Finally getting back to academia readings with some cyborg theory.
I left my copy of Cruel Optimism at school. I am mourning by making a poster out of a quote. Does this quote make sense out of context? Maybe the better question would be, does this quote make sense in context? The answer to both questions may or may not be “no.”
Doesn’t matter. She’s still amazing.
About the Poster: The typeface is Ostrich Sans.
EDIT: Yay! Good news on the horizon. Still have to wait a year, though.
EDIT 2: Of course, the news only applies to those privileged individuals that already have health insurance, so birth control isn’t free just yet. But it is a good first step. (Really, I just wanted to let y’all know that my posters were still relevant.)
So here in DC, there is always something about politics. Funny how that works, right? And this is not to say that I don’t find it all very fascinating, but I don’t think I’ve connected very well with this city. I respect it, but I do not see us becoming anything more than acquaintances. The other problem is the way politics have been going at the present time. If y’all haven’t been keeping up, it’s just going horribly all around. It’s been depressing me.
One bit of good news did pop up a few weeks back. A study commissioned by the Health and Human Services Department recommended that birth control should be provided for free, without co-pay by health insurers. The reasoning would be that it would save money in the long run because the health costs of pregnancies are so expensive. All of which not only makes sense, but would be awesome.
Of course, there is that inevitable backlash with the primary argument being that people who don’t believe in birth control would now be forced to pay (in the form of their tax dollars) for other people’s birth control. I feel like that would be a completely valid argument if everyone was guaranteed that their tax dollars weren’t being used for things they don’t believe in. Sadly, that does not happen to be the case. My tax dollars support things I don’t believe in all the time, and I don’t even get any say in how they’re used because I am not allowed to vote by the laws of this country. Moreover, those same laws won’t let me apply to vote until several years from now.
If I can’t vote and if I can’t direct my tax dollars (which, to be fair, are pittances in the grand scheme of things), I will do the little I can by making some flashy posters espousing what I believe to be good policy. Now, I don’t mean to suggest, by way of my posters, that if we have free birth control, we should make abortion illegal. I think abortion should always be legal, because sometimes, it is just necessary. However, I also think the evidence is convincing in proving that increased birth control usage reduces the likelihood of abortion. I just felt that “stop abortion” would be catchier than “reduce the incidence of abortion.”
In this way, I hope to make my beliefs clear: I am both pro-life and pro-choice. I believe that no one wants to have an abortion, but sometimes, women need abortions. I would never question why a woman believes she needs an abortion, because I am sure the reasons are myriad and highly personal. The decision usually comes after serious thinking.
But again, I believe no one wants an abortion, because I think an abortion is a sign that a mistake was made somewhere. Something happened that wasn’t supposed to, and the abortion is trying to fix that mistake. However, often the mistake could have been avoided, and I believe that can occur by making birth control more accessible. A great way to do that is to make it free.
In addition, I see this as a highly pro-life stance because not only would reduce the incidence of abortion, but it would also insure that more children who are born are born to people who both want and are ready for them. I also think that there are additional measures that should be supported if one truly is to be pro-life such as supporting universal medical care and food access for infants and their parents, but this would be a nice place to start.
At the bottom, along with my assertion that this stance is pro-life and pro-choice, I add that this stance is also pro-sex and pro-health. I make no secret of the fact that I believe in being sex positive and access to contraceptives for individuals who choose to be sexually active is clearly part of that agenda. As for pro-health, I think I have made my fear of pregnancy clear, but even outside of that irrational fear, pregnancy can be take a huge toll on health. Undergoing that without being ready for it is also something this policy could prevent.
This entire post has been a wash of seriousness and a little bit of grumpiness. I am sorry. This city has been making me a little grumpy.
I know, I know. I have been neglecting you all. Not because I haven’t been working on a poster. Mostly because the poster that I had been working was frustrating me. It was complicated and long-term and I realized about half-way that there was a Photoshop tool that I should have used instead of the one I did to get the effect that I wanted and there were multiple images and it was just driving me crazy. So I am putting that aside for now. Not to say that I have a million brilliant ideas to replace it. My whole life is filled with physical exhaustion and that is part of the reason I am having trouble finishing the big project as well.
My poster today does not make much sense out of context. The long-term project that I just shelved was about penises. Maybe that’s why I wanted to make a poster about vaginas? Probably not. Mostly I just wanted to talk about this video:
I just could not enumerate the ways in which this commercial is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. Instead, I am offering you, dear readers, a once in a lifetime deal. What is usually valued at One Seven Wonder or the First-Born Chosen One Baptized in the Moonlight can be yours for the low-low price of a horse (to fall off of) or its equivalent. That’s right individuals and individuals, I am selling my vagina. AND THAT IS NOT ALL. If you act now, I’ll even throw in my uterus.
In other news, I was perusing the internets, as is my wont, and I happened to stumble across the book Let’s Panic About Babies. And then I thought, with all the effort I put into panicking about potential babies, maybe I should read this book to get an even better idea of what I should panic about. Maybe that’s a bad idea. Maybe I should panic about not knowing what to panic about.
About the Poster: The stereotypical advertisement ladycurves were drawn by me in Adobe Illustrator. The typefaces used include Scriptina by Apostrophic Labs, Raleway by Matt McInerney, and Spatha Sans by Fernando Carvente.
Of course, I would like to mention that no medical professionals, real or imagined, were consulted in the making of this chart so please use with some skepticism. This is more a reflection of my own thought processes on the pregnancy status of individuals than actual scientific fact.
On a slightly more serious note, I was reflecting on the somewhat negative messages the overall flowchart might end up conveying as I was completing the chart. Initially, I was afraid that the poster suffered from the alarmist approach to sexual education and activity. The kind that was best summed by that gym teacher in Mean Girls‘s speech: “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die! Don’t have sex in the missionary position, don’t have sex standing up, just don’t do it, OK, promise? OK, now everybody take some rubbers.”
However, once I continued thinking about it, I began to realize that this chart and, subsequently, my attitudes towards the fact that I think any and everyone is in danger of being pregnant is more a symptom of this type of sex ed. I think this way because people have taught me that sex is dangerous because of unwanted pregnancy and STDs. I have been taught to these two statuses are to be marked with shame. I am so afraid of pregnancy that I am afraid that it can and will happen to me no matter what I do. And all of this at the hands of the type of sex ed I had in middle and high school.
Of course, I was lucky. I had sex ed that went beyond just abstinence. I had sex ed multiple years. But I think it’s incredibly disingenuous to believe that pregnancy and STDs are the worst things that could happen if people aren’t educated properly about sex. There are other more traumatizing experiences that have been associated with sex. The taboo on talking about sex is itself one of those traumas that are rarely addressed that though small by itself, can compound with a large variety of other traumas, both big and small, that make sex and all its consequences very, very scary.
So I proffer this poster up as evidence of the level of emotional maturity current “good” high school level sex ed results in. (Clearly it’s not very high. I am pretty sure there are some pregnant men walking around right now that are going to be in for a biiiiiiiiig surprise.) It’s a shame that this is the type of “positive” sex education available to most teenagers, if they have any available at all. Just as people shouldn’t be scared into having sex, they shouldn’t be scared out of having sex.
I hope that people are avoiding sex because they are afraid that if they do, they will get everyone pregnant. All at once. I hope this chart doesn’t make them think that. But I also hope that everyone is being safe and smart and respectful and only having sex that they want. And not having unprotected babymaking sex unless they want unprotected babies.
So what’s my solution, if I had to just offer one?
I think everyone should just masturbate. All the time. But only if they want to.
[Previously] My Friend Blotchy
I don’t know if y’all have met my valentine, because, and I’m not trying to BRAG or anything, but…he’s pretty internet famous. I mean, his hit single “Not A Virgin” has been featured on TWO blogs with the word “feminist” in it: Feministe and Feministing. AND Jaclyn Friedman tweeted about him. That’s right, he is on the Twitters. I am not even kidding.
So to celebrate his amazingness, I made him a poster. And now here is all his amazingness in video form:
About the Poster: The image is from a photo taken by Jing Jin (she has a lot of photo blogs, but that is one to get you started). The typeface is an open source typeface called Ostrich Sans by Tyler Finck distributed by The League of Movable Type.