Newt In A Tea Cup

{December 1, 2007}   BEST VIDEO EVER

I love how all the crowds are watching the shenanigans completely passively; why yes, that’s the local synchronised condom dance team. They practice every Sunday at four.

The best [worst] thing is that this is more inclusive and comprehensive than a lot of sex ed in the developed world.


{November 10, 2007}   Amanda to his Marc

It turns out that one of my friends has been using me as his fake girlfriend when he goes to spend time at his boyfriends…I’m flattered.

We finally had a nice talk and I expressed a few concerns I’d had about his recent behaviour. One thing about coming out is that there’s got to be a fear of rejection and so some people reject their friends and family pre-emptively. And then you’re liable to go ridiculously on the defensive – not because it isn’t necessary- which can alienate people who are being supportive. Things like “Are you sure about being with that guy there?” is taken as “are you sure about liking guys?” So how does one go about this? In my mind, nothing has changed about him. He’s exactly the same person he has always been. But for him? It’s a big, BIG thing. So I need to affirm that nothing has changed. And then he probably does think he’s a bit alone in the friendship group and that we can’t possibly understand. Which is kind of true but then I myself have barely stuck a toe out my Narnia-style closet. And then some other things have happened which have made me think of that stuff so I may well blog about it. But then maybe not. Quite frankly I can’t be bothered to explain it when no one will believe me anyway.

{January 22, 2007}   Blog for Choice Day

I know I should really be doing coursework for now but today is Blog For Choice Day so here I am.

Let me start by saying that I don’t like abortion. Good – that’s cleared up. But then how many women getting abortions like it? Contrary to stereotypes women don’t skip into the clinics with sunshine and flowers and rainbows lighting their mental path.

Abortion is not a choice that is made lightly and there are real reasons behind it.

I believe that Abortion is a symptom, not a cause of social ills. Until poverty, discrimination, lack of education, rape, the wage gap, childcare and many more fundamental issues are dealt with abortion will keep coming up – and for good reasons.

Abortion has been around since the beginning of time in the form of herbs and violence against oneself. Desperate women are nothing new. It isn’t going away and whilst the debate for when life starts (which I refuse to go into because I can’t pretend to know despite my GCSE Child Development Certificate) life is ending for many women in countries where abortions are illegal.

I would rather those women had an abortion and lived to take care of their families – don’t you?

The point is that this comes down to an issue of autonomy. If you trust women to be fully intelligent and capable human beings then you should trust them when it comes to what happens to their bodies. Bringing a life into the world is so monumental that we need to leave that to the individual doing it and certainly not force it on them.

Being pro-choice does not mean loving abortion. It means recognising that some women are in very real situations where they have a real need for help and abortion provides that.

If you believe abortion is bad, fine. So do something about the root causes of it – help teenage mothers, financially and emotionally, help disenfranchised areas, support sex education, support research into mental and physical illnesses, don’t discriminate against working mothers and protest a culture that provides women’s self-validation only as sex-objects.

If we do all that then I think abortion will go down, and not just in the way that means women travel to another country, or secretly risk death with a coat-hanger out of desperation.

Until then- get the bloody hell out of my uterus.

There is a statistic going around that around 70% of Anti-Choice leaders are men. It is obscene and sickening that men feel the imperative to legislate women’s bodies. Because that is what it is – ussually rich white men sitting around a table deciding the fate of women they have never met and never cared about.

What happens to women’s bodies is women’s business, and until these men find themselves pregnant they have no say whatsoever in my eyes. It is absolutely none of their business.

If a woman decides not to tell her partner about a pregnancy and abortion – she’s probably got a good reason. Most of these types of decisions are made in the partnership after much deliberation. And even if they aren’t – the final choice should always, always be the woman’s because it is her fundamental right to human autonomy that is being dealt with.

It is her body. To legislate a person’s body is nothing short of oppression.

May I just say how much I love Ever After? Drew Barrymore is such a fantastic model for young girls in that film and doesn’t get saved by anyone once (except maybe, the bit where Da Vinci opens a door for her but let’s not quibble over something so small). I love that she stands up for herself and those she loves from beginning to end and doesn’t compromise her beliefs. Yeah, it’s really cheesy and somewhat over acted but it hits the spot. And both my parents were enjoying it at the end.

I need a pick me up. I figured out the other day that sexism is a key theme of all my classes and rape is discussed in near all classes. It seems to be one of the most common of all themes in literary or film (and least understood or misrepresented). Watching the rape scene from A Clockwork Orange in our course on Shocking Cinema made me feel so very ill. Having people claim that some elements were humorous scared me even more. I found it completely terrifying and nauseating. But then what does that matter? I’m sick of all our classes dealing with rape cases and yet refusing to call them for what they are – Measure for Measure by Shakespeare, Phantom of Liberty by Bunuel both feature a scene where a woman is coerced for sex against her desire. That’s called rape.

Thank God for the progressive stuff out there. Thank God I’m not blind to all that.

So here’s for the Friday Word- I’ve decided to put a poem I like:

Against Coupling by Fleur Adcock

I write in praise of the solitary act:
of not feeling a trespassing tongue
forced into one’s mouth, one’s breath
smothered, nipples crushed against the
rib-cage, and that metallic tingling
in the chin set off by a certain odd nerve:

unpleasure. Just to avoid those eyes would help-
such eyes as a young girl draws life from,
listening to the vegetal
rustle within her, as his gaze
stirs polypal fronds in the obscure
sea-bed of her body, and her own eyes blur

. There is much to be said for abandoning
this no longer novel exercise-
for now ‘participating in
a total experience’-when
one feels like the lady in Leeds who
had seen The Sound Of Music eighty-six times;

or more, perhaps, like the school drama mistress
producing A Midsummer Night’s Dream
for the seventh year running, with
yet another cast from 5B.
Pyramus and Thisbe are dead, but
the hole in the wall can still be troublesome.

I advise you, then, to embrace it without
encumberance. No need to set the scene,
dress up (or undress), make speeches.
Five minutes of solitude are
enough-in the bath, or to fill
that gap between the Sunday papers and lunch.

et cetera