In Which I Have (Almost) No Real New Things To Say

Plant Matter
Update: I got a call from my stupid apartment management company’s property manager, who was very nice and I think believed me when I said I hadn’t received a letter from her because I don’t get my mail at my address. (It’s true, I don’t. But I did get the letter. I just ignored it.) Anyway, she said she hated to make the call and she herself thinks it’s dumb, and then, sotto voce, “can you go buy some tables and bring me the receipt and I’ll take care of it?”

Well. That’s hard to argue.

She set a limit of $30. My plants are now sitting on overturned storage cubes stacked three-high. I don’t like them, but whatever. I can use them for other stuff later, or give them away. They’re also about four inches too short, so I still need a way to boost the plants to exactly the height of the railing and thumb my nose.

“Don’t tell your neighbor we’re doing this,” she said to me.

Oh, I’m totally telling the neighbor.

The Proper Way To Have A Car Accident
Update: The car has been repaired without argument of any kind from anybody. I continue to be amazed at this. Oh, except for one quibble…

Me to car shop guy: “Everything looks great. Just one thing: there’s a V6 decal on the bumper, and my car’s not a V6.”

Car shop guy: “But we got that off your car.”

Me: “No, my car’s not a V6.”

Car shop guy: “We got that off your car!”

Me: “Nnnnooo, you got that off someone else’s car.”

Car shop guy: “That decal came off your car. I have pictures. Pictures never lie.”

Me (getting testy): Sir, I’ve had the car for six and a half years. It’s not a V6.”

Car shop guy (looking at pictures): “…Well this is embarrassing.”

They fixed it.

Update: Still pissed at Jack.

That is all.

Awe-Inspiring. Not In A Good Way
Update: Still pissed at Rep. Akin for being a fucktard who doesn’t know A) where babies come from, and 2) that there is no distinction between “legitimate” rape and any other kind. Except now actually more pissed, because he got defensive about four hours after his allegedly heartfelt apology and insisted he had only used one wrong word in one sentence, one time. When in reality, he used bunches of wrong words in three sentences, all strung together, which he continues to mostly defend except for the part about rape maybe not totally sucking. Which he’s still, frankly, a little dodgy on. Meanwhile…

Theater of the Absurd
Update: …the election conversation has gotten caught up in the debate over abortion and rape, and there are people who find this “distracting.” Well, I find that insulting. Because there are, in fact, other issues in the country than the economy, and those issues must be dealt with as well, and when lawmakers are arguably closer than ever to repealing Roe v. Wade (which I don’t think will actually happen for all sorts of reasons, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try really hard) and they’d staked their hopes of regaining control of the Senate in large part on Rep. Akin’s presumed win over Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, the country needs to talk about abortion and rape. Especially since Rep. Akin co-sponsored a bill with Rep. Paul Ryan and — wait for it — more than 100 other congressional representatives (list below if you’re curious) that used the phrase “forcible rape” as an exception to abortion law. The bill never defines what “forcible” means.

I do not make my position on abortion clear, one way or another, on this blog. But the reason I find this important to talk about is that implying that a rape need be “forcible” in order to validate a woman’s desire for an abortion throws the burden of responsibility for the rape back on the woman. She must now prove her attack was forcible in order for it to “count.” Well, by definition, rape is the act of sexual penetration against the victim’s will. Pretty much means they were forced. What qualifies as “forcible?” Weapons? What about bare hands around her throat? What if there are no weapons but the guy says he’ll kill her if she doesn’t comply? What if she freezes? What if she can’t scream? What if her boyfriend does it? What if it was her husband?

Telling women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies is one thing. Telling them what men can and can’t do to their bodies is another.

I’ve never been raped. Thank God. But I did have a stalker, who I couldn’t identify, and who had access to my building. And I can tell you this: every night, when I came home, I knew he might be inside the building, waiting for me. And I thought about what would happen if he came up from behind and shoved me inside when I opened my apartment door. I thought about what might be the best ways to get away. I thought about how I might be able to fight him off. I thought about whether I should take a different tack if he had a gun, or a knife, or if he tried to strangle me, or if he just said he’d kill me. Or even if he didn’t threaten my life at all.

No one should ever have to explain to the government why her rape was “forcible.”

And no lawmaker should ever think she should.

Co-sponsors of the original version of H.R. 3, in which “forcible” rape is required:

Note: at the bottom are listed those who joined the bill after its first version. The word “forcible” was removed after the first version. Also note: this bill deals with federal funding for abortion, which may explain some representatives’ reasons for signing on.



7 thoughts on “In Which I Have (Almost) No Real New Things To Say

  1. Not only as with the “forcible” issue, but lawmakers are always enacting laws that, as a practical matter, are difficult if not impossible for the guys in the pits to enforce. I suppose that’s because they are driven by something other than a true zeal to help law enforcement (i.e. politics).

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