Dual-harmonic oscillators, or my self-determining bits.

April 26th, 2010

Today is Boobquake 2010.

“On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own.  Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town.  I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts.  Or short shorts, if that’s your preferred form of immodesty.  With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake.  If not, I’m sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble.  And if we really get through to him, maybe it’ll be one involving plate tectonics.”

I have been observing how various separatists, fundamentalists and bullies have been treating the fabulous Jen McCreight at Blag Hag and I have to say it is disappointing.  Nothing much seems to have changed in 30 years.  The perfect still try to trample the good.

Way back when I was a young feminist in the 1970s, I naïvely thought that oppressors were the ‘other’ gender. I have long since come to understand that oppression comes from any form of authoritarianism. It is blind to gender and more importantly, deaf to self-determination- and humour.

To this end I am dividing my breast best assets between two equally ridiculous oppressors.

Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi

and Sheila Jeffreys

One tells me I must cover my breasts to stop earthquakes and the other tells me I must cover my breasts to stop my own exploitation.

Neither of these authoritarian figures allow any self-determination for my thoughts, actions, or body bits and therefore I will begin by liberating my breasts.  I will no longer demand unquestioning acquiescence from them and they can amuse and direct themselves as they please.

To that end Breast left (BL) and Breast Right (BR) and by extension Nipple West (NW) and Nipple East (NE) have advised me through their agent that free fondling times are between 1200-1500.  Appointments taken.

The nuts, the bolts and the tenderness.

January 1st, 2010

Yesterday I spent 5 hours in a sexual and reproductive health care facility, supporting a dear friend who found she was pregnant and did not wish to continue with the pregnancy.

I, and she (we’ll call her Astrid) are lucky enough to live in a country where the right to reproductive health is honoured, supported and subsidised by our National healthcare scheme- Medicare.

The service started quite simply with a phone call to a 24 hours a day number for information, support and advice.  At that point an appointment can be and was negotiated within 3 days.

A support person is encouraged and that became my role.  Then the process begins.

I collected Astrid and drove her to the facility.  She was asked to fast from midnight and felt uneasy about driving to my place.  The clinic sits nondescriptly, but not hidden, in an ordinary suburb near public transport.  Access is via a buzzer which opens the front door.  Inside it looked like any other medical facility with couches, a TV, magazines and lush, cheerful indoor plants. There were no security guards and no protesters.

The receptionist asked Astrid’s first name and appointment time and requested confirmation of her via photo ID.  Once confirmed, Astrid was asked to take a seat and fill out forms which included a brief medical  history, a consent form and arrangements for co-payment.

Once completed this was given back to the receptionist and Astrid and I waited.  From a secured door a nurse appeared and called Astrid into the surgical part of the facility.  The nurse gently questioned Astrid as to why she wanted a termination of pregnancy and spoke of all options available.  These being birth and keeping the child, birth and giving the child up for adoption and a termination of pregnancy.  Astrid restated her decision.

The nurse then went on to perform an ultrasound examination of Astrid’s uterus, with the monitor only being visible to the nurse.  Confirmation of pregnancy and foetus age was established.

Astrid and I went back into the waiting area where she paid her share of the procedure.  We chatted and waited.

Astrid was called by the doctor and I remained in the reception area. I watched people come and go for almost 3 hours as I waited.

I observed that the men who supported the women were uncomfortable, unable or unwilling to sit and wait. They appeared lost without the purpose of sitting in support as they and the women waited for the surgery.  I guess men are more comfortable with the tangible and preferred to come back later when their partner/sister/friend was ready to be released into their care.

There were at least ten women that came and went including Astrid.  Most came with who I assumed were their partners.  One young woman came with her mother and the tenderness between them was touching.  The most surprising people that I observed were a young couple.  Also in attendance was her mother and his mother.  This young woman had agreed to, or demanded, a matriarch supporting on each flank. Her partner sat opposite, looking completely overwhelmed and out of his depth.  His mother looked terrified and appeared to have never envisaged that on the cusp of 2010 she would be supporting her son’s decision to support his partner’s decision to terminate a pregnancy. I wondered if she ever discussed contraception with her son.

I suspect she hoped she could outsource herself to a doppelgänger, hologram or avatar.

Alas, that is not how unwanted pregnancies operate.  It can be an unintended consequence for women who are heterosexual, sexually active and fertile.  Contraception options remain adequate at best and catastrophically defective at worst.

Abortion involves many more people than the pregnant woman. Yesterday I supported one such woman and witnessed many others do the same.

Astrid remains asleep in my spare room.  She can remain there until she asks to be driven home.  She will be well again in a day or so and with love, care, compassion, ibuprofen, coffee, cookies, respect and support she will be her usual self again.

Why would anyone begrudge her the right to choose?

Abortion happens; make it safe.

Image from here

Gone!

November 25th, 2007

I have been impatiently waiting since 11 March, 1996 for a day like yesterday.

HoWARd has been disappeared

…as have others.

a home made pink gaffer tape banner in the Blue Mountains

Piercing silence over at Karen’s place.

November 22nd, 2007

I drive past Karen Chijoff’s electoral office in St Mary’s most mornings and most evenings. This morning at 0905 there was no sign of anyone. Granted it is always too early for the tattoo and piercing shop next door to Karen, but usually, and certainly in the run up to the election, Karen has her posters out and the place is buzzing with activity. This photo shows her office at 1830. It had not opened all day.

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Who would have thought that such an unassuming little shopfront on Queen Street in St Mary’s could deliver such a monumental gift to the Australian Labor party candidate of Lindsay- David Bradbury and perhaps a decisive win for Labor federally.

A little over a week ago John and Janette HoWARd spent two days in the seat of Lindsay as part of the coalition plan to win the election one marginal seat at a time.

“Labor was making a mistake to assume it would win Lindsay, which has a margin of 2.9 per cent. They’ve tended to say, well, this one will go into our list, simply because the very popular sitting member is retiring. The Labor Party is taking Lindsay for granted. I want to say they’re mistaken in doing that.” – John HoWARd

Our PM was uncharacteristically tetchy and ill-disciplined today with this response to questions from Michelle Grattan, regarding the unfolding evidence that the culprits behind the fake flyers of Lindsay, were the husbands of the retiring and aspiring Liberal party candidate of Lindsay.

“What more can I do? I’ve condemned it, I’ve dissociated myself from it, I think it is stupid, it’s offensive, it’s wrong, it’s untrue, I mean for heaven’s sake get a sense of proportion.”- John HoWARd

He’s right you know.

We should vote HoWARd out because he took us into- and yet keeps us in- an illegal war in Iraq.

Then, in the spirit of proportionality, we’ll next see him in The Hague.

Opprobrious Growth

November 10th, 2007

I keep wondering why the coalition’s Go for Growth campaign hardly ever has HoWARd and Costello doing a duet.

On Thursday- 08/11/07, I got a glimpse as to one explanation of this lack of ‘Go for Growth’ as a plural. The Coalition’s treasurer- Peter Costello was interviewed by Fran Kelly on her ABC Radio National Breakfast show. From the moment she introduced him as potentially Australia’s future Prime Minister, Costello was at his worst (or best, if like me you want him to help himself be totally unelectable). We all know he is tetchy and surly, but with Fran, his insufferable, misogyny and nastiness really surfaced. He wasn’t going to have any of her probing questions regarding a hubristic comment he made in an interview with fellow ABC Radio journalist Jon Faine.

“Fran, Fran don’t you worry about questions he (Jon Faine) asked me, they’re all on the transcript. You ask me your questions. ” – Source

The Liberal party knows that Costello is not a hit with the chicks and has deliberately reduced his visibility and is not mentioning the succession.

Women cannot bring themselves to vote for a government where Costello may eventually be in charge. It is evident that Peter Costello palpably dislikes strong, smart and powerful women. He is the unpleasant growth that we are supposed to Go for. However, we have booked an appointment to remove the bunion, wart and itchy verruca.

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Image from here