May 21, 2006

I Go Berserk!

Laws, now I've seen everything.

Let's see: Apparently it's muy bueno to flip the finger to the gub'mint when they're confiscating my firearms, shutting down Christmas, or nagging me to quit smoking and eating fatty foods, but lemme make one little objection to being defined by my reproductive organs, and boom!--I'm an HYSTERICAL FEMINAZI.

Same shit, different day, huh?

You would think the Fucked Companeros would have other things to worry about, maybe unemployment or something, but what do I know? Until 'bout five minutes ago I'd forgotten Fucked Company existed. Hey, I thought it was a 90s thing. Go ahead, sue me.

And then there's this, the title of which invites a remark along the lines of "physician, heal thyself."

Call me an internet etiquette Nazi, but generally when you want to dispute what someone's written you link what they've written, and not some blockhead's distinctly ignorant paraphrase of it--unless, of course, you've got all the backbone of a jellyfish and you fear that I may presume to wipe the floor with your ass, which in fact I just may.

So let's recap, as succinctly as possible, some of the feminist blogging coverage of these CDC guidelines. That will save us having to embarrass ourselves by linking to Russell Wardlow in order to get the feminist perspective:

First you've got Jill's post, which is how I found out about the CDC guidelines, the subject of the Washington Post article Jill's responding to. (Got that?) Jill's berserk too, naturally:

Avoid cat feces and discuss fetal alcohol syndrome when you arenít pregnant and donít plan to be? Sure, doc, Iíll give up my pets and stop drinking because it might hurt the fetus that Iím not carrying.

FEEL THE HYSTERIA!

Then, you've got Amanda Marcotte--or St. Amanda of Fornicatus, as she's known in some circles--and, hell, if we can't bank on Amanda to be hysterical, then, then, I just don't know, because it is an article of faith among the right-wing internet community that Amanda is always hysterical. It's like death and taxes, man, death and taxes:

The guidelines are a little less breathless with excitement over a brand new chance to control women and discriminate against us than [the Washington Post] article implies. They suggest that doctors treating women talk about health care in terms of their own health but also in regards to their reproductive future. The actual article very firmly suggests, and the WaPo skims over this point, that the big recommendation is to emphasize the importance of planning your pregnancies to women.

And the shrieking and caterwauling, she don't stop:

So the recommendation is not to scold all women between 12 and 60 never to drink or smoke or own a fucking cat. In fact, while thereís not a lot of language in the actual report condoning social control of all women as a health care initiative, thereís a whole shitload of suggestions to doctors that they discuss the importance of spacing children and preventing unplanned pregnancies. Prepregnancy visits are also encouraged, which again indicates that these guidelines are more about doctors telling women to take conception and pregnancy seriously than they are trying to imply that doctors should assume all women are equal pregnancy risk.

I mean the way she gets on the mainstream media for misrepresenting the issue and blatantly revealing its insidious biased agenda--OH, WAIT:

So why did the WaPo misrepresent this report? Hell, they donít even mention how important birth control is to this entire project except in passing at the bottom of the article. I think itís because itís a political hot potato to openly admit that the two most important steps towards reducing the infant mortality rate and improving the health of newborns in general is to get health care to every woman and to empower women with the knowledge and tools they need to get pregnant only when they want to.

You with me so far? We've got Jill saying "It's stupid to ask me to protect the fetus I'm not carrying," and then we've got Amanda saying "Wait, it's actually not the way it was reported in the press," i.e., the sort of statement which, if you banned conservative bloggers from ever making it again, would reduce the output of conservative blogs by at least 90%; and somewhere in there you've also got a followup post by Zuzu at Feministe, in equally fine crazy-hysterical form:

What Iím concerned about is that the guidelines will provide more cover for doctors who already do things like withhold effective treatments from their non-pregnant patients on the grounds that the treatments are harmful to a hypothetical fetus, even when the alternative, fetus-safe treatment does not adequately control the condition or has more severe side effects for the patient than the fetus-harming treatment.

And then--what nerve--she provides an example of exactly that scenario occurring:

I have been unable to obtain adequate medical care for my epilepsy because I am what they'd call pre-pregnant. As my neurologist puts it, I am a woman of child-bearing age. As such, they flat-out refuse to try me on any medicines other than the ones proven least likely to affect a fetus (read: the ones that are paying off my neurologist). Despite the fact that I have declared my belly a no-fetus zone.

My neurologist does not trust me to not get pregnant. My neurologist puts a potential fetus's potential health over my health.

That miserable harpy! With her SOURCING and her FACTS! Take a Valium, Zuzu; you'll never get a man like that!

As for Bitch, Ph.D., well, her blog title's never fit better. Such emotionalism:

It seems to me that the biggest news here isn't the CDC; it's the interpretation of this document in the broader context of increasingly conservative ideas that women are primarily baby-factories and mothers, rather than actual human beings whose health care matters for its own sake. Luckily the CDC (and, in my experience, most health care providers, especially in women's health) still belong to the reality-based community.

How dare she use the word "reality" in such an obviously hormone-fueled screed?

And then, of course, you have me and my potty mouth, which added bupkis to the discussion and in fact was not worth posting at all, if you think about it (which clearly I seldom do), but it did, however unwittingly, serve one purpose: It provided fresh meat to conservatives who CAN'T READ, the ones who just plug everything vaguely wimmen-related into their tiresome-but-tireless narrative of "Anything feminists object to, I automatically favor, because I am like what would happen if someone invented a robot that was specially, intentionally designed to be retarded." "Anti-intellectual" doesn't even begin to cover it. "Stupid" is inadequate. "Ignorant" is insufficient. "Lobotomized" only just barely approaches applicability.

The sweet, sweet irony is that there was plenty of material for conservatives to pick on in all this, if only that pesky "reading" activity weren't required to detect it. How 'bout the "no, no, the CDC is a GOOD bureaucracy" attitude prevalent in some of the above posts? It's not one of my pet issues, personally, but I would think a true limited-government aficionado could make hay for days outta that.

And then there's the wealth of common-cause material: Feminists think the press misrepresents important issues?--Conservatives think the press misrepresents important issues! Feminists think federal guidelines are mostly for shit?--Conservatives think federal guidelines are mostly for shit! Feminists want the feds out of their personal lives?--Conservatives want the feds out of their personal lives! Holy crumb, it's almost like you could all sit around making friendship bracelets or something.

"I still hate that you oppose same-sex marriage, but the way you point out the jerkiness of the WaPo is like awesome."

"I know, and I still hate that you abort babies, but the way you tell the federal government to mind its business really moves me."

But again, that would require laying off the pipe for a minute, you know, the pipe labeled "Almost Half the Population Voted for the Party of Death Last Election and That Makes Almost Half of my Fellow Citizens my Sworn Enemies 4Ever. Now Hit That PayPal Button, Bitches, Because You Can't Get This Kind of Meaningful Discourse Just Anywhere, and Certainly Not on 40,000 Other Blogs Exactly Like This One."

So. If the goal of Andrea and Russell was to make me think that maybe the liberals who tar all those to the right of Dennis Kucinich as unthinking backwoods reactionaries might just occasionally have a point, congratulations, dears: Goal achieved. Have yourselves a big fat hysterical cookie each. Maybe later I'll take a break from boozing it up, cleaning the cat box, and aborting yet another freakin' baby in order to bake my famous Berserker Brownies: Two cups Hysteria, one and one-third cups Outrage, three-fourths cup Shrieking Incoherence . . . .

Posted by Ilyka at May 21, 2006 01:47 PM in f is for feminism
Comments

Yeah. I think I need to point something out here. You know how great I think you are (I hope) and how I think of you as a friend. But you have done something in this argument that I have to address.

You let that Russell Wardlow comment here.

Further, you linked to him, which meant he and his misogynistic link-whoring desires could then write a sad and pathetic post including the words directed to you: "You'll never get a man that way, sweetheart" (this is a paraphrasing. I don't remember his exact words and I'd have to re-visit to find them, but that would mean having to re-scour the nastiness of his site off my skin again, and lord knows I already did it the once today, if I do it again I'll look like I've met with the business end of sandpaper, which at this point is appealing.)

Now, Russell is the kind of creature whose blog posts make a Muppet look like a fascinating and clever dinner companion. "You can count to ten! Really! That's fantastic! And we've pointed out at the table all the things brought to us by the letter B!"

I'm all for Free Speech, really. Unless that Free Speech involves that Russell "Thesaurus Lover" guy, and I'm sorry to attack someone on your blog but I have to say-that creature? He is not worth it. I see by this post that you are angry, and you have every right to be. By all means, address those that are attacking your post. But if some of those are cretins, then delete, IP ban, and feel good that you closed off the voice at the windpipe.

PLEASE.

Posted by: Helen at May 22, 2006 03:02 AM

But deleting/banning would have robbed me of the joy of this post, which lent me succor in the midst of a barren desert of stupidity.

Posted by: Hubris at May 22, 2006 05:31 AM

"The sweet, sweet irony is that there was plenty of material for conservatives to pick on in all this, if only that pesky "reading" activity weren't required to detect it."

Hah. I was doing that while you were writing this. Great minds and all that.

Posted by: John at May 22, 2006 09:39 AM

There certainly is enough material in the report for conservatives to get riled up about, and I did read the report. I chose to focus on what I thought was the over-the-top reaction from some folks in tying this to a republican/religious right agenda. I'm certainly not thrilled by the extension of the Nanny State aspects of this, but I don't see any new ground being broken here, as this is the sort of crap one expects from government panels, and while I might not flip them the bird I'd certainly not hesitate to ignore their findings, but maybe my Nannystateometer has been slippery-sloped into numbness.

I'm certainly not thrilled by the situation you linked to above, where someone was denied a certain treatment because of how it might affect future pregnancies that she won't have; that's completely ridiculous. The doctor can lay out the various risk/rewards, but the ultimate decision must be the patients. I will add that while certainly a lot of doctors get winkwinknudgenudges to use one drug over another from various pharmaceutical concerns, it would not surprise me if in this particular case a stronger weight on the doctor's mind was any potential future liabilities from from a malpractice suit that could pop up.

What color bracelets should we make? I used to like the ones made out of Juicy Fruit wrappers.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at May 22, 2006 11:37 AM

I'm about to jump in my car. I'm going to give you the high-five I owe you in person.

Being a liberal sort of person, it would probably be in my blood to make hemp bracelets. But then, I hate hippies. What do you do?

Posted by: Lauren at May 25, 2006 10:04 AM

Wow, the stupidity. That first link has someone linking to a parody of feministing.com, as an example of how crazy feminists are, while saying it's impossible to parody feminism.

It's incredible.

Posted by: Andrew at May 27, 2006 09:31 AM

"Apparently it's muy bueno to flip the finger to the gub'mint when they're confiscating my firearms, shutting down Christmas, or nagging me to quit smoking and eating fatty foods, but lemme make one little objection to being defined by my reproductive organs, and boom!--I'm an HYSTERICAL FEMINAZI."

That's because you *aren't* being defined by your reproductive organs, so yes - that makes you a hysterical feminazi. As I wrote earlier, you are seeing offense where there is none, and it deserves the mockery you got.

"Avoid cat feces and discuss fetal alcohol syndrome when you arenít pregnant and donít plan to be? Sure, doc, Iíll give up my pets and stop drinking because it might hurt the fetus that Iím not carrying.

FEEL THE HYSTERIA!"

Both of you are foolish. They are merely advising on a wise course of action considering the numbers of unplanned pregnancies. If you want to be foolish, go ahead.

"it's the interpretation of this document in the broader context of increasingly conservative ideas that women are primarily baby-factories and mothers"

Since conservatives don't think of women that way, this makes her either a liar (even unwittingly) or a hysterical feminazi who is using emotional victimhood appeals to gain the moral high ground. I suspect it's a lot of both.

Posted by: Grump at June 1, 2006 01:00 PM