Alright, kiddie-poos. It’s that time of year again. I will take $10, I will take $1, I will take the change in the bottom of your purse or pants pocket or hanging out in that slimy cupholder in your car (when was the last time you cleaned that? Geez). I will take whatever the hell you are willing to give me and if you have no money I will take up your time. I have a Family Team and you are welcome to come walk with me. Message me, grab me at work, show up at my doorstep, leave it in a grubby envelope in my mailbox. I will be harassing you people. No one is safe. If I reach my goal I will do something ridiculous, video it, and post it on-line. You know, just to sweeten the deal.
My Goal is $300.
The doctor and nurse were professional and kind, and it was clear that they understood our sorrow. They too apologized for what they had to do next. For the third time that day, I exposed my stomach to an ultrasound machine, and we saw images of our sick child forming in blurred outlines on the screen.
“I’m so sorry that I have to do this,” the doctor told us, “but if I don’t, I can lose my license.” Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor’s voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.” —From “The Right Not to Know,” aka, if you can read this and still support mandatory ultrasound laws, you are heartless. (via jessicavalenti)
The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.” —