NOW conference

We leave the day after tomorrow for the conference, so maybe I won’t be checking in for a little bit. I will come back and write about it though, so hope, and expect, that it will be  good.

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Right here in Ithaca this story just came out. I went to NYC for work friday and on the way back someone was alerted on their phone. It has since been covered on Feministing and I am sure many other places. Everyone I was with was most disturbed by the post procedural testing involved, seeing it as a molestation, it is yucky, but I was still having a hard time getting past the basic stuff.
A urologist, for one thing, has no business cutting away things that in no way hinder the functioning of the urethra, or medically endanger the patient. There is also the myth of normal sexual development. These girls wouldn’t be able to develop “normally” because they don’t have petit, feminine sex organs. No one is shortening the shafts of penises when they are outside of normal size. Normal is an excuse here. What would better serve these children is a simple concern for there happiness and control of there own bodies.
Would the women these girls will become be happier with ladylike, neat little vaginas after unnecessary surgery and memories of long sessions of genital manipulation from Dr. Poppas, or might they be better off remaining blissfully unaware of the hateful, rigid way that some view what they should look like until they are old enough to make a choice themselves. Many children grow into what originally look like outsize body parts, and many women today have very happy, fufilling and by all accounts “normal” sexual relationships despite or because of their large, beautiful, naturally given clitorises.

And the world looks a little worse…..

This article at the nation details a newly acknowledged phenomenon where some men in relationships with women use our unique susceptibility to pregnancy to control their partners. They sabotage or refuse to use birth control, then force abortions or childbirth, sometimes both.
Seriously, guys, wtf? This makes me sick. Literally, it was hard for me to continue the article. With all the ways that hetero relationships can be a hellscape of victim blaming, gendered violence and general abuse, there is this. Shit like this is tragically made worse by the widely held belief that all women are itching to trick men into fatherhood. So when a young woman becomes pregnant, much of the world assumes the very worst of her. She will be seen as a liar or a slut, stealing seed to imprison a man or to steal from the state.
Men’s culture magazines like details have been selling the idea that women unfairly control sex and reproduction, and MRA groups have been lobbying to take away any rights women do have. Never is the fact that all the real physical, emotional and social risk lies with the pregnant woman taken into consideration. Men should not have the right to decide how and when to carry a child, because obviously they will never have to carry a child. That is 9 months to a lifetime out of someone else’s life, and a significant risk to someone else’s safety. It is ridiculous to say that the provider of the sperm and possible future father or financial partner should be able to impose or forbid that.
Beyond any semi legitimate argument about parental rights, this is strongly linked to domestic abuse. The men in these relationships will uses violence or threats to get their way.
None of this would be able to get to this sort of scale if we were serious as a nation about supporting education, reproductive freedom and respect between men and women, or about not putting up with violence and misogyny in our young men. This is seriously destructive and hateful behavior, and it can and needs to be stopped.