Archive for June 14th, 2012

June 14th, 2012

A Friendly Guide for Tumblr Pro-Choice Activists


I’ve been noticing a lot of anti-choice activity on Tumblr lately, and (thankfully) I’ve noticed an even bigger pro-choice backlash to the antis’ posts. And I cannot appreciate all of you more than I already do, I promise. You all are amazing people, and I encourage you to continue taking down anti-choice bullshit when you see it.

But that being said, there are a lot of bad arguments being used by well-intentioned pro-choicers, and those arguments open our entire movement up to attacks by antis. Please take this post as constructive advice, and use the information here to better your fight for reproductive justice. You’re already badasses, so think about the damage you can do to the anti-choice movement with some rock-solid facts.

1) Zygotes, Embryos, and Fetuses are alive.

They are. They’re made of cells, and cells are the fundamental unit of life. And (the dedicated) anti-choicers are carefully trained to make you sound ignorant if you try to claim otherwise.

2) Zygotes, Embryos, and Fetuses are human.

This one is also true. A zygote is formed from two human cells and later splits into more human cells. At no point is that thing in a pregnant person’s uterus a protist, tree, or cat. That being said, “human” only refers to the species of the organism, and not its personhood.

3) “Personhood” means “having the rights and responsibilities of a person.”

When we talk about whether a zygote/embryo/fetus is a person, this is what we’re talking about. Does a fetus have the right to be counted in the census? Does it have the responsibility to produce a passport when travelling overseas? While a fetus is still a fetus, the answer to these questions is a resounding NO.

4) A zygote is a new organism at fertilization.

One of the most common arguments that the anti-choice movement pulls out is “Life begins at conception/ a zygote has its own DNA.” And one of the absolute worst responses that I have seen come from the pro-choice movement is “yeah, but half that DNA is the pregnant person’s.” This is absolutely irrelevant. A four-year-old’s genome is also a 50:50 mix of each parent and any anti-choicer worth their salt is going to recognize that.

A better response to “life begins at conception” is that life began about four billion years ago, and it hasn’t ended since! That zygote came from two gametes that were entirely alive, and those came from precursor cells in each parent that were also alive. And if you trace those cell lines back far enough, each parent came from a live zygote which came from live gametes… etc. Life began with the first cells on Earth and has persisted ever since. Fertilization is not magical or special.

And of course, if they argue about genomic DNA content, you can refer back to “what is a person?”

5) Persons do not have the right to use other persons’ bodies without consent

This is really the crux of the pro-choice stance, and it holds even when we play the “personhood game” and let anti-choicers believe that zygotes are people with all of the rights and responsibilities of born persons.

We do not force individuals to donate fluids, tissues, or organs to sustain the lives of others, even when the potential recipients will die without a donation. We do not force individuals to serve as living dialysis machines or respirators for anyone after birth, so why are fetuses so special?

At this point, you may get a feeble “but abortion destroys the fetus, it doesn’t just end the connection between the host and the recipient!” And that’s true. This is because our current medical technology cannot sustain the life of an infant born before 24-ish weeks gestation (which means that more than 99% of aborted fetuses are not viable), so our current abortion techniques are not really designed to produce a whole embryo or fetus.

But you can ask your anti-choicer, “Would it bother you less if we did remove a whole embryo and let it die from lack of sustenance?” Because according to the argument they just gave you, it should.

6) Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy

If you haven’t managed to shut down your anti-choicer by now, they will probably fall back on that tried-and-true mantra, “Don’t spread your legs if you don’t want a baby!” (sourced to prove that this is not a strawman argument). I have had many an anti argue that the difference between saying “No, you may not have my body” to your sister with kidney failure and saying “No, you may not have my body” to an embryo is that you did not put your sister in a dependent position by being a slutty, slutty, slut.

This is obviously a bad argument because it lends itself to some rather silly corrolaries like “if you don’t want to drown, don’t live in a coastal region.” Bring the argument back to the issue at hand: does “being a slut” mean you give up your right to bodily autonomy? And how, exactly, does that happen? Should parents be required to donate organs to their born children?

7) Try not to fall back on “What about rape?”

Anti-choicers in general are pretty insensitive people- they want to tell other people what to do with their bodies. But anti-choicers that advocate forcing survivors of sexual assault to continue a resulting pregnancy are the scum of the earth. It is easy to jump on an anti waving the “don’t spread your legs!!!” flag with “what about rape?”

But when the argument shifts to rape, it ignores all of the pregnant people who had consensual sex and have an equal right to not be pregnant, and it takes the discussion away from the consent and focuses it squarely on the sex. And that is exactly what that anti-choicer wants.

8) Keep your cool and remember that exists for a reason

As a pro-choice activist, you will encounter some really inane shit from anti-choicers. It may range from “abortion causes breast cancer and/or PTSD!” (it doesn’t) to “birth control pills cause abortion!” (they don’t) to “back-alley abortion is a myth!” (it’s not). Just remember that there is a peer-reviewed, scientifically sound source to counter every claim and use Google to whip it out. You don’t need to resort to threatening or yelling at the anti, because they’re guaranteed to get really angry eventually. And when that happens, you can just laugh.

*Edited because I know the difference between an “m” and a “b,” I promise.

This has to have been written by a dude.

June 14th, 2012

amandaonwriting: AL Kennedy – On Writing 1 Have humility….


AL Kennedy - On Writing

1 Have humility. Older/more ­experienced/more convincing writers may offer rules and varieties of advice. ­Consider what they say. However, don’t automatically give them charge of your brain, or anything else – they might be bitter, twisted, burned-out, manipulative, or just not very like you.

2 Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life – and maybe even please a few strangers.

3 Defend others. You can, of course, steal stories and attributes from family and friends, fill in filecards after lovemaking and so forth. It might be better to celebrate those you love – and love itself – by writing in such a way that everyone keeps their privacy and dignity intact.

4 Defend your work. Organisations, institutions and individuals will often think they know best about your work – especially if they are paying you. When you genuinely believe their decisions would damage your work – walk away. Run away. The money doesn’t matter that much.

5 Defend yourself. Find out what keeps you happy, motivated and creative.

6 Write. No amount of self-inflicted misery, altered states, black pullovers or being publicly obnoxious will ever add up to your being a writer. Writers write. On you go.

7 Read. As much as you can. As deeply and widely and nourishingly and irritatingly as you can. And the good things will make you remember them, so you won’t need to take notes.

8 Be without fear. This is impossible, but let the small fears drive your rewriting and set aside the large ones ­until they behave – then use them, maybe even write them. Too much fear and all you’ll get is silence.

9 Remember you love writing. It wouldn’t be worth it if you didn’t. If the love fades, do what you need to and get it back.

10 Remember writing doesn’t love you. It doesn’t care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on.

Alison Louise Kennedy is a Scottish writer of novels, short stories and non-fiction. 

This advice first appeared in The Guardian

 at first I thought this said “defriend others” and I was like ON IT, STARTED IT, LIVING IT, then I realized. Having abnormal accommodation can add a lot of texture to life.

That said there might be nothing I hate more than people talking about a writer’s life or how they have to write! it’s like breathing! STOP BOTH.

June 14th, 2012

Two Emily Roysdon Posters


1) If I Don’t Move, Can You Hear Me?

Emily Roysdon, exhibition poster (designed with Studio SM), 2010


Emily Roysdon, exhibition poster (designed with Studio SM), 2011

[via the artist’s website]

June 14th, 2012

checkmateprolifer: This is Gisella Perl, a  a successful…


This is Gisella Perl, a  a successful Jewish gynaecologist in Sighet, Romania in the 1930s and 40s. She was taken to Auschwitz in 1944, where she treated women with kindness and compassion. She was asked to report all pregnant women to Josef Mengele- better known as the Angel of Death. When she discovered what was done to them (medical experimentation and torture, ending with often being thrown alive into the crematoriums) she vowed that there would never again be a pregnant woman in Auschwitz. So she began the abortions. 

In her time in Auschwitz, Dr. Perl performed over 3,000 abortions in spite of her professional and religious beliefs as a doctor and an observant Jew. Any babies born alive in Auschwitz were usually drowned, despite Mengele’s orders to allow them to starve to death. Because of Dr. Perl’s brave actions in performing these abortions, many women made it out of Aschwitz alive, able to go on and have families after the war. 

Although she was vilified by many for her actions, there is no doubt that she is not the monster abortionists are made out to be. This woman, this doctor, this abortionist was a hero. Despite her personal beliefs, she understood what had to be done. If you click the photo, you can go to a more extensive biography of her- she was a true hero.  

June 14th, 2012

theswinginsixties: Beatles on holiday. I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO…


Beatles on holiday.


June 14th, 2012

"The Dixie Chicks do not advocate premeditated murder, but love getting even."

“The Dixie Chicks do not advocate premeditated murder, but love getting even.”

- Liner notes, Fly (1999)
June 14th, 2012

deadhorsebrooklyn: Abandoned America! finelinemagazine: MARISA…


Abandoned America!



We are huge suckers for photography of abandoned places because it gives us that awesome feeling of exploring a place people rarely get to see. And it helps when that kind of photography is also beautifully shot and thoughtfully composed, like this series by NYC based artist Marisa Scheinfeld. We also love the series she made photographing the current state of places from old photographs (bottom two images). The left is her photo, and the right is an old postcard.

live in ruins

June 14th, 2012

deadhorsebrooklyn: more from brainpickings here.


more from brainpickings here.

June 14th, 2012

all day panic

all day panic

June 14th, 2012

mikkipedia: thenewwomensmovement: wwopd-ethics: ATTN:…




ATTN: Feminists- this little gem of hard hitting journalism is brought to you by Cosmo. Let’s debate your foof-jazzling!

Is Cosmo even still printing? GO AWAY ALREADY.

I love how this five year old story from British Cosmo is such a handy soapbox for people. Who cares?

Noting that I had this on my office door, mostly because of STICKING CRYSTALS ON YOUR FOOF and BARE LANDSCAPE OF SMOOTH SOFTNESS, my boss walked by, then came back and stuck her head in and said “I think the answer to this question is yes.”