Friday, February 27, 2009

Update – Ban on coverage lifted…

A bitch posted about the policy review of the military’s ban on allowing coverage of fallen soldiers returning from the war.

Now, that ban has been lifted.

Defense Secretary Gates consulted with the armed services and military family groups and ultimately decided to apply the same policy that is used at Arlington National Cemetery.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It’s almost March – do you know what your state legislature is doing?

A bitch adores watching political theatre…shit, I often break out the popcorn and settle down in front of CSPAN just for the laughs.

Blink.

But I also keep close watch on my home state of Missouri’s legislature.

And the chorus asked… "Why, bitch?”

And a bitch replied, "Because what they do matters too!”

Shall we?

A bitch has been fascinated by the intense coverage of all things Obama administration related. I think its great…even though I wonder where the fuck the media was when Scooter B. was gorging himself on pork at the people’s expense.

Cough.

Anyhoo, ‘tis our role as cits to keep it real with government. But too many of us are missing a crucial chunk of government in desperate need of some keep it real people-based oversight.

Behold, the state.

Specifically those state legislatures that, like Missouri, are controlled by large majorities and are spending their time pandering to the radical conservative fringe rather than addressing the mountain of important shit we need them to be addressing.

For example, the Missouri House recently spent two days debating then voting on a non-binding resolution against the Freedom of Choice Act.

Chorus… "What Freedom of Choice Act?”

A bitch…“The Freedom of Choice Act that would codify Roe v Wade…the same one that has not been introduced in Congress.”

FYI - TIME has a great piece up on this.

Yep, with everything going on in Missouri and in the country…with thousands of Missourians losing their jobs and uninsured...with our infrastructure crumbling and education failing…with all that shit pending, the Republican controlled legislature wasted two fucking days sending a message to Congress about an act that has not even been introduced.

Blink.

But, but wait…they aren’t done!

This week…today to be exact…the Missouri House is debating HB46, a hellish anti-choice abortion restriction bill that would create the new crime of “coercing an abortion” and do nothing to reduce the number of abortions in the state.

Because Lawd knows we women folk can’t make up our minds and our fragile temperaments make us vulnerable to blah, blah and more insulting and inaccurate blah.

Mercy!

But the Missouri House isn’t going to let facts get in the way of an opportunity to score some political points…nor are they going to let that mountain of important shit we need them to be addressing get in the way of their lust for pandering either.

Ugh.

If you are a Missourian, please click this link and tell your Rep. to get real.

Tell them to vote no on HB46.

And if you live someplace else, take a look at what your state legislature is doing while all eyes are fixed on Washington.

It’s almost March, y'all…and we all need to know what our state legislature is doing with our time and our money in our name.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The reckoning…

Confession – a bitch got so caught up in the Blues v. Coyotes hockey game that my ass missed watching the State of all things Unified live.

What?

Shit, we’re trying to make the playoffs here!

And we won...go Blues!

Anyhoo, thank the gods for TiVo.

Read the full transcript of President Obama’s speech here.

Shall we?

Pondering the reckoning…

Last night President Obama said that “the day of reckoning has arrived.” And that got this bitch pondering.

A certain Nancy Goldstein recently wrote a piece for Salon’s Broadsheet on why the economy is a feminist issue and a bitch couldn’t agree more. I realized that I’ve avoided writing about fubar economics because it is a daunting topic that inevitably brings out “experts” who adore debating the hell out of it while ignoring any exploration of the impact or arriving at any solutions to the problem.

But Nancy G. has inspired a bitch!

The economy and the policy changes being debated and passed into law are our issue. Many of us have been reckoning with fubar economics for years…and we must watch and provide oversight lest this rebuilding ignore our communities the way the bullish boom ignored the hell out of us back in the day.

See, there is a tolerance at play here…and a bitch isn’t a fan of tolerance. We tolerate crime…in certain places. We tolerate vacant buildings…along certain stretches of road. We tolerate hunger…for certain people. And we tolerate economic stagnation…for those we judge lazy and deserved of want.

But Lawd, have mercy! Now the virus has spread into “good” communities…it has even hit man on woman sanctified married families!

So now folks are freaking the fuck out because that wasn’t the deal. Poor people did something to deserve their plight, but this middle class drama is punishing folks who did everything right.

Right?

Wrong.

Our current economic crisis is an expansion not a new situation.

And it is hitting the working poor hard…and double wammy of layoffs in communities where there aren’t any jobs, funding cuts to programs that were already under funded and foreclosures on shit properties people have lived in despite the horrible conditions and now are being booted out of.

Hell yes, this is reckoning…damn near biblical in its reaping of what we the people have sowed.

But in crisis there is opportunity...if we focus on the whole despite our conditioning to focus on the middle class.

That’s where all these policies come in and why we must rouse ourselves to analyze the stimulus plan to make sure job creation will touch the sistah who is heading her household while working two or three jobs just to break even…her children who attend broken down schools lacking supplies and materials…and her community, with those vacant buildings and substandard housing sorta-options.

Sigh.

I reckon ‘tis time to get busy and read this stimulus shit…state and federal, mind you...thoroughly.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Presidential Address Preparedness…

Shall we?

Longtime readers know that this bitch watches presidential addresses…and that such viewage requires a certain level of preparedness.

President Obama will address a joint session of Congress tonight at 8pm CST. He is expected to make the case to the masses for his agenda to get us out of the fubaristic economic implosion that we are currently in.

Now, if that’s not a speech worth watching I don’t know what!

ABB’s Presidential Address before a Joint Session of Congress Preparedness…

The tools of the trade…

Notebook for note taking
Writing instrument for which to scrawl
Telly with beloved TiVo…so a bitch can record the Blues hockey game whilst watching the President.

Blink.

The munchables…
Something crunchy, because economics makes a bitch gnash
Something spicy and cheese…because spice and cheese makes a party in your mouth!
This bitch is thinking nachos will do.
Vodka followed by grape cran…because.
Dawg crisps…to keep those sorta-beagles occupied.

Pause…consider…continue.

Perfect!

Let the addressing and defiant responding followed by political pundit-based speculating begin…

Monday, February 23, 2009

Take Action for Autism!

As most of you know, a bitch’s older brother is autistic. Autism has been in the news a lot and there have been tons of features exploring how autism impacts a family…but one of things rarely covered is the economic impact and the lack of insurance coverage for treatment.

I grew up in a house where everything from a family meal to an outing to pick up groceries was a structured treatment…my parents tried everything and anything to try to help my brother adjust to the world.

Now that my sister and this bitch are co-guardians, we are working to try and make the world adjust more to my brother.

And looming over every option…whether a family has a young child or an adult with autism…is the issue of funding and what is or isn’t covered by insurance.

Well, we now have a chance to act through legislation that would reform the way the insurance industry handles coverage for treatments of autism spectrum disorder.

Legislation is being considered in several state including Missouri. Autism Votes is asking for folks to contact your legislator and let them know that insurance coverage matters and that you are watching.

Take a moment and visit the Autism Votes website.

Get familiar with legislation pending in your state.

And contact those charged with making decisions and casting these important votes!

Thanks.

Party with Planned Parenthood!

The Planned Parenthood Young Friends invite all y'all to Party with Planned Parenthood!

When?

Saturday, March 7 beginning at 8 p.m.

Where?

Atomic Cowboy 4140 Manchester Ave. in St. Louis

Featuring burlesque by Lola van Ella, Clownvis Presley & much more.

Sex, politics and cocktails....oh, my!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Well, allow me to retort…

This bitch was home ill yesterday when a friend sent forth this link to a guest post on Professor, What If? co-written by Mandy Van Deven and Brittany Shoot. The title of the guest post is What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?, so you know a bitch just had to read that shit.

And as I read it hit me that they were kinda talking about me…since I’m a blogger of color who has my own blog but also contributes to Shakesville and Feministing.

So, a bitch has been colonized?

I’ve been purchased…gobbled up…hoodwinked and bamboozled?

And my simple ass just didn’t notice that shit…right?

Blink.

Now hold the fuck on and wait a minute!

For the record…

I do not blog for profit at AngryBlackBitch. That fact doesn’t make C-Money all that happy, but ‘tis a fact. The ABB Store ain’t bringing in serious money…trust. I am an activist who blogs…and this never has been, isn’t now and never will be a money for posting kind of arrangement.

I was not purchased…Lawd, have mercy…nor did I sell out when I chose to contribute to other blogs. And someone somewhere needs to educate these co-authors on how much that particular accusation and language will make a woman of color GO THE FUCK OFF!

Purchased?

My black ass!

Neither Shakesville nor Feministing have input in my content. None…nothing…no input at all. I didn’t have to negotiate that…they never asked, I never offered and everyone is cool. That isn’t how a bitch rolls. So, if my posts are lacking something that’s a bitch’s fucking fault and I own that. The tactic that brought me on board was that I was offered the opportunity to post as much as I wanted, about anything I damned well want to and whenever I saw fit to. Oh, and I still get linked to...not that the post in question acknowledged that. Come to think of it, they didn't exactly acknowledge me at all...just kind of worked their way around a bitch...mayhap they don't consider me a contributor even though I, um contribute?

How precious it is to be made invisible by authors who are challenging a system they say is making women of color invisible.

Shit.

A bitch might not be all about the ego, but my ass sure as shit isn’t some little blog that the big bad feminist blogs found and made a land claim on. I am the shit (wink)…and, as of this upcoming Sunday, I will have lived 36 years and all of them as a black woman…I know very well how the tools of oppression and colonization work and find the attempted tutorial on that shit insulting as hell.

Now let me get to the root of the problem…and that is the theory that my contributing to Feministing and Shakesville was a sell out move and that I’m just too damned stupid or Auntie Tomish to realize that my black ass is being played.

I reject the hell out of that. Mostly because my black ass has a very strong working understanding of what oppression, colonization and domination looks, feels, tastes and acts like.

Breaking News - I am a woman of color. I live that shit.

In my 36 years of living I have been kicked down, bullied, judged and denied. I have been threatened and I have been dismissed. And when I read the guest post in question I saw it for what it is - an attempt to critique large feminist blogs at my and other women of color contributors expense...to control my behavior, sanction my actions, diminish my contributions, mock my decisions, school me on my alleged foolishness and lecture me on the history of colonization.

And I shall not be used...or schooled on a history I live every fucking day and know all too well...or judged to be a sell out my people who don't even have the decency to call me by name.

Or silenced from contributing where the fuck I want to by some condescending 'you’re a victim, honey and you just don’t know it' critique of the feminist blogosphere that basically says that women of color bloggers aren't making a difference if the mainstream doesn't know their name.

Breaking News - sometimes we blog and don't tell y'all about it, we talk and don't invite y'all to witness it and we debate and don't want you to be a part of it.

And sometimes we contribute and aren't sell outs for it, we connect and aren't being taken for a ride as we do it, we join and are not consolidated as a result of it.

But hey, who the fuck wants to acknowledge women of color bloggers when it might get in the way of a good old fashioned defense of the oppressed by...um, the privileged...critique?

***cue crickets***

Mercy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Entertaining whilst broke and an easy as hell recipe…

ABCNews.com has a story up about how Americans are staying home…and knitting, cooking and playing Scrabble…as a result of the recession.

Blink.

Well, those of us who have been…um, budgeted…for years have long known the joys of home-based entertainment!

A bitch adores a comfort-food dinner with friends and I can’t say enough about the particular joy of slow cooked yumminess.

So, the news that there is a slow cooker recipe contest was beyond exciting!

Chocolate pudding cake in a slow cooker?

Fantabulous.

Anyhoo, if there is an upside to this economic drama it may be that some folks are rediscovering their house and the kitchen in it.

Trust a bitch, it’s hard to beat pot roast with smashed potatoes and several hours of good conversation…

ABB’s Slow Cooker Easy as Hell Pot Roast Recipe.

What you need…
A pot roast
An onion
Black pepper
Salt or seasoning if blood pressure is an issue (sigh)
Worcestershire sauce
A slow cooker
Vegetables (optional, because a bitch prefers smashed taters as a side)

What to do with all that shit...
Salt or season and pepper the roast to taste
Put that thang in the slow cooker…on low
Add sliced onions on top
Dash it up with several shakes of Worstershire sauce
Put the lid on

And leave it alone to get its cook on for…um, 10 hours.

Invite others to bring sides and something sweet...it will cut down on costs while adding extra yummification to the meal.

‘Tis happiness and joy in a crock pot…

Save Sexuality Studies petition...

The National Sexuality Resource Center asked this bitch to support the field of sexuality studies and the role of science in policy development and health interventions by promoting, blogging about and linking to the 'Save Sexuality Studies' petition that they launched the other day.

With pleasure!

Called "disgusting" by legislators, queer, women's and sexuality studies courses and research are being sliced or threatened at some public universities in the US under the guise of budget cuts...and what we stand to lose is the important contributions that research and scientific inquiry make to sexuality related policies, programs and interventions. Any researcher, program or class across the country could be next. Whether we work as advocates, researchers, students or health educators, these cuts will ultimately compromise the integrity and accuracy of all our work.

Please read and sign the petition now to support sexuality studies...and link to the petition and pass it on to your friends.

Let’s work together to support this critical work!

You can also read the National Sexuality Resource Center blog (and see the ultra-offensive video from GA legislator Charlice Byrd).

Thanks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pondering the photo ban...

Lincoln’s birthday and the President’s Day holiday brought with them television shows covering the Civil War…and more than a few explorations of the impact war photography had on the publics view of that war.

The American Civil War was brought home to many because it was fought in their front yards…and to many more through battlefield photographs that showed the death and destruction that comes with conflict.

Upfront and personal.

The unimaginable became imaginable.

And real…oh so vividly, painfully real.

I thought of those Civil War photographs when I read this news report on the debate over whether to lift the current ban on showing the return of our war dead from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many military families who have lost a loved one support lifting the ban and I do too.

Not so we can posture and feel smug if we oppose these conflicts…not so we can put together photo essays calling for a continuation so that the fallen will not have died in vain.

But because what we don’t see is too often not real.

And war needs to be real to more than just those who serve and their families.

Upfront and personal.

The unimaginable must become imaginable.

And real.

Oh so vividly, painfully real.

So that we, like those Americans of long ago, will look at war through different eyes…as something real and ongoing and yes, with cost beyond measure.

Mayhap it is the lack of guarantees…of being able to control how photos are received by the mind and filtered through our values…that prompted this ban in the first place?

I don't know, but this is a policy discussion worth watching...

Monday, February 16, 2009

A condom-based stank eye incident at the Walgreen’s…

A bitch is concerned about the impact of stank eye.

Specifically, I’m concerned by the stank eye many people are subjected to when they buy condoms at their local pharmacy.

Shall we?

This past Saturday a bitch journeyed out and about of my lair because we were out of cranberry juice and that just won’t do. Since I didn’t need a ton of shit I decided to journey to Walgreen’s for a quick swing through. I failed to anticipate that Saturday was Valentines Day…and that there are a lot of last minute sweethearts out there…and that my local Walgreen’s can be slow as a motherfucker…so, I stood in line holding cranberry juice for several minutes (more like 10!!).

Cough.

Anyhoo, a bitch is a natural observer and took a look at the folks in line with me.

There were several young men purchasing silly ass Valentine shit that would hopefully make up in sentiment what it lacked in originality. The young man in front of me appeared to be itemless…until I glanced down at his hands and noted that he held two packs of condoms. He obviously wasn’t trying to bring attention to his safe-sex purchase, and one of the reasons why was waiting behind the counter to check him out.

As the young condom purchaser set his items on the counter the woman behind the counter leveled the most intense stank eye on him that I’ve seen in a long time.

I’m talking the same level of stank coming from the eyes that this bitch gets from those wooden cross dragging protesters outside of Pridefest each year…mmmhmm, STANK!

I was stunned and then I got pissed.

I’ve purchased condoms before…hell, I used to be the designated condom purchaser for my friends…and I’ve been the recipient of stankified eye before. And I found that shit insulting and intolerable.

Given the fact that St. Louis ranks number one in STIs, this bitch finds that kind of sanctimonious judgment beyond insulting and intolerable.

So, when I came up to purchase my juice I gave Ms. Thang some stank eye right back.

I stared hard…hard as hell…so hard and so filled with angry disgust that when she lifted her eyes to me she physically jerked.

And then she flushed and looked away.

Sigh.

The problem is that Ms. Stank Eye from the Walgreen’s isn’t the exception…she’s far too often the rule.

We need to create an environment where people can purchase condoms with out judgment …be in stank eye or from the other end of the spectrum and equally insulting “I’m so bloody proud of you for using protection!!!” over the top praise.

‘Tis fitting that this is National Condom week, because we really need to commit to raising awareness about condom use and the facts.

And based on what I witnessed whilst shopping at the Walgreen’s, we also need to work on breaking down that stigma and curing the eye stankification condom purchasers face.

The Lezzy Awards…

The announcement of the Lezzy Award winners has been moved up to Wednesday February 18th at 9:45 EDT and will be announced live on The Lesbian Lounge Podcast.

Nominations will close 2 hours earlier at 9:00 pm.

‘Tis this blog’s honor to be nominated!

Listen to the live broadcast of The Lesbian Lounge on Wednesday the 18th at 9:45 by going to www.mylesbianradio.com and clicking on Listen HERE!

If you can't listen to the broadcast the winners will be posted on TLL directly after the show.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oh shit, a bitch missed my own blog anniversary…again!

A certain Carin from Sweden sent this bitch a belated Happy Blog Anniversary email and reminded a bitch that my blog anniversary was February 10th.

Blink.

Shit.

Well hell, I’ve been busy!

Anyhoo…

Four years and a couple of days ago, Brother Rob Thurman gave this bitch AngryBlackBitch.com for my birthday.

Pause...check to see if my ass missed my fucking birthday too (whew, thank the gods)...continue.

Many thanks to Rob for noting my tendency to rant (hard to miss) and telling me to do so online.

A special thank you to the many knavish trolls who have proven many a point made here through their comments…bless y’all for your usually anonymous, anti-knowledge, often racist, freakish dedication to the Dark Side!

Sincere thanks to all who read, comment, discuss and debate through this bitch’s blog...you are beyond fantabulous!

And long live the fine art of bitchitude...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What the fuck did Rep. Stevenson just say in the people's House?

Pause…stretch…continue.

Shall we?

The background…
The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would codify Roe v Wade, has not been reintroduced in Congress. But that hasn’t stopped anti-knowledge Missouri legislators from wasting hours of the people’s time debating it…proposing non-binding resolutions against it…and generally getting their panderific pontification on about it.

The scene…
Yesterday on the House floor in Jefferson City Missouri where the non-binding waste of time resolution was being debated.

The foot in mouth moment…
A certain Missouri Representative Bryan Stevenson (R-Webb City) took to the floor and declared the not introduced so not really in question and certainly not a pressing issue if it ever does get introduced FOCA the "greatest power grab by the federal government since the War of Northern Aggression."

Blink.

Cough.

A bitch's reaction...
Why oh why must Missouri Republicans continue these public display of affection for the Confederacy?

Fuck it - why continue the affection in private...in their hearts and minds...at all?

‘Tis bad enough that this bitch fears driving while black through many portions of my state…and it sure as shit didn’t help when our ‘thank the gods that asshole’s no longer in office’ former Governor, Matt Blunt, decided to honor the Confederate fallen by ordering that the Confederate Flag to be flown over state property (ugh!)…

…but now we’ve got state reps casually dropping phrases like “the war of northern aggression” into debates over non-binding anti-choice resolutions in the hopes that such phrases will help him make the case that FOCA would be a "bad" power grab…’cause this asshole assumes that everyone agrees that the American Civil War was a "bad" power grab too.

Shit, a bitch watched this tape and half expected Stevenson to produce a dagger, raise his arm and shout “Sic semper tyrannis!”

And this is an example of the majority in power that will debate all kinds of binding shit once they suck the marrow out of the non-binding waste of time FOCA resolutions.

Lawd, have mercy!

If Rep. Stevenson says that rancid shit in public a bitch shudders to ponder what he says in private…what he thinks of women…what motivates his votes on health care, education, the environment and all the other things that may give comfort and assistance to the enemy he’s clearly still fighting.

Shit.

And people wonder why this bitch is still angry.

The Yes Means Yes! Virtual Tour – a Q&A with contributor Tiloma Jayasinghe…

A bitch has been happily working my way through the book Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape and I’m thrilled to be participating in the virtual book tour today.

Note - the next stop on the Yes Means Yes! Virtual Tour is Thursday February 12 at Shapley Prose featuring a Q&A with contributor Kimberly Springer!

Yes Means Yes! is a groundbreaking new look at rape, edited by writer and activist Jaclyn Friedman and Feministing.com founder Jessica Valenti. Through the anthology they are trying to move beyond “no means no” to connect the dots between the shaming and co-option of female sexuality in our culture(s) and some of the ways rape is allowed and encouraged to function.

Tiloma Jayasinghe contributed When Pregnancy Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Pregnant and was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about that piece.

Q. Why did you decide to contribute to the anthology?

A. Well, first, because Jessica asked me to and I’d do anything for her. But seriously, I thought it would be an opportunity to talk about what happens to certain women after they have sex. You’ve got Samhita’s great piece in the book on media’s and society’s views (and sexualization) of black women, but nobody talks about what happens if those women get pregnant. Is pregnancy not part of a woman’s sexuality? I say it is, I say that having a safe and healthy and supported pregnancy is just as important as having safe, and healthy and supported sex.

If you’re incarcerated, then you don’t even get to think or talk about those things – the entire system dehumanizes you – you don’t get to enjoy pregnancy – you don’t get enough nutrition and your care depends on the whim of the guards, you don’t get to enjoy birth - more often than not, you’ll be shackled during transport and labor, and even up ‘til the point of delivery. And motherhood is hard to maintain and achieve – because not long after you’ve given birth, your child is placed in foster care. Before you’re released from jail or prison, you may get a talk about various contraception options, but nobody ever talks about your needs, desires – you’re fighting to be considered human first – your fight to be considered sexual doesn’t even come into it.

And I felt that needed to be said.

Q. In many states, fetal rights and "personhood" measures are making their way through legislatures - what are your thoughts on those measures and do you feel inaccurate information about drug addiction and pregnancy are used to fuel public support for them?

A. I think that personhood measures most often come up in the context of unborn victims of violence acts – spurred on some tragic and horrific account of a young pregnant girl beaten to death by her boyfriend or a pregnant woman shot by her husband. These horribly sad stories are co-opted by the anti-choice movement to push through unborn victims of violence acts – to account for the loss of the fetus. Despite the fact that the only way the fetus is harmed is by harming the woman carrying the fetus, fetal personhood proponents do not want to have legislation that has enhanced penalties if you harm/kill a pregnant woman (going from a class b, to a class a felony, let’s say, or additional time during sentencing.). Rather, they want a separate cause of action for the fetus itself. But after these bills are passed, more often than not, they’re used to prosecute a drug dependent pregnant women for continuing to term in spite of a drug problem, even though there’s a clear exemption against application to a pregnant woman, rather than ever being applied again to a third party who injures/kills a pregnant woman.

Q. Tell me more about the contradictions between so-called pro-life efforts to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term and the prosecution of women with drug problems who chose to do just that - how can states make pregnancy be a crime and still maintain that abortion is murder?

A. It’s interesting isn’t it – apparently, they only want to force some women to continue to term and not others. If you’re a white, middle class woman, you better keep that pregnancy! But if you’re a low-income women, a woman of color, and/or a woman with a health problem, such as drug dependency, they will try to punish you. However, there’s no law that makes continuing a pregnancy to term in spite of a drug problem a crime, but its interesting that they’d seek to put a woman in jail for more time because she had a baby, than if she had an abortion – even if it was an illegal abortion, she’d spend less time in jail. That’s where the race and class issues are clearest. You will never see a middle class woman being charged – even if she has a raging cocaine habit – these prosecutions are targeted at society’s most vulnerable and easily demonized.

Q. How widespread an issue is this? When people read about this issue should they be concerned that it is happening in their community?

A. Honestly, these prosecutions aren’t that widespread, but the effects of each singular prosecution has widespread effects that women should be concerned about. For example, a law that establishes that any risk of harm to a viable fetus constitutes criminal child abuse – which came about in the drug context, has wide-ranging effects. A woman who is in labor for 30 hours, refusing a c-section – is she risking harm to a viable fetus? Can she be prosecuted and have a court ordered c-section? A woman who wants to have a midwife assisted birth? Is that a risk of harm? A woman who chooses to have an occasional glass of wine during her pregnancy? Or how about an obese woman? By becoming pregnant, is she risking harm such that she could be criminalized?

The precedent that is set on the backs of those of us who are most marginalized, can even affect the most privileged of us if we cannot say – there but for the grace of God go I – and recognize that when we relinquish or are forced to relinquish control over our bodies and our decisions in one context, it applies to every context.

Q. Where can people turn for accurate information and/or to help women facing incarceration in their communities?

A. National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) will be coming out with a report in the near future which tracks these prosecutions nationwide and will provide information and data, Also, Justice Now does amazing work with women who are incarcerated and I have to say, that if you are in Texas, or need help for incarcerated women in Texas, there are two women operating on a shoestring budget doing real grassroots, dedicated work to improve the lives of incarcerated women and advocating for prison reform – the Texas Prison Project. They’re doing the real work that changes lives, conversations and communities.

Many thanks to Tiloma Jayasinghe!

And don't miss the next stop on the Yes Means Yes! Virtual Tour - Thursday February 12 at Shapley Prose featuring a Q&A with contributor Kimberly Springer!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Say it!

A bitch just watched an interview by Ann Curry on The Today Show of the mother of those eight babies from California.

And…well, it seemed as if Curry was trying to say something but unsure of how to say.

Blink.

Recent revelations that the mother of those eight babies...at one time...is single, unemployed and was already the mother of six have presented morning television with a challenge.

On one hand, shows like the Today Show have made a habit of showcasing multiples and the families of multiples and the television shows that feature those multiples and their families.

On the other hand, this mother of multiples isn’t cooperating with them by producing a husband as part of a sanctified man on woman marriage or crispy and clean chil’ren, a gleefully supportive family and a super organized made-for-television (for real, I think they get the house as part of their contract) house…you know, so that Meredith and Ann can gasp at how well they are all getting on even as they offer token gifts of disposable diapers.

As I watched Ann’s interview this morning I found myself waiting for her to say it…just say it…FUCKING SAY IT!

Say the words that will jump start something...anything...more than a glossy bullshit discussion of how amazing (insert mother of multiples here) is and how you can’t imagine taking care of (insert number here) but damn it to hell if she doesn’t look GREAT.

Because this multiple birth opens up all kinds of topics that a bitch thinks are long overdue for discussion.

Who "gets" to be a parent?

Who "gets" to seek fertility treatments and what, if any, limits are there on those treatments?

Why are morning television shows allergic to family planning discussions yet addicted to stories of multiple births?

Pause…consider…continue.

And where the hell was Matt Lauer going with that “You know, she looks a lot like Angelina Jolie!” statement?

Hello?

***cue crickets***

Lawd, give me strength…

Oh Australia...

Parts of Australia are on fire.

Entire families have perished trying to flee the flames.

The stories of death and devastation are made far worse by news that many of the fires were deliberately set.

I can only say to my readers down under that you are in my heart and please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Mercy.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Hold please...

A bitch is moving slow this morning.
Link
Maybe I shouldn't have stayed up watching the BAFTAs (wince)?

Anyhoo, bitchitude shall return this evening...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Tell Me More with Michel Martin now on KWMU!

A certain Michel Martin and her radio program Tell Me More are now…at last…available on our local NPR source 90.7 KWMU!

A bitch adores Tell Me More and not just because I’ve been on it (wink)…’tis a great program that I’m sure St. Louis shall embrace.

The program schedule says something about it being available from 2pm ‘til 3pm on KWMU-2, whatever that means.

Mayhap it’s like BBC One and BBC Two?

Blink.

Where was I?

Oh yes...at last, we can listen to Tell Me More in St. Louis!

Note – a bitch is in no way using the phrase "at last" as some challenge to a certain Etta James who has recently threatened ass whoopings for such behavior.

Mercy.

Get your listen on and enjoy, chil’ren…

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pondering SCHIP…

President Obama has signed SCHIP…and yes, this is a very good thing.

Pause...do a happy dance up in my couch-based area...continue.

Even before the economy went to shit some 8 million children in the United States were uninsured. They are part of the 45 million uninsured Americans who do not have health insurance through their employer and do not qualify for government assistance.

When the uninsured are at risk…and there should be no doubt that being uninsured is a serious risk…our national security is at risk.

The signing of SCHIP was long over due and will help many Americans meet their basic medical needs without being forced to weigh the health of their children against the limits of their check book and the price of an emergency room visit.

As this bitch read up on the SCHIP signing I stumbled over this story about a family struggling to handle the demands of their autistic child. As many of you know, this bitch’s older brother is autistic and I grew up watching my parents try just about everything to help him handle the world.

For all the media coverage and morning news segments on autism there is a serious lack of coverage dealing with the financial demands. Autism is not a middle class or wealthy communication disorder…even though those are the children and families most likely to be profiled on the telly. And autism costs money…a lot of money…thousands of dollars that are rarely covered through insurance.

Now, before someone comments that we have to practice strategery in these fubaristic economic times, let me assure you that I understand that shit and remind y’all that 1 in 150 individuals are dealing with some part of the autism spectrum and those are just the folks who can get a diagnosis.

Sigh.

The signing of SCHIP should remind us that there are causalities resulting from our decades long experiment in the ownership society…all kinds of families without health care coverage and denied options because our government has had a twisted anti-logic definition of family values.

Even as we celebrate this signing we must not forget that there is work yet to be done…priorities yet to be adjusted…and barriers to treatment that still need to be torn down so that we the people can live life, experience true liberty and achieve real happiness.

So hell yes, one of our highest priorities is to ensure the health and well being of our nation’s children.

SCHIP is one small step for common sense pro-human government for the people…and this bitch hopes it takes us closer to one hell of a giant leap toward universal coverage...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pondering the withdrawal method...

Shall we?

President Obama admitted that he “screwed up” in pursuing the nomination of Tom Daschle to Health Secretary after Daschle’s tax drama erupted into a festering mess of drama in the press and on the Hill.

Daschle has withdrawn from consideration, along with Nancy Killefer who was on track to become the first White House performance officer.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Most people know that the Obama administration has one of the toughest applications out there…so detailed that the detailing made news all on its own. And this bitch remembers wondering who the fuck could make it through to the interview much less the nomination hearing-based advise and consent shit.

So ‘tis important to note that these recent incidents of withdrawal are likely not due to a failure of the screening process…which was intense as a motherfucker…but are more likely due to some break-down in the evaluation phase.

You know, the period between screening and before hearings where the administration decides whether a candidate’s fuck ups are terminal or treatable.

Cough.

And that brings a bitch to the withdrawal method and how that shit isn’t a wise prevention choice.

The withdrawal method may work once or twice but each time you use it you increase the odds that the next time you…um, withdraw…cough…may result in a lasting scandal-based drama that won’t just go away with the next news cycle.

This bitch hopes that Team Obama has learned a lesson here – that one should use the protection they are carrying (i.e., the motherfucking screening process and criteria associated with it).

Because not knowing about a candidates skeletons is one thing but knowing and deciding to throw caution to the wind...not once or twice but at least three times...is guaranteed to feed the ‘when will he fuck up, please let me be the one to break that story, Lawd I hope it’s a big one too’ beast that haunts every administration and sure as shit haunts this one.

And a bitch is pretty sure the Obama administration burned through their get out of tax-based trouble involving a nominee jail free card with Geithner.

Sigh.

This bitch is wondering why the fuck the IRS isn’t taking heat for this shit too…since we the people are broke as hell and they the agency have just been outed for leaving some serious cash on table and walking away.

Mayhap a Wall Street/Federal government personal income tax review should be added to the stimulus plan…

…’cause Lawd knows the IRS don’t play nice with the masses living on Main Street.

But that’d be too much like right…right?

Wince.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

February shall be a month of ponderfication...

‘Tis February, y’all!

A bitch’s birthday month…my blog anniversary month…and black history month.

In other words, February is the shit (wink).

Shall we?

Fubar economics has stressed us all out and if you’re not stressed there is something wrong with you...'cause this shit is stressful as a motherfucker. Whether you are fretting over your economic situation or over loved one’s enduring the fall-out from our decade of mismanagement…well, this is the very definition of drama.

Sigh.

My birthday isn’t until the 22nd, but my present to myself is to speak of those caught up in that fall out. Not the corporations imploding…the people left to fend for themselves because all those corporations are imploding.

Today I’m pondering hunger.

My father, bless is soul, grew up very poor. He rarely spoke of it, but we knew he had known hunger from the respect he showed food. A walk through the grocery store was like a visit to a scared shrine…he hit every aisle thoroughly. When we got home and unloaded everything, my father would stand back and observe his packed fridge for several moments…just him and the security of several guaranteed meals. And I remember that shit…the look on his face, the shame he’d toss my way if I complained about a meal and the ever-present canned goods in the pantry that added some extra food security along the way.

1 in 10 Americans are part of the federal food assistance program...people just like you and this bitch.

Food insecurity is about more than just the inability of our federal system to make sure our peanut butter is safe…it also speaks to the millions of Americans who are at risk for hunger because their next meal is more of a maybe than a sure thing.

Those are facts and figures that too often go unmentioned whilst legislators debate bailouts…and those are the numbers this bitch remembers when pundits try to justify bonuses and planes, naming rights and fancy retreats.

This crisis casts light on the difference between America the brand image and the American reality.

What we are versus what we like to be seen as.

1 in 10...and someone you know is hungry.

1 in 10...and who shall this stimulus serve?