WTF Wednesday

The stories about Harvey Weinstein are HORRIFYING. As someone who reads far more celebrity gossip and blogs than I should, there have been rumors and references to his inappropriate behavior for as long as I can remember. The stories the survivors are sharing are so skeezy and awful. I’m glad he’s been fired by his company (unlike the President who has had 16 complaints of sexual assault against him, but still GOT ELECTED), but he will remain a very rich man, and I imagine that eventually he will land on his feet again because white guys have a strange habit of failing up. Time will pass, people will forget, his power will return. Just look at Bill O’Reilly – he’s still on TV!!! Listening to the audio below of Weinstein harassing a woman made me feel ill.

I hate that the onus of this entire thing has fallen on the women to “speak out” about it. There are numerous reasons why a survivor would not report that an assault has occurred, but making it even harder is when someone like Weinstein can destroy your entire career with the snap of a finger. Men in Hollywood have to carry the burden of speaking out on this. The must demand that this not happen in their industry. They must hold each other accountable. They can no longer look the other way.

Don’t even get me started on Donna Karan’s comments blaming women. I know she apologized, but GIRL, NO.

The past week has felt like an attack on decency in this country. Don’t worry, there won’t be changes to laws that impact gun violence, but the house GOP was inspired by the Las Vegas massacre to attempt to crack down on our reproductive rights.

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Trump damaged LGBTQ rights  and access to free birth control thanks to “religious liberty.” Thanks for legalizing discrimination, ya asshat. But, yeah, all those people marching in January were totally overreacting to this administration. No reason for it! Women’s healthcare and the rights of other vulnerable groups aren’t being affected AT ALL. Please keep your religion away from my body. If you don’t want an abortion, then don’t get one. If you don’t want to use birth control, then don’t. If you don’t want to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, then go get a different job. Your job is issuing marriage licenses, not deciding who you think that God would think should be married.

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And I fully understand the desire by many to decrease federal regulations and return law-making to the states. BUT, when states cannot be bothered to follow federal supreme court decisions and institute laws that protect people, then the federal government has to step in. A lawmaker in Kentucky is proposing a bill to ban abortion. It’s unconstitutional, but I doubt they care. How many states would not require accommodations for people with disabilities if it wasn’t federal law? How many school districts would elect not to provide services to children with disabilities because it’s expensive? I understand that ADA compliance is costly and inconvenient, but it is the right thing to do. ADA in no way solved all of problems that people with disabilities face, and we still have a long way to go in actually meeting the needs of and erasing the stigma surrounding them.

In fun news from Monday, Pruitt is rolling back the limits on carbon emissions. I understand that these limitations are hard on industry, but could they not at least be replaced with more modest regulations to keep moving us in the right direction? I absolutely do not want the people who have worked in the coal industry to be without jobs or a source of income, but promising them something that isn’t going to happen is cruel. Instead of clinging to a dying industry, we should be investing in training people to work in alternative energy jobs. Jobs that are safer and still offer a competitive salary without needing a college degree. The way we power our country is changing, and the employees of the coal industry deserve the opportunity to change with it.

Why would we not move toward energy goals that not only provide people with safer jobs, but also protect the air and environment?

Moving on from political woes – a student called me full of outrage last week because she had been “on hold with financial aid for two hours.” It was 8:30 in the morning. They open at 8.

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I asked her if she remembered who had been there at 6:30 am to put her on hold since the office wasn’t open (calls go straight to a message stating that they are closed). She eventually admitted that maybe it was for 20 minutes, BUT STILL. I get that financial aid is a confusing and frustrating ordeal, and that there are often very long waits to get help, but don’t lie to me!


38 thoughts on “WTF Wednesday

  1. I deleted Twitter from my phone over the weekend. It was Canadian Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to feel full of rage (instead of full of turkey) the whole time. Instead I immersed myself in binge-watching ‘This Is Us’, lied to my father-in-law and said I wasn’t paying attention to politics anymore so I couldn’t engage in any discussions with him, and did a LOT of walking in the woods, while listening to My Favorite Murder and being generally terrified (I know they say ‘stay out of the forest’ but it was so peaceful).
    Aaaaaaaaaanyway. Insert my usual offer for you and everyone you know to run away and join us in Canada. We have our problems, but we also have poutine. It kind of balances out.

    • I do not blame you for mentally peacing out. Everyone deserves a break from this insanity – and it’s not even your country! I also listen to My Favorite Murder while I’m hiking and at some point I always think, “Oh, SHIT, I am in the woods alone!!” I have a big knife and bear spray, but sometimes a lady needs to alone with the trees so she doesn’t lose her mind. I actually looked at what it takes to work at a University in Canada last weekend.

  2. Doesn’t it feel like more than just Napa and Sonoma is on fire right now? THE WHOLE WORLD IS BURNING DOWN.

    In other news, I started watching The Handmaid’s Tale recently, and really, the timing could not be worse (or better…?) given the current administration and state of the world. And as if watching it as a woman isn’t enough, I am watching it while my two young daughters sleep upstairs, so I HAVE ALL THE FEELINGS. No one warned me that it was going to be literally all of my worst nightmares come to life.

    Cool, guys. Real cool.

    • Also, about the “how were these women dressed/were they asking for it” comments — that’s like saying to a baker, “Well, I ate that entire cake even though I didn’t pay for it because it was within my reach, just sitting there looking delicious. So really it’s your fault for making that cake look so tasty in the first place.” ALL THE EYE ROLL EMOJIS.

      • I am planning to sue chocolate companies for making products that I can’t seem to resist. We must hold them responsible for their crimes! I want to shake women who blame sexual assault on the person who was the victim of it. It’s sickening.

    • We have a giant fire roaring just north of us, and there are a whole bunch more throughout the states. It hasn’t rained in this area since June, and the winds won’t simmer down anytime soon. It is HORRIFYING. Then, couple that with the devastation from hurricanes, and this has been a hell of a few months for this country.

      The Handmaid’s Tale is INTENSE. I felt like I was going to vomit with every episode. It’s like watching the future. Thanks, fundamental Christians!

  3. Christians should want brith control to be handed out like smarties on halloween if they truly want to make an impact on abortion rates.

    • I feel like they do, but they don’t want to be the ones to pay for it (i.e. make it covered through insurance or whatever). If all those slutty women want to be having sex but not having babies, well, shame on them and they have to pay for their slutty birth control.


      (apparently deleting Twitter has not deleted my rage).

      • Also, at the risk of pulling a “not all Christians!” I was raised in the United Church, and everybody I know is on board with birth control and choice.

        • It certainly isn’t “all Christians,” unfortunately the ones that seem to be influencing are government right now are the most fundamental and Evangelical ones who have a great history of giving no shits about the women or their autonomy over their own bodies. They know that if women get too much independence, then they won’t want to be a part of their shitty system. They might want to get a job or something even more sinful – not have babies.

          • Over lunch, I thought to myself “you DID pull a “not all men!” and you’re a jerk”, so I came back to say that obviously everyone knows it’s ‘not all ___’ and it should go without saying. I’m a dingdong for putting that caveat out there – sorry about that.

          • You’re not a ding dong! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get out there that there are progressive people in your community of faith – that’s not always information that people know.

    • Girl, that would require them to trust science and data. That is SUPER INCONVENIENT to pushing the lie that birth control leads to risk sexual behavior. You know what’s actually risky sexual behavior? Not using condoms or birth control.

      Did you see that the new Health and Human Services strategic plan includes a goal of “protecting Americans… beginning at conception.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How can a fertilized egg have personhood? A fetus cannot have legal rights as it’s survival requires living in and off an actual person. I am terrified what this means for birth control as I am already hearing too many people calling birth control pills and IUDs “abordifacients.” I am so sick of these idiots and their junk science.

      • A Catholic here chiming in, and one who happens to also have an MS in Computer Science. I truly feel blessed by my faith and do not believe that science and logic are at odds with it.

        It’s so very difficult to have a civil discourse over the internet in a combo box over the question of when a fertilized egg becomes a person. We, as Catholics, do believe that life is beautiful and precious; and yes, that it does begin at conception. I don’t believe that makes us idiots.

        I love that you are very passionate about education, to include protecting your federal tax dollars from providing any funding to private religious educational institutions. Why are people who fundamentally believe that life begins at conception idiots who look down on poor people because they can’t afford their own contraception?

        We are passionate about protecting life at every stage, why is it so horrible to not want our federal tax dollars to pay for something that we fundamentally oppose?

        • I have a long-term pent up rage based on religious groups making decisions about what women can’t and can do with their bodies. This dates back to even when I was a child when girls couldn’t wear shorts or dance because it was inappropriate. Frankly, I am exhausted and done with people of various religions telling me how I should or should not be behaving and taking care of my body. Churches do not want federal laws impacting their religious freedoms and they don’t pay taxes, so I don’t see why they are allowed to influence policy so significantly. I don’t believe that someone’s religious beliefs are more important than healthcare. I recognize that a lot of people feel very differently about that, but that’s where I am coming from. The new HHS draft is filled with faith-based partnership strengthening and also address addition through prayer. That is not a separation of church and state.

          The codification of “life begins at conception” is an effort by several fundamental Christian groups to establish that in order to further limit access to abortion and birth control. It is not based on science. I understand if you disagree, but by continuing to define things that aren’t actually definable (such as when a fetus feels pain), they are gaining power and control over women’s bodies. Life is an evolving stage and there is no black and white “this is when it begins.” Conception is when the sperm and egg join, but that doesn’t mean you are pregnant. The ovum is simply fertilized. The egg still has to travel to the uterus and successfully implant. This is not a sarcastic question because I honestly don’t know, but how does the Catholic church feel about IVF? Because those are fertilized eggs that may or may not get used. It scares me that codifying federally that “life begins at fertilization” will force women to carry babies that they never intended on having (since they harvest and often fertilize multiple eggs in the hope of having at least one child).

          The Hyde Amendment (which is part of the annual HHS bill which is the group now defining life as conception) actually mandates the restriction of federal funds for abortion to rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is threatened by the pregnancy. In 2010, Medicaid paid for 331 abortions. I don’t smoke, but my tax dollars pay for the health consequences of it. My tax dollars go to old men getting viagra. My tax dollars are paying from Trump to pay golf every weekend.

          • I get your rage towards some religions and how they treat women. I laughed a little because, hello – religion likes to tell EVERYONE how to behave. It is a complex subject because a lot of the errors come with how society uses/adapts the principles of a religion. Sometimes that adaptation can be good, like our Judeo-Christian tradition; but sometimes that adaptation is awful, like the Taliban.
            As far as Churches in the U.S., yes they don’t pay taxes but their parishioners certainly do. I can’t speak for all parishioners, but in general I believe we want to live in a society that protects our religious freedoms and as citizens we have the right to try to influence our government’s rules and regulations.
            I see where you are coming from in terms of religious beliefs and healthcare. What saddened me about the whole HHS mandate is that the Catholic Church wanted to work with the administration, they wanted to make healthcare available to people who need it most. The Obama administration did not want to compromise with the request that birth control not be included and instead forced all Catholic employers to provide something that they believe to be intrinsically evil to their employees. Just look at how they treated the Little Sisters of the Poor, it just hurt my heart.
            Also, in terms of contraception – some people believe it is really not healthcare. Did you know the World Health Organization has classified this form of contraception as a definite carcinogen, citing increased rates of liver, cervical and breast cancer? Not to mention that we believe it has caused a lot of women, families and our society a great harm. If you are interested I would encourage you to read Humane Vitae to see why so many Catholics are passionate about this issue.
            In terms of the new HHS draft and the faith-based partnerships, I’ll need to read more about it. If there is a question about the separation of church and state, I’m sure the Supreme Court will have to take a look.
            In terms of “life begins at conception,” that’s not something we just came up with to restrict abortion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church article 2258 states:
            “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.”
            and 2270 states:
            “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
            Science, by itself, has not been able to create a fertilized egg. With all the advancements, that fertilized egg is still a mystery. Yes, we can tinker with it now, but you cannot dispute the fact that every human being started as a fertilized egg.
            Since we believe that ALL life is sacred, the Catholic Church does not condone the use of IVF – it’s actually seen as not being morally licit. There are too many ethical questions that arise from IVF, such as people choosing to discard of successfully implanted embryos when they only wanted one or two.

            In terms of the Hyde amendment, it saddens my heart that 331 babies lost their life and that the government paid for it. Not only for the baby, but for the parents and for the community. Also, did you know women who aborted their first baby have a higher likelihood of getting breast cancer? Plus, a large percentage of aborted babies are minorities. Think of how that impacts their community.
            I work for the state so I’m not blind to the fact that a lot of tax payer money is wasted. As citizens, I guess we pick our battles and because the respect for ALL life is SACRED to us – we choose to fight to protect all life. We do not want our taxpayer money to fund something that we believe is intrinsically evil.
            I hope you can see where some of us are coming from. How we are not idiots who are bent on taking rights away from women, we are trying to protect those who truly have no voice.

          • My best friend from college is Catholic and she and I have had a lot of long discussions about a lot of what you have presented here (and she has shared the Humane Vitae with me in the past). For her also it is deeply personal, and she is very much against the use of birth control and abortion. I understand that and respect hers (and anyone’s else’s right to feel that way), but I remain deeply disturbed that religious beliefs are influence policy. I also struggle to understand why anyone would want people to have children that they don’t want? And I don’t mean in terms of not having access to abortion, I mean access to pregnancy prevention. I understand that the rhythm method is effective for a lot of people, but I don’t know that a lot of teenagers are capable of that kind of documentation and control. And, yes, I recognize that this is why many religions push for waiting until marriage before being sexually active, but that’s not reality for a lot of people (and some of us may never get married).

            I do believe that if a woman’s life is in danger or there is abnormality with the fetus that the doctor believe is causing it pain, then you should have that choice. I know that many women choose to continue their pregnancy despite the dangers to their personal health, and that is absolutely their choice to make. It is tragic that 331 women had to abort a pregnancy because of health reasons, and I am sure they did not get pregnant thinking that would be the outcome.

            I’m not familiar with how birth control has torn apart families. I know women who have had to take it in secret because they didn’t want give birth to or care for another baby and their husband was demanding one. All of these families have more than four kids. That’s not the fault of the birth control, that’s an issue with a controlling, manipulative partner who is not making decisions with the person who is responsible for carrying and caring for additional children.

            The research surrounding forms of cancer and birth control states that some birth control pills were linked to higher risk of breast cancer. Women taking pills with low-does estrogen were not found to be at an increased risk. The WHO actually classifys them as a carcinogen when they are combined with menopausal treatment (estrogen and progestogen). Sunlight can cause cancer. Drinking and eating out of plastic can cause cancer. The isn’t conclusive evidence yet showing that abortion and breast cancer are liking. There are studies showing evidence of both sides, and a lot of them used flawed methodology. On the other hand, there is evidence that giving birth, breast feeding, and having multiple births reduces breast cancer, so should all just have babies to avoid it?

            I can understand where you’re coming from and why you are against birth control and abortion, but as a non-religious person, it very much disturbs me that someone can make decisions about my body based on their religious beliefs. And I do apologize for the idiots comment. It was directed at Republican leadership. I don’t believe that they are making decisions that are good for people in this country. Their healthcare proposals are horrifying for vulnerable populations and then for them pull the “Pro Life” card when it is convenient for them angers me to no end. If you are about preserving the sanctity of life, then be committed to protecting it for the entire span. Don’t punish people for being poor or unhealthy.

  4. I remember all the white women that said to me “it is not like he’s taking away anyone’s rights” after I marched in January. Well. Look where we are now. It just breaks my heart and fills me with rage.

    • And they still don’t see it – at least the ones in my sphere. Most of them already had their kids and their husband got snipped (abortifacient!!!) or they make more then enough money to buy their own if it comes down to it (because most of those Trumpers aren’t the disenfranchised poor white folk) or they (or their spouse who gets the insurance for the family) work for an employer that wouldn’t cut funding. OR, they get ACA and aren’t impacted (for now). They still don’t care. Screw those low-income folks who are desperately trying to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, right? It’s their fault for being poor anyway. They need to quit being so lazy and try harder (unless you’re a coal miner, then we have all the worries for your livelihood).

  5. So much rage about so many things.
    Semi-funny story-in the midst of break up convo with my as-of-last night-ex boyfriend, he was like well you said you hate kids and hate is a strong word. To which I said, no I HATE Trump and his administration, I just don’t like kids for me to have. Though perhaps now I hate guys who lamely say well, maybe I do want kids even though i’ve known since date 3 you didn’t and instead of talking about it, i’ll fester on it, and then break up with you. Plus only a 42 year man has the option to leave the door open on having kids at 40 something so easily.

    Students, bless their hearts, are overly dramatic and somehow don’t realize adults can see through that pretty easily. A student contact me earlier in the week about applying to a program I oversee. Deadline passed Sept 25 but she said she was dealing with a foot injury and forgot. Well, since you don’t type an application with your foot, not sure what one has to do with the other. Not to meantime, the application opened in August, pre-alleged injury.

    • UGH, MEN. And how did it take him that long to figure out that if he wanted kids, then a relationship with you wasn’t going to make that happen? Good for you for standing your ground. UGH. That story made me really mad. I hope you are doing some fun things this weekend to keep your mind off him. Break ups always suck.

      And bless that student’s heart. I spend so much time explaining to students that deadlines are deadlines and it says something about people who manage to meet them.

  6. I love your posts. You say exactly what I’m thinking and it comes out so eloquent and persuasive. When I try to type about what’s going on in the country it comes out like this: A;OIEN;VOIN;AEOIFN’AOWEIFN’SODIVJ;WOIEJ;FOINFOISH’

    See? not much of a blog post. Keep being awesome

  7. Doesn’t it seem like Wednesdays are getting WTFier by the week? Thank you once again for articulating ALL the rage for the rest of us.

    That one crazy FB friend of mine who is righty right right right likes to call abortion “genocide”. I feel like that’s an affront to actual genocides of actual living peoples who were, before being murdered, quite capable of living their lives independently from the womb.

    • Oh good grief. She should look up the definition of genocide. When the government decrees that a certain race, sex, or ethnicity of child be aborted, then we can talk genocide. And I’m so outraged all of the time that I can’t even focus on my usual petty grievances!

  8. Brock Turner was caught raping an unconscious woman by two men and was let off on the slap on the wrist, but it’s women’s fault for not coming forward about Weinstein? People who think that can go fuck themselves.

    • And we know that women coming forward doesn’t work anyway. How many women reported about Cosby and Trump and people still don’t believe them? Weinstein will probably be president in 2020.

  9. Since all the mass shooters are men, I think the only gun control law that needs to be passed is that women are the only ones allowed to purchase guns. Actually I think this could solve a multitude of problems, including sexual harassment.

    In all seriousness, I thought the Vice News segment last night was interesting. They talk about the difficulty in passing legislation to regulate things like the bump stock.

  10. I meant to reply earlier, but it’s been one of those weeks! I just wanted to thank you for opening up the discussion and for actually listening to a differing opinion. Sadly, I believe we live in a time where that is no longer the case.
    As far as religious beliefs influencing policy, I do understand your concern. It is kind of a catch-22 though because if we don’t have a set of beliefs that we can all agree on as a society then it makes it extremely difficult to set forth any type of policy.
    A lot of people do struggle with why pro-lifers would want people to have children they don’t want and honestly, it probably took me a while to really get it. For me at least, it just seems like abortion brings death – a death the mother and father will have to live with for the rest of their lives. Yes, they’ll be relieved from a financial burden – but instead they will take on an emotional burden that they will always carry. Some may carry this burden better than others, but you just never know how it will impact them down the road. Plus, I also believe that God can bring good out of any darkness and adoption can bring so much good to so many families burdened with infertility.
    Humane Vitae does a much better job at describing how birth control can lead to a breakdown of families. Because birth control pills allow people to have sex with a minimal chance of having babies, then it is much easier for married people to have extra-marital affairs – leading to families being torn apart. It is awful that you know women in those situations, and to be honest it does not sound like they are in a true and loving marriage. I pray their situation improves.
    As far as the research on birth control pills and cancer, I wish we had more of it, that it was less political and that it was more publicized. These days both sides of an issue can probably find a study that will back their opinions – why must it be like that with everything?
    I took regular birth control for some years in my 20s without knowing anything about that link. I fear a lot of women are in that situation and that the pills are prescribed at an alarming rate to “treat” many reproductive issues when in fact they may only be masking the symptoms. The only reason I learned about the link was because I started questioning why the Catholic Church was against the use of birth control and am very glad I did. I now use the Creighton method and can see so many health benefits to charting what is going on with your cycle.

    And yes, you and I are in agreement about the use of the “Pro Life” card. I wish that these politicians would really care about preserving the sanctity of life and be committed to protecting it for the entire span.

    • Some of these issues could be solved (in terms of people having to provide employees with medications that are against their beliefs) if so many of us didn’t have to rely on insurance through our employers. The long game of ACA was to eventually get us all paying into the same pot and take employer-provided insurance out of the equation. But that probably won’t happen and neither will people getting the coverage that they need apparently.

      I would like to see better support for low-income or single-income families. I know people who have had to make decisions about abortion or adoption because they were in a financially terrible situation where they did not believe they could provide for a child. That honestly makes me sadder than anything to know that someone who wanted their child could not keep that child because of poverty or other support-related issues. That seems like the kind of pain that someone would never get over (whether it be adoption or abortion). I wish that as a society we could do more to support people who are parents and who want to be parents (including better leave and flexibility in their jobs).

      Thanks for your comments and sharing your beliefs/opinions in such a thoughtful way.

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