Tag Archives: abortion

You’ve Gotta Give It To Texas (TwitterJailed)

The things you love and hate about a place are flip sides of one another.

My dad tells me that the law has to be followed and faith had in it, and sometimes this goes against my instincts. You’ve seen my blog posts and the things I say on Twitter. You know how much I rail against institutional injustice.

Tonight I’ve been watching the Wendy Davis filibuster on #SB5. We’re now down to the last 28 minutes, and it’s been asked that something be reduced to writing – in “as big a font as possible.”

I’m in Twitter jail as I write this. I would (please, Twitter, please listen to me!) pay $5/month to know I wouldn’t go over my rate limit.

Politics are theatrical. In college, one of my drama classes was with a director, Kaz Braun, who had escaped the Communists. Later, I took an honors seminar with him; the topic was THEATRICALITY. I did a presentation on a segment of the Liz Taylor version of Cleopatra and played the segment of the film that dealt with her arrival in Rome. I talked about political theater and making an impression; Kaz gave me some positive feedback.

Watching Wendy Davis’ filibuster and the coordination of multiple roles between members of her (and opposing) parties, it’s fascinating to watch how the process of political theater is borne out. Sides debate one another, rules are obeyed…it’s like watching mathematicians try to keep track of parenthetical parts of equations.

I love how Van de Putte keeps coming up and being like, “So, like, parliamentary inquiry, can we talk about this other thing?” I don’t entirely get where she’s coming at it with her pulling up of women being recognized – so far, the body’s done nothing (that I’ve seen, in terms of points of order) that discriminates against recognizing women in terms of participation in parlimentary democracy. And the Gallery’s gone out of control again.

Texas has a fierce individualism that must speak to some part of my familial DNA; my brother and sister each made Austin their home, for periods of time. I can hear that individualism being screamed down from the Gallery in a building that I saw from 6th street and (is it called) Capitol st.(?)

The same ferocity of belief that I resent when it comes to religion and textbooks reflects in the passion of Sen. Davis and her supporters and the doggedness of their opponents. We love and hate the life’s flip sides.

We’re down to thirteen minutes, and the guy at the mic just said “we’ll suspend the roll call vote till we have order” – but they’re still calling the rolls! “We tried to do it,” said the president of the debate, because at this point we all know that the women of Texas and the members in the Gallery are going to keep screaming until they hit midnight, Austin Time.

What does he mean by “it”? We tried to hold the roll call? The vote? Table things? Stop the filibuster? Are the women in the gallery jubilant? Are they enraged? Where is Senator Davis in the video coverage? (After all those hours on her feet, I’d chip in to get her a back massage!)

The more time that goes on, the more happy and frantic the sounds from the Gallery seem to become. There’s an endless sea of men in suits with shirts and ties on the screen; all are shaking hands, all are civil. At one point —

I’m out of twitter jail!

 

At ten past one, it seems the chamber is emptying out. In my best estimate of humanity, I imagine a series of cordial hand-shakings and casual invitations to barbecues and iced tea buffets.

The sound returns.

And at twenty minutes past the hour, or thereabouts, it looks like TX Republicans are filtering back into the chamber–

News outlets are reporting that Texas has passed SB5 (#sb5); it’s currently 12:22 am.

So yeah. You’ve got to give it to Texas.

Just not for the reasons I had hoped when I started writing this blog.

Updated, 8:42AM EST 6/26/13 – According to reports, the vote that took place after midnight was ruled invalid by Texas Governor Rick Perry some time after this blog was posted and I went to sleep. Glad to hear it.

Updated 9:18PM EST 6/26/13 – And now Texas Governor Rick Perry has called for a “special session” of the Texas Legislature for July 1st. Gotcha. :/

Vagina Vagina Vagina.

UPDATE, 6/17, 11:57am:
Check out my next blog post for information on solidarity events taking place in NYC – and hopefully elsewhere – Monday night.

How many times does a woman need to say “No” before the person she’s speaking to takes her seriously?

Last night, I started seeing internet chatter about Reps. Byrum and Brown of Michigan, who were barred from speaking on the house floor due to speaking out of turn. Both are women, and the debate they were barred from speaking in was one on yet another anti-abortion-access bill: HB5711, which Speaker Bolger (@SpeakerBolger on twitter, if you’d like to let him know your thoughts) described via tweet as protecting “women from dangerous practices/unsafe facilities for abortions, requires proper handling of child’s remains.”

The quote that started #Vaginagate? Essentially, “I’m glad you’re so interested in my vagina, Mr. Speaker, but No Means No.”

Sexual Violence: Not A Joke

While I agree with tweeters who say that joking about sexual violence doesn’t help advance equality for women, this doesn’t play as a joke to me – nor does it play as an inaccurate analogy.

In recent months, multiple states have passed laws which prevent women from fully exercising control over our biological processes. Rape is not the only form of sexual violence. Intimidation, badgering and barraging us with bills that call into question our right to determine the treatment of our own bodies are also forms of sexual violence.

How many times do we have to say “No” before lawmakers respect us enough to listen – and stop wasting everyone’s time and money with these debates?

While @SpeakerBolger may have gotten a response that was not as respectful as he wished, neither is his or his party’s commitment to making women spend time and energy repeatedly defending access to our hoo-hahs respectful.

A Sustained Attack On Women’s Mental & Physical Health

From Planned Parenthood bombings to excommunicated nuns to legislative manipulation, I feel like a battering ram is being used against the women of this country. Stop it, every person without a vagina who thinks they have a say in what happens to mine. Stop it, every person with a vagina that isn’t mine. Stop making me repeat myself. Stop making me spend my time and energy fending off this degrading mental and ideological abuse.

It’s not moral or ethical to batter another person with the same question over and over and over in different phrasings, breaking them down to the point of exhaustion – then act against their oft-expressed wishes the moment they can no longer defend themselves. That’s not the behavior of someone who should be making laws. It’s the behavior of a spoiled child.

But that’s what’s going on with women and our bodies and these bills and laws. (And with a number of other civil liberty issues: PIPA/SOPA/CISPA, anyone?)

So what can we do about it?

Late last night, I tweeted the author of The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler,  and asked a question: would she be willing to support a round-the-clock reading of her play outside the Michigan State Legislature?

This morning, she tweeted me back.

BREAKING EDIT: 7:23PM EST 

“@EveEnsler has just tweeted the following:
Vaginas Take Back Michigan Capitol. I’m be there w Sen Reps activists & thousands to perform Vagina Mono on steps @ 6pm. COME SAY THE WORD”

If you can’t be in Michigan, be online and vocal. 6pm Monday night.

UPDATE: 8:01PM
Just had an email from @EveEnsler’s team; things are getting crazy and this is getting huge. I will be in NYC promoting the hell out of it any which way I can.

UPDATE: 9:01PM (every hour on the hour?)
Interest is being expressed in a New York based solidarity event Monday night. Please let me know if you’d be interested in participating; leave a comment or tweet me at @girl_onthego. 

Check out the hash tags #ConnectTheLeft and #WarOnWomen for access to broader conversations on this issue.

UPDATE: 6/16/2012, 6:51pm
If you’re in Michigan and planning to go to this event, please let me know either here or on Twitter.

Event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/268583796582574/
I’ve just set up a paper.li twice-daily paper which will update using a search for #VaginaBlogs and #VaginaGate – so again, make sure you use the hash tag when you post on Twitter – you might see your story on paper.li! http://paper.li/girl_onthego/1339985196#

Planning your own action? Drop me a line and I’ll retweet/publicize as best I can. Check back for details as the NYC #Solidarity event takes shape.

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