I am SICK and TIRED of people objecting to seeing women using their breasts for what they are actually for. BREASTFEEDING IS NOT VULGAR OR OBSCENE.
ON RACISM AND ZIMMERMAN - One last post today.
I have been taken to task by some people, saying I’m the racist for pointing out what I think is clear and obvious bigotry in people rushing to Zimmerman’s defense.
I reject that.
However, I have forgotten about the one group where it’s not…
I counted around 15 social media accounts that I have in various places, and I’m sure there are some I’ve forgotten about. I always feel guilty for not posting, which is ridiculous. It’s not like people are waiting to see what little old me with her run on sentences (and overuse of parenthesis) who can’t tell a joke to save her life is going to say next. Regardless, I felt overwhelmed by it all. I need to whittle the social networking down to a more manageable size.
So, just a few days ago, here on Tumblr, I posed a question to y’all: Which of my social media accounts do you actually read. IOW, what should I keep?
Well, LOL, I was able to infer by the total and complete lack of response here that you do not read my Tumblr. So it will go bye-bye. It’s not the first time, but this time it will be permanent.
I’m also abandoning accounts on sites whose features and design I love the most, but for one reason or another, they aren’t as appreciated by others. This happens to me a lot. If I find a food or deodorant or anything I really like, it gets discontinued for lack of interest. :( Well, these social media sites are still around and have plenty of users, just none of my friends are into them. Like, LiveJournal. I know LJ has a reputation, but it is actually pretty awesome. You can categorize your posts in groups (food, politics, etc.) and add people based on their interests so your friends only see the posts they care about. You can make certain entries private (an online diary, that (providing you don’t leave your laptop open while logged on) no one but you can read), there are groups you can join (TMI Chix being my favorite. I have a bit of a zit obsession) and it’s just overall superior to Tumblr. But only two or three friends have accounts there that they actually use so it would be pretty lonely. Same with Streamzoo — way better than the other photo apps (they don’t make you crop your pictures before publishing for one thing), but only six of my friends have accounts, all of which are also on IG and, like me, have given up and decided that interacting with friends is more important than using a superior application. Heello could be the next Twitter, but it probably doesn’t stand a chance (though I hope I’m wrong). MySpace has improved 1,000%, but like LiveJournal, had its moment and people have moved on. Google+ I don’t love, but it’s not horrible. I just don’t see the point of it when nobody logs on there.
Popular sites I’m abandoning: Pinterest and StumbleUpon, I just never quite got the hang of or figured out either nor have I been struck by the desire.
And so, goodbye to those accounts. I won’t delete, I’ve written too much, but they will never be updated again and I’ve deleted all notifications from my phone.
Both of my blogs. the orange one that everyone has access to, and the red one that my kids will find over my dead body. I need them both. Plus, I regularly get comments there, no matter how long I go between posting. I write for myself, but it’s still nice to know someone is listening.
Facebook. As much as it gets on my nerves, most of my family and friends are there and it’s nice to get updates and photos. There aren’t enough hours in the day to call and write everyone you want to keep up with; FB does help to stay connected. Plus, my friend Will just started a cool new music group that I’m enjoying.
Instagram. I don’t post a lot there, but I enjoy seeing photos from my friends and family.
And last but not least,Twitter. Of course.
That still seems like an awful lot, huh. That’s where the people I love are though and staying connected is important to me.
I’m pretty sure I’m otherwise connected with everyone on here Tumblr. If not, and you want to keep in touch, clicky on one of the links to add me.
P.S. For my friends who are trying to get me to join My Life and Linked In, NO!
The new Jane Crow: How hundreds of pregnant women have had their rights violated & health put in jeopardy as part of the war on choice
February 4, 2013
Regina McKnight was 21 years old when she was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison for homicide by child abuse—after she suffered a stillbirth eight-and-a-half months into her pregnancy.
The jury deliberated only 15 minutes before finding McKnight guilty of having committed “child abuse”—because of using cocaine during her pregnancy. She went to jail, and one appeals court after another upheld the conviction—until it was finally overturned eight years later on the grounds that the scientific evidence used to claim McKnight’s drug use was responsible for the stillbirth was “outdated” at the time of her trial.
Laura Pemberton was arrested while she was in active labor—for attempting to give birth at home, rather than undergo a C-section advised by her doctor. A sheriff strapped her legs together and took her to the hospital, where, at an emergency hearing, lawyers argued on behalf of her fetus. Pemberton and her husband were denied counsel during this hearing, though they were “allowed to express their views” as hospital staff prepared Pemberton for surgery.
These stories aren’t scenes out of some horror movie about a nightmarish future society. They are real-life accounts from the war on women and their rights that has been underway since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973.
In a new report titled “Arrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973–2005,” the National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) summarizes the experiences of 413 women who have been subjected to cruel punishments or unwanted medical procedures while they were pregnant.
No state or federal law permits the arrest or detention of women specifically due to pregnancy. Yet hundreds of pregnant women—predominantly low-income women and women of color—have had their rights taken away and their health put in jeopardy because police, prosecutors, judges and even medical personnel have claimed the authority to determine what will happen to their bodies. Lynn Paltrow, one of the authors of the NAPW study, calls this phenomenon “a new Jane Crow”—in reference to author Michelle Alexander’s best-selling examination of the mass incarceration system.
The crusade against women’s reproductive rights has been led by politicians and organizations which claim to cherish the “right to life” and champion women’s role as mothers. But the reality made painfully clear by the NAPW’s report is that the anti-choice right wants women to be treated as second-class citizens, denied the right to health care, personal liberty and the right to control their own bodies and lives.
Report authors Lynn Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin say their study understates the number of incidents of incarceration or forced medical intervention against pregnant women in the decades following Roe.
No one has attempted to compile these stories before, and records of the cases are either scattered among different sources or nonexistent altogether. Often, say Paltrow and Flavin, hospital staff impose unwanted procedures without the involvement of state authorities. Plus, the decisions of family and juvenile courts are kept confidential. So the number of victims is likely to be many times greater than the 413 cases verified by the NAPW in its rigorous study.
Nonetheless, the patterns of punishment described in the report paint a frightening picture of the consequences of the right’s campaign against reproductive freedom.
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What “crimes” were committed by the pregnant women whose stories are told in the NAPW report?
In the cases the report documents, women were most often targeted not for attempting to end a pregnancy, but for attempting to carry one to term. The main reason for arrest and detention was drug use during pregnancy, but in other cases, women were punished because they suffered from sexually transmitted diseases or mental illness while pregnant. Others wanted to deliver at home, refused C-sections or failed to access prenatal care.
In several cases, women were charged with one or more felonies after they suffered a miscarriage or attempted to end a pregnancy on their own. And in one case, state prosecutors used the fact that a woman had refused an offer of sterilization in support of its charges. This case, in particular, strikes an old and deep wound, following decades of forced sterilizations of Black, Latina, Native American and immigrant women.
In all, just over half of the women whose stories are collected in the report are Black. Nearly three quarters of those facing legal charges were represented by indigent defense.
African American women have suffered a long legacy of barbaric discrimination—from the separation of families under slavery to the early 20th century eugenics movement that pushed through laws in 32 states allowing the sterilization of women judged “unfit to breed.”
Today, poor Black single mothers are scapegoated for all manner of social problems. In particular, the war on drugs has served as a vehicle for the attack, with drug convictions serving as the excuse for terminating parental rights of incarcerated mothers.
Meanwhile, the media have whipped up a moral panic over drug use during pregnancy. Thus, cocaine was the drug most often associated with the criminal charges against pregnant women documented in the NAPW report. But health professionals now recognize that cocaine use during pregnancy poses no more significant risk to fetal health than poor nutrition, lack of prenatal care or other factors commonly suffered by the poor.
In fact, in most of the cases documented in the report, authorities didn’t claim that fetuses had been harmed, only that there was a risk of harm. And even when actual harm was alleged, in most cases, there was no scientific evidence or expert testimony to substantiate the claim.
For example, Geralynn Susan Grubbs, a 23-year-old woman in Alaska, was threatened with 30 years imprisonment and therefore pled guilty to a lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of her two-week-old infant. Prosecutors claimed that drug use during pregnancy had caused the infant’s death—this allegation was allowed to stand even after an autopsy revealed that there was no connection between the death of the child and fetal drug exposure.
Such punishment flies in the face of the recommendations of the medical community. Organizations like the American Medical Association have concluded that criminalizing drug use by pregnant women only discourages women from seeking prenatal care and assistance with their addiction.
Nonetheless, Paltrow and Flavin document how threats of arrest or loss of custody lead some pregnant women with drug problems to avoid medical attention, prenatal care and hospital deliveries altogether. In one particularly absurd case, 34-year-old Alma Baker was prosecuted for dealing drugs to a minor—after she gave birth to twins who tested positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana. Baker stated that if she realized the risk of criminal charges, she would not have gone to her doctor at all.
Alma Baker is white, which makes her case highly unusual among those documented in the NAPW report. Women of all races use drugs at rates roughly equivalent to their numbers in the overall population—yet overwhelmingly those questioned, screened and punished for drug use related to pregnancy were African American.