alexeia_drae: (spoilers)
Finally saw Star Trek: Into Darkness last night! Um, so many squee moment!

Spoilers of what I squeed over )

On Abrams and the Star Wars sequels and portrayals of women in science fiction. )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Today I discoveredLove, Joy, Feminism, a blog written by a woman who grew up in a Quiverfull family who later became a feminist and atheist. Her observations and story is fascinating. Her observations on how the sexual purity movement leads to sexual dysfunction (after all, if people are supposed to be asexual before marriage, how are they expected to suddenly flip the switch and know anything about sex when married?) Her observations of how people react to the news of her second pregnancy. And I've just gotten started with it.

Usually when I stumbled on a blog I don't trudge through the archives. I just don't have the time. But in this case I'm making the time to do it. While we have made some good progress with getting health insurance to cover the cost of birth control and have defeated the Personhood Amendment, reproductive rights are under virulent attacks. Just yesterday Susan G. Komen stopped funding breast cancer screenings for women through Planned Parenthood, bowing to the forces of ultra-conservatives.

And that's really all I have to say there. Too tired and too many other commitments to do a full out essay on it.

Anyway, to wrap up, high fives all around to those of you who, like me, got started on the wrong foot with 2012. Here's hoping that January was the fluke in what will turn out to be an amazingly good year. And good riddance to January!
alexeia_drae: (Default)
A Personhood Amendment in Ohio will be on the ballot as well now. Just reading through the Language the supporters of the bill are using it is had to argue that this is not an attempt by religious extremists to force their brand of morality down our throats.

“It’s time to march into the Philistine camp and take back what the devil has stolen, to extend the kingdom of God into Ohio law.”

In further news, yesterday the House of Representatives passed a bill which would allow doctors to refuse to perform an emergency abortion on a woman whose life is in jeopardy. Yes. Better to let her die than to perform an emergency abortion. Since the fetus would not be able to live without the mother, I completely do not get the logic behind this bill or why it is called the "Protect Life Act" when it will allow women to die rather than receive life saving treatment.

The only message I can see is that according to these nut jobs, a woman's only use is as an incubator for her fetus, and if she can't do that then we might as well let her die.

Fortunately Obama has promised to veto it.

It's getting really scary folks.
alexeia_drae: (presidentroslin)
Some people would say that I'm blowing the consequences of the Personhood Amendment in Mississippi way out of proportion. They say women won't be prosecuted for having miscarriages. Then why the fuck is there legislation in Georgia pending that would require women to prove that their miscarriages happened naturally? Or why did Utah try to pass a law that would charge women with homicide if they miscarry?

So. Women who suffer miscarriages are guilty before proven innocent. This is a complete reversal of a fundamental principle of our justice system: that people are innocent before proven guilty.

Its time for another feminist movement! )

Here are the cases I've found where a woman has been charged with having a miscarriage or attempting to cause one, and this is just the tip of the ice berg. In South Carolina alone, an estimated 300 women have been arrested for actions taken during pregnancy. Still think this is not happening?

Christine Taylor of Iowa found herself arrested and sent to jail after she fell down the stairs while pregnant.

South Carolina's Regina McKnight was sentenced to 20 years for having a stillbirth.

Rennie Gibbs of Mississippi age 15 faces life in jail after a miscarriage, Bei Bei Shuai of Indiana has been charged with foeticide and sits in jail without parole, and Amanda Kimborough of Alabama, mother of 3, faces 10 years behind bars if convicted of causing her miscarriage...and her three children risk losing their mother.

And for those saying Shuai deserves it because she tried to kill herself, may be you should read her story before being so damn judgmental.

Related:

Lynn Paltrow, heroine of our movement! Defender of the rights of women who have been charged with having miscarriages. It's sad though that there are enough cases that a lawyer specializes in it!

So yes, women are being arrested for having miscarriages. This is an established fact, not a slippery slope argument.

Next up: If these personhood laws are so women and child family, then why are their effects so damaging? A thorough examination of the harm these laws will cause. And what would help women who are addicted to drugs or attempt suicide while pregnant? It's certainly not jail time!
alexeia_drae: (presidentroslin)
Okay, I'm going to stray into territory I usually avoid on my blog. I am doing this because I am very concerned about something going in Mississippi, where lawmakers are trying to pass an amendment that would give a fertilized egg the same rights as a human being. My sis, [personal profile] gabrielleabelle already posted a good blog on this. I am going to add my 2 cents $200.

This is something that should send chills through every woman and man. The consequences would included criminalizing abortion and BIRTH CONTROL! This could pave the way for criminalizing taking the pill as it prevents a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in the uterus. This bill will require criminal investigations when a woman suffers a miscarriage.

For those who say that people are blowing the consequences of this bill out of the water, women are already being criminalized for having a miscarriage or still birth.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the causes for most miscarriages ARE UNKNOWN! In most causes, CHROMOSOMAL ABNORMALITIES are most likely to blame. Meaning that there is nothing that the mother did or did not do to cause it! So, we're going to put women who have suffered the emotional trauma of a miscarriage under investigation?

This got long. )
alexeia_drae: (witch)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


alexeia_drae: (drrivertardis)
Marriage. The old ball and chain. In America, before a couples gets married it is customary to have a bachelor's party for the groom and a bachelorette one for the bride. This is one last night of drunken debauchery where it is OK to flirt or go to a nudey before being tied to one person for life. And by the time you have a kid, then it's really over. Bye bye to life! You're life is over when you get married and you have a kid. 28 years old. Why didn't I put this off longer?

Wait a minute! I don't feel as though my life is over! Far from it! I feel like I am experiencing it all over again with my son. Everything in this world is new to him, and watching him experience something for the first time makes it novel to me as well. I'm making good strides in my career. And I certainly don't feel like my marriage is a prison sentence. Far from it.

So, may be I'm not traveling across time and space with my husband. We went to Italy though. And plenty of other married couples share exciting careers where they travel the world. Some are scientists, others are writers, others are missionaries. Women in these relationships are making active choices to further their career goals or desires. Marriage doesn't have to be a jail sentence.

And I think that is something that Moffat gets. While other writers and producers might stay away from married couples for fear of boring the audience, Moffat knows that he can create compelling episodes featuring a loving, married couple. Just look at The Girl Who Waited.

Spoilers! )

Doctor Who!

Oct. 1st, 2011 08:45 pm
alexeia_drae: (spoilers)
Spoilers! )
alexeia_drae: (chiyopenguin)
Just to show that even though I have a son, I can't stop reading about girls and women's issues for long, I checked out Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein. Reading it makes me glad that I had a son, not a daughter who would only be allowed to wear pink and play with pink colored objects...until I think about how B. will be shamed if he dares to play with a doll in public.

Strange as it seems, I feel pain when I think about how B. may be rejected by society for being B. I want him to feel proud of himself and for others to accept him. I know how narrowed minded people can be and understand that rejection is a part of life, painful as it is. And at the end of the day all I can do is show him that no matter what, I accept him.

Ramblings at the household level. Yes, a larger cultural shift needs to occur, but that won't happen before B. is aware of his world. This is about being a progressive parent during a backlash against progressivism, not how to change the world to my liking. )
alexeia_drae: (riveramy)
Awhile back ago, I stumbled upon a panel interview with Charisma Carpenter, James Marsters, Julie Benz and Kristy Swanson (one of these things is not like the other).* In it, Charisma Carpenter explained that she was forced to leave Angel because she was pregnant. Disclaimer: I have only seen the first three episodes of Angel. Didn't like it. Don't plan to continue it. So I don't know much about the plotline when she had to leave. Still. This was rather shattering news for me to hear.

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, considered to be one of then most feminist shows ever, fired Charisma Carpenter for getting pregnant!? Talk about disillusioning.

Shortly after I had learned this, I was watching an interview with Nana Visitor on the extras of the DS9 discs where she talks about getting pregnant during the show and having her pregnancy written into her character's storyline. Visitor gushed about how thankful she was about not having to hide her pregnancy or getting fired.

What struck me was how in the mainstream view, Star Trek got less props for feminism than Buffy yet the treatment of actresses in similar situations was vastly different, with Star Trek coming out ahead in terms of treatment of actresses who are pregnant (it is worth noting that Martha Hackett who played Seska in Voyager also had her pregnancy written into the storyline, and Gates McFadden and Roxanna Dawson were pregnant during the run of their respective shows).

Over time this led me to ponder such thoughts as these: Is it preferable to have a show that is blatantly racist/sexist, yet the actors who are POC or women are well treated, given good salaries that are on par with the white male characters, etc or to have a show that is progressive in terms of race and sex, yet treats their actors who are POC or women less well then their white male actors or give them salaries that are lower then them?

This got long. )
alexeia_drae: (spoilers)
On the issue of women's health, it seems that in the US, we've seen setback after setback. Late term abortions were banned in many states, even if the health of the mother was at risk or if the child was going to be born dead. So called fetal protection laws are being used to imprison women who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth. And many states are enacting measures for women to view an ultrasound before having an abortion.

Today, the US Dept of Health and Human Services passed a law requiring that insurance pay the full cost of birth control and voluntary sterilization procedures. I know, this doesn't directly affect easy access to having an abortion, it's better though. It helps prevent the need for abortion by making birth control free. You can't have an abortion if you're not pregnant.

This announcement coincided with the day that I finished re-reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. TWH is considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels. Though it was published in 1848 in England, it is still surprisingly relevant, both for showing how far we have come and how far we have yet to go.

Massive love for TWH below. )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Every Weds, my mom watches B. so my husband and I can have a date night. We usually go to dinner, and being complete nerds, head to the bookstore afterwords to read. Me being me, I'll find a book that looks interesting. Read it in one hour increments every week until I get about half way through and I decide to buy it if I like it, and finish it within a day when I get home. The one I just started is The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life.

Now before I even took it off the shelf I researched the titled to make sure it wasn't an attack on feminism. I've seen way too many boys advocates talking about there being a War on Boys manufactured by the feminist movement. This notion is absurd and harmful. A lot of the things that boys advocate decry as being anti-boy, such as taking recess out of school, are bad for girls too.

After finding that it was not, and that one of the authors has also done research on the problems that girls face in school I decided to read it.

Have a cut. )

Note: I know I have several teachers on my f-list. I want to say that I think that teachers are getting a lot of unfair flack for the problems our school system faces and that I don't mean this as an attack on teachers. I think that teachers are usually just as fed up with standardized testing, lack of recess, lack of resources for kids with learning differences, etc as parents are. At least, that's the impression I've gotten from the teachers I've met and worked with. So when I mention problems with the education system, I DON'T mean that the problem is with the teachers. I had a lot of problems in elementary school because I have sensory processing issues and autistic tendencies, and through out my teachers were just as frustrated as my parents were with the reluctance of the administration to do anything but try to put me on ritalin.

Basically, though, I've learned from my experiences, and the experiences of my husband who has mild cerebral palsy, and through the experience of countless of children I've worked with with learning differences is that if you don't fit the norm, you've going to be fighting the school system. And while I've been monitoring my son's development very closely and am thrilled that he is either on target or ahead for his developmental milestones, because of his genetic endowments he's still at risk for sensory processing issues (right now I'm not so concerned about autism, thank goodness!) and am having to prepare myself for the contingency that I might be battling to have his educational needs met one day.
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Every Weds, my mom watches B. so my husband and I can have a date night. We usually go to dinner, and being complete nerds, head to the bookstore afterwords to read. Me being me, I'll find a book that looks interesting. Read it in one hour increments every week until I get about half way through and I decide to buy it if I like it, and finish it within a day when I get home. The one I just started is The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life.

Now before I even took it off the shelf I researched the titled to make sure it wasn't an attack on feminism. I've seen way too many boys advocates talking about there being a War on Boys manufactured by the feminist movement. This notion is absurd and harmful. A lot of the things that boys advocate decry as being anti-boy, such as taking recess out of school, are bad for girls too.

After finding that it was not, and that one of the authors has also done research on the problems that girls face in school I decided to read it.

Have a cut. )

Note: I know I have several teachers on my f-list. I want to say that I think that teachers are getting a lot of unfair flack for the problems our school system faces and that I don't mean this as an attack on teachers. I think that teachers are usually just as fed up with standardized testing, lack of recess, lack of resources for kids with learning differences, etc as parents are. At least, that's the impression I've gotten from the teachers I've met and worked with. So when I mention problems with the education system, I DON'T mean that the problem is with the teachers. I had a lot of problems in elementary school because I have sensory processing issues and autistic tendencies, and through out my teachers were just as frustrated as my parents were with the reluctance of the administration to do anything but try to put me on ritalin.

Basically, though, I've learned from my experiences, and the experiences of my husband who has mild cerebral palsy, and through the experience of countless of children I've worked with with learning differences is that if you don't fit the norm, you've going to be fighting the school system. And while I've been monitoring my son's development very closely and am thrilled that he is either on target or ahead for his developmental milestones, because of his genetic endowments he's still at risk for sensory processing issues (right now I'm not so concerned about autism, thank goodness!) and am having to prepare myself for the contingency that I might be battling to have his educational needs met one day.
alexeia_drae: (feeling sick)
I recently rewatched the last two episodes of "Revolutionary Girl Utena." Aside from being overwhelmed by it's epicness and how amazingly feminist it is, it seems that I still have a lot of symbolism to pick up on. And certainly, something hit me on the head the last time I watched it. Not only did it reinforce the strong feminist message of the show, it just makes me love it more.

Symbolistic, feministic, awesomistic...Oh yeah, spoilers if you haven't seen the ending. And if you haven't, you should. )
alexeia_drae: (feeling sick)
I recently rewatched the last two episodes of "Revolutionary Girl Utena." Aside from being overwhelmed by it's epicness and how amazingly feminist it is, it seems that I still have a lot of symbolism to pick up on. And certainly, something hit me on the head the last time I watched it. Not only did it reinforce the strong feminist message of the show, it just makes me love it more.

Symbolistic, feministic, awesomistic...Oh yeah, spoilers if you haven't seen the ending. And if you haven't, you should. )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
There's a lot of criticism in fandom over the way women, POC, people who are different abled, and GLBT are presented. As always, some of it is warranted, some of it is not. The saying goes that constructive criticism is important because if you don't know what's wrong then you won't know what to fix. There's truth to that. There's also problems with it.

I'm only hearing negative, no, no, no, bad! (Any other Lisa Loeb fans?) )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
There's a lot of criticism in fandom over the way women, POC, people who are different abled, and GLBT are presented. As always, some of it is warranted, some of it is not. The saying goes that constructive criticism is important because if you don't know what's wrong then you won't know what to fix. There's truth to that. There's also problems with it.

I'm only hearing negative, no, no, no, bad! (Any other Lisa Loeb fans?) )
alexeia_drae: (Roslin ox)
Those who know me know I love Broadway. So it's no big surprise that I was watching a documentary on the making of The Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately I do not remember the title of the documentary, but that's neither here nor there. I learned a lot of interesting things. I sort of knew, for instance, that the casting of Sarah Brightman as Christine Daae was controversial because she was married to Andrew Llyod Weber (the composer of the musical) at the time, but I did not realize how angry people were about it and how badly some wanted her to fail.

What really ticked me off was one of the people they interviewed, some sort of critic, saying that among the reasons she was not good for the part was because she was not really pretty. Now he did criticize her singing, but was the comment on her looks really necessary? Her looks don't affect her singing voice at all, nor her ability or lack thereof to act and dance. And to be honest, if you've ever been to a Broadway or West End show (for you British folks) then you know you really can't see the people on the stage well, unless you're rich enough to afford front row tickets. When seeing a Broadway show, all I don't really care how the performer looks. What I want is an amazing performance.

And in the end, Sarah Brightman did not fail. In fact, the Phantom helped launch her career in which she had won many awards.

So she might now be uber pretty. What the hell does that have to do with anything? So I decided to create this post as a shout out to successful women in show biz who didn't meet the conventional standards of beauty but succeeded anyway. Feel free to leave your own favorites in the comments.

And for you Phantom fans, here's a music video featuring Brightman with the original lyrics of "The Phantom of the Opera." Let me say, thank goodness they found a better lyricist and thank goodness they cast Michael Crawford as the Phantom, because this dude nearly got it instead.

Anyway, here are a few of my other favorites, and I'm sure I'll think of more. Janeane Garofalo, Fanny Brice (going WAY far back, I don't know if anyone else will know who she is!), Ellen Degeneres, and Aisha Hinds.
alexeia_drae: (Roslin ox)
Those who know me know I love Broadway. So it's no big surprise that I was watching a documentary on the making of The Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately I do not remember the title of the documentary, but that's neither here nor there. I learned a lot of interesting things. I sort of knew, for instance, that the casting of Sarah Brightman as Christine Daae was controversial because she was married to Andrew Llyod Weber (the composer of the musical) at the time, but I did not realize how angry people were about it and how badly some wanted her to fail.

What really ticked me off was one of the people they interviewed, some sort of critic, saying that among the reasons she was not good for the part was because she was not really pretty. Now he did criticize her singing, but was the comment on her looks really necessary? Her looks don't affect her singing voice at all, nor her ability or lack thereof to act and dance. And to be honest, if you've ever been to a Broadway or West End show (for you British folks) then you know you really can't see the people on the stage well, unless you're rich enough to afford front row tickets. When seeing a Broadway show, all I don't really care how the performer looks. What I want is an amazing performance.

And in the end, Sarah Brightman did not fail. In fact, the Phantom helped launch her career in which she had won many awards.

So she might now be uber pretty. What the hell does that have to do with anything? So I decided to create this post as a shout out to successful women in show biz who didn't meet the conventional standards of beauty but succeeded anyway. Feel free to leave your own favorites in the comments.

And for you Phantom fans, here's a music video featuring Brightman with the original lyrics of "The Phantom of the Opera." Let me say, thank goodness they found a better lyricist and thank goodness they cast Michael Crawford as the Phantom, because this dude nearly got it instead.

Anyway, here are a few of my other favorites, and I'm sure I'll think of more. Janeane Garofalo, Fanny Brice (going WAY far back, I don't know if anyone else will know who she is!), Ellen Degeneres, and Aisha Hinds.
alexeia_drae: (deadasadoll)
This past week, there was a discussion on [livejournal.com profile] stormwreath journal that got me wondering about gender differences with regard to how being a doll are played out. To me, the concept of someone removing my being, replacing it with someone else who then goes and has sex with my body is very disturbing, even if I don't remember what took place and suffered no physical harm as a result. [livejournal.com profile] stormwreath did not find the concept as disturbing, and I started to wonder if it was a gender difference. Hence I created the poll below. If you are a woman, only answer the first question. If you are a man, only answer the second question.

[Poll #1392702]

See more about my thoughts below the cut. )

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