Mississippi…

Cultural differences are amazing, and I believe that you don’t really get to know someone, or a group of people better than when it

comes down to an election year. On Friday Bill Maher showed a video clip made by Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), and especially made for his show.  This is Mississippi, and their opinions on Health Care, the President, the government, and a host of other matters.

Here are some facts before viewing this clip:  Pelosi remarked that the footage she did not show in the clip would have been the same as the one that you will see.  She didn’t seek these people out, she got out of the airport and drove to the closest town.  The people interviewed knew well that they were being taped and would appear on Real Time With Bill Maher.

After watching several speeches from Republicans my curiosity of their origin has begun my research into the history of the Republican Party.  I will be posting the history of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party in the next couple of weeks.  I think it is important to try and trace back to see what in the world happened from Lincoln,the first Republican President of the United States to now.

On a side note, I understand that not ALL people in MIssissippi are like this, but some facts can’t be ignored about the state as whole and how it represents itself statistically.

  • In 2010 it was the number one for teen pregnancies
  • In 2010 the GDP per Capita was the lowest of any other state $26,908.
  • In 2011 MIssissippi ranked last in science (high school education).

Violation of Women’s Health Care

When it comes to politics I am not one that can hold much back.  This is not to say that I will not listen, this is to say that I stand by what I believe and respect to its end, unless given valid proof and facts that support otherwise.  Nowadays with the way government officials play bill maker you need to take a strong stand in what you see as unjustified, unconstitutional, and an outright assault on our basic natural rights.

The Virginia Senate has approved a bill in which women will have to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, and a waiting period of 24 hours.  This is an amended bill, which now excludes rape victims and victims of incest from having to undergo the ultrasound if they have reported it to police.

This bill was passed yesterday 21 to 19.  Sens. Charles Colgan, Prince William, and Phillip Puckett, Russell, were the only Democrats to vote for the bill. Republican Sen. John Watkins, Powhatan, voted against it.

NOTE:  The originally proposed bill wanted to have an invasive transvaginal ultrasound…

Now, where do we begin? I understand that abortion and women’s reproductive rights have always had a strong influence in politics, and with this being an election year no one is holding back to get voters to think who they want to vote for this coming November.  The media has had a field day covering all the Republican debates and one of the main things that they have been making clear is what they wish to change; apparently it seems that our personal private life, whether we have sex, when, with whom, and what we do with our reproductive system is a big topic for them.   This bill is an outrages violation of women’s health care rights.

Lets start with the amendment which was made by the Democrats, which has victims of rape or incest excluded from having to undergo the ultrasound if they have made a report to the appropriate law enforcement officials.  A woman who has undergone a traumatic experience such as rape is not always ready to go and let anyone know, even less one whom has had it from a family member.  The shame and psychological damage that a woman goes through is hard to understand. It may take years to gain basic trust and feel comfortable to even start talking about; reliving a traumatic experience is in no way an easy task. Many cultures consider it taboo taking about such things as sex, so telling someone, even if it a law enforcement official can be difficult, and may even not be an option for many.  I am not only speaking as a woman, but as someone who has had to deal with sexual assault.  An abortion is a time sensitive procedure usually done best within the first trimester.  How can someone who has such a traumatic experience deal aside with that as well?!

It is not the role of government to subject victims of rape and incest – for those Virginians who choose not to report it – to a humiliating procedure that is meaningless, so that some elected officials can engage in political posturing and promotion of their anti-woman agenda,” Sen. MamieLocke, D-Hampton.

Medically, what is this bill trying to achieve? Over 90 percent of abortions in the US are performed within the first trimester. Senator Ralph Northam D-Norfolk, is  the chamber’s ONLY medical doctor had a couple of things to say about this, “I might as well put the ultrasound probe on this bottle of Gatorade, I’m going to see as much.”  This has no medical necessity, “when we as a group of non-physicians start telling a doctor and a patient ho w they should practice medicine and the kind of medical care they receive, we are getting in way over our heads…This is a tremendous assault on women’s health care. It is a tremendous insult to physicians practicing in the commonwealth of Virginia.”

Who is to pay for this? To shame women for even considering an abortion? Is this a way to restrict our own agency on a matter that is private?  Of course! And to think that the original proposal wanted a transvaginal ultrasound.

A woman who has decided, or is contemplating an abortion has thought about this.  An abortion is not something that is taken lightly, it is both costly, and hard on the body… it is after all a medical procedure.  Even if you aren’t well educated, places like planned parenthood take you through the steps and explain in detail what exactly is going to take place, they answer questions and understand that this is a decision that may require time and so they are not pushing you go through with the procedure.  For those educated women we understand what it is, and we have made the decision to go through with it.  It is something that in the world that we operate in is done in a way as to not disrupt our daily life. You call, you make the appointment, try to fit it in to your schedule as seamlessly as possible so that you have time to recover and go back to work as normal. Why you wonder?  Because it is a PRIVATE MATTER.  There is no need for anyone to know. So this 24 hour waiting period is to say the least, absurd and UNNECESARY.

I would like to understand what the uproar that pro-life people have against someone who is pro-choice.  When women considers an abortion it is not on a whim like getting a manicure.  It is a responsible and difficult decision.  Responsible, yes, because there are a number or factors that play into it;  Financial means, readiness and maturity to start a family, if it is a viable fetus,  or just not wanting a child.  There are according to UNICEF 143 to 210 million orphans worldwide.  More than 250,000 kids enter foster care in the United States each year.  These numbers are astronomical, and why I see women who have one as responsible.  Like it or not, we do have a population problem.

A woman’s choice with her body is a personal matter, and one that she makes on her own.  Placing restrictions and obstacles for something like this is unconstitutional, and an assault on women’s health care.

Men and Women- The ongoing miscommunication

Even back then it looks like we had issues...

There seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding among men and women.  I have a great friend and he’s a guy.  We constantly have miscommunications, and while this is just things that I have learned through my reading or interactions I hope that it may help some of you better communicate with one another.

  1.  When a woman wants to tell you her problems she wants you to listen; not fix it or advise her.

How many times has this happened:  You walk in frustrated or upset, and start to tell you boyfriend or male friend what has you so riled up.  You aren’t even finished and they jump in to tell you what you need to do.  “Just quit your job if you’re so unhappy”

“That’s not what I want, I’m just trying to tell you…”

“I don’t know what you want, I’m trying to help you here”

Listen here Men, we aren’t necessarily looking for you to fix our problems or give us advice (unless we specifically ask you to), we want to be able to vent.  We don’t want you fix things; we want you to empathize with us.  Key words: I understand how you feel, I’m sorry, and I can only imagine how you feel.  We understand that as men your need and want to fix things, but in cases like these, please just LISTEN to us.

2.  Men feel more comfortable talking if doing something- like sports.

One of my favorite movies When Harry Met Sally shows perfectly how men and women interact best when communicating.  The scene when Harry is telling his best friend about how his wife left him is a perfect example of when men are most comfortable to open up.  They were at Football game, sitting side by side (no real eye contact), and participating in the occasional wave.  Sally on the other hand tells her girlfriends that she is no longer with Joe over brunch, all facing one another and making eye contact while talking.  Which brings me to say; If you expect to talk to one another about something substantial do it in a manner that will make that person comfortable.  Don’t expect men to open up about their life over breakfast while they read the paper.

3.  Men:  “Get to the point!” vs. Women and details

Men don’t care for details; they just want to get to the point.

“I went to the gym and then Home Depot.”

This isn’t to say that we women wont do that, but when we share information we tend to give more details than probably needed- okay, we give more details.  The more we want to build a connection to the person we’re talking to, we give a little more.  If a woman doesn’t care much she will give you two words and be done with it (Men:  this also happens when we are upset with you, you know what I’m talking about).  This brings a lot of hurt to both parties; one is aggravated, and the other left thinking they aren’t important enough to be heard.  Let’s try and understand where we are coming from.  Let us know if we take too long telling a story, but just know it’s long because we love you.

4.   Conversation vs. Lecture

Have you ever had a phone conversation with a male friend of yours and it quickly turns into a lecture?  I have, repeatedly.  Why is it that most men have the need to do this?  Once again their need to lead, to be the voice of guidance comes through.  When I talk to my girlfriends I don’t lecture, we share.  Men:  Please try and stray from this, it makes us feel like we’re in a classroom and you’re the professor- and NOT the good kind.

5.  Identifying emotions- Women: We’re just trying to let you know we understand.

When my friend calls me and tells me about how he is bummed about something, I recall a similar occasion.  I am not trying to turn the conversation over on me, rather I am trying to show you that I understand.  But he doesn’t see that.  He quickly gets angry and thinks that I am speaking specifically about my problem and no longer listening to him.  He usually then lectures me and then says that this conversation is over.  In this case, I might just have to act like a man and give him a solution, thus making a compromise.

Beauty and the U.S

Sundays, don’t you just love them?  I love spending my Sunday’s at home with my family, I take Landon out for a run (my Retriever-Chow mix), and for the most part try to wrap up any important business so that I may start my week as cluster free as possible.  This also involves a large amount of TV; whether I’m actually seeing it or having it on the background.  During this, I can’t help but always look at what the TV people want me to notice in commercials or for a matter on the show or movie I’m watching.  A lot of it has to do (for women) how to be beautiful, how to make yourself look as beautiful as possible, or how men really only fall for the beautiful woman (not the nerdy best friend who may have a bit more on her bones).  Well, here I am and I’m looking at the large wall of mirrors in my room and I can’t find any correlation with the women they are talking about and so I feel as though my quest to become the beautiful society is selling would be a bit more difficult than the commercials or movie at the moment is selling.

I say no more! Everyone can’t fit into flawless skin, gorgeous full shiny hair, and thin or perfect hourglass figure.  I have to understand that it just doesn’t work that way.  I was lucky enough to do my Fieldwork in the Ancash Region of Peru and  I can’t begin to tell you how much that has served as a sounding board for life and what matters.  As I was being driven by my taxi driver to the bus station in Huaraz to return to Lima, the elder Gentleman began asking me questions about the U.S.  He already knew that I was born in Lima from two Peruvian parents, so his question was about the actual “Americans”; “Is everyone in the U.S  as thin and as good looking as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?”  I couldn’t help but laugh a little.  American TV had done it’s job well, my taxi driver who lives in a little village in Carhuaz and had very limited TV channels thinks we all look like that!  I explained to him that sadly no, not everyone looks as close to those two or anyone in Hollywood.  I informed him about the U.S’s struggle with obesity, and just average looking Joe’s (and the occasional good looking people, which I told him are mostly in Miami).  Needless to say, I left him with his mouth left wide open- I’m sure ready to tell the rest of his family of all that we had discussed.

Which brings me back to my point; we can’t all look like the women or men who are featured on TV.  We come from different backgrounds and see beauty differently. We all have different genetic makeup, which for some impedes looking like them because your body shape is more of a tamale shape than hourglass shape.  This is something that I understand but is hard to apply.  But I hope that just by writing it I will somehow be able to fully accept it.  What do you think is beautiful?  It doesn’t even have to be physically it can be a place, a thing, anything.

Have a wonderful Sunday and an Even better Monday, till then!

My hope

This is my first blog… ever, so please bear with me as I try to present myself, and what I hope to accomplish here in a concise manner.

Loveandandanthropology <—— Well let’s start there!  Not to sound much like a teacher but anthropology is the study of human kind.  I am an anthropology student so my daily interaction with people consists of analyzing and understanding them much as an ethnographer would, and so my perspective on any subject may come out as such.  Since it is the study of human kind I hope to bring interesting views  in every realm that humans interact in (which really leaves nothing out); politics, health, love, culture, literature, science, and just anything that may capture my interest to discuss.  So as the brilliant Albert Einstein put it:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. 


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