Child poverty, contraceptives and abortion: Hobby Lobby hypocrisy

Have you ever noticed how the people who are most vocally anti-abortion also seem to be the least likely to care about child poverty in their communities?

Sure, they’ll rant and rage over a bunch of cells when they’re inside a woman, and talk about the rights of the foetus, and do everything they can to destroy a woman’s rights. But what about those babies who are born, and living in poverty, and whose parents are struggling to feed them, clothe them, educate them?

Child-Poverty-Rates

Ah, well, they seem to be a different story.

I don’t take well to hypocrites. I also happen to be very strongly in favour of women’s rights, and in favour of bodily autonomy. Perhaps this post says it better than I can here:

abortion

But the hypocrisy is getting my goat right now. Take the Hobby Lobby, for instance. On the one hand, obstructing women’s access to contraceptives while on the other supporting, with practically every dollar they make, sweatshop practices that seem to be brutally at odds with the welfare of any children. Or adults.

Then there’s this:

HLmeme

I’m glad I live in New Zealand, where contraceptives are easily, cheaply available and no-one questions it. Where abortions are readily available and they’re nobody’s business but the woman’s and her doctor’s.

All women deserve these rights. We need to stand up against the hypocrites who think they have any sort of automatic access to our bodies and what we do with them, and tell that it’s not okay to tell us what to do. It’s never okay.

And, while we’re at it, how’s about those pesky hypocrites start paying attention to the children in poverty who really need their attention instead!

pleasehelp

Rant over.

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Aphrodite: the Goddess of sluts and whores

There’s been a lot of name calling going on in politics at the moment.

prudewhore

Apparently, women who have sex are sluts. Especially if we have sex outside of marriage. Even if we have sex inside of marriage sometimes.

But I want to ask – why? Why the emphasis on women? And if women who have sex are sluts and whores, surely men are too?

I guess that means that our mothers are sluts. And our grandmothers. And the Queen is a slut. And pretty much any women who didn’t remain a nun.

Name calling in the playground!

When I think back on primary school, I remember that kids used to call each other names a lot. And it was all about pecking order, and putting people into their social rank.

Names were used to make people feel bad about themselves. Names were used to put people down. Names were especially used by people in power to keep those who didn’t have the power from having any.

So you’d get the bullies name-calling the loser kids. And the jocks name-calling the nerds. And the popular kids name-calling the unpopular kids. Never the other way around.

So we had a nerdy kid who people labelled “Eugene” and gave him a hard time. And a girl we called “craterface” because she had bad skin. And a friend of mine used to get called “red pubes” by a group of guys because she had red hair and, well, they liked to make her feel uncomfortable.

Pleasant stuff. Real intelligent too. But it did it’s job: it made those without power feel worse, and those with power feel even more powerful. It kept those lower down the power hierarchy in their place.

And now we have grown up men calling women who have sex – and, let’s face it, the vast majority of women do have sex, so they’re by association name-calling all of ussluts and whores.

Then they act all surprised when this is the result:

slutwalk1

And this:

slutwalk2

And this:

SlutWalk March In London

I love sex! OMG I’m a slut! And a whore!

I love sex. I really enjoy it, and yes, I’ve had sex with a lot of men in some people’s estimation. And a fair number of women.

I’m a slut! OMG! Kill me now! LOL.

I suppose, if you stretch things a little, I might even technically be a whore, because some of the guys bought me dinner beforehand. So I was PAID (in food) for sex, if you want to get nitpicky.

OMG OMG!

I have no regrets (well, there was this one guy who was pretty awful and had no clue…lol), and am proud of everything I did. It was consenting, and fun, and I enjoyed most of it.

I’m an adult, and I have the right to do what I want with my body. I believe that others have the right to do what they want with their bodies too.

If Aphrodite is the Goddess of beauty and love, then She is also the Goddess of sluts and whores. Which in some peoples eyes is all women.

I don’t understand why or how some people can hate women that much. I suspect it’s a combination of bad sex and too little of it, or maybe just lots of rejection by women in their lives. I feel sorry for them for that, but they’re not going to improve matters by hating women for their miserable sex lives.

In the meanwhile, I’m going to stand proud, as a slut and a whore, along with all my friends who are also sluts and whores, and continue to fight for our rights to do with our own bodies as we wish.

Not enough workers!

I was at a local superket the other day.

I don’t know if your local shops are the same as mine, but around here we’re getting more and more do-it-yourself checkouts (where the customer does the scanning and paying themselves). More and more we’re seeing fewer and fewer actual workers on the checkouts, and more and more “closed” signs on the full checkouts of the supermarkets.

We’re experiencing what that means. It means we get days like the instance I’m about to relate to you, where there were lines of six to eight people with HUGE trolleys full, lined up at only two checkouts open in a supermarket. Everyone else had to either line up behind them, or self-serve it.

So there was me, with about 40 items in my baskets – plus a six year old to manage – scanning everything and piling bags up all across the DIY floor, blocking everyone’s way with scanned, bagged shopping that wouldn’t fit on trays that are designed to hold much less scanned shopping.

And a woman opposite me, in exactly the same predicament.
And a man next to me. Same situation for him.
And all of us NOT HAPPY about it.

Most stressed of all was the single check out attendant scurrying madly about, trying to help all of us every time something didn’t scan, or a machine demanded a salesperson to confirm something.

What has this to do with Aphrodite and women?

Quite a lot, actually.

Mostly it is women who work these low-paid jobs in supermarkets around the world. They’re overworked more and more as more women are laid off in favour of the self-serve machines, which are a cost-cutting (profit-making) exercise for the huge supermarket chains.

I’m not noticing any savings being passed on to us, the consumers. Are you?

Because of the lay-offs, there are also fewer and fewer of these unskilled jobs available to the women who may not have had the chance at an education, and who sorely need them. Or who need a few extra dollars to support their families. Or who are putting themselves through education. Or whatever.

It’s not just women of course, but the majority are women.

I’m sure by now some readers are calling me a “Commie” and signing off, figuring it has nothing to do with them in their own cushy life.

Good for you. Have a nice day feeling superior.

But these jobs are HARD. In a civilised world we should be doing what we can to ensure that jobs are fair and reasonable to work in. The woman who was doing the job of two that day on the self-serve line because the staffed check-out lines were closed wasn’t getting a fair deal. She was getting shafted.

I, as a consumer and user of the supermarket, was getting shafted too. I had to deal with my shopping all over the floor. I had to pick it up off the floor. Someone could have tripped over it and hurt themselves.

How would an elderly person – or a person with a back problem – have dealt with this situation?

The woman across the aisle dealing with the same problem, and the man next to me? They were getting shafted too.

The whole thing sucked. Maybe the shareholders are making a few more cents a year at all our expense, but I think they can go screw themselves.

What I did – the power and value of freedom

I complained. The overworked woman took more of her time, overworked as she was, to find a complaints line phone number for me. I thanked her and assured her it was nothing personal at all – I was angry at the supermarket manager.

I got the impression she really, thoroughly understood!

Then I went home, put my shopping away, and rang the complaints line. I asked for a job number, and have put it in my diary to follow up in a month.

Share our opinions

Another thing I’m doing is writing this blog post.

We consumers do have power. But if nobody complains about people being shafted, nothing will change.

Think you’re getting a better deal when a burger chain pays their workers less? Think again. They’re going to be overworked and tired and possibly make mistakes that could cost you your health. Or theirs.

Shafting people and not giving them a fair deal doesn’t benefit you. Not by a long shot. And do you really want to be a scumbag to save a few cents, making someone’s life a misery? If so, what sort of person are you?

The issues of decent working conditions and decent pay are women’s issues. They’re at the core of Aphrodite. If women are shafted at work, how can we be happy, healthy, functioning beings? And how can anyone we share our lives with?

Everything is connected.

So next time you go to a supermarket, or a burger joint, or anywhere you see there aren’t enough workers, take some time. Ask for the complaints number. Or to see the manager. Make a point of it.

Be the decent human being you were meant to be.