FBQ Cawfee Talk X

Please forgive me for starting your break with such a volatile topic, but my mind won’t let me think of much else at the moment.

No words for this…

Pregnancy Begins 2 Weeks Before Conception’ Now The Law In Arizona.

The Queen thought long and hard about posting this. And if the female Miss Things think that I should mind my own business, then I will respectfully leave it alone. However I personally think it is the business of every American. What the fuck is going on? How have we, as a nation, gotten to this point?

I’m not even going get into the absurdity of the legislation itself. I HAVE to believe that even the authors of the bill had to be thinking somewhere deep down inside: “This is bullshit!” while drafting it. Please, PLEASE help me understand how anyone–much less a woman would want to restrict another woman’s Right to Choose to this degree? Is it really a passionate fundamentalist view about the right to life? Or is it the need to have absolute power over another human being? What the fuck is it? And–more importantly–what do we, as angry citizens DO about it?

Is this a woman’s fight? Or, as I want to believe, a Nation’s fight?

From a Gay Brother’s Perspective

photo by James Knox. All Rights Reserved

From time to time, the Queen will Google the search terms “middle aged black gay men” to see what I’ll get. Of the 8 entries (of which I’m happy to say FBQ is now one) that come up, three belong to author Bernard J. “Bernie” Tarver and his blog Bejata.com. Unfortunately he isn’t posting on this particular blog any more, but he left us with an incredible chronicle of older black gay men. It is fascinating reading for me because so many experiences of the men he interviews reflect my own. If you want a sorely missed perspective of gay black men, check out the series.

Hillary To The Rescue

From funnyordie.com

Hope you Miss Things have a good one.

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26 thoughts on “FBQ Cawfee Talk X

  1. No words describe my contempt for politicians interfering into what should be a private matter between a woman and her physician. I wholeheartedly support the concept that abortion should be safe, available and rare. The nonsense about counting from the first day of your last menstrual period has been a source of confusion and hilarity for years. I knew when I conceived and refused to add two weeks when my ob/gyn explained the concept to me. I told him he went to medical school and I had an advanced degree in engineering, we we just going to ha e to muddle along without an imaginary two week rounding error.

    • Julaine, Thanks for saying everything I am thinking but am too angry to articulate! Get out of my private female business, politicians!!!

    • “we were just going to have to muddle along without an imaginary two week rounding error.”

      Cracked. me. up.!! (of course that might be because I have an undergrad engineering degree – although in my case it didn’t really “take”).

  2. I cannot believe how absurd this whole law is. I fear for this country–we seem to be seriously dumbing down and legislating it. Oy.

  3. Oh, Bill, Bill. I actually have a funny story about being able to pull out a Bill-Hillary joke at THE most perfect time. This was back in Maryland during the whole Monica Lewinsky fiasco. At the time, I had a different beagle than my little avatar. And anyone who knows anything about beagles knows they are notorious for running away. They get a scent, and they’re gone. We had woods behind our house with lots of rabbits, and it was a constant battle to keep him from going on a three-day bender. You couldn’t even casually open the front door, because if he was anywhere nearby, he’d scoot out before you could even blink.

    Well, anyway, I was doing transcription work for a court reporting company, and periodically I’d get work that was due overnight. The company would divvy up the work and send the tapes and notes out to transcribers via a group of messengers they kept on the payroll, all African-American men. So one day the doorbell rings, and I head to the door with the beagle right at my heels. So I open it up a couple of inches, enough to reach my arm through the door to grab the package. And this is what the messenger sees, not so much my foot trying to surreptitiously push the beagle head back from the door, just the door opened a couple of inches. He starts to ask if he could use the phone, but gets as far as, “Could I possibly use your – “ and then gets THE most disgusted look on his face and says, “You know what? Never mind. Just forget it!” And so I’m thinking, oh, crap, he thinks I’m doing this because I’m afraid he’s going to rob me. So I reach down, grab the dog, open the door and say, “Oh, do you want to use the phone? I was just trying to keep the dog from getting out,” and explained the beagle three-day bender situation.

    And THEN I was able to pull out the line I had just heard only days before: “You know, it’s just like Hillary said of Bill: He’s one hard hound to keep on the porch!” Well, he cracked up, came in and made his phone call, and was still cracking up when he left. And I could swear the other messengers suddenly got friendlier. I had thought they often seemed standoffish when I was always trying to be my friendly, chipper self. Apparently I had gone from lunatic white lady to pretty cool overnight.

    Thanks, Bill. Thank you SO much!

  4. No, by all means PLEASE speak up! We need men as well as women to be outraged by this, since apparently the morons currently in office seem to think women cannot be trusted to make decisions regarding their own bodies and won’t listen when we try to tell them otherwise. The amount of ignorance currently on display in the legislative world absolutely boggles my mind. I can understand (even if I don’t agree with) some people’s distaste for the concept of abortion, but to go so far as to ignore basic biology and declare a woman pregnant before she even conceives is complete idiocy! For a woman to actually sign this foolishness into law infuriates me–it is a betrayal of our entire gender. This is puritanism passing itself off as politics, and unless we all speak up–men and women, gay and straight, all colors, all religions–we are allowing a narrow-minded few to enforce their standards upon the lives of many, and there is nothing good that can come of it.

    • Took the words right out of my mouth! Anyone who has a problem with legislation like this should speak out, because in one way or another it does affect us all. Of course, I don’t understand how anyone could NOT have a problem with this kind of stuff.

      Interestingly, though, when I read this post I immediately flashed back to the conversation a few weeks ago about why so many readers of the blog weren’t commenting on your posts about issues relating to black men. It’s fascinating how so many people said then that they didn’t feel that they, as (largely) straight, white women, should comment on issues concerning groups they weren’t members of, while now everyone is agreeing that OF COURSE it’s your business too, you can have opinions, it’s everyone’s fight, etc. I’m not sure what this means – I’ll have to give it some more thought – but I’m sure that there’s some interesting conclusions to draw from our completely different reactions to two very similar questions….

      • That song has been going through my head incessantly!
        And here’s where Jon Stewart covered an (tongue-in-cheek) amendment to a personhood bill, to outlaw the spilling of semen anywhere except in a woman’s vagina. The reaction of the Republican lawmaker they interviewed is priceless (it’s an invasion of privacy, etc.).
        http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-11-2012/bro-choice

      • I do think it’s different when it’s your issue. When you’re the group being targeted you have the right to determine who takes part in the conversation, while when you’re not part of the group you feel awkward intruding. We’re assuring Scotty that it’s totally his place to comment (which it absolutely is) but he’s the one who assured us that it was okay for us to talk about race a few posts back. I think we’ve all been taught to tread carefully until given overt permission to participate.

        (Though I think there is a difference between how we talk about race and how we talk about gender/sex. At least from my perspective, we’re a lot less comfortable discussing race. Though that might be because my friends are primarily white but also primarily either female or non-binary, so gender does tend to come up much more often. I also think the conversation on gender has been going on longer in our culture than the one about race and we’ve almost started to feel comfortable with it.)

      • Although I have to say more and more I’m thinking that the circumspection around talking about so many of these issues has just GOT to come to an end, including the politeness around whose issue is it really. And I didn’t feel like that for a long, long time. Being old enough to remember the sixties very well (though not quite old enough to be an active participant), I have long felt that the excesses of that era set back progressive politics immeasurably. I mean, things like all that casual talk about violent revolution and so on, which I’m embarrassed to remember even buying into for a very brief moment. I watched my dad, who had been a die-hard New Deal type Democrat, an avid supporter of JFK, turn into the Fox News acolyte he is today. And I understand exactly why it happened: he got completely freaked out by all those damned obnoxious kids taking over universities and all, and he never got over it.

        And I understand all that. And for a long time I supported things like Clinton’s “triangulation” approaches and his end-runs around the right wing. I thought he was genius and was finally overcoming the right’s being able to associate anything progressive with sixties excess. But more and more, it just hasn’t worked. The more we cede ground, the farther out these clowns GO. More and more, Nixon looks like a socialist and Reagan downright liberal. (Not to mention Goldwater, that right-wing extremist who thought that the government had no business with a woman’s body – of course, he was more the libertarian wing…). At some point, we’ve got to take the conversation back and be bolder about it. No, we don’t want to put on our Che Guevara tee shirts, but there has got to be a way to talk more boldly about gender, race, and CLASS, without constantly apologizing for doing so. And, yes, forget about talking about only our own narrow interests. That kind of balkanization of issues should end also.

        Okay. I’ll stop now, but I am getting myself so worked up….not that it’s necessarily a bad thing.

  5. Let’s put it this way: this legislation is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Monty Python “Every Sperm Is Sacred” sketch – once they start coming for sex, they won’t stop. It’s part and parcel with cohabitation laws, sodomy laws, and we-have-the-right-to-stick-equipment-inside-you-pre-abortion laws.

    So, you go FBQ!

    • I think the thing that so horrifies me about this (apart from, you know, the fact that it’s appalling to declare that a person cannot decide what is best for their bodies) is that the whole thing reminds me of a comedy sketch. I feel like this _should_ be in the Onion, or in Monty Python, or South Park. It’s that absurd and over the top. And yet it’s not, it’s actual news about an actual law that actually exists. It’s a really, really bad sign when the truth gets more outrageous than the comedy. (Ditto for the conversation a friend and I are having which has devolved into describing a super-conservative family dynamic (i.e. woman has children, stays home, man makes money and is in charge) and we keep managing to bring in references to real things. It’s like no matter how hard we try we can’t be worse than reality.)

  6. Governor Brewer and her ilk prove that perception is nine-tenths of the flaw. It is has to be a Nation’s fight or we will suffer the unconscionable.

    I hope we all yell against the absurdity of it all.

  7. Nope, sorry. No help here [in figuring out any logical or scientific or morally defensible – in my mind – reason for decreeing that pregnancy begins 2 weeks before conception].

    Handmaid’s Tale. I couldn’t even finish the book, and I’ve tried more than once. But Arizona seems to be headed there. Texas, not far behind.

    The majority of our ever-increasing numbers of folks without the resources to make end-runs around the dictates of their state legislatures will rise up, eventually, when they have to live out what decisions like this do to the lives of those whose selves and whose families are living on some kind of financial, emotional or medical edge. I have no fear this path will be reversed, but I fear it will only be AFTER untold numbers of women (and their partners and children and parents and grandparents and friends) have to actually live out the collective consequences on their lives of the many, some less dramatic but equally destructive, legislative efforts to police women’s moral and medical choices.

    I live in Texas. I feel like I should be reviving my childhood religious practices in thanks that I – and my daughter – live in a metropolitan area, have a solid education, and have enough financial resources that we are not on the collective mercy of our state social services.

    My words, my money and my energy are behind opposition to this kind of mistake. I just worry that there’s so much to fight for (and against) and the fighters have to choose our battles. Most of the people I know are already volunteering in one way or another to meet the needs of children or the elderly or the disabled that neither their families nor our society can meet – on top of trying to meet the needs of themselves and their own families and friends. I don’t think that’s wrong – I think that’s how humans are supposed to live. But it makes for some tired ass raggedy troops, sometimes.

  8. Due to circumstances I cannot write much this evening. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and questions – it’s certainly not a topic you should avoid examining & discussing, any more than us ‘little white gals’ should avoid learning & thinking about the experiences you live through as a Fierce Black Queen. All of these things educate us and inform who we are as people. And who we collectively are as a society.

    -the redhead-
    …long time lurker…

  9. And you know – appropos of not much – What I like best about the “texts from Hillary” is that she’s shown sitting there with the briefing materials spread out, obviously WORKING. It makes me crazy that somehow everybody in the public eye wants to be photographed all suave and well dressed and cool all the time as if that is all it takes.

    [sigh. yes. I’m about to put on my housecoat and terrycloth slippers so I can go out on my porch and wait for some kids to wander into my yard so I can yell at them. I know I sound like a crank.]

  10. Thanks for recognizing my blog series on Black Gay Men at Midlife. Even though it was done five years ago now, it still seems to resonate with new readers

    • Thank YOU sir for doing it! My whole reason for starting this blog was a lack of material on the web around just such topics. It is such a gift to find a well-written and dynamic piece such as yours.

      Unfortunately, I think I should have made it a post in and of itself. All the fervor of the item on Women’s Rights has overshadowed your series. I’ll have to figure a way to give it some prominence in the near future. Again, thank you for your effort and your words.

      • Yes! Another great recognition of what you’re doing, like Sharon linking to your blog. Are you detecting a pattern here? Keep on doing what you’re doing, you’re opening up GREAT, and very important, dialogues. (And I know you’ve gotten plenty of wheels turning in my head, which frankly is REALLY annoying because I have to keep trying to shut them down so I can get some work done to pay the STUPID bills…) And if in this instance Women’s Rights kind of overshadowed the subject matter of your entry, you must know that if you say to a bunch of women who already adore you that you want to be sure you’re being respectful about commenting on one of “their” issues (how often does THAT happen?) …well, we will more than happily hijack your blog to talk about those issues. On the other hand, wherever you want to go, I’m sure we will gladly follow, and we WILL weigh in (we’re like that, as we’ve pretty much made clear!). Just make sure you jump on all the opportunities to talk about what is important to you.

        Or really, maybe it’s time to just start doing multiple entries a day, so chop-chop! Like our Sharon recently said in some interview or another, she’s moved into a place called every-airport-in-America, and given up her favorite hobby called sleep. What am I saying? That bitch has barely turned 30. You’re doing just fine!

      • “figure a way to give [the Black Gay Men at Midlife blog] some prominence”

        Heck, I know you are quite good at framing your discussion points in a graceful & entertaining narrative, and I wouldn’t discourage you from doing so. But it is o.k. just to say “hey guys, if you’re reading here, you’ll want to go check this out.” with as much elaboration as you have time for & no more. ‘Cause you know, we trust you. 😉

  11. o.O My brain is BROKEN! I thought the whole point of conception was when the egg was fertilized? How can life begin before it’s even fertilized (wrong word there maybe? Makes it sound like a flower bed)? I have to profess to a lot of ignorance around this subject, mainly because it’s such a touchpaper for a lot of people and too many people fight (not debate, fight) over it for me to clarify it in my head. At the end of the day it’s that person’s choice what they do with their body!

  12. This isn’t on topic, but whatever. I was listening to NPR this morning and I heard this story: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/21/151041371/blair-underwood-on-stanley-stella-and-streetcar. It’s an interview with the star of the new Broadway star of Streetcar Named Desire. He’s a black man and I thought what he had to say about playing the part was really interesting and made me think of you, especially this quote: “How I play Stanley is how I wake up every day as an African-American man,” Underwood says. “I start with my heart, I start with my humanity, I start with my soul.”

  13. Note to self: avoid moving to Arizona.
    I have a hard time believing that most of the legislators who vote for this kind of stuff are true believers. I suspect most of them are like Romney — voting to curtail abortion rights, bashing immigrants, slamming poor people — because they’re courting the right and think that those red-meat issues will do the trick. Immigrants and poor people are especially easy targets since they can’t or are less likely to vote. Women, on the other hand, do have the vote and I hope that idiocy like this galvanizes them to get to the polls and throw these people out of office.
    What really gets my goat about the rightwingers who are so eager to intrude into a woman’s medical affairs is they simultaneously go around screaming about needing less government in our lives. Hypocrits.
    Is is just a woman’s issue? Hardly. Straight guys who are sexually active should remember that they’re legally obligated to support the children they make.
    I’ll stop ranting now. Thanks for giving me the chance.

    And thanks for the Hillary bit. Giggle.

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