A Message to the Gentlemen July 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 12:06 pm

You hear a lot these days about abortion being a “women’s issue.” (No pun intended.) You’ll hear people say that men have no right to an opinion on the subject, though those same people will welcome a man’s opinion if it is “pro choice.”  They will say, though, that it is none of your business if you presume to think about it beyond that. Until you can conceive, they yell, any other thoughts on the subject constitute a bullying attempt at male dominance over women, subjecting them to the barefoot and pregnant, in the kitchen, cowering under your fist role.

And you know you aren’t abusive.

So you begin to think that if you would never hit a woman or tell her she has no right to a paid job or respect of any kind, then your only other option is to support unlimited abortion on demand at taxpayer expense.

Honey,  I’ve got news for you. You’ve been manipulated.

Until men have no part in conception, no legal requirement to pay child support, no moral obligation to ensure their progeny’s well-being, it is your business. Giving rights to one group of people should never, ever, in a civilized society, mean trampling the rights of another group. To believe that isn’t old-fashioned, and it doesn’t make you an ogre or a wife-beater.

And for that matter, old fashoned isn’t beastly. And beastliness isn’t old-fashioned. A man who denies “his woman” basic rights or respect isn’t old-fashioned, he’s just a beast. That isn’t an element of conservatism or liberalism, modern thinking or tradition… it is oafishness of a kind that defies age and transcends generation. Some men are oafs, most are not. But to define a man as abusive based on his political bent or desire to have a say in his child’s well-being is preposterous. You do NOT have to fall for that machination.

Having a say isn’t merely a matter of men’s rights or women’s rights, anyway. It is also a matter of (listen carefully, it’s a phrase you won’t hear spoken loudly and in public often) ethics, compassion, and morality. It goes beyond party affiliation or self-definition as liberal or conservative. Morality is not reserved to the “Christian right,” no matter what some may tell you. For that matter, neither is manliness.

And manliness isn’t something to be ashamed of. Abuse isn’t manly. Disrespect isn’t manly. But protecting those who need protection is manly.

Helping a woman who is being raped is manly.  Stopping a mugger is manly. Buying (and cooking) food for your family is manly. Paying child support if you can’t raise your child yourself is manly. And defending a child — no matter how old or young — from child abuse or infanticide is definitely manly.

A man who refuses or neglects to protect those who need protecting doesn’t deserve the title of man. He isn’t modern or enlightened, he is a wimp and an ennabler. A man who supports a woman in killing his own offspring is cooperating in child abuse, and is therefore an abuser… the very sort of person he is trying to avoid being.

So don’t let people manipulate you into thinking you deserve no say. Remember, if they really believed that they would oppose you for being pro-choice as fast as they would oppose you for being pro-life. If they really believed that only those in “danger” of  bearing a child deserve a say, they would oppose lesbians and menopausal women from speaking their mind, too.

In a civilized society, one person should not have liberty to trample the rights of another.

 
 

The Central Question about Abortion July 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 10:48 am

The thing I think we sometimes forget is that people are human beings, not just causes or issues. I know our nation has forgotten that when it comes to abortion. Abortion has become a political platform, a women’s issue, or a crusading cause. People forget to ask themselves the simple, basic, obvious question: how should we treat vulnerable human beings?

If we have any kindness, any humanity in us, we need to ask not what side of the issue validates our political leanings, but what is the kind and compassionate thing to do to a tiny person.

It’s time to stop treating people like mere cogs in our political ideologies.

 
 

A letter to the President March 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 5:13 pm

Dear President Obama,

I don’t know that you will ever read this; yet I feel I must share my feelings, if nothing else because I know that so many others feel the same way. I hope that if enough people express these same thoughts, they will come to your attention and you may know that they are not just the ravings of an angry minority.

What I want to tell you is that I am deeply saddened by abortion. I am saddened by the loss that human beings, both unborn and mothers, face. I am also saddened that our nation has put such pressure on young people to stay young, avoid sexual responsibility, and do anything to keep a man, that millions of women who do not want abortions are being pressured into them anyway.

Most of all, I am saddened that our nation appears to be heading in the direction of such callousness that it no longer offers any protection to its most vulnerable people.

I am not entirely sad, though. I am also happy to know that polls have repeatedly shown that most people support the limiting or elimination of abortion on demand. The vast majority want it either ended, or limited to only extreme and rare cases. And that is the primary reason I am writing to you. I want to remind you that America is not a heartless nation.

I know that you may feel that we are a pro-choice nation, because you ran on a pro-choice platform and won. But I and many others want to tell you that this is a mistaken perception. Many of the people who voted for you are pro-life, but hoped that abortion would take a back seat in your policies because they had financial fears that they hoped you would help to solve. It may look like a majority support your pro-choice platform, but the reality is that most Americans do not. They are simply troubled on so many issues that this was not the issue that decided their vote.

I believe, Mr. President, that you and many others in the federal government try to keep to views that you perceive as being popular among your constituents. I honestly understand this. You want to get elected, and you want to represent the views of the majority. But what you may not realize is that pro-choice politics do not represent the views of most Americans. Most of us are moderate, and truly wish to see the abortion struggle end differently from this slaughter we see today.

I ask you, Mr. President, to reconsider your views on abortion and other issues that affect vulnerable people in the United States. I ask you to pay attention to the vast numbers of people who believe that abortion should be limited. And I ask you to realize that corporate money from those who profit from abortion is not what won you the election. You owe a far greater debt to the people of the US than you do to corporate electioneers.

Finally, I want to say that this is a tremendous opportunity for you. We live in a time of such turmoil that your decisions on matters like this can make or break our nation. You have the opportunity to show yourself as the courageous and compassionate person who had the strength to protect those who cannot protect yourself. In so doing, you would gain a level of respect that I suspect you cannot even imagine.

Thank you for considering my words, and the thoughts of so many others who feel the same way.

—Christina Martin

 
 

I’m a Little Angry… or Maybe it’s a Power Surge March 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 10:59 am

You know how we keep hearing that sex ed is really health education, right? They say that Planned Parenthood is about educating young people about their bodies because those mean Christians would keep them in the dark. It isn’t really about promoting sexual abandon, it’s just about letting them have enough information to make their own choices… right?

But if it were really about educating women so that they know their bodies and how they work, where is the information about menopause? We are bombarded with talk about pubic hair and menstruation and liberation from “outdated” morality; but when do we ever hear the realities of what happens to our bodies after menarche?

They tell us how to apply a condom, but they don’t tell us how to tell when we’re fertile. They tell us how to get body-altering hormone treatments when we are not sick, but they don’t tell us about the side effects. They tell us about “all” those changes of our bodies, but they don’t say word one about menopause. Let’s face it, Planned Parenthood and others like them are only interested in teen sexuality, not in the overall sexual health of females.

This is why, when I wanted to learn how to tell when I’m fertile, I had to go to Christian sources and alternative health sources. This is why my state repeatedly tells me they’ll pay for pills for me, but not for a thermometer and a class. And this is why it is darn near impossible to find any information at all about menopause.

When I wanted to find out when it typically happens, it took me months of research to find the answer. Learning about the phases of menopause (and perimenopause) was tougher. They all said “oh, you get hot flashes and mood swings.” But I couldn’t find out for how long, or what is happening inside the body when these things happen. And frankly, maybe it’s because I’m a perimenopausal bundle of hostilities, but it makes me mad that those who get so much credit for caring about women’s health and disseminating information are completely ignoring menopause. I guess there’s no money in those who aren’t getting unwanted pregnancies.

I did finally find my information, though. I finally realized I needed to stop searching for “menopause” and start searching for “menopause” and “nfp.” (That’s natural family planning.) Only then did I find real information beyond hot flashes. And surprise, surprise, most of those promoting NFP are Christians.

I recently bought a couple of books on menopause at a thrift store. I’ve begun reading one of them, and by the end of the first paragraph was already frustrated. That’s the first paragraph of the introduction, mind you. The author said that one of the consolations of menopause is the kids moving out. Please tell me she doesn’t mean I can expect this process to last the next 17 years, till my youngest reaches adulthood. Ok, I know that isn’t what she means. What she means is the same thing most people in the secular world seem to believe: that sex is not related to childbearing.

Let me explain. Sex, or actually fertile sex, is something that is perceived to last long after a woman might realistically have children. Any woman who hits menopause hasn’t had any babies for twenty years. Sure, she’s having sex; but what does that have to do with having babies? People like me, who believe that fertility and parenting go hand in hand, simply aren’t supposed to exist. We contradict the current thinking about the purpose of sex, so we just get ignored. Besides, I suspect we’re believed to be too ignorant to be reading books like this about sexual health, anyway.

I really hope the other book turns out to be better. I’m looking for information, not preconceived notions about the social aspects of middle aged sex and childbearing. (No pun intended.)

I guess I’m ranting more than offering a genuine insight; but I am extremely frustrated. Why is in-depth information so difficult to find? I want to know what to expect as I enter a new phase, as much now as I did when I was twelve. Maybe those who do have information should be a little more forthcoming, and less private about it. It’s just as well I don’t get my information from Planned Parenthood, all things considered. I probably wouldn’t trust it much. But I do wish that NFP and its perspectives on fertility and understanding what the female body is doing were not so closely guarded and reserved for people who can afford classes.

 
 

Why Politics Makes Me Hurt August 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 5:23 pm

Many people today put their political labels on such a pedestal that even the “compassionate” learn to harden themselves and even the logical learn not to think for themselves. It doesn’t matter whether you are conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, if you let your political persuasion decide your views for you, then you have lost sight of your humanness, at least just a little bit.

Let me give two examples: abortion and the poor.

First, let’s examine poverty issues. While I do not think either of the major parties has come up with adequate ideas for how to help the poor, I think the Republican party often forgets to be compassionate. Not having a solution is quite different from not giving a damn because you think they somehow deserve it. And anyone who doesn’t want the government to be part of the solution had better be doing something on a private citizen level to help, or he or she is a hypocrite of the most selfish kind.

Now what about abortion? The Democratic party makes such a dogma of it that its members frequently feel that being pro-choice is the litmus test for being a good liberal. Let’s put that litmus test to the test. Again, while I do not think either of the major parties has come up with adequate ideas for how to ensure women’s full rights, I think the Democratic party has forgotten the very concept of compassion in naming the right to kill a positive step. The Democratic nominee for president has gone so far as to put himself on record — by legal vote — as opposing the right of a born baby to remain alive. Even if you believe that a person does not gain legal personhood until birth, and that until then the baby is merely part of the mother’s body, the mother is free to walk away once that baby is outside her body; how is killing him after the fact going to affect her right not to be pregnant? How does the death of a born child help the unpregnant birth mother?

I know that few Republicans are going to read this post and say “Oh, man! Now I realize that I can’t stay Republican!” And Democrats are unlikely to say “Now I see that the Democratic party doesn’t represent my perspective after all!” I am not asking you to change your affiliation, or your self-image as a liberal or a conservative. But I am asking you to take a moment and ask yourself if the things you support are compassionate to all people involved. Nobody can hear your thoughts; you do not have to feel disloyal for asking the question. It is all right to ask; thinking people do stop and consider sometimes.

If you are to be truly human, ask yourself hard questions. Put aside the rhetoric of your people, no matter which “side” they are on, and just face the questions as though you were looking at them for the first time. Then ask yourself “What can I do to help my brothers and sisters to work toward a kinder world, even in the places where compassion and rhetoric disagree?”

 
 

Says my daughter: July 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 5:39 pm

The pro-abortion people say that denying abortion makes women slaves to their uterus; but abortion makes them slaves to their vaginas.

There’s nothing I can add.

 
 

The Death of Inconvenience June 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 7:56 pm

Today I was greeted at the entrance to the store by a man seeking petition signatures to get items on the ballot. One of them was called “Death with dignity.” I cringe even thinking about what it means. “If you have any dignity, you’ll off yourself when you become inconvenient.”

If that sounds cynical, ask yourself what the message of abortion on demand is. Take a refresher course on the Michael Schiavo School of Disability Management. Let’s face it, those who are not 100% self-reliant are treated like parasites on society, no thought given to their past or future accomplishments, or to the fact that by the very fact of their life they have dignity.

So we call it “choice” and kill inconvenient babies. We call it “dignity” and hurry the elderly on their way. We call it “right to die,” and we decide for the disabled that they can’t really want to live. And we pat ourselves on the back for having brought ourselves to this advanced, modern, humanist way of thinking. We value humans so much that we convince ourselves that the ones who don’t have any value should be gone to help those who do have value to have a better human existence. Not only that, but we then go on to convince ourselves it’s a kindness we have done.

All of this reminds me of the quote attributed to Ben Franklin, that democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. We cannot truly call ourselves enlightened until we start caring about the needs of the sheep.

 
 

Sickened January 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 3:41 pm

I’m just sickened when I read the news. One mother is accused of microwaving her baby. Another killed her toddler in a murder suicide as revenge on her ex husband. And there was the recent national news about Baby Grace, whose mother and stepfather tortured and killed her.

And I ache and feel nauseated over each one of these. I hear my tiny one cry, and it makes me go all mushy. I am outraged… and so are we all. But where is the outrage, hurt, nausea, over the millions of tiny ones deliberately and legally killed every year? How can we call ourselves compassionate if we put political theories on such a high pedestal that we no longer care whom they hurt?

 
 

That New Pill June 5, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 3:23 pm

I don’t know how many times I would have jumped at the idea, when I was younger, to take a pill to make my periods go away. Now that I’m older, they’ve come out with such a pill (a contraceptive) and I’m less enthusiastic. In fact, I’m a little worried. I know everyone has already hashed out the contraceptive arguments, so I think I’ll gloss by those for now, not wanting to repeat what has already been said. What I really want to say is that there is a whole list of reasons that taking a pill to stop your periods sounds like a bad idea.

1. The pill is a contraceptive. Every contraceptive method has a failure rate, and the most common way of knowing when a contraceptive has failed is by a missed period. A woman on this pill may go a long time before she realizes she’s pregnant. In the meantime, she is not getting prenatal care, she is not likely to know her due date, and the pills may be harming her unborn child. Where a chance of pregnancy exists, the idea of eliminating the most common method of pregnancy detection seems at least unwise.

2. The period exists for a reason. It is not an illness to be corrected, and in fact for a reproductive age woman not to have them can cause health problems. Especially if the body thinks it is pregnant (which is how this and other typical birth control pills work), the endometrium lines the uterus for implantation and nutrition. Without periods, this endometrial lining cannot wash itself out and refresh. I very seriously doubt that the long term effects (like 5-20 years) of this pill on the endometrium and uterus have been fully tested. I have a strong suspicion that in a decade we’ll be seeing a whole lot more Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and bacterial infections, as well as damage to the uterine wall from old endometrial tissue.

3. Most women who go on hormonal contraceptives want to have babies someday. Again, I doubt sufficient testing on long-term use and future fertility.

If anyone knows of any studies on the long term repercussions of this pill, I would be grateful if you could point me to them.

 
 

Bombeck and Feminism April 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 9:43 am

I’m reading a biography of Erma Bombeck, which expresses Erma’s attitude about women’s rights like this:

“The problem with the women’s movement is that it’s been too elitist.” Erma meant that the leaders of the movement had usually been women who had never been housewives, had never had children, and, in some cases, had never been married.

This really points to what my problem has always been with the so-called women’s movement and feminism in general. While they claim to be fighting for the rights of all women, or even just their own rights, what they are really fighting for is the right to tell me what to do. They claim to be fighting for the right to be professionals, when many or most of them already are; then they go on to label any choice that differs with their own (such as the choice to stay home and raise children) as oppression or in some other way harmful.

Let me clarify here and now that if wanting women to receive equal pay for equal work is feminism, I’m a feminist. If contending that women deserve every bit as much respect as men deserve, I’m a feminist. If supporting women in the choice to work or not is feminism, sign me up!

If, on the other hand, feminism means pitting women against each other, I don’t much like it. If the working woman, in the name of feminism, has the option of degrading the housewife for making a different choice than she has made, I do not believe the feminist is truly advancing the cause of women at all. Rather, the woman who degrades traditional womanhood brings harm to all women. This is a brand of feminism I cannot endorse.

If all things female must be abrogated for the sake of women’s rights, then the fight itself merely reflects a belief of the movement itself that womanhood is despicable.