Monday, October 13, 2014

Tips for Offering Women Non-Violent Alternatives at the Clinic

From SAFL-

Sometimes, it's the little things that count.

That's no less true for reaching a women-in-crisis, especially in a critical moment in which she's considering abortion.

This week, we thought we'd share with you a few little tidbits to keep with you on the sidewalk in order to make yourself more approachable to an abortion-bound woman...

  • Be a person, not a protester -- This is the main thing we want you to remember: be someone she feels she can talk to.  Be a "safe person."  Think about it this way -- if you were caught in a desperate situation, who would you want to talk to?  The person yelling at you?  Or possibly, a person who looks like you and simply says,"Good morning can we help you?"  It's really something to think about.

  • Avoid "ganging up" on someone -- Even the best sidewalk counselors sometimes miss the opportunity to look around them and say, would this setting be intimidating to a woman-in-crisis?  She's not going to want to talk about her business with a huge group of people around, so try to separate yourself from the group a bit and create a more personal, confidential space for you to converse with someone and share vital information.  A car naturally creates this, but think about the setting for someone who might approach you on foot.

  • Don't be a billboard -- Peaceful messages are fine, but avoiding looking like a pin board for a bunch of angry messages meant for the culture.  Remember: your audience is the heart of a woman-in-crisis; your main goal at an abortion center is to reach her.  You want to be a safe, approachable person.  You don't want a woman to dismiss an opportunity to talk to you because you are "preaching at" them through your clothes.  Be someone who looks professional and approachable.

  • Project your voice, but don't yell -- I still remember the day I called out to a woman across the parking lot of an abortion facility -- I naturally had to project my voice, otherwise, she wouldn't have been able to hear me.  Unfortunately, she went in anyway.  However, she came out about 30 minutes later and came over to talk to me at the fence.  She said, "I decided to come talk to you because you weren't yelling at me."  I marveled at that because I naturally had to call out to her in order to reach her.  Again, there is a difference: if I had yelled out, "Hey, you, what do you think you're doing?!" or related, we would've never had the conversation.  But because I said, "Hi, I'm Lauren!  We'd like you to know that we have real help available ...You can come talk to me at anytime..." and projected my voice in a friendly manner, that made all the difference.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I agree with 100% of everything Emma Watson said.

I hate inequality. It’s the absolute worst.

And ending gender inequality will take all of us. Equal rights for women requires male participation too, because males are an intricate part of our civilized society as well, and for women to become equal we must include those whom we deserve to coexist alongside.

Emma Watson says this all quite beautifully. And then she adds the following…

“I think it’s right that I should be paid the same as my male counterparts… I think it's right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body…”

At which point she has to stop because uproarious applause breaks out.

She had made numerous powerful points, with not even a single audible clap, and then came a line which we all know is synonymous for “abortion rights" and the crowd is in a tizzy.

And here's the deal, on the surface I absolutely, whole-heartedly agree with what she is saying. Our bodies are ours. You can no more tell me I have to get a tattoo across my forehead than you can demand I bear children I choose not to conceive.

…However, if that child is already in existence, well, then suddenly we have another body, another set of autonomous rights, to consider. That’s what everyone keeps wanting to forget. I'm fairly certain this fact will receive no applause from the UN.

Yet, if we hop back over to the issue of equality for a second, we’ll find it’s spelled out quite clearly there. If a man murders a pregnant woman, it’s a double homicide. If a male abuses his pregnant girlfriend and kills the baby, it’s murder. If a guy secretly drugs his partner with an abortifacient causing her to miscarry, it’s a crime.

When a woman ends the life of an unborn child however, it’s merely a "choice."

So much for equality, Emma.

My Abortion Story

Originally posted on Stand True.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Nail Polish Detects Date Rape Drug; Infuriates Feminists

I hate victim-blaming. It's one of the few things in the world I could say truly disgusts me, and not be speaking hyperbolically. There is no excuse -- ever -- for sexual assault in any form. There is no excuse for rape. However, even with all that said… I can't say there's any reason to ignore our need to protect ourselves.
If we admit we live in a rape culture, why are my fellow feminists in uproar at the thought that women should be taught and equipped to protect themselves from something so heinous?
Yes, teach men not to rape, definitely. I could talk about it until I ran out of breath. But to neglect to equip a woman to defend herself from assault in what we already acknowledge is a rape culture isn't just ignorant, it's batshit insane. It's like saying "We live in a burglary culture. No one should ever lock their doors."
We shouldn't have to protect ourselves from sexual assault. But if we can and need to we should be able to if we so choose. Affecting the culture at large does not and should not require an absolute abandonment of practicality and common sense on an individual basis.
Let's hope for and work towards a future in which those who would be victims don't have to worry, and those who would be aggressors would never think to commit violent acts. Let's stop blaming the victim, and stop placing fault on someone who didn't consent to what unfolded. In the meantime, why are we shaming dudes for making nail polish? For trying to help? For actually doing something to make rape less likely to occur, for someone, somewhere?
Complain all you want, I guess. But I, for one, won't be turning in my stun gun so I can jump on this "Screw protecting ourselves!" weird feminist band wagon.


Post by Tori Long

Booty Positivity? Sorry Guys, But We're Popping The Myth That This Has Anything To Do With You...

A new pop star has been born, America! Meghan Trainor, a 20-year-old from Massachusetts, possesses the #2 spot on iTunes for her single “All About That Bass”. For the record, I love this song. It’s catchy and hilarious and I totally relate to it. But I don’t think it should be heralded as the big “F-You!” to the man (or men in general) that it has been. Although I don’t think this is her intention, it’s easy for girls to interpret this song to mean that bigger is better. Yes, some guys will naturally be more attracted to heavier girls, but I don’t think we’re doing women any favors by saying their figure is less “womanly” than another’s. For years I’ve had to deal with insinuations (or outright observations) that I’m a little bigger than what’s ideal. I love that some areas of our culture are getting over the fact that not every girls is going to be perfectly trim, but that is not an excuse to tell thinner girls that they’re not good enough either! Let’s just agree that women come in all shapes and sizes, okay? Some girls have flat butts, some have big boobs, some (like me) have hardcore muffin tops. And that’s okay, because WHO CARES? “Yeah, my mama she told me don't worry about your size She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night."” Oooh! So it’s okay for my jeans to be size 16 because guys like big butts? Um, no. Since when is the fact that guys will like to cuddle with you a reason to finally be happy in your own skin? “Since always”, you say? I say it’s time we start busting that myth. I like my body. Not because I have “all the right junk in all the right places”, but because this is how my body is and until I decide to change it, I might as well be happy with it! If you think your body is acceptable because some guys prefer whatever size you are, if you wear sweatpants out because some guys might find it sexy, if you skip makeup because guys find the “natural” look’re missing the point. It’s just another way of basing your appearance off what guys think is hot. Sometimes I wear outfits that, I admit, could be more flattering. And guess what? I like it anyway! And sometimes that’s good enough. It makes me a little nervous to say that because we live in such a “Me” culture. But I feel like this is one of the times when girls seem to forget that they should think of how they feel first. It hurts my heart that girls do their hair this way or buy that swimsuit so they can draw the attention of guys and feel desired. When a good guy likes you, it wont just be because you have a great figure. A woman is so much more than just a body. Let’s start acting like it.


Post by Elizabeth May Vos