Shout out to all the closeted LGBT people who have to return to unsafe family environments this season. Remember that there is nothing wrong with you and that no, you are not a hypocrite for loving the people who raised you despite the things they have done to hurt you. Above all remember that you will always have friends who support you even if your family does not.
Emotions surrounding abortion vary greatly. Regret, relief, sadness, confusion, anger, hurt - even happiness. The list could go on and on, but the most important thing to remember is that every single one is valid. Maybe you feel one at a time. Maybe you feel relief first, and regret fifteen years later. Maybe you find peace after five years of sadness. Maybe you feel everything at once.
So what do you do? On one side, people are adamant about most people feeling relief. On the other, they drill regret and depression. Take a moment and forget the sides. Knock down that damn barrier that keeps you from fully wrapping your mind around your feelings. Forget the debates (no matter how polite they are), forget the fake sympathy that sounds so sticky sweet from those who pretend to care, and forget the cruel words that attack your personal decision. Focus on you and your needs.
Perhaps your needs include a nice cup of Irish breakfast tea (Mint? Earl Grey? Green?) and a hot bath. Or maybe you need a good book and a snuggle with your puppy. Maybe a good Lifetime movie and a long cry will help everything.
Or maybe your needs include a talk with your best friend. Your mother. Your sweet old horse that taught you to always get back in the saddle. Or even yourself - that long blog post lifted such a heavy weight from your shoulders!
But maybe you need more help. Maybe you need to speak with someone who doesn’t know you. Maybe you need spiritual healing. Maybe you just want to talk to someone - anyone - who will listen and leave their personal feelings behind.
So where do you go? And how do you know if a place is safe - how do you know they won’t judge you?
After some personal research, I’ve compiled a list of safe places and unsafe places. This list comes from looking at the websites and their wording and follower recommendations.
What is Safe:
Exhale - (1-866-4-394253) - Available in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese). Talkline is open Monday-Friday 5:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time, and Saturday-Sunday 12-10 PM Pacific Time. If you live outside the United States, you can call (510-446-7977)
Connect and Breathe - (1-866-647-1764) - Listening Line is open Tuesdays 6pm-9pm EST, Thursdays 6pm-9pm EST, and Saturdays 10am-2pm EST
Faith Aloud - (1-888-717-5010) - This is a nonjudgmental religious (Roman Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian-Universalist, Protestant Christian, and Buddhist) hotline. You will have to call ahead to set up an appointment. Tell the person who answers that you would like to set up an appointment with a counselor. They will take a little bit of information and then select a counselor who would be a good fit for you. They will have the counselor call you at the time of your choice. If you receive the voicemail when you call, just leave a first name and number and say that you want to speak with a counselor.
Backline - (888.493.0092) - Offers pre- and post-decision counseling and resources.
What is Not Safe:
Project Rachel - Many Project Rachel centers have websites, and almost all of them shame those who have had an abortion on the first page. (The one in Atlanta, for example, has the photo of a man with the sign “Abortion Kills Children” as their header). The main website also claims that they do not cater to those who felt relief after their abortion.
Rachel’s Vineyard - This extremely rude and snarky answer in their FAQ raised red flags for me.
This is not a safe place.
Pro-Life America - Uses the fear tactic that there is a relation between abortion and breast cancer.
Option Line - This name is extremely misleading! Very anti-abortion and a lot of shameful language on the website.
If you have additional information for this post, please let me know.
Ever since I became a feminist, I’ve branded myself “Sex-positive”. I was pro-sex, kinky or vanilla. GO SEX!
But lately, I’ve been feeling more and more sex critical, with things I’ve read or heard. It started with a conversation I had with my boyfriend, who said, “If you’re sex-positive, you have to be okay with pedophiles who don’t hurt children (meaning those who look at drawn or animated porn, but don’t act out on their feelings).” I’m not okay with that, it makes me greatly uncomfortable for a lot of reasons, and I said that. He said that maybe I should start thinking about if I’m really sex-positive or if I’m putting that label on to look nicer.
After that, some stuff happened with a friend of mine (and it’s not my place to say what), I’ve done some reading, and I’ve had a couple conversations with my mom about sex and the BDSM community.
I realize that correlation does not equal causation. I also realize that almost everyone I know who is some sort of kinky has either been abused or doesn’t understand how abuse can work. I have seen a few BDSM relationships where neither party realized that how it’s supposed to work is that the dom has an appearance of control, but the sub actually has the control with their comfort level, and that’s one way to lead to abuse. I realize that I have a kinkier side, and I wonder if I would if I hadn’t experienced some of the abuse I had as a child and young adult.
I’m not out to say every kink is bad, I’m not sure I believe that. I do think, though, that we can’t just say “ACCEPT ALL KINKS! NO KINK SHAMING!”, though, because that’s slapping a band-aid on a problem and calling it healed. I think we have to look into motivations, talk about consent, and understand why we feel the things that we do. Are we doing it as a sort of “You used this to abuse me, now I think it’s the only way love should feel” or are we doing it because we legitimately are into it?
All of this is to say, I’m not a sex-negative feminist now, but I’m not really a sex-positive feminist either. I’m just really sex-critical now.
Ladies, stop worrying about the way in which you deliver your opinion. If you like to stay soft and quiet, then keep being soft and quiet. If you like to be loud and unapologetic, then keep being loud and unapologetic. If you like to be diplomatic, then keep being diplomatic. Because at the end of the day, it's not even about how you say your opinion. It's the fact that you even have an opinion that pisses people off.
I hate LGBTQ because it doesn’t have all the letters needed to be all-inclusive, but it’s better than LGBTQIAAP*+ (which is what I think the current variation is), which is all better than “the gay community” because that erases trans* awareness and bisexual/pansexual awareness.
BUT it’s time for my annual proposition.
QUILTBAG. I read it somewhere, and fell in love. QUILTBAG stands for Queer/questioning Unidentified Intersex Lesbian Trans Bisexual Asexual Gay, which I’ll give you-doesn’t have all the extra letters or fun symbols in it. It’s a fucking word, though. It doesn’t take nearly as long to say as LGBTQ, LGBTQIAAP*+, or even the dreaded “GAY COMMUNITY!”. Not only is it a word, but it’s a bag. You know what bags hold? Stuff. Like other gender variations and sexual minorities. Stuff like pansexual, romantic identities, people who aren’t sure what they identify with but know they’re not cis-hetero, all this? Fits in a bag. Like, seriously. Have y’all seen a quilt bag? They’re huge.
If you wanted to, I’m sure you could fit an island in there too, for all of us queers that just want to get away from everyone.
anti choice are so cute when they say ‘yea but God’ or ‘my belief is’ or ‘okay but’ or ‘only if’ it’s just so fucking adorable. It’s just like wow you really don’t know do you honey? This isn’t about you, no not at all. This whole thing has nothing to do with you, the only person who fucking maters at all in this situation is the person with a uterus who wants to have a abortion. The fact that people sit here thinking that is wrong because of ‘what they believe’ is bullshit, I think it’s wrong that more people have died in the name of of religion than any disease could try but I’m not gonna walk up to every religious event with signs say ‘God’s a serial killer’ or some shit like that. Sit your ass down this isn’t fucking about you
Nancy Wake, who has died in London just before her 99th birthday, was a New Zealander brought up in Australia. She became a nurse, a journalist who interviewed Adolf Hitler, a wealthy French socialite, a British agent and a French resistance leader. She led 7,000 guerrilla fighters in battles against the Nazis in the northern Auvergne, just before the D-Day landings in 1944. On one occasion, she strangled an SS sentry with her bare hands. On another, she cycled 500 miles to replace lost codes. In June 1944, she led her fighters in an attack on the Gestapo headquarters at Montlucon in central France.
Ms Wake was furious the TV series [later made about her life] suggested she had had a love affair with one of her fellow fighters. She was too busy killing Nazis for amorous entanglements, she said.
Nancy recalled later in life that her parachute had snagged in a tree. The French resistance fighter who freed her said he wished all trees bore “such beautiful fruit.” Nancy retorted: “Don’t give me that French shit.”
Ms. Wake … had mixed feelings about previous cinematic efforts to portray her wartime exploits … “It was well-acted but in parts it was extremely stupid,” she said. “At one stage they had me cooking eggs and bacon to feed the men. For goodness’ sake, did the Allies parachute me into France to fry eggs and bacon for the men? There wasn’t an egg to be had for love nor money. Even if there had been why would I be frying it? I had men to do that sort of thing.”
The American Bar Association released a groundbreaking legal primer for transgender adults before, during, and after their transitions with regard to numerous legal spheres that in many states remains murky.
“[TW: rape] I have gotten one question repeatedly from young men. These are guys who liked the book, but they are honestly confused. They ask me why Melinda was so upset about being raped.
The first dozen times I heard this, I was horrified. But I heard it over and over again. I realized that many young men are not being taught the impact that sexual assault has on a woman. They are inundated by sexual imagery in the media, and often come to the (incorrect) conclusion that having sex is not a big deal. This, no doubt, is why the number of sexual assaults is so high.”—
Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak, on the question “Have any readers ever asked questions that shocked you?”
Read that again. Read it again, and again, and again. Over and over guys have asked her why Melinda was so upset about being raped. This is a girl who went to a party with friends. She was thirteen. She had a drink, because everyone else was. And a senior held her down and raped her while she was too drunk to get away.
And guys don’t understand why she was upset.
Read that again and then come back and tell me again why I should just shut up and take a joke when a comedian blows off rape as a big deal, or women’s bodies are casually treated as commodities in media. Remind me why I shouldn’t care about the very real harm that society’s treatment of women and sexual assault does.
Only white women have the privilege of reclaiming the word ‘slut’ without facing any real social penalty. Miley Cyrus, for instance, is being hailed as a woman who is in control and liberated, unlike her black counterpart Rihanna. Rihanna does not get worshiped for owning her sexuality or her agency. Rihanna gets pity, scathing criticism, and popular feminist magazines wanting to ‘save’ her from exercising choices they do not agree with. Many mainstream feminists feel entitled to police Rihanna’s black female body; even Lena Dunham could not resist. However, if you look closely you can see that Miley has been feverishly studying and has been influenced by the Rihanna’s bad girl playbook.
White women may also be allowed to transcend their ‘sluttiness’ when they feel the need to do so. Both Angelina Jolie and Madonna have been able to shed their past bad girl images seamlessly. Whiteness affords white women the ability to try on different identities while their racial privilege remains intact. Because in a society that values whiteness over all else, to be white is to be human and all non-white persons must audition for their humanity.
The bodies of black women are highly politicized and critiqued no matter who they belong to, from the first lady to ‘the help.’ The physical movements and choices of black women are always viewed through a filter of suspicion. In order for me to claim my right to be a ‘slut,’ I first must win the battle to be able to fully claim my humanity.
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of any gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
One time, I was told that bodily autonomy (something even corpses have, that’s why you have to agree to being an organ donor) wasn’t a good reason to be pro-choice, and if someone uses “bodily autonomy” as a reason for why they’re getting an abortion, it’s selfish.
First, I’d like to say that’s bullshit. No one can use my body without my consent, not even some fetus you think is more important than me.
Second, I’d like to ask if you’re in favor of forcing people to donate blood and organs.
I’ve been at this for a few years now and I’m still confused by the whole “right to life” thing.
If we all had a right to life, then wouldn’t we also have a right to free healthcare, a right to food, and a right to shelter? Life needs actual things in order to be sustained, things that the people who go on about its “sanctity” don’t seem to feel people deserve (because those would be entitlements).
If we have a right to life than all of us have the right to access the best, most innovative, most extensive medical care for our illnesses — if living is a right then the ability to continue living shouldn’t be a for-profit system. Or does the “right” to life only encompass the part of life that is dependent on the body of a woman to sustain it?
See where I’m going with this?
You mean have these anti-choicers do what Jesus would do? Surely you jest! lol We all know it’s not about the right to life, it’s about punishing people for having sex in a way these anti-choicers disapprove of.
I love that dystopian an speculative fiction has major flaws in their societies that are viewed as major flaws and they are just modifications of the flaws of our society. It makes me happy that authors are pointing this shit out.
It’s like hey, you don’t like that it’s happening in this book, why are you okay with it happening for realz?