Monday, October 28, 2013

Making A Case For Deadbeat Dads

Parenting is hard. Choosing to raise another human being for the next 18-years, to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate them is not something that can be done half heartedly, or at least it shouldn't be.

Since 1973, any time a woman in this country has found herself facing an unplanned pregnancy, she has been able to abort her child. She's had the right to cut all ties to her offspring. She's been legally able to terminate any responsibility that comes with motherhood.

We live in a very contradictory nation when radical feminists, who can often be heard demanding equality, support the unfair right of women to be able to opt out of parenthood. When a woman does "choose" not to become a parent we're told it's a liberating act, but when a man chooses the very same thing, somehow it's considered cowardly.

Now, of all the people making a case for deadbeat dads, it probably shouldn't be me considering I've had two. Let me explain. My mother became pregnant with me at the University of Texas in Austin a decade after Roe made it legal for her to kill me. Lord knows that would've been the easiest, and some might even say most "responsible" option. She had a promising future, and minister parents she was going to have to face with a less than an immaculate conception. But she knew whatever "choices" there were to be made up ahead, I was not one of them. I was very much alive and there was no taking that back.

My grandfather had one very brief conversation with my biological father while I was still no bigger than a lemon. "Either marry my daughter," he said, "or leave and let her get on with her life." He chose the latter, and for years I resented my grandfather for doing that. Who was he to force such a drastic ultimatum on the man who had helped to create me?

My biological father saw me one time when I was two weeks old, commented on how long my eyelashes were, and that was it. There were no birthday cards, or long distance phone calls. I never saw him again.

Growing up, I fantasizes about being a professional golfer, because my mother used to mention how much he liked golf. I remember thinking that maybe, just maybe, if I made it big in the LPGA he'd want to be my dad then. Since obviously the only reason he took off was because of my grandfather.

Then, 16 later I found myself in an almost identical situation, dashing all hopes of a professional golf career. I was pregnant with a child, while still very much a child myself. That's when my boyfriend became the second deadbeat dad in my life. For the first two years he was completely AWOL. I remember people would say, just wait until he sees this beautiful little boy, there’s no way he could not immediately fall in love him with. I knew better though. Unlike my biological father he kind of came around once our son was a toddler and popped in and out of our lives just enough to confuse him. Eventually I was able to get child support payments garnished from his paychecks, more out of spite than need though. I wanted him to know this child existed and was his responsibility, but the State made it insanely difficult to actually reinforce such a notion. Plus, all signs were pointing to the fact that his heart was truly not into parenting, and nothing was going to change that.

Finally I realized it was best to let him go... let him out of all responsibility, much like my biological father, and move on with my life. 

Most of the time when it comes to unplanned pregnancies, this is the case. Who knew sex could lead to the creation of a new life? Or my new favorite, "But I was on birth control, this isn't my fault!" And so often these scared, na├»ve, and unprepared men and women choose to abort. We’ve all heard the story of the guy who tells her "just now’s not really the right time," or the girl who wants to experience college without a baby to look after. For many, abortion is the perfect get-out-of-jail-free-card. In a world that seems to have consequences for everything, we've managed to find a loophole that only costs one innocent life.

Sometimes however, women choose not to abort, and that decision must be respected as well. However, thanks to a society that's been conveniently killing children for the last 40 years, that baby is still just as much a choice to some as it is a child to others. We’re seeing an increase in men who think this way. “How come she gets to decide whether or not I become a parent?”

So here's where I make my case for deadbeat dads. As someone who has suffered at the hands of their choices not once but twice, and watched my son suffer as well, I still believe they are not the ones who should fully be to blame for this mindset. They are making the exact same choice many women, 55 million to be exact, have made, in the US alone, since 1973. Except in their case, when they choose to leave their responsibilities behind, at least their child is still allowed to live.

As a nation, it baffles me how we can celebrate the woman’s choice but so completely demonize the man’s, when ultimately it’s one and the same. And then it hit me - it’s all about money. Because it always is, right? The woman who aborts because she’s not ready, and probably not financially stable, is paying a small amount up front that will potentially save the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in social services in years to come. The male who abandons his pregnant counterpart is instead costing the taxpayer just that. In both cases, a child who was created by no fault of their own quickly becomes the bane of this nation’s existence worthy of death or destitution. But since children sleeping on cardboard mats in the streets would look bad on us, we simply root for them to be killed in their mother's womb.

Bottomline, until we learn to respect the humanity of ALL human beings- at every stage- we seldom respect the role of any human being. We will not view their struggles with compassion, we will only see what a burden they are on others and we will continue to dehumanize humans for our own selfish gain... men and women alike. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fo' Lyfe

I'm gonna start a campaign called "40's For Life" where we just drink large beers and argue with people on the internet about abortion.
Who's with me?!?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

40 Days for Life-Dallas Speech...

Or at least the first half before my phone turned pro-choice, and chose to stop recording. Hashtag lame.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An Open Letter To Matt Walsh

Oh, Matt Walsh… the day has finally come. I've been a fan of your blog for a while now, but knew eventually we'd have to disagree on something, and here it is: Hot Mom.

Let me begin by saying Maria Kang is GORGEOUS. Anyone with eyes in their head can see that. She’s also confident and obviously works her ass off. Literally. From what I can tell she has three happy, healthy children, and there’s no reason to believe she’s not an excellent mother.

Add all that up, and hopefully you will realize I’m not a “hater.” I had actually not even heard about this “controversy” until your latest blog post.

That said, let’s not look at this so much as me disagreeing with you, but as me simply adding some extra insight that you, as a person of your gender, might not have even considered.

First off, I do not believe the entirety of the reaction Mrs. Kang is getting is from a bunch of fat, angry trolls, as you seem to be implying. I posit the real root of this backlash is a generation of women who are so sick and tired of being told they are not good enough. All. the. damn. time.

We are not allowed to just be us - fat, skinny, in-between, or otherwise. Our boobs are always too small or big, as are our ass, arms, and legs. We’re told if we do not squeeze into whatever mold the world sees fit, we hardly deserve to serve you hot wings, let alone be loved and respected as human beings.

So did this pic sting me a bit? If we’re being honest, yeah.

Why? Well, because I’ve been "fat" since I was thirteen.

I grew up riding horses, and because of that I had these disgustingly muscular thighs. I used to stare down at them in the shower and cry because the resemblance to a Thanksgiving turkey was uncanny.

When I was fourteen I became even grosser as one of my breasts developed faster than the other. No one else ever noticed, but I did. Paired with my thick, flabby arms I was always self-conscious about waving at friends or embracing a loved one with my offensive upper body.

“Why can’t I just be pretty like the girls in Seventeen or on the cover of Cosmo?” I thought. I read all about their diets, workout routines, and beauty regimens. But there was just no fixing me. I was not enough and never would be.

In a given day I probably thought about how fat and ugly I was no fewer than 500 times. I am not even exaggerating. Sometimes they were little thoughts like, Sit up straight, so you don’t have rolls, while other times they manifested themselves as hours in front of the mirror, picking and perfecting.

I worked out, starved myself, and did every diet under the sun by the time I was fifteen. Coupled with the fact that I had a less than desirable home life and some major daddy issues, this created the perfect storm. I became such easy prey.

Any time a male would show someone as repulsive as me the tiniest bit of attention, I would pounce all over it. How can I get him to like me more? What else can I offer him so he’ll keep ignoring my giant nose, tiny lips, and huge legs? By fifteen I was sexually active. By sixteen I was pregnant and alone.

At this point the cycle should have stopped, right? I should have snapped out of it. But I didn’t. Now it was worse than ever. Now I had a body that had expanded to create a new life, then deflated all the way back down (and then some) with less than aesthetically pleasing results. I wore girdles constantly, trying to pull my skin back in, and had microdermabrasion done to my stomach to reduce the appearance of my stretchmarks.

(Do you know what that is? It’s basically a machine that shoots out these sharp little crystals from the tip of a wand while simultaneously sucking them back up in order to sandblast whatever surface it comes in contact with. And it hurt. But no pain, no gain, right? That’s what Cosmo told me.)

Cosmo was also telling me that I needed to know my best "naked angles" and be a sex kitten in the bedroom while fulfilling every one of my man’s wildest fantasies (with a fold-out section full of ideas in case he was less than creative).

So now, not only did I still have to compete with all the other girls at my high school who were so skinny and pretty and perfect already, but fat ugly me had a disgusting saggy stomach, and a matching set of boobs from feeding a newborn. Not to mention, I had to make up for the fact that I had a child, and responsibilities, and a curfew on the rare nights I got to go out. 

Needless to say, after my crisis pregnancy I became more promiscuous and vulnerable than ever. Which is so stupid. Had I not learned anything from going through this? There was this unwritten rule, though: I’ll stoop to dating someone like you, but you have to make it worth my while.

Only by the grace of God did I not become pregnant again or contract any diseases.

And with each “relationship,” whether it lasted a week or a night, I became fatter, uglier, less worthy of love and respect, and more willing to exploit myself in search of it.

While certain aspects of my story might be unique, young women as a whole are subjected to these same pressures every day. We live in a society that tells them their bodies and sexuality are where all of their value lies. They cannot escape these messages being constantly beaten into their heads, even if they want to ignore them. Billboards proclaim it, movies celebrate it, music demands it, television normalizes it, and magazines tell them how to become it.

This is why, as you mention in your post, a picture of a man with no legs climbing Everest can be seen as inspirational, while a picture of "Hot Mom" will provoke an entirely different emotion, even though both achievements took a massive amount of work and perseverance.

Here’s the deal: we just want to be us. We’re sick of constantly being beaten up because we’re not the ideal woman, wife, and mom like Mrs. Kang. We get it: we’re not perfect. We’re not enough. This is not news to us. It’s the record that’s been playing in our heads since we were old enough to look in a mirror and notice all our flaws.

Women, and more dangerously, girls in America are given a very specific set of instructions to live by: 1.) You should constantly be working to become perfect. 2.) Odds are you will never be good enough though, no matter how hard you try. 3.) Any love and attention you do get is charity, so don’t be picky or bother with standards, and 4.) Finally, the saving grace: if you’re good enough in bed, maybe he won’t realize how fat and disgusting you are. 

Matt Walsh, it’s my guess (and correct me if I’m wrong) that you’ve never felt this way, and if you have it was likely an isolated incident. But for many females growing up in this day and age, it’s not. It’s our constant. It’s the headspace we live in and call home, no matter how much we may hate it. And we do. We work tirelessly to be enough. 

Until one day we grow up and see a picture of ourselves at thirteen… and realize that overweight, thick-legged, chubby little girl in the picture was all of 98 pounds. And we suddenly see her for the first time. Like, really see her. Her arms were skin and bone, there wasn’t an ounce of fat there, her legs were absolutely perfect and we’d kill to have that body now. 

And you want to know why? Because the one thing in that picture that hasn’t changed is the self-hatred lurking behind her smile. It’s still there, stronger than ever. It never left her side.

And that’s when we decide to grow up. We decide that no matter how hard we work to perfect the outside, the inside is what needs our full attention now. We do it for the little girl in the picture, and we do it for the next generation of women who we want to see themselves as more than just bodies, even when the world will tell them that’s all they are. We want them to see themselves as whole individuals capable of changing the world with their minds, and so yeah, “positive encouragement” like Maria Kang's picture does strike a nerve.

She may or may not have ever been that little girl hating herself. I do not know. And while she has worked so hard, and deserves to be proud, the sting came from the words “What’s your excuse?” I also believe that’s where a majority of the backlash came from. Sure, some people will be ugly and hateful just because that’s how they are, and I am in no way trying to justify their behavior. But for the rest of us, her message perpetuates the mentality America has adopted that we, as women looking nothing like this, are not good enough because we must be lazy or gluttonous or unmotivated. And if we don’t change it’s because we're making excuses.

So, the excuses end here. The real ones, the ones I battle everyday. I will no longer hate my body because it does not look like Maria Kang's. I will no longer allow others to treat me as "less-than" because I feel I deserve it based on my outward appearance. I will no longer say horrible things to myself in the mirror because the world might see me as “less-than.” 

Screw the world. 

I will be happy for mothers who are able to bounce right back to their pre-baby body, and I will be okay with the fact that I didn’t, haven’t, and perhaps never will. My new body is squishy and striped, and whether it’s being used as a trampoline beneath little toddler feet, or a pillow for my daughter’s head, I know what this body is capable of, whether the world sees it or not. 

Strength. Creation. Compassion. Protection. And Love.

And those are all things that I’m NOT celebrating when I’m wasting my energy thinking about how inadequate I am. So, no more excuses. I will not allow anyone to say those things about me any longer, myself especially. Because I am enough.

So way to go, Mrs. Kang. I will see your meme, and raise you one of my own…

If you find this motivating, awesome. If you don't, feel free to never look at it again. And if it makes you feel bad about how little time you have to write or pursue whatever your passion is, please print it out and stick it to a dart board, because ain't nobody got time for that. (Added bonus if your passion is darts.) But I do hope it'll at least prompt you to ask yourself: what it is that you are phenomenal at? For Maria, it's 6-packin'. For me, it's writing open letters. 

Where are you sowing your time and energy? Quit obsessing over your weaknesses, and start focusing on your badassness. Stop letting the world change you, and start changing the world. 

As for you, Mr. Walsh. Sorry for getting all Tony Robbins mid-letter. But as I said, hopefully this will shed some light on why Nick Vujicic has it easier than "Hot Mom." We're not "hating" on her in particular, we're just pretty much done with this message. 

Keep on getting it right 99% of the time,


Friday, October 11, 2013

Why it took me 36 hours to recover from praying outside Planned Parenthood

I was nervous.
I've been pro-life for about 3 years but I'd only prayed outside of abortion facilities a few times. Each time I'd been nervous, uneasy, worried. Each time had been painful, discouraging, yet grace-filled. Bearing witness to the horror and brutality of abortion was something I'd felt called to do, and following that call took me out of my "comfort zone" and tapped into my precious reserves of chutzpah to do so.
Each time I had been joined by people with similar--if not identical--tactics on how best to achieve our shared sacred goal of saving lives, of changing the hearts and minds of those misguided mothers on their way to making the worst mistake of their lives.
Not this time.
I found the place easily (which is a huge achievement for directionally-challenged me, even though I had been there to pray once before--but after business hours.) 
I felt conspicuous walking a few blocks down a residential street with the sign I'd made the night before on the particleboard drawer bottom of an old changing table: "LET US HELP U"… 

But when I got to Planned Parenthood and was greeted by a few smiling faces I felt more comfortable. We prayed together and talked a bit about the current 40 Days for Life campaign and dutifully stayed behind the white line in the parking lot as a couple of cars pulled in to park. I said, "Let us help you" to the first couple I saw exiting a car. When the next car arrived, a woman next to me said, a little too loudly for my liking, "Your baby's heart is beating, you can't do this!" My Christian charitability was overshadowed by my judgment of what I perceived as her elevated volume and accusatory tone. I approached her about my misgivings and was swiftly chided, perhaps rightfully so, but she and I amicably discussed the sadness of it all and how petty bickering amongst ourselves wouldn't save anyone. We prayed together.
Then more escorts arrived.
After an hour or so of solemn prayer and only a couple of cars coming to the center, I noticed the blue-vested clinic escorts had increased in number. We'd had two the first hour, then there were three, four, wow--FIVE escorts here now!--for an abortion center with only 6 or 7 spaces in the parking lot. There were only about eight of us there praying. A few people had fliers for the local pregnancy resource center (only a couple blocks away!), me with my "LET US HELP U" sign and MapQuest directions to the PRC, and a man with a very large, professionally-made "CHOOSE LIFE!" sign with a photo of an adorable 6-month-old baby. Then they showed up, and suddenly it all made sense.
I am new to the pro-life movement. I fully accept that any of my opinions are subject to suspicion because I used to work in an abortion facility. But I'm also a very regretful and repentant post-abortive mother who was pressured into having an abortion I did not want. I had already named my child, had a prenatal care appointment made, and a call in to the local medical assistance office. I ran out of the clinic the day of my first appointment and no one was in the parking lot praying--how I wish there had been! But if any of these people had been there, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the terrified pregnant 17-year-old me (who wanted to keep my baby!) would never have approached these hostile people shouting nastiness and holding violent signs.
I felt as though I was in a movie clip filled with caricatures of what pro-abortion people, clinic escorts, and clinic workers think pro-lifers are. It was as if someone had called Central Casting and asked them to send the woman carrying a crucifix the size of her ribcage, dousing holy water, and mumbling under her breath; her contemporary carrying the huge photo of the top half of an aborted baby's skull held in forceps and snarling, "You know what you're doing is murder!"; and another cohort with a homemade sign scrawled on a bedsheet with words I couldn't quite make out--but I could clearly hear her screaming (LOUDLY) "DON'T KILL ME, MOMMY!! PLEASE DON'T LET THEM KILL ME, MOMMY!" over and over and over again.
After what felt like forever, but was probably only a few minutes, I literally shook and fell to my knees, propped my sign up on my legs and softly sang, "Amazing Grace." I didn't know what else to do.
Then I left.
I had to.
I asked someone to walk me to my car because the fear generated by those surroundings had taken hold of me--the fear generated on the same side of the line upon which I now stood.
A very dear friend with a similar background and conversion experience told me, "Truth without mercy is just facts." I saw no mercy or compassion from these people. No sense of welcome or kindness or "Let us help you" emanated from them as from those first few sidewalk counselors I'd met during my first hour there.
The overwhelming and demonstrable (and verifiable) success of the 40 Days for Life campaigns should prove to us that scare tactics simply do not work as well as the peaceful, prayerful, compassionate witness of people offering practical assistance to pregnant mothers and their families. I know that lives have been saved by the graphic signs and the shouting--but now that we know even more lives can be saved with mercy rather than shock, why wouldn't we change our tactics toward increased proven success? Because shouting down the man saying, "We can help you with medical care during your pregnancy, and there is always adoption" with "You know what you're doing is murder" isn't working.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Jewels Green is a post-abortive mother and a pro-life Catholic convert football-loving bibliophile with 4 tattoos, 3 kids, 2 degrees, and 1 regretful past in the abortion industry.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Just In: Letting Dudes Jerk Off To Your Rack Will Not Cure Breast Cancer

It might give a giggle (among other things) to the men... if you even want to call them that... who thought up this stupid gimmick, but contrary to popular belief "No Bra Day" is just another dumb ploy to turn young women into pieces of porn. The idea behind the campaign is to raise awareness by going braless on the 13th and then posting pics or your chi-chi's on the internet. Hate to break it to ya, but this will NOT raise breast cancer awareness, ladies. Unless of course "breast cancer awareness" is your gross little codename for trouser tents. 

As a matter of fact, a friend of a friend had a wonderful idea just in case the sleazeballs behind this "campaign" really did want to raise awareness... 
"If you want to use pictures... show women who have lost their breasts to a mastectomy! Now THAT might scare women into being aware and getting those all important mammograms... but of course MEN won't want to see that."
Of course not. But that's not the point here anyway, is it?

I decided to check out their page, praying that women could not possibly be naive enough to fall for this scam, and after being met by a barrage of cleave shots (imagine my surprise), I stumbled upon perhaps one of the stupidest "About" sections I've ever come across. And we're talking facebook here folks, so that's saying something.  

Now join me as I attempt to decipher the Boobstagram "awareness" campaign's core message (as described on their FB):

"The fight against cancer is long-standing; progresses are real but can seem slow compared with other diseases, despite considerable human and financial ressources dedicated to it."

{Why has no one tried hosting a universal tits out day?!? I mean, c'mon guys, screw medicine, this is obviously the answer!}

"We cannot all become doctors or surgeons."

{Perhaps if I'd spent less time trying to get girls drunk so you could feel them up in college I might actually be able to save these "tatas" I proclaim to care so much about.}  

"But we can all take part in prevention, for ourselves, for our friends and family and for others. But how? How to be heard in the public area overwhelmed with messages?" 

{Hmmmmm, take nudity pics and post them on the internets? Genius!}

"How to avoid the pitfall of moralism?"

{tit pics.} 

 "How to build a popular communication matching with the up-to-date scientific knowledge?"

{science-schmience. tit pics.}

 "And how to create a rather fun prevention campaign when most campaigns use fear?"

{Dude, 'cause I can't tell you all the times Susan G. has had me in tears with one of their sad Sarah McLachlany commercials... oh shit wait, that's was the SPCA, never mind.  Look whatever, we know most breast cancer campaigns have been pretty much solely centered around the hilarity and sexiness of the boob in whimsical and falsely empowering ways, so what's one more?!}

"By using this approach and by targeting young people, those most comfortable with new technologies and most comfortable with unconventional messages, we attempt to raise awareness amongst those who must change their behaviour today, in order to change their future tommorrow."

{No saggy old tits. C'mon, do it. It's for the future and the children and sturf or something.}

"It is indeed one extra challenge of this disease, that one prepares one’s cancer in 20, 30 or 40 years. However, raising awareness amongst young people about real but distant risks is extremely complex."

{We're serious, no old tits.}

"There are several types of preventions:Primary prevention that targets unhealthy behaviours.Secondary prevention that promotes early detection of disease, when medicine can be most effective."

{Ignore what everyone else says. Posting pics of your rack on the internet is like totes a healthy behavior.}

"It is on those two axis that we will attempt to intervene with those illustrated messages that we hope to see circulate widely on social networks."

{Let us use your breasts to get more "likes," "shares," and "retweets" on our creepy pedophile heaven social media sites.}

"Glamorous, audacious, original, whatever the means, as long as the objective is fulfilled: To stay alive."

{And by "stay alive" we obviously mean "keep us poppin' boners." And by "Objective" we obviously mean "object" A.K.A. "you" needs to be pretty nekkid, foxy young thang. Thanks.} 
And ladies... here's the moment you've all been waiting for, the faces of those who "likes" this site and page... 'nuff said.

They want young women and girls to free their cans on instagram (hey that's actually pretty catchy, use it and I'll sue, Boobstagram) for the dudes they're catering to. Period. Well, no wait, they don't like periods... because periods are a drag.

And just incase you haven't thrown up in your mouth enough yet. Here's the nipple on top of this "make a boob of yourself" campaign:

{Translation: Make it about breast cancer and doctors again for a sec so they can't see our hands down our pants.}


Major thanks to Chrissi Fisher for inspiring this post with her wonderful wit and web watching.