Wednesday, October 23, 2013
So on Tuesday (Oct. 29th) I will be at the NDP Women's Forum in Ottawa. I'm on a panel called "The Politics of Advocacy" (I know, what does that mean?) with some really cool-sounding people, and altogether it should be a good event.
If you're going to be in Ottawa and you want to attend, you should! It's free, but you do have to register (which you can do here).
I'm especially stoked that the keynote speaker is AMAZING and WONDERFUL Metis artist and activist Erin Konsmo, who rocks my socks. Seriously I am in complete awe of this lady and her kick ass art. I have to be honest, I am a little bit cynical going into an NDP event but I think it's really cool that they asked a young activist to be the keynote speaker. I am not so in to having older feminists tell us how to do activism all the time.
Anyway obviously I am scrambling to write some semi-coherent stuff to say at this thing, but I wanted to put the notice up here just in case you wanna come see some amazing women chat about THE STUFF OF OUR LIVES, etc.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
So, a weird thing happened this weekend. FYI I'm about to talk about my vagina again so just take a rain check on this post if that's not the sort of thing you want to read about.
Some friends were visiting from the States, and staying with us all weekend, so it was good times. I was kind of bummed when my period came earlier than expected but you know, you gotta roll with it.
On Friday things were normal. I was bleeding normally - if a bit on the heavy side - but my IUD has been fucking up my periods for the last few months and I'm still waiting for shit to balance out. So whatever. On Saturday things were getting a little heavier, and the blood was a really deep, vibrant red. In the afternoon I started noticing clots. My underwear started looking like the scene of a particularly violent murder. I couldn't change my pads fast enough.
At dinner the situation persisted. I was still just thinking it was a heavy period, annoying but not worrisome. After dinner we went to a concert and it was there I got a little tired - bone-weary would be a good way to put it - and lightheaded. In the washroom I discovered that SINCE DINNER I had bled through my (new) pad, my underwear, and working on the inside of my jeans (well, that escalated quickly). Luckily it was near the end of the show.
At home I notices more clots. There had been some tissue earlier but I thought that was just normal - I usually notice some tissue with my period, just the uterine lining coming out. That's the point of the whole exercise. This time though the tissue was bigger. I inspected it (gross, I know, but I NEEDED TO KNOW) and it was blobby and lighter red, just smaller than a golf ball.
"Hmmm." I thought to myself. "That shouldn't be there."
In bed I took out my phone and started googling, and determined that based on my physical symptoms and the description of the tissue, I most likely had an early miscarriage.
In this time I could feel the blood seeping through my pad. I thought briefly that perhaps I should go to the hospital, but that seemed like an unnecessary hassle. When my partner came to bed I got up to change, then came back and said, "I think I just had a miscarriage."
I explained to him what had happened, my quick research, and the fact that IUDs only stop implantation, so it made sense. He didn't seem to know how to react - I could tell he was waiting to take a cue for me.
"It's not anything. It's not emotional, it's just gross." I said. We hugged and went to sleep.
I'm still bleeding but it feels more like an ordinary period. I don't know what to think of the whole thing; to be honest I would have expected to feel more feelings about it than I do. It's just an annoyance, really. More laundry to do. Something to watch out for next time. I don't really think you could say I was technically pregnant, since implantation didn't happen. It's nice to know the IUD works, I guess.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Maybe it's because I'm on my period (TMI alert, etc. etc. - honestly if you read this blog at all you know a lot more than that about my vagina), but when I read this article about the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform posting a huge exploding fetus banner across an overpass in Hamilton I got so angry I didn't know what to do with myself.
Generally, at this point in my journey as an activist I don't get super angry about this stuff - more of a mild, disappointed contempt. I'm not as young as I was (although I would like to think I remain just as idealistic). But yeah, I don't know, these CCBR people really get my dander up.
I almost came on here and wrote an angry screed (don't you love the word screed?) about it but then I got myself into a thought tangle about how much energy one should really spend getting worked up - especially publicly - about these idiots. It's that eternal debate about giving the anti-choicers attention and exposing their bullshit as harmful and terrible, versus not lending them legitimacy by paying attention. I've never really taken a conclusive side and have, in fact, gone back and forth about it more than any other thing in my activist worldview. Starting this blog was, arguably, a huge exercise in giving the antis attention, and they did delight in it, but at the same time I think it has been an immensely positive thing in a country where apparently NO ONE knows what's happening with abortion and sexual health access in New Brunswick. I thought at the time, and I still believe, that giving attention to the situation was worth giving publicity to the protesters.
But not every situation is the same. The CCBR is slick in their own way - they are very different than the ragtag group of elderly weirdos that protest at the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic. The CCBR thrives on publicity - any publicity - and they are not at all interested in being nice. They are willing to alienate their own potential supporters - people who openly identify as pro-life, anti-abortion - in order to get press hits with their big, disgusting stunts. They know exactly what they are doing, and I can't help but feel that even writing anything about them is playing right into their hands.
But shit, man, you can't just put disgusting banners on the overpass. It's actually causing traffic accidents. In the article the police give some bullshit excuse about not taking sides - completely missing the point that it's not the group's position people object to, it's the fact that their banner is distracting people to the point that they are crashing their fucking cars. Come on.
So, you know, fuck you Hamilton cops. And fuck you CCBR, obviously.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Check out this article on abortion access in Canada on VICE, of all places, with a nifty chart (below)! They're not totally clear on the New Brunswick situation in terms of hospital provision vs. clinic provision, and I wish they'd gone more in depth with additional barriers like race (particularly the challenges often faced by First Nations people trying to access abortion), but overall it's good the issue is getting this exposure.