry. She made a lot of people cry, but no one had ever seen her cry.

But, people were concerned in those days that she might be unable to work when she got her period or if she had children.

So, we have been making light of periods, pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing for about 50 years now.

Now, politicians seem to be completely unaware that women absolutely have to have reproductive health care their entire lives and it is a big f#$*ing deal.

And, conservatives think women have abortions for convenience - sort of like stopping by the 7-11.

Maybe I took after my father and am a big crybaby, but menstrual periods were a really big deal. 

I had dysmenorrhea. When I got my period, I got chills, diarrhea, extreme pain and cramping, and vomited for the first day of my period. 

And, pregnancy and childbirth are really big deals. Such big deals that women all over the world would rather die than be pregnant or give birth.

Pregnancy is a life altering event for everyone and a life ruining event for most young girls and many women of any age.

Pregnant women often gain enormous amounts of weight. Pregnancy ruins the shape of your body forever.

Many women suffer nausea, heartburn, headaches, swelling, urinary frequency, backaches, constipation, breast tenderness. 

Some women are nauseated for months and some experience such severe nausea that they have to be hospitalized. 

There is absolutely nothing funny about childbirth in spite of how it is portrayed in movies. It is horrendous. 

When my daughter was born, the nurses told us that there were so many patients in the obstetrical ward were unhappy! Why? There were so many girls too young to be having children. We thought we were on the "happy ward!" No, not so.

Young girls and boys have sexual desires and desires for relationship, comfort, commitment, etc. years before they have any ability to take care of a baby.

So, there is a truth that is just not being addressed. Women and girls are not having abortions for "convenience" as conservatives and Evangelicals would have us believe. 

Just as in the past, girls and women have abortions because an un-planned un-wanted pregnancy is a terrible horrible thing and they would rather be dead. Nothing will stop abortion. Nothing.

And, women's reproductive health care and experiences are really big deals.

With love for women everywhere.

Vivian

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear Gov & Lt. Gov - About Those Unions

Dear Governor and Lt. Governor:

I was remembering my childhood today - and, thinking about your goals to disempower unions.

You both have very limited experience of life. Let me share mine:

Unions are necessary for survival. Do I believe in unions? You bet.


Do I believe in the 40 hour work week, paid over-time, lunch breaks, bathroom breaks, no child labor, safety regulations, NO LOCKED EXIT DOORS IN FACTORIES, living wages, employer based medical insurance...

I grew up in Appalachia. And, that is where Wisconsin is headed. Not on purpose, but because you lack life experience and you believe that your pursuit of the corporate agenda is harmless.

The corporate agenda reached Appalachia 150 years ago.

But, I will paint a picture: My father working outside at hard physical labor in broiling Southern sun and humidity traveling where ever he had to for union wages and with medical care - and able to send his girls to college. 

Half mile away non-union coal miners, emaciated, working underground in dangerous mines, getting Black Lung Disease, working every hour they could AND THEIR CHILDREN, MY CLASS MATES, GOING HUNGRY! I could write a book. 

Guv, do you see a lot of children going hungry - day after day after day? Or experience hunger day after day after day? Or hopelessness... Forever.

People in KY died to unionize. I believe in unions. Watch "Harlan County USA." My father's birthplace.

Now, I am in Wisconsin watching it turn into Appalachia. I am sick about it. It is not about conservative politics. It is about corporatism. I don't think either of you are brilliant thinkers, but I am pretty sure you know that. 

May God have mercy on your souls.

Love and best wishes, Vivian

P.S. I sent this love letter today and I invite you to do so also. You may simply state, "I agree with the writer" if you don't want to write your own letter.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dear Anti-Choice Men: Part II

Dear Anti-choice Men:

Does shouting at people change behavior? You seem to think so. You just seem to shout the same old arguments over and over and over and...

Your basic arguments seem to be that:

1. Women who have unplanned pregnancies should show more self-control. They are sluts, in other words.

2. But... but... but... abortion is killing babies, anti-choice men repeat... over & over & over...  

So, I'll try shouting and see how effective it is!

+People, DO NOT have sex before commitment!!!
+Unmarried partners, DO NOT have sex without a condom!!!
+Everyone, ALWAYS use effective birth control as directed +Use birth control ALL THE TIME EVERY TIME !!!
+MEN, I'M SHOUTING AT YOU, TOO?

Women, NEVER EVER get pregnant by mistake -- 
+even if you don't have insurance, 
+do not live anywhere near a free clinic,
+do not live near Planned Parenthood,
+cannot afford the price of the most effective contraception, 
+do not have transportation,
NEVER EVER GET PREGNANT BY MISTAKE.

Even though birth control isn't 100% effective, you must NEVER EVER GET PREGNANT BY MISTAKE.

Following the logic, poor women cannot afford to have sex!

None of this takes into account natural sexual drives and the human desire for companionship and communication.

Poor women cannot afford the best & most effective birth control and they cannot afford to have children. 

Screwed, literally & figuratively. Celibate until they win the lottery, go to med school or become the next guv - no need to get an education for that!

Now, anti-choice men, mothers and fathers have been screaming those messages to their teens for a few millennium.  But, let's try screaming anyway. I am going to shout at you

ABORTION IS NOT KILLING BABIES. That is YOUR belief. It is not everyone's belief. That is your religion. It is not every religion. It is a belief, not a fact. Other peoples, religions, cultures have NOT believed that a fertilized egg, a zygote, or an embryo is a baby. In other times, cultures and religions, an embryo wasn't considered "human" until it "breathed the breath of life."

WOMEN DO NOT HAVE ABORTIONS FOR CONVENIENCE!  How patronizing can you get?  Men, you have just proven that you are completely out of touch with the lives of women! Unplanned pregnancy & children can ruin the lives of families, women and couples who are already living on the margins socially, financially, emotionally. 

WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD HAVE ABORTIONS FOR SIMILAR REASONS:

Women risk their lives, all over the world, to have abortions because they would rather be dead than bring another child into their world.

Women living below the poverty level in the USA are 5 times more likely to have an abortion than women who live above the poverty level.

Women who cannot feed, clothe, house, or educate a child are more likely to have an abortion. Women who cannot care for existing children, who already have a child too close in age, who do not have support or a stable relationship are more likely to have an abortion.

And, adoption? No, far too many women just cannot even face pregnancy. Women all over the world risk death every day rather than risk pregnancy. Pregnancy is not without risk. It is not an inconvenience. It can be an overwhelming physical, emotional, intellectual experience -- even when happily anticipated. 

The very fact of a pregnancy being unplanned presents likely complications. Because of lack of awareness: no prenatal care, alcohol and drug use, continued use of dangerous medications, etc. 

SHOUTING:  THE BEST WAY TO DECREASE THE INCIDENCE OF ABORTION IS TO MAKE CONTRACEPTION & ABORTION EASY TO ACCESS AND AFFORDABLE.

Ah... the reason that I know that decreasing the incidence of abortion isn't really the goal is that the best way of doing that is to make contraception easily accessible and affordable.

The lowest abortion rates in the world are in Western Europe where abortion is legal and contraception is easily available.

So, is the shouting working?

With love in my heart!

Vivian







Dear Anti-Choice Men: Part I

Dear Anti-Choice Men:

How can I say this in the most loving way possible? Hmmm...

Shut the f@#$ up!!!

Completely & with my whole heart I can understand people who simply believe that abortion is wrong. I can.

What I cannot stomach are the ignorant and sexist comments that men make about women and abortion.

I visit pro-choice site after site after site and who do I see? Anti-choice women? NO! Anti-choice men! 

Gentlemen, and I mean that facetiously, get another hobby.

May I suggest masturbation?

In the kindest way possible, I am telling you that abortion is none of your business. Because it isn't your body.

BTW, have you just been planting your seed everywhere and you think that every pregnancy in the world is your business?

Why in the name of God are YOU suggesting that women exercising self-control? Where is/was YOUR self-control? It takes two to create a zygote, Mister. 

What about abstinence for YOU? All of you. There would be no unplanned pregnancy without you, men.

What about postponing sex until commitment? Have YOU men done that every single time you have had sex?

Did you postpone sex until you took your wife/girlfriend to a clinic to choose together the very best birth control for her health and lifestyle -- and did you pay?

And, were YOU using a condom each and every time for her safety and yours?

How many birth control options can you name off the top of your head and do you know the relative effectiveness rates and the dangers?

If you have sex with women you don't know and they tell you they are using oral contraceptives, do you check to verify?
Do you verify is a partner says she is using an IUD?

If you have sex with women you don't know and they tell you they are using oral contraceptives, do you check to verify?
Do you verify if a partner says she is using an IUD?

That's a trick question! Don't have sex with women you can't trust!

Did you wait to become sexually active until you could afford to pay for prenatal medical care for a pregnant woman, hospital delivery if needed, pediatric care for a baby, medical follow-up for the mother and on-going child care for your off-spring? 

Yeah, well I know you and you didn't.

Why not, slacker!?!

Because a pregnant woman who doesn't have an abortion has no choice. She cannot run and she cannot hide.

I love you, but you are living in a La-la Land of your own devising where some imaginary sluts that you have never met get pregnant because they are irresponsible.

They are your wives, mothers, sisters, aunts. They got pregnant by the likes of you and your best friends. They had abortions because they had no money, no support, no food, no car, no apartment, no partner and being pregnant would have ruined their lives. They would rather be dead.

Convenience? You think women have abortions for convenience? You obviously have no imagination - and imagination is empathy. You don't care, dudes. You just don't care.

Come down from your high and mighty perch. I know just who you are. 

Much, much love!

Vivian


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dear Feminists -- Oh, You Are A Feminist Now

Dear Fellow Feminists:


Dear Fellow Feminists: We Need a Revolution. We are going backwards at an alarming rate.


What is it going to take to end violence, including sexual violence, against women and children. And, I include political violence - the creepy crawly kind that lasts for decades.

My sister country wo/men & true believing feminists, what is it going to take to end violence against women. What is it going to take to get us the salaries and opportunities that we deserve? And, what is it going to take to get the political & reproductive health care freedom we deserve?

What is it going to take to get money, support, and time from deadbeat dads and support children the way they deserve.

What is it going to take to get conservative Republican men to devote themselves to the care and well being of their wives, daughters, and mothers – to their health care, educational opportunity, financial security, and reproductive healthcare? What?

All women need health care, food, clothing, shelter, security and a good education.  And, reproductive health care is vital health care for all females from puberty until we die.

All women, over 51% of the population, very much need on-going Ob/Gyn care their entire lives: from the first PAP test to the last, contraception for over 30 fertile years, spacing children, and for diagnosis and treatment of hundreds of conditions affecting the quality of their lives - including diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

There are dozens of decisions that women need to be educated about and be treated for (growth and development, menstrual issues, breast development, cysts & tumors, STD’s, birth control options, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, when to have children, spacing children, etc. These issues are very emotional and profound. Deciding what is best effects  emotional development & relationships.

On top of all of this, we have churches who have gone into business but now want to run their businesses according to the rules of their churches – and require their employees and customers to follow their religion!

These obstetrical and gynecological decisions are medical and personal and so very private. These are not issues between a girl or woman and her legislator, or senator or governor!  And, I submit these shouldn’t be decisions between a woman and her churchmen.

And, yet! Our legislators, churches, and church owned health care facilities want to make these decisions for fully grown independent women.

A huge conglomerate of overwhelmingly male political and religious rule makers, who have never been pregnant, may never have had sex, may never have been financially independent, may never have had a family, are unlikely to have been responsible for raising a family alone, who have never given birth, may have never been poor, never lived in a car, never been destitute, never had sole responsibility for a handicapped child…

These people, mostly men and strangers all, want to make access to ob/gyn care more difficult for poor women to access, make access to contraception more difficult, and tell women whether she can have an abortion! Shame!

These men get to decide whether the church hospital you work for has to pay for contraception in your benefits package, whether they let you die if you come in to the ER in a crisis during your early pregnancy. And, your legislators, who aren’t doctors, get to decide if you have to have to have a medically unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasound probe stuck up your vaginae against your will to try to discourage you from having an abortion that is against their religion – not yours.

You get the check. It isn't free.

There are health care costs and must be picked up by someone. If not, there must be free clinics and Planned Parenthood Clinics readily available. 

Oh, oops! Our friendly conservatives are trying to run the free clinics and Planned Parenthood Clinics out of town by over-regulating them. We thought they didn’t like regulation and government interference?

What is it going to take to stop men (especially conservative Republican men and religious men) from associating women's reproductive health with promiscuity? Why aren't conservative religious Republicans up in arms about male sexual performance enhancing drugs such as Viagra? Why isn't Rush Limbaugh going on a rampage about M(ale sl)uts? (Muts.)

Religious and political men think we are stupid sluts - to dumb and too sexual to make our own decisions and control our own bodies.

I don't think so. I think they are poopy heads.

Why do conservative men want to limit access to birth control and make abortion inaccessible and illegal. Really. What is the real reason. I have to say, and I usually have an answer to everything, that I have no idea.

Why aren't men outraged that their beloved daughters, wives, nieces, mothers, sisters are being sexually assaulted in epidemic numbers? Why, why, why?

I have no idea! None!

The only possible explanation I have is that men are assaulting women in such epidemic numbers that they are terrified of being called to account. And, men have a voracious need to control women.

And, what will it take to end it?

It will take a revolution of bigger proportions that the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's.

It will take a leader of the magnitude of Martin Luther King, Jr. Not a bureaucrat. Not a politician. A leader.

It will take women who are ready to die for equality. It will take a movement of the magnitude of the Suffragette movement. Thousands of women marching in the streets. WITH OUR HUSBANDS, FATHERS AND BROTHERS.

Because those louts are coming with us this time. So, read this letter to  your husband, father, sons, uncles, grandfathers and take them to the next march and buy them a pink T-shirt. They are coming with us.

It will take women who are ready to march in the streets; face the police; face the military; face police dogs; face water hoses; face arrest after arrest after arrest; face social rejection...

Because we are still facing and still fighting the same battles that we were fighting in 1900, 1969 and 1869.

IF we valued women and children, our statistics would prove it. IF we wanted women and children to be safe, they would be.

Our stats show what we value. And, we don't currently value women and children. So, let's change that!

I love women. I love children. And, I love men. I don't want them to be brutes.

But, it is going to take a revolution to end the brutality against women. No one is going to give us anything.

Much love,

Vivian

PS I am looking for some PINK TENNIS SHOES! I am wondering, if I threw them in the general direction of the next antiabortionist neanderthal I heard speaking, would I get in bad trouble?

Feminists, I include all of you who are feminists and don't know it. So, if you believe that women are equal to men under the law, that your female children are equally important to your male children and that you are of equal import to your husband - Congratulations! You are a feminist.

If you believe that women have the same legal rights as men, you are a feminist. If you believe women have the same right to vote, you are a feminist. If you believe that women have the right to work for a living, go to college, be doctors and lawyers and telephone line "workers,” dig ditches, join the military or die for our country, you are a feminist.

If you believe that men & women who do comparable work should receive the same money and benefits packages, you are a feminist. If you are a surgeon with the same training and experience who works the same hours as a male surgeon and does the same job as a male surgeon, and believe you should have the same compensation package, you are a feminist.

And, husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, if you want women making the money they work for and are ready to fight for their rights, then you are our allies and we need you! Welcome in, men!

Women, here is a warning: You will make me want to throw up if you say, "Oh, I'm not one of them feminists..."  I would like to puncture your tires and slap you, but you are  still feminists if you have a career on Fox News, have written 5 books about hating feminists, go on speaking tours bashing feminists, and are richer and more successful than your husband... You are still most definitely a feminist!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dear Democratic Grassroots Strategists & Tacticians

Dear Grassroots:

I am not a strategist nor tactician, but I notice it took women 50 - 60 years (or a couple of thousand years, depending on your view) to get the right to vote. And, I am old enough that I have seen women gain and lose reproductive rights in my adult life time.

So, I'm thinking we are underestimating the job ahead of us.

Women suffragists engaged in aggressive agitation & relentless lobbying; clever publicity stunts; non-violent confrontation; creative civil disobedience; actions that were versatile and imaginative; street speaking; huge demonstrations. They put on huge and clever parades and pageants. They picketed the White House for months on end. The endeavored to get arrested. They campaigned to be recognized as political prisoners.

American women engaged in a 12 day/170 mile hike and a 225 mile march. They piloted airplanes, had swimming competitions and climbed mountains - for the cause of getting the right to vote.

In Great Britain, women broke windows, bombed houses, burned homes and churches, cut phone lines, spit at police and politicians, cut/burned suffrage slogans into the turn at stadiums, sent letter bombs (really?), chained themselves to railings, attacked a doctor with a whip, rushed the House of Commons, attacked a PM with a hatched and another man with a meat cleaver. There were not interested in "non-violent protest" although in general their aim was no violence toward people - just toward property.

In case anyone is confused about where I stand, I believe that the state of Wisconsin and most of the political process in the USA is under the control of very big money & power. Money & power run the political process in our country. Let's call it corporatism.

I don't want to point fingers and hurt feelings, but I don't think most Democratic politicians and leaders have a clue what to do about the current political reality - certainly not the DPW or state politicians here in WI. They are fighting their mo/thers' political battles: dial and knock. Dial and knock. Raise money.

And, we have a grassroots who are not united and so far have not yet decided to work together with modern strategies and tactics. Marching around the capital didn't do it.

Dear Suffragists, we need you right about now! We need to all come together to defeat Walker & the corporate agenda for Wisconsin and the USA! We need to get smart. Get a message that gets right to the heart. Get that message out! Get candidates that THE PEOPLE support! And, then just follow the Suffragist - no, not the violent stuff! Silly.

The creative, versatile, imaginative stuff!

Oh, I love you all!

Let's do it!

Vivian