Butterfly Cauldron

Friday, February 13, 2009

Babies, death threats and shutting the frak up.

I haven't said anything here about the woman who gave birth to the octuplets a few weeks ago, because well. . .here's the thing: I would never, ever have 8 babies at once. I just wouldn't. That's basically my idea of hell. However, because I am adamantly pro-choice I have to support a woman's right to do with her body as she wishes. And if that means she wants to give birth to 8 babies at once, despite the risks to her health, to their health, to her family's economic future, well. . .it IS her body. Once those babies were conceived, should she have been forced to selectively abort? Who decides that? And if we let the government make that decision, what's to stop the government from deciding that any woman has to abort any particular pregnancy because, I don't know, we have enough Asian women now, thanks. Or we have too many black males? Or we don't want to increase our Down's Syndrome population? Oh! Tests show this child will be born deaf and well, we can't have that. You must abort. If you give the government a say in which children are born, then what's to stop them from deciding who MUST have children? What if the government decides that we need more white people? (And, given the anti-immigrant vibe from a lot of people, that's not exactly out of the realm of possiblity. All those dirty brown people, mucking up our pure white country! We need more white babies. Get to breeding!) What is to stop the government from forcing any given woman to have a baby? It's not that big a step from saying you must not have these babies to you must have these instead. (And no, I don't believe such a thing would happen overnight. However, setting the precedent and changing the cultural atmosphere so that it become acceptable for the government to have an active involvement in personal reproduction could certainly lead to such changes in the longrun. Once you accept that the government can limit how many children a woman can give birth to at one time, you are primed to accept the government's rights to control reproduction in other ways.)

So, that said: I understand that people are upset over the fact that a single mother used fertility treatments to conceive these children. I don't know why this event surprises them -- single women get fertility treatments all the time, the odds of a single woman conceiving octos is just as good as a married woman, it's not like nature checks for a marriage license. And I understand that people are upset that she's receiving some forms of government help to support her family. (A least one of her children has autism and two others apparently have some form of disability for which the government is providing subsidies. Frankly, I don't know why people have a problem with that. If the children need the help, the children should get the help, regardless of who their parents are and how they were born. They didn't exactly ask for this, ya know.) And she's apparently getting some form of food stamps, which is, again, quite reasonable. Again, this help is for her children. They did not ask to be born into this situation. They need food, they need medical care. It would be preferable if their family could provide that without government help, but if the family cannot, do they deserve to starve? Do they deserve to suffer due to treatable medical conditions because their family has no insurance? If a portion of your tax dollars go to make sure these children have food to eat and can get their ear infections treated, is that a bad use of the money? Is it a better or worse use of the money that funding an unending war? Is it a better or worse use of your money than building a Bridge to Nowhere?

So, I get that people may be upset. What I find fascinating is that most of those people would not be upset if she were married. (And for all we know, she does have an unmarried partner. Maybe she's got a boyfriend. Or maybe she's got a girlfriend. Or maybe she's got both. We don't know that she's doing this alone for certain.) Other families, like the Duggars and those people on John and Kate Plus 8 have really large families and people seem quite accepting of them. But if a woman is single? Well. . .

What I do not understand, however, are certain people's need to make fraking DEATH THREATS against this woman. What's wrong with you people? Because it'll be so much better for those children to grow up without a mother. Because it'll be soo much easier on their grandparents to raise them alone. Because putting all those children into the system will save sooo much tax money. Please people, grow up. This woman didn't do anything illegal, but the people threatening to kill her or her children certainly did. I hope they are caught and punished. You don't threaten to kill a woman because you disagree with her choices. (And, btw, if we were talking about a man who had fathered 14 children would we be having this discussion? No. No, we would not. There are plenty of men out there who have fathered 14 or more children and left those children to be raised by single mothers, often mothers that have to rely on public support for at least part of the time, and they don't get put in the spotlight. They don't get death threats. They don't even get forced to pay frakking child support. So stop with the sexism. It pisses me off.)

Further, please note that this woman is not lazing about the house doing nothing. She's in school, working on a graduate degree. Yes, she is relying on some forms of government assistance at the moment. However, once she graduates and finds work, she will once more be paying into the system and she will be supporting her children. She is not a so-called 'welfare queen'. Sometimes, people need help. My grandmother did, when she left my grandfather while pregnant with her fifth child. (He was pretty much a bastard and she needed to go.) She was on welfare and food stamps and any other government help she could get for a few years while she raised her children and got training to be a nurse's aid. Then she got a job, paid her taxes and raised her children. All of whom grew up to be good, decent people who went to school, got training and decent jobs and paid into the system. Her grandchildren, those of us who are adults, have also gone to college, gotten jobs and paid into the system. That's how the system works. Just because you're born into a large family that happens to be poor doesn't mean you're going to be a drain on society. My grandmother's children grew up to be nurses and teachers and electricians and even one pretty high ranking federal agent. Both her adult grandchildren have gone on to earn MAs and work in state government -- one of us making sure other people find money to go to college and the other making sure abused/neglected children get placed in loving, safe homes. So all you people saying these children are doomed and lost causes? Shut the fuck up. Now.
posted by Zan at 9:32 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

LGBTI Immigration Equality

Via Immigration Equality:

Rep. Jerrold Nadler plans to reintroduce the Uniting American Families Act on
Feb. 12.

You can make the bill a success by convincing your Representative to support the bill from Day One. Reintroducing the bill with as many cosponsors as possible will show powerful momentum for the rights of gay and lesbian binational couples!

Please call your Representative and ask them to be an original cosponsor of the "Uniting American Families Act of 2009." It’s easy!

**Find out who your U.S. House Representative is.
Go to http://www.congressmerge.com/, enter your address, and you will be provided the name of your U.S. Representative.

**Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask to be connected to your U.S. Representative.

**Tell your representative’s staff:

I am calling to ask Representative ________________ to be an original cosponsor of the Uniting American Families Act of 2009. To cosponsor, he/she must contact Rep. Jerrold Nadler who is the lead sponsor.

The U.S. government discriminates against gay and lesbian binational couples by not allowing us to sponsor our foreign-born life partners for immigration. Because of this, we face the terrible choice of separating from the person we love or leaving our country. As Americans, we should not have to choose between family and country. Please ask Rep. _________________ to cosponsor the Uniting American Families Act of 2009 by reaching out to Rep. Nadler before February 11.

Thanks for asking your member of Congress to celebrate love this Valentine’s Day by cosponsoring UAFA!

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posted by Zan at 2:10 PM 1 comments

Friday, February 06, 2009

I'm getting married!

Emmy and I have decided to get married -- so throw the confetti already!

I'm beginning work on the immigration paperwork this weekend. As soon as we can get it filed -- and pay the $500 it costs to apply! -- it should take about four months to process and, barring no problems, she could be in the country by July. That gives us four months to get married on a fiance visa, so we're planning for the end of September/first of October. Exact date will be posted as soon as it's pinned down.

We've decided on getting married in New Orleans, because we both love it so. I've tracked down a little chapel in the Quarter. For $300, you get the chapel for an hour, a violinist at your disposal and a celebrant to do the ceremony. We're thinking morning weeding, then a nice brunch at a nearby restuarant. We'll rent the courtyard for a few hours, have food, dancing, some presents and just general happiness. Then, the rest of the afternoon can be spent rummaging around the Quarter having fun in New Orleans.

That's the good stuff.

Now, for the bad.

I have to tell my family. I told my brother via IM this morning. He's not terribly happy. He says that this 'makes my heart hurt a little'. Because he didn't expect me to marry someone like Emmy. Well, neither did I. I didn't go looking for an Australian trans woman, but when you meet someone you can build a life with, that loves you and supports you and understands you, that shares your values and makes you feel like all those things you'd given up on are possible again -- what kind of idiot turns their back on that? It's uncommon and when you find it, you hold on to it.

He says that my niece Kadyn will not understand this, and he worries about her because she loves me so much. Well, I love her too. I didn't think I could actually love a child as much as I love her. It's a strange, strange bond. But it's not going to be hard for her. How hard is it for her to know that Aunt Suzan's friend Emily lives with her now? We won't be making out in front of her, you know. Regardless of who I was partnered with, I wouldn't do that. She's not going to care. She's going to go 'Oh. Okay. Can we go play with all your paints now?' Emmy's just one more person to shower her with love and presents. It's not going to be weird for her.

He kept saying 'You're my sister and I love you' -- which is very strange, because my brother hasn't told me he loved me in...ever, probably. I don't know how my parents are going to take the news either.

I'm calling my mother tonight. I've decided I'm just going to tell her. This is the plan. You can be involved if you want to be, that's entirely up to you. They're going to have to take some time to get used to the idea, I know. I'm pretty sure my mother will come around and I'm pretty sure my brother will too. My dad? I have no idea. I mean....if they don't want the rest of the family to realize we're married, fine. Whatever. If they just want people to know that we're living together, fine. We won't be making out in front of people, for gods sake. But I love her and frankly, I'm tired of feeling so exhausted and worn out over something that is GOOD NEWS!

Emmy's entire fracking family wants to come to our weeding! Her mother, father, two brothers, sister and at least one cousin are already coming. They're going to come up with $12k to get the whole family over here. They're all really excited for us. My family? They feel like it's a horribe tragedy.

So, here's the thing. I'm not letting my happiness get stolen. I'm GETTING MARRIED! I have to plan a weeding! I have to file out immigration paperwork! I have to find a caterer in New Orleans who will make me a bunny-shaped cheesecake for the weeding! I have to find a restuarant with a nice courtyard for us to rent! I have to find a dress! And shoes! And pick an attendant! We need announcements! We need to compile registries! I have six, maybe seven months to plan a fun, unconventional weeding! Screw everyone who cannot get on-board with my happiness.

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posted by Zan at 3:02 PM 8 comments

I hate Ken Starr and other assorted bigots

'What God has joined together, let no man put assunder.' -- Traditional Protestant Marriage Vows

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

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posted by Zan at 2:59 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Oh television, why have you betrayed me?

You know what's irritating? Television.
More specifically, House is irritating.

This week's episode was the anti-woman trifecta! First, a patient's period is literally killing her. Then, Cuddy has been rendered completely insane by motherhood. And third? Oh, third is my favorite. The damned Foreman/Thirteen romance.

So, one. Yes, the patient's period literally is killing her. A prior uterine surgery send uterine cells through her body, blahblahblah. So she gets her period and starts bleeding from EVERYWHERE. OK, fine. At least the show has the sense to have House acknowledge the ridiculousness of his diagnosis.

Two - Cuddy adopts a baby and is suddenly unable to do her job? What? Because that's just what the world needs. Successful, intelligent, upper class woman has baby and becomes a shrew! Whoohoo! Now that she's decided she just loves her daughter, I'm counting the episodes until the birth father decides he's changed his mind and she has to give the baby back, leading to weeping and leaning on House and well....you know what happens next. Gah.

But by far, the thing that is making me want to throw things at the telly is the so called romance between Fuckhead Foreman and Thirteen. Oh! Did you know, 13 has a name? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't, since it's only been mentioned maybe twice. Her name is Remy. Nice, no? But alas, everyone calls her 13. Not Hadley, as all the OTHER doctors on the show get referred to by their last names. Nope. She's just 13. Hell, even Amber got called by her name. But not Remy!

Anyway, moving on. She and Fuckhead are sleeping together. Ok, whatever. It doesn't make any sense, since she's been actively hooking up with women for well, her entire run on the show. But whatever. She said she was bi, so ok. I just don't buy the relationship at all. I mean, it's icky. She's in a medical trial that he's running. Medical ethic breach much? He's a patronizing prick. Example, you say? No problem! Last week, he found out she was on the placebo, so this week -- he throws the entire trial to switch her to the drug. Doesn't talk to her about it, nothing. Just does it. Because he looooves her or some such shit.

Anyway, after ONE damned treatment with the real drug, she gets a fucking brain tumor! No, really. Once she finds out what he did (which he only tells her because she's started to get headaches and losing her vision -- what a man! Playing with a woman's health without her consent! How is he still single after all these years? I can't figure it out.) she's all 'are you insane? We've been together for TWO WEEKS!'

And I applauded. Seriously. Finally. Remy's all, you're freaking me out you hulking fucking fucktard. We don't even know of the drug will work, you're not my husband, you didn't ask me, who ARE you??

But....then they find the tumor. And she goes blind. And Strong Get-Away-From-Me Remy turns into Weepy I'm-Just-A-Silly-Girl-Protect-Me! Remy. She's all leaning on Fuckhead, living in his house, begging him to do whatever he had to to help her. I was disgusted. I think I started swearing. Seriously.

So, they give her radiation, the tumor goes away and the fucking show ends with her in the Fucktard's Bed. Gods dammit! He's a manipulative little shit. He endangered her life, he fucked up the damned drug trial, he completely stole her bodily autonomy and wanted fucking cookies for it! What the.....

OK. So Foreman has always been a fuckhead. He pretends to be all righteous and good, but he's really a condescending jackass who thinks he's better than anyone else. Fine. Ok. But, this was just so beyond the pale. And they put her back in his bed! No. Just, no.....

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posted by Zan at 6:33 PM 0 comments