Friday, December 12, 2014

The Pro-Choice Catfish

We've all gotten that email before... well, at least most of us probably have. If you're in any way vocal about your prolife beliefs people start reaching out to you when they (or someone they know) is facing an unplanned pregnancy. And it's awesome. It's an amazing opportunity to put our activism where our mouth is and help them find support and resources.
But then, every once in a while we'll get a troll. You know what I'm talking about... someone who's TOTALLY not pregnant, but they'll pretend they are in an attempt to a) get us to admit that their awful, crazy, completely insane situation is the one permissible exception for abortion, in turn "busting" us for not really being prolife, or b) once they realize we're never going to do that, they just want to waste our time with stupid hypothetical arguments.
And here's the thing, while it's usually pretty obvious that they're trying to reverse Lila Rose us, there's always that .00000001% chance it's legit, so we still go to the ends of the earth to find their headless AIDs baby with Spina Bifida and fetal alcohol syndrome medical care, right?
After a while cray stuff like that takes its toll, and with just enough wine and dark humor added, a video like this is made...
*Also, that's a picture of Robin Marty, a writer for Rolling Stone, who has never (to the best of our knowledge) tried to pro-choice catfish us. She'd just started following NWF on twitter and has the look of a women's studies major going on so hard we decided to borrow her face. Sorry about that RM.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gather 'round feminists, and let me tell you a little story…

A few years back some local NWF came over to my place and we had our first ever "Sign Drinking Wine Making Party." No that is not a typo. It's a hilarious joke, because that's how much wine we made, er, I mean drank. The poster board was plentiful and the glue sticks were a-flyin' ...then finally around 2am pretty much everyone passed out on my living room floor at which point I did the only thing a slightly tipsy, scissor wielding type-A nut job like myself could- I trashed all the hideous garbage signs my dear friends had crapped out and remade every single one of them into the glorious pieces of protest art they deserved to be.

Basically, I was the sign fairy that night. Minus the tutu and double the glitter.

Why was something so seemingly trivial that important to me? Well, because branding. Our movement is pretty freaking terrible at it. So terrible that every year we actually joke about which completely looney looking demonstrator will make the cover of the Dallas Morning News, and sadly we're almost always right. There are never very many of them, but what they lack in people they make up for in hot glue'd monstrosities which is like media crack. (Side note: Dude holding the baby doll nailed to the cross with the 10 inch long ketchup laden butcher knife sticking out of its chest… stop. please stop. just stop. I truly believe your heart is in the right place, but your body is not… it should never enter a Hobby Lobby. Like, ever.)

See, marches seldom save any babies, but they're still important. They're a way for us to show our community that when it comes to women in crisis and children who might lose their lives, we care. We care about our neighbors, the born and the preborn. We care about human rights for ALL human beings.

They're also a great chance for us to show our cities/towns/gypsy camps how NOT crazy most of us are. It's a chance for us to let people know that this is where the cool kids hang and they should come out of the shadows and be proud of their pro life beliefs as well. It's a chance to show people that we look, act, love, and laugh just like them. Oh, and that we watch The Simpson's too, because we're normal rational peeps with a sense of humor.

So this season amidst all of your Festivus parties, Kwanzaa gatherings, and Christmas shindigs please consider throwing your very own 'Sign Drinking Wine Making Party.' We always march around January 22nd, so you have plenty of time to get-a-Evitin'. It's a great chance to connect with other badass pro-lifers in your community… and maybe ever talk them outta doing that whole baby doll butcher knife piece they've been working on.

Let us know if you need help connecting with others in your area or finding out when your local march is happening. That's what we're here for! …well that, and to sneak into your house and remake your signs in the middle of the night, but only if they're super, super ug-o.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Life or Death for Scott Panetti

When Destiny asked me to write about Scott Panetti, the mentally ill man who will be executed in Texas on December 3, my first response was: "Uh. Why?"

You see, I am not an anti-death penalty activist. I'm not even 100% against the death penalty. (And before you start screaming at your monitor that being anti-abortion and pro-death penalty are morally and logically inconsistent, sorry, but they're totally not.)

To be utterly honest and fair, I should begin by saying that when it comes to the death penalty, I am ambivalent. I hate being ambivalent about moral issues, but here I sit, ambivalent as hell.

I don't have a problem with the death penalty in theory. ​The problem I have is with its practical application. The meting out of death can be just, but our governments almost never are. We can very often be reasonably certain of a person's guilt or innocence. But we can't be certain we are giving the power of life and death over citizens to a system worthy of this power.

In the case of Scott Panetti, we are dealing with a man who is mentally ill; in particular, he is schizophrenic.

Now, the headlines are designed to elicit an emotional reaction: "Texas to execute mentally ill man," they scream over and over. But we have to stop and remember: "mentally ill" can mean a lot of things, and a person's mental illness doesn't necessarily keep him from knowing the difference between right and wrong.

I am neither a psychiatrist nor a lawyer, so the medical and legal details of the case are not, as the kids say, my jam. I can't look at Panetti's file and decide he is what the doctors call "mos def cray," nor can I decipher the legal jargon and argue that he wasn't treated fairly by the court. 

I can't even look at some of the more sensational details of the case - such as the fact that he represented himself in court dressed in a cowboy outfit and put Jesus Christ on his witness list - and know whether or not he was (this is Latin) cray-cray in the bray-brain, or hamming it up for that insanity appeal.

What I do know is that we don't know. And it's not a good idea to execute someone if he might be playing with less than half of a deck.

It is one thing to execute a man who murdered and knows he murdered, repentant or not. It is another thing entirely to execute a man who may have murdered what he thought were Care Bears with what he thought was a ray-gun from space. And here I don't intend to make light of the murders of two people (his in-laws, which incidentally may go toward establishing his sanity, ba-dum-chik) but to illustrate that all legal technicalities aside, there is a possibility that Scott Panetti didn't know what the eff he was doing when he committed those murders.

It is my opinion that in instances such as these, we must err on the side of mercy.

Even when I was 100% anti-death penalty, I didn't believe it was an issue as worthy of our time as abortion. After all, Scott Panetti has a team of lawyers, a bunch of judges looking at his case, psychiatrists and witnesses and supporters ad nauseam. The unborn baby has what? Me and you. Writing. Arguing. Standing on sidewalks. Asking for her mother to show mercy.

The unborn baby gets no trial, fair or otherwise, no appeals process, no Constitutional rights. The whim of her mother is all that stands between her and death.

In this case, though, we should think of what we tell abortion supporters who argue that the unborn child is just a worthless clump of cells: "But what if it isn't?"

Maybe Scott Panettis dozen or so stays in a mental hospital, his decades-long history of schizophrenia, and his tendency toward delusions don't mean anything. Maybe he's sane enough for us to execute.

But what if he isn't?

I am not anti-death penalty, and I certainly believe the murders of two innocent people demand justice. But the extraordinary circumstances of this case demand extraordinary prudence and mercy.


Post by Kristen Hatten

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An Open Letter to Kim Kardashian

Dear Kim K., 

We get it. 

You have a big, beautiful dumper. 

You just had a baby and you don't feel very pretty or sexy anymore so you want every man (and even some women) in America to lust after you, because if they do you'll know you've still got it. I've been there. I mean, not the posing with my butt out for a NY mag part, but the unsexy part. 

Heck, I have four kids; I pretty much live on Planet Unsexy these days.

That wasn't always the case though. I was pretty cute and thin back in the day and that's dangerous. You get addicted to the compliments and the attention. You buy into the lie that your looks and sexuality are the sum of your worth. In your mind that becomes the best part of you. So after baby number one I lost my identity too, and I needed people to find me attractive so I could convince myself I still had value… that I was still lovable. Because of that I became easy, and I mean eeeeasy (wink, wink) prey for anyone willing to pay me a compliment. 

That's where you're at now. You're letting the world exploit you because you think their reaction will show you, and perhaps your husband, that you are still valuable and still worthy of love. 

But what you're going to find at the end of this media circus is that tomorrow you will still be a day older, and you will have a new perceived flaw: a new wrinkle, sag, or pound of fat. You will spend the rest of your life working tirelessly to prove your worth to people based on a body that is committed to betraying you. It will become your enemy, and you will grow to hate it. You will grow to hate yourself. No amount of ogling will suffice because you won't be the woman you were last year, last month, last selfie. 

You will be like a hamster constantly running on a wheel trying to catch the approval of others. And that's sad, because you will never be able to stop and enjoy your life. You will always be trying so. damn. hard. to earn love.

And even still, one day there will be another Kim K., a brighter younger fresher version of you, whose nude beauty will fill our news feeds, magazines, and movies. You will flinch at the thought of your husband leering at her, so you will run faster, work harder, sacrifice more. Until finally you won't be able to any longer. You will be so exhausted from trying that you will have to stop... at which point you'll realize all you gave up in this futile pursuit. The pieces of your dignity you sold for Hollywood's fleeting infatuation. The hours of laughter with good friends that were traded for hours at the gym. The minutes spent editing pictures to give to people who don't matter instead of using that time to teach your daughter that her beauty doesn't need to be filtered or fixed. Because you are feeding a monster whose appetite will not be satiated with you, it will one day try to feast on her as well. 

This is a cycle we must break now, for women everywhere and for all future generations of women to come. 

But how?

Well, that's the hard part. We have to go against everything we know and learn to love ourselves. We must learn to value that which doesn't fade but becomes more beautiful over time: our character, our kindness, and our compassion for others. 

Kim K., your mother didn't protect you from this world. She sold you to it. Please, I'm begging you, rip off the price tag and refuse to be bought any longer. You are worth so much more than the price of a magazine. We all are. And so are our daughters. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

With heavy hearts...

Our dear friend Erin, who often helps edit blogs here at New Wave Feminists, lost her 7 week old son, Gabriel, two days ago. He passed away in his sleep. Our hearts are breaking for Erin and her husband, and their two other children as they go through this devastating time.

They have written a beautiful prayer in their son's honor and we invite any of you who would like to lift them up to pray it with us...

Heavenly Father, author of life,
Our hearts are heavy from the loss of our son Gabriel.
Unite our suffering to the cross of Your Son, Jesus Christ,
and use this suffering as a prayer of intercession.
We pray for the safety of all children in their mothers’ wombs.
We pray for men & women considering abortion,
that the light of truth be shown in their hearts,
and that they see the true hope of a better way.
We pray for clinic workers,
that they see the lie of abortion for what it is,
and be given the strength and courage to leave for a better life.
We pray for the hearts of all this nation,
that they see the value of life,
and that they treasure all life as much as we do right now.
Father of all mercies,
enfold our son in your loving embrace,
pour your love into our broken hearts.
Our Lady, Mother of Perpetual Help,
Pray For Us

From everyone at New Wave Feminists, we offer our deepest and most sincere sympathies to this precious family. Rest in Peace sweet Gabriel. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

The very thing that MADE Wendy Davis is what ultimately sunk Wendy Davis: Anarchy

I voted. I called my elected officials. I wrote my senator. And when I was in Austin, I would pop into the capital and give all of the people whom I put into office (and even those I didn't) a piece of my mind. I followed the process, because I believe in the process.

What Wendy David did last summer, however, makes me wonder how anyone would be shortsighted enough to vote for her as a high ranking elected official.

I was in Austin when HB 2 took place and I watched it all go down.

My voice, my VOTE, which as a female was so heartily won, was silenced the second Wendy put up two fingers signaling the gallery to go crazy. The law became lawless and a small portion of Texas (we can only assume they were actually from here) loved it. They hooted and hollered and my voice was no longer relevant. The 19th amendment suddenly meant nothing... oh, but wait, according to Davis it was "for women," I forgot.

Davis tried it the legal way, she filibustered for 11 hours, but in the 11th hour her true colors came out. She didn't care about the government she was appointed to uphold. She cared about her own special interests which made my vote and voice in the political system null and void. Yet she's the one who gets to claim the title of "feminist." She's the savior of women and all those who disagree with her have betrayed their gender? 

After witnessing Wendy's actions last summer I was astonished at the number of constituents still willing to place their faith in her knowing at any moment she might override their will for her own. The very passion they admired would be the thing that could ultimately burn them if they disagreed with her on an issue.

Likewise, the very chaos she depended on last year was the same unorganized anarchy that did not turn out for her Tuesday. Lesson learned, Wendy? Stop blaming the women of Texas for your loss and realize it was because you silenced so many of them that you were ultimately defeated.