Tag: abortion

January 29, 2013 / / black

By Guest Contributor Shannelle Matthews; originally published at Crunk Feminist Collective

“Are you in college?” The doctor could tell from my face I wasn’t at all interested in having a conversation. “You speak well. I mean, you’re articulate.” The wrinkles in my forehead 558387_523164701057337_2002892972_ndeepened. I wrung my fingers tightly around the scratchy, blue exam gown and briefly thought about the woman who wore it before me; what was she like? I looked at him, desperately wanting to not have to actually speak, wishing he could just read my mind. “Yes. I’m in college,” I responded shortly. I was really thinking, “That’s none of your business and really, is this the time to make small talk? When your elbow is deep in my vagina?” But, I was grateful for him, so I frowned and looked away.

The room didn’t feel particularly uncomfortable. I mostly gazed at the ceiling tiles, counting square by square. Occasionally I peeked down. Over the long sheet that draped my knees I could see my feet, not really manicured, resting awkwardly in the titanium stirrups, straddling the doctor’s full head of curly hair. “We’re just about done.” I sighed out a breath of relief. My abortion was almost over.

My abortion experience isn’t the kind that might be featured in a Lifetime movie. By that I mean I was 18, technically an adult. I consented to having sex, although I had never learned how to really protect myself. I lived in California, which is a state that provides emergency Medicaid for women who need financial assistance to help cover the costs of abortion care. The circumstances in which I found myself were not particularly difficult but only because at the time I didn’t know any better.

I was 6 months out of high school, a full-time student-athlete living away from home. I was privileged enough to be going to college and receiving some scholarship money to do so. One day, during practice, I found myself violently ill. Workouts were hard and often induced vomiting–but not like this. I counted the days since my last period and realized I may be pregnant.

I was dating my teammate who was several years older than me. He was sexually experienced and, while I wasn’t a virgin, I had dated mostly women and not been very sexually involved with men. He said he used protection. I believed him.

Read the Post The Story That’s Taken Ten Years To Tell: On Abortion, Race, And The Power Of Story

June 15, 2011 / / advertising

By Guest Contributor Akiba Solomon, cross-posted from Colorlines

Remember that racist anti-choice billboard in New York City that pimped misused a stock photo of a 6-year-old black girl, Anissa Fraizer, to sell the slogan, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb”?

Well, according to similar billboards sponsored by the Latino Partnership of Conservative Principles (LPCP), Latina wombs are lethal, too!

Read the Post Latinos Fall Prey to the Danger-Womb Epidemic!

May 18, 2011 / / Culturelicious
March 29, 2011 / / WTF?
October 18, 2010 / / asian-american

By Arturo R. García

Thanks to Angry Asian Man for the heads-up on Token, a short film written by Kulap Vilaysack and Kevin Seccia and directed by Peter Atencio.

And courtesy of Feministing, below the cut is the first installment of “Conspiracy Tactics,” a GritTV investigation into astro-turfed anti-abortion campaign centered around the idea of abortion as a genocidal effort against the black community. (Warning: this video includes uncomfortable imagery.)

Read the Post Monday Morning Videos: Token and Abortion Conspiracy

September 1, 2010 / / fandom

Hosted by Thea Lim and featuring Joseph Lamour, Tami Winfrey Harris, Latoya Peterson and Andrea Plaid

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Thea: Another sort of lackluster episode, though better than last week’s. Though I have to say this eppy sure had lots of good oneliners:

I used to drink hot sauce straight out of the bottle…that was a good time.

Dagnabit Shit Fuck!

So you turn into a panther! What the hell! That ain’t so bad.

Tami: What no love for Pam calling Bill an “infatuated tween”? That was the quote of the night. It perfectly captured the essence of the Bill and Sookie romance.

Andrea: Oh! My! Gawd! Pam aced the ep with that line. I so heart that vamp (pun intended).

Thea: Well, I didn’t want to steal all the good lines…I wanted to give y’all a chance to list your own fave oneliners :) Also I just read on the internet that Mama Hoyt actually said Dagnabit Shit Fire! I truly hope not, Shit Fuck is just so wonderful.

Thea: But to get down to the really really important business: poll – do we prefer LaLa as a pet name for our favourite, or Laffy? I can’t decide.

Joe: I love it when Ruby calls him Lala, but not when anyone else does. My vote goes for Laffy.

Tami: Co-sign, Joe. I love “Lala,” but it feels like one of those special names within friends or family that only one person is allowed to use. I’m going for Laffy.

Latoya: Team Lala. It makes me squee to think of 6 year old Lafayette. But Laffy works too.

Andrea: Honestly, I like Laffy or even Lafette, which is my fam’s nickname for my uncle, who shares the same name. I’m with Joe: let “Lala” be his mom’s nickname for him. Though, to be honest, I don’t like it coming from her mouth because there’s a homophobic bite to it.

Thea: Hm…that’s an interesting point about Lala having a homophobic bite…especially since every episode since its intro, Laffy has been addressed as such. This week, it was by the religious icons during a bad trip. Aiyeee..but more on that later, of course.

A Black Panther?

Thea: So here, for once, I would like those of you Charlaine Harris fans who’ve been sitting on your hands in the corner for fear of spoiling anything for the rest of us, to step up: is Crystal a black panther in the books, or is that just a choice they made for the visual medium of TV? Actually, wait a sec, are all panthers black? Since this is True Blood, master of dabbling foolishly in serious historical shit, I can’t help but wonder why they would choose a black panther, an animal which is, as professorjawn put it in the comments last week, “a uniquely racialized animal in the US psyche.”

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Joe: Other than the Pink Panther, panthers are all black, otherwise they’re called something else, like jaguars, leopards, cheetahs, and cougars (another loaded word, this day in age.) While reading the book I definitely assumed the (spoiler alert!) Hotshot people were all panthers, and that those panthers were of this variety: and not of the beret-ed variety. Also, to my (cursory, at best) knowledge, a panther is not actually a type of cat like a lion, but it refers to the color. For instance: a black jaguar is a panther, and a black cougar is a panther. There is a such thing as a white panther, but its rare, like a white tiger. Confusing enough? Yes, yes it is.

Interestingly enough, the reason that panther cats of any variety turn out black is because of- take a guess- an abundance of melanin. The writers, and Charlaine for that matter, probably didn’t think too hard about which species of cat to go with. Willful ignorance strikes again, I guess.

Tami: The folks in Hot Shot were panthers in Charlaine’s Harris’ books, though I don’t recall her specifying black panthers. II always assumed they were the sort of panther found in America–the cougar. I think the choice of using a black panther for Crystal was stylistic–they certainly look cool lurking in the shadows. It’s just that given True Blood’s sketchy racial imagery this season, even the most benign choices seem to mean something more sinister.

Sookie & Bill Are Boring; Pam Breaks Our Heart with her Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

Thea: So Latoya totally called it last week when she said, “But again, it’s Sookie who gets the creepy chain basement to herself, and she’ll probably be saved in a day or so, so whatever, I can’t drum up any concern.” OMG, try saved in like, fifteen minutes. More and more I am just writing the word “BOOOORING” in my notebook during all the Bill-Sookie scenes.’

Latoya: I hate being right. There isn’t even time to fake concern anymore.

Andrea: LOLOLOL I think we’re supposed to either 1) conveniently ignore that she was rescued or that 2) we’re supposed to get all “yeah girl-power!” that another human–especially a woman–rescued her. I think Ball and Co. wanted us to focus on the fact that she “whupped Pam’s ass” (with said woman’s help) to save her man. What peeved me is Pam’s xenophobic plea regarding Sookie’s sex-worker rescuer, “Don’t leave me here with this idiot immigrant!” The woman response, “I’m a cardiologist!” missed the humor mark because it turns back on her: the stereotyping questions become, “Why is a cardiologist hanging with vampires? Don’t they get good pay in that line of work?” Which can play either way: 1) thoughts about why people go into sex work (basic answer: the reasons are myriad) and 2) the stereotypes of female immigrants as victims of sex trades. Too much hung on that joke, which is why it fell flat for me.

Read the Post Dagnabit Shit Fuck: True Blood Recap S03E11

February 18, 2010 / / gender

By Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, originally published at Televisual

Two broadcast television series the week of January 22nd featured prominent narratives on teenage pregnancy and abortion. A rare coincidence, indeed — or perhaps not, giving January 22 is the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In Private Practice (“Best Laid Plans“), a rich black family’s 15-year-old daughter, Maya, gets pregnant and grapples with having the procedure. In Friday Night Lights (“I Can’t“), Becky, a minor but regular character, is a working class sophomore in high school also dealing with the same issue, albeit with much less parental guidance (her single mother).

Both shows, in my opinion, feature good storytelling and try to do justice to this difficult issue, in ways that suggest networks are finally moving forward on an issue still most famously explored in 1972 in an episode of Maude (later again on Roseanne).

Television (film too) is infamous for its silence on abortion. If a character gets pregnant, it’s an easy bet she’ll have it. So ironclad is the pregnancy rule it ruins all the drama from the plot point. Pregnancy = baby. Major characters rarely even discuss it (Sex and the City, season 4 did); “abortion women” leave shows quickly. Even adoption is rarely broached. So both Friday Night Lights and Private Practice deserve credit for even using the “A” word, several times, and actually dealing with the issue head-on.

The shows take two different paths. Yes, unbelievably, on broadcast television, a character actually goes through with the procedure.

Friday Night Lights Goes There

I should first be clear: I don’t think television needs to show more abortions. I do think, however, their near complete silence on the issue betrays the fact that this happens, everyday, right or wrong.

When Becky, who attends East Dillon high school and lives next to former Dillon star Tim Riggins (he’s her mom’s tenant and former one-night-stand), said she was pregnant last week, I wasn’t sure where Friday Night Lights would take it on. But the show privileges its sense of realism, reinforced by its documentary/hand-held camera aesthetic, so I thought if any show would “go there,” it would.

Read the Post Television and Abortion: Two Shows, Two Different Paths